Nikonovskaya Area

Northern European Russia

One of the few parts of the island that's easily accessible on foot from the monastery is the forested Nikonovskaya area, dotted with chapels and sketes.

Amid trees directly above the Nikonovskaya jetty, the modest red-brick Resurrection Church isn’t a real attraction, but sporadic minibuses (R70) shuttle visitors to the main monastery from here. If none materialise, the 6km walk is blissfully peaceful.

Alternatively, walk 1km west along the main track then, just beyond the pretty wooden Gethsemane Skete, take the forest footpath to the left, then soon after turn left again. This path winds round past the Ascension Chapel, with lovely views down to a wood-lined bay, then curves down and back around past the Konevsky Skete to the Valaam monastery farm complex. From here you can return to Gethsemane Skete, or walk 2km back to the main track near Tikhvin Bridge and hope for a passing vehicle to pick you up (not assured).

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