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Kizhi — a protected island

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Kizhi — a protected island

Kizhi — a public historical, architectural and ethnographic museum & reserve

The most outstanding landmark of the antique Northern wooden architecture is Kizhi church included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and located on Kizhi Island of Zaonezhye Peninsula in the Republic of Karelia. Its ensemble was a stepping-stone for the world-famous architectural museum & reserve. It features architectural monuments, household items, icons created over the past three centuries in the Russian, Karelian and Vepsian villages across Obonezhye, as well as in North and South Karelia.

The first chronicles of the village and tent churches on Kizhi Island date back to the 15th century. Since the 16th century, Kizhi has become the administrative center of an entire district (churchyard) with 12K residents. In 1714, a twenty-two-domed Transfiguration Church was built here using people’s donations. In 1764, Pokrovskaya Church appeared next to it. The third building of the ensemble is a tall bell tower, which adds balance and completeness. Local people embodied their idea of ​​the world in these religious buildings. The cathedral, church and chapel are a model of the universe. Today, Kizhi museum & reserve is one of the largest museums displaying the culture of the Russian North, with 76 structures.

In addition to the monuments that make up the key exposition, there are several ancient villages on Kizhi Island, valuable natural and archaeological landmarks.

Kizhi Island can be reached in different ways. We offer several options – different by duration and price.

Tour to Kizhi along the lake from Petrozavodsk

Duration: 7 hrs.

This is the most convenient way along Lake Onega. 

Comet motor boats travel to Kizhi Island in summer and hovercraft in winter.

The visit to the island for 3-4 hours includes a sightseeing tour Masterpieces of Kizhi: the Transfiguration Church, the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin, the bell tower, an authentic peasant hut. Free time is provided for independent walks and souvenir purchases.

Price: $60 – in summer; $90 – in winter;

Inclusive: transfer by Comet motor boat from Petrozavodsk, entrance tickets and tour services on the island.

Kizhi + Zaonezhye

Duration: 15 hrs.

A bus tour from Petrozavodsk to Velikaya Guba village: explore the history of the region, its traditions, nature and remarkable places of Zaonezhye.

The program features:

Stop in Medvezhyegorsk, a regional center that played an important role in the period of the White Sea-Baltic Canal construction. This was the HQ of the construction site. Since the war, defense structures of the Finnish army remained near Medvezhyegorsk: fortification on Mount Lysukha, dragon teeth, anti-tank ditches, barracks carved in the rock.

Stop in Shunga village and a visit to the world's only shungite deposit, a stone with unique healing properties;

Tsaritsyn spring is famous for its crystal-clear water with an amazing taste and calming effects. Tasting water from the spring.

Tour around Velikaya Guba village with a traditional lunch from the Russian oven.

Velikaya Guba village is fondled by Lake Onega. This is the shortest way to Kizhi Island – it takes just 20 minutes by motor boat.

Transfer by motor boat to Kizhi Island;

Tour: Masterpieces of Kizhi;

Extra program: master class on artisan crafts/visit to the Carpentry Center of the Kizhi Museum/interactive program.

Free time on the island

Return to Petrozavodsk

Guided program in a foreign language/interpreting

Price depends on group size. Individual trips by car or minibus up to 5 persons with a driver and a guide-interpreter may cost $400 per group.

Inclusive: transfers and tour guide services along the route.

Paid extra:

Guided tour to Kizhi Island in a foreign language for a group of up to 5 persons – $100 per group;

Return trip by motor boat $15 per person,

Meals – $5 breakfast; $10 lunch.

Helicopter tour to Kizhi at your fingertips!

Duration: 5.5-6 hrs

Departure from Peski Airport, Petrozavodsk. Check-in, boarding a helicopter.

Flight duration: 1 hr. Enjoy the view of Kizhi Archipelago from above in all its glory at any time of the year!

 Tour: Masterpieces of Kizhi

      • Visiting and exploring the Cathedral of Transfiguration of the Saviour, chapels, antique peasant huts, barns and other wooden architectural landmarks.

      • Visiting the exhibitions featuring the history of Kizhi parish and the construction of Kizhi boats.

Price depends on group size. The price may vary depending on helicopter model and characteristics.

The average rent of a MI-8 helicopter in Karelia is about $2,200 per hour, depending on the number of passengers, cargo weight and dimensions. The exact rent of a helicopter across Karelia from Petrozavodsk: Tour to Kizhi Island — $2,900 (40 mins one way). Valaam Island – ₽340,000 (1.1 hrs one way). Waiting up to 3 hrs is included in the price. Paid extra: Guided tour around Kizhi Island: $100 per group of up to 5 persons, or $20 per person for a group of 6+ people.


