Why visit Solovki

Although when under Communism Solovki’s remote and inhospitable location led to its conversion into one of the most infamous and cruel gulags, today restoration is underway to restore it to its former glory. There is a short window of opportunity in the summer months of June and August when the weather is usually glorious and although it is not an easy destination and accommodation is severely limited, the trip is well worth the reward.

About Solovki

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 row boat through the myriad of natural canals which criss cross the island.

  • Visit the Church of the Transfiguration, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1714.
  • Travel by boat along the canals of Big Solovetsky Island and see the town from the water.  
  • Explore Sekirnaya Hill, formally home to one of the cruellest Gulags, with its unique lighthouse church.
  • Wander through the stone labyrinths of Big Zayatsky, considered rare and valuable archaeological monuments.

Beyond the Ordinary

This is travel beyond the ordinary, few people visit and coming by train from St Petersburg is taking the ‘road’ less travelled. 

Holiday Ideas in Russia

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom