Russian North – Road.Travel

Russian North

Road Trip Route. Old Artist Fortress, Wooden architecture in Mandrogi village, Kolodozero Village, White Lake, Cyril Belozero Monastery.

With every kilometer of the way to the Russian North you feel some primordial calm and understanding that everything is in its place. The indomitable spirit of nature and man. Our journey will start with the Old Ladoga and its powerful fortress, we will see waves on the white lake, a dozen buildings of wooden architecture of different centuries. We will reach the extreme church in the east of the Karelian Diocese, where you get used to the war wolf, and then only off-road and taiga. But it's very light and integral inside.

History and Culture, Arts and Creativity. From: Saint Petersburg

Ksenia Beskova. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Old Ladoga, handicrafts Sloboda, road to Kargopol

The road to the Russian North is decorated with various ancient churches, the shore of Lake Ladoga, powerful fortresses, many small lakes. Today we will visit the village of Mandrogi. In this corner of wooden architecture we will try our handicraft and art workshops.

Old Ladoga castle (Староладожская крепость)

Old Ladoga. The first capital of Northern Russia. Fortress on the bank of the Volkhov River, which is led by a thicketed and falling apart descent. One of the towers of the fortress now has a two-story museum. An interesting exposition and the layout of the room immerses in the life of the Middle Ages. The museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Ремесленная Слобода

A tourist spot on our way. The village was organized in the early 90s. All buildings were moved here from Vologda and Arkhangelsk regions. The houses are authentic, have not been restored. There are handicraft and art workshops on the territory. For example, Russian folk instruments. Workshops on lace weaving, birch bark, folk dolls and, of course, clay and ceramic products.

Кафе "Паломник"

Cafe at Holy Trinity Monastery. Local pastry, Russian cuisine and herbal teas. Sounds church chanting. In the season a tiny veranda is open, you can move to the fresh air.

Свято-Троицкий Александра Свирского мужской монастырь

The Village of Old Sloboda. Funny flowerbeds between the alleys and two-storey houses for the monastery staff. The bell tower of the Transfiguration Cathedral rises. In Soviet times it housed a psychiatric hospital and an orphanage. And later the space of the monastery was given to communal apartments.

Юксовичи, Церковь св. Великомученника Георгия Победоносца

It is believed that the first temple on this site was built in 1493. It was rebuilt several times. The age-old wooden architecture. Not regularly, but divine services are held.


Nice interior. Tiny round tables for two, wooden chairs. Menu without exquisite, easy to choose something to suit your mood.

Day 2: The Village of Pogost and Kolodozero

Today we will visit the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the bank of the Kolodozero in the village of Pogost. This place is loved by artists, photographers and musicians. And most importantly, masters of wooden architecture, who with their own hands and revive the Russian North. Some years ago something changed here forever, but the doors of the old house are still open to everyone. In the evening, we'll have dinner in Kargopol.

Устье реки Андома

It flows into Lake Onega and resembles the sea on a scale. The river is easily accessible, so we decided to start the day with admiring the river landscapes. It turned out that the place is rather tourist, there are people with tents in the forest.

Шальский Пляж

And on this beach, we didn't meet any people, which is weird enough. The beach is accessed through a village of wooden buildings. Pure sand, the smell of pine trees and saggy one-storey houses right on the cliff.

Кафе Вытегра

The dining room. Self-service. Sticky tablecloths on the tables, but clean and nourishing.

Tserkov' Rozhdestva Presvyatoy Bogoroditsy

The lake edge. The village of Pogost. Guest house built in 1926. Previously guests from Moscow, Peter, Estonia, Hamburg came here for church holidays. The house was rarely empty, being a haven for people who were confused and simply wanted to have a rest from the city fuss. Only Arkady Shlykov lived here all year round, and he also served in the church on the bank of the Kolodozero, which he built himself. The church was never closed. He ran the farm, looked after the old people, orphanages, played football with local boys. In February 2018, Father Arkady was gone. His friends now live in the big house, their doors are also open for travelers. A huge library and a collection of films. There's a samovar on the table. Drinking tea and watching Antonioni's movies.

У Егеря

Tiny evening Kargopol. Late dinner. One of the few places in town that works late.

Day 3: Kargopol and the White Sea

It's morning in a quiet county town. Wooden houses with carved casings, mountains of wood in the yards. Complicated northern life. The sky is closer here. There's a sea here, we'll visit it in the afternoon.


It's morning in Kargopol. The tranquility of Onega and the city itself. Hang your legs to the river, lie down on the wooden bridge of the pier. Breathe.

Соборная Колокольня

One of those cities that is pleasant to wander the streets without a target and still stumble upon something interesting. Here a complex stone carving adorns the cathedral. There is a bell tower next to which you can climb, to see the city from above. The bells ring over the city every day at 12 o'clock in the afternoon.

Тоболкино (Ухта)

The ruins of the stone church also fit perfectly into the local landscape. The whole surrounding area is reminiscent of shots from Kusturica's films. We leave the Kargopol area behind.

владение золотой рыбки

Lovely food market is open from 9am to 6pm. Fresh food without extra charge. We buy what we need for a picnic and drive to the huge lake.

Городской пляж Белозерска

We decided to have a snack outdoors. There are practically no people, though the weather is good and we are on the city beach. You can't see the other side. The waves are noisy. The clay bottom and the long entry into the water. Like in the Baltic Sea, to dive, you have to go three shoals.

Церковь Всемилостливого Спаса

This church has been to the gym. It's not the most dramatic story. The bell tower offers a wonderful view of Belozersk, its churches and the huge lake.


Evening Kirillov. Cozy, warm, nourishing. Prices are discouragingly low.

Day 4: Pre-revolutionary Russia in Kirillov

Today, our journey will begin with a stroll through the old Cyril Belozero Monastery. Kirillov has preserved its architectural integrity and historical appearance of the city. Stone buildings and wooden houses with impellers. One of them has a funny modern signboard "art-fish". After seeing the various churches during our trip, it was interesting to be in the Museum of Cherepovets, dedicated to the icon. And we will spend the night in the glorious city of Ustuzhne.

Кирилло-Белозерский монастырь / Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (Кирилло-Белозерский монастырь)

Morning walk around the monastery territory. Ancient frescoes on the vaults of the gate. Early-Moscow style of the Assumption Cathedral. Now it has a museum where the iconostasis of the XVIII century is displayed. On the territory of the monastery there is an ancient oak, it is 270 years old. You feel yourself in the fortress, time stops. I want to stay longer in this rhythm. In the summer season the townspeople arrange a beach at the age-old walls on the shore of Lake Siver.

Церковь Успения Богоматери

XVII century. The Nelase River. There was no way to get inside. A log cabin without a single nail. The more we look at wooden architecture, the deeper it remains in the heart...

Художественный музей

The museum in Cherepovets was surprising. Art of XIV-XX centuries. An icon as a kind of art. Attentive to details Repin's paintings and creative experiments of Kandinsky are also presented.


Nice pilaf. Strange enough, but the cafe offers to capture the smoked sausage of its own production. There are homemade sausages on the menu. Wonderful and thoughtful of visitors.

Gazpromneft filling station #32

If there is little fuel, there will soon be an automatic station - refuel quickly and contactlessly with the application of the Gazprom Neft filling station network. [App Store]( [Google Play](

Соборная площадь

Stuffed. The city on the bank of the river Mologi, which needs to cross the bridge to get to the center. Plaza im. victims of the Revolution in the past. It is distinguished from the city's old days by a modern flat traffic light.

Храм Казанского образа Божьей Матери

1694. Baroque. White stone patterns around the windows. The cemetery on the territory, the church operating. It is worth looking inside, look at the frescoes of the XVIII century.

Кафе "А5"

In all our trip, catching wi-fi was not so easy, there is the Internet! It's nice that the cafe sells souvenirs. Russian cuisine.

Day 5: City of Tikhvin

Back to the Leningrad region. The provincial town of Tikhvin, where there are practically no paved roads, but several suspended bridges over the river. Here they make some amazing wooden houses for stray cats. And, of course, we will visit the house-museum of one of the best Russian composers.

Храм Евфросина Синозерского

In 2000, the construction of the church began. It was illuminated in 2012. Active life of the parish. Interesting roof, log cabin by the rules, but it is elusively felt that it was built in our time.

Горное Озеро

An old village development. Apparently, the locals are busy with their business. Despite the proximity of the temple, we have not met a single person. Serenity and silence.


Minimalistic interior. Spacious. Comfortable. Hot dishes will have to wait a little while.

Висячий Мост, Тихвин

It's not the only hanging bridge in town. It's an interesting feeling. The river Tikhvinka has a strong enough current. Meeting the wildlife within the city limits.

Дом-музей Н. А. Римского-Корсакова

The composer's grandfather built the house. A rather large collection of personal belongings of the Rimsky-Korsakov family. Interestingly, the museum was opened during the war years. An authentic musician's grand piano. He's upset. If you ask very politely, the servants allow you to take some chords. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Введенский Женский Монастырь

Restoration work is slow but ongoing. Although there is something special about this neglect. The monastery is operational. In Soviet times, a bathhouse and a gymnasium were built here.

Древняя Ладога

And again, the Old Ladoga. We missed you already. Fireplace and warm walls. Affordable prices, simple dishes.

Day 6: Return to the Old Ladoga

Going back to the beginning. We will visit the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, once again plunging into the cityscape of Ladoga. We will have lunch in a modern and pleasant cafe in Volkhov, there we will walk in the park in search of attractions that have long been gone. But there is a thick forest in the park and a sense of peace! And, of course, we will stop by to see Lake Ladoga!

Собор Николая Чудотворца

Morning. 15th century cathedral. Amazing solution: outside there is a circular cast-iron staircase leading to the icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. Here you want to wander the streets, looking at numerous historical buildings.

Парк культуры и отдыха Ильинка

An old iron swing. There are no attractions at the moment, the Ferris wheel is not working. Almost every remaining building has pretty good graffiti. Abandoned, deserted park.


Great view from the window on the city of Volkhov. Laconic, pleasant interior. Good coffee. Successful marinated mushrooms.

Спасская придорожная часовня

The chapel is built in Russian style from Putilov's slab. It is now in operation. In wartime it was a point of fire, and later the chapel served as a stop for buses.

Пляж на Ладожском озере

Of course, we couldn't resist and came to say goodbye to Ladoga Lake. The wind, landscape, sand are already so familiar. We walked along the shore, left flat stones in the water, promised to come back.


Open veranda, nice atmosphere. You can get lost in the menu, and the portions are not small. Sensitive staff and a good chord to complete our trip to the Russian North.