Crew – 3 persons; seat capacity – 22. Maximum speed 250 kmph; cruise speed with normal flight weight 220 kmph; maximum altitude with passengers 3,000 m; flying range in the transport version without additional fuel tanks 450 km; maximum take-off weight 12,000 kg; maximum payload 4,000 kg;

Holidays on Kizhi Island

In the Karelian language, Kizhi means a game.

 In the past, the main rural holidays of Zaonezhye were held here attended by people from miles around. Now the tradition has been renewed. The island invites you to take part in Kizhi games.    

Our guide will meet you at the station in Petrozavodsk, see you to the port, offer breakfast (buffet, paid extra) and see you on a board of the Comet motor boat. Crossing Onega Lake takes 1.5 hrs. On the island, you will take part in a festive program: Master classes, concerts, tea with round cracknels and a sightseeing tour around the island.

Offered extra: guesthouse on the neighboring island for 1-7 days with fishing, steam bath and unwinding options.

Dates: July 12 — July 13, 2021


Guests of Kizhi Island will see a unique show – washing, ironing, drying with antique means and facilities that have prevailed in Zaonezhye in the north of Karelia, gathering of lye – a traditional detergent. Such unknown for most people words like buchivo, bilivo, ushat, rubel, tochivo will get the meaning and show how much imagination and effort our ancestors put in everyday washing.

Dates: July 14 — July 18, 2021


Before the Soviet era, hay making traditionally started the day after the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul – on July 13 new calendar). Hay making depended on the weather, the number of workers in the family, and continued until enough feed for the cattle was prepared for the winter. With modern technology, hay making with scythes is outdated, but there are experts in old-style hay making even now. Traditional haymaking begins on Kizhi Island on July 13. The best haymakers compete in skills and demonstrate how to unwind in the hayfields.

Dates: July 25 — July 27


The festival of smith craft is one of the summer highlights on Kizhi Island. The secret of craft is demonstrated by smiths from Moscow, Petrozavodsk, Sortavala as well as other artisans (experts in pottery, leather making, carpentry, vine basketwork and others). Every culture considered smith craft to be fairy and magical. Festival quests have a chance not only to explore the secret how metals are turned into common, practical things, but take up a short class of crafts.

Dates: July 31 — August 2


The Kizhi regatta is the first festival of folk shipbuilding and navigation in Russia, the true symbol of which are artisan Kizhi boats, one-of-a-kind in their beauty and performance. The program of the festival is quite packed. It features diverse master classes on traditional shipbuilding; Folk Boat contest with small boats handcrafted according to old and modern technologies; KizhiSwim boating. The highlight of the festival is racing on traditional and modern boats – one of the most stunning events on Kizhi Island with 50+ teams from Karelia, Russia and other countries.

Dates: August 7 — August 8


Embroidery has probably always been the easiest way to beautify hats, clothing, towels, tablecloths, valances and underwear. Handy women from Zaonezhye have always been famous for their craft, weaves braided with whorls, waves and lines, embroidered with simple chain stitch usually in two colors – red and white, considered one of the best examples of Russian northern embroidery. The most skillful artisans of Karelia and neighboring regions demonstrate embroidery art on Kizhi Island.

Dates: August 20 — August 22


In antiquity, during the holidays, in Zaonezhye villages, bells were heard from everywhere – the belfries sounded simultaneously, in synchrony, echoing each other and creating a special musical score. During the festival, guests of Kizhi Island enjoy a nice chance to hear the unique lively polyphony of the numerous belfries of Zaonezhye: the bell towers of Kizhi churchyard, the chapel of the Archangel Michael, the Acheiropaeic Image Chapel of Vigovo village, the Chapels of St. Kirik and St. Ulita in Vorobyi village. In addition to Kizhi artisans, campanology experts from Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Veliky Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, Voronezh and abroad take part in the festival. And thanks to the museum's mobile belfry, everyone can try what it is like to be a bellman.

August 13.


The key spiritual festival of Kizhi Island. The holiday begins with the Divine Liturgy to take place in the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin. The liturgy is followed by crucession around Kizhi churchyard. On this day, according to the church charter, the new harvest must be consecrated. There has been a long-term tradition of bringing fruit to the feast for a special prayer after the liturgy. Tourists visiting the island take part in the fair dedicated to Kizhi nature's gifts with honey, fruit, vegetable sales from Kizhi farmers.

Participation in the holiday: $110


Transfer by Comet motor boat Petrozavodsk- Kizhi Island-Petrozavodsk,

Festive program on the island,

Guided tour from the station to the pier, a map of the city.

Meals paid extra: $ 5 breakfast; $10 lunch;

Accommodation in a guesthouse or hotel in Pe

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