Escape to Verchinino, a village located 1,000km north of Moscow on the Kenozero Lake. In the Arkhangelsk region, this place has been preserved in time, steeped in the atmosphere of old chapels and wooden isbas. There is nothing but taiga for miles around. It is not an open-air museum; it is just an isolated village with inhabitants who survive as hunters, fishermen and farmers. Boat excursions, encounters with locals over tea from a samovar and nights in a traditional isba are planned in this total immersion trip. Discover Russian cuisine through local specialities like pirozhki (pies), blini (pancakes) and herbal teas from wild plants.
19h50: Departure from Moscow (Yaroslavsky train station, Metro Komsomolskaya) by night train to Nyandoma (Arkhangelsk region).
The train follows a historic route through the ancient towns of Yaroslavl and Vologda. In the morning after Konosha station, you can have breakfast watching the northern landscapes whip by through the window of your compartment. Enjoy spectacular views of the Nyandom hills covered in pine trees where rivers flow into the Onega Lake and the White Sea.
10h00: Arrival at Nyandoma. Your driver is waiting at the train with a sign “Artel Troika”. Car transfer to Kargopol (82km, 1 hour).
Visit Kargopol on foot with a local guide (1h).
Visit a factory and a traditional toy painting workshop (1.5h).
Lunch in a typical Kargopol restaurant.
15h00: Transfer to Verchinino (150km, 3 hours).
Kargopol, with its 10,000 inhabitants, is the biggest town in the area. Further out, there is nothing but a handful of villages founded by the first Slavs. The first half of the drive (from Kargopol to Konevo) follows an asphalt road, but the remaining 76km wind through the forest on a dirt track.
A floating bridge (removed when the snows melt) allows you to cross over the Onega River – the villages you will visit are entirely cut off from civilisation during the spring.
Arrival at Verchinino and accommodation in a wooden house.
19h00 Dinner made from local produce.
21h00 Russian banya and swimming.
09h30 Visit Verchinino on foot, the Chapel of Saint Nicolas and barns with exhibitions (2h).
12h00-13h00: Lunch at Verchinino.
13h00: Boat excursion to the North of the lake, visit of the villages Ryzhkovo, Glazovo and the craftsman village, Ust-Potcha. In Ust-Potcha, attend a master class of birch bark weaving before sharing tea and pirozhki with your guide and the locals.
Return to Verchinino by boat.
18h00: Return to Verchinino.
21h00: Russian banya.
09h30: Boat excursion to the southern shores of Lake Kenozero, visit of the villages Zikhnovo, Tyrychkino and Medvezhiy Island. Tea with a local family.
14h00: Return to Verchinino.
14h00- 15h00: Lunch in the village.
16h00-18h00: Visit with a local family and traditional pastry lesson.
20h00: Dinner at the village.
21h00: Departure for Plesetskaya (170 km, 3 hours).
00h38: Departure by night train to Moscow.
The Pogost of Porzhensky is very difficult to get to and only accessible by boat, then on foot. The itinerary passes through uninhabited zones with many wild animals and birds. A forest ranger will travel with you on this hike.
Start your day by visiting Mysa, renowned for its rolling prairies filled with herbs and wild flowers. Nina Fedorovna, the village herbalist, will welcome you. Collecting herbs and plants is a very important activity in traditional medicine. Nina will teach you how to recognise different species of plant and invite you to share delicious herbal tea and homemade pies. Then you will go on to picnic by the Lake Pochozero. Forest rangers will prepare a meal on a traditional wood fire of fish soup, called “ukha”.