The Solovetsky Islands
The Solovetsky Islands, which are also referred to as Solovki, are located in the cold waters of the southern White Sea, just outside the Arctic Circle. The islands have historically seen a range of human extremes from endurance and heroism to severe cruelty, and they are home to one of the most influential monasteries in the Russian Tsarist Empire, the Solovki Monastery.
The easiest way to reach Solovki is to travel from St Petersburg by train and boat stopping on the way to visit the little-known city of Kargapol, with its unique wooden architecture. On arrival, the best way to approach the island is by a rowing boat through the myriad of natural canals which criss-cross the island.