Kizhi Island (Russia, Lake Onega)

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Kizhi Island cruise port

Russia Rivers

Local Time
2024-07-17 23:28

min: 61 °F (16 °C) / max: 76 °F (25 °C) 65°F
Wind: 207°/ 2.4 m/s  Gust: 2.5 m/sWind: 207°/ 2.4 m/s  Gust: 2.5 m/sLight breeze
2.4 m/s
Min / Max Temperature76 °F / 25 °C
61 °F / 16 °C
  Port Map

Kizhi Island is a Lake Onega cruise port in the Russian Republic Karelia, and is approx 68 km (42 ml) away from Karelia's capital city Petrozavodsk. The island is elongated (north to south), with length 6 km (3,7 ml), width 1 km (0.6 ml) and total area of 5 km2 (2 ml2).

Churches and settlements on the island have been known from at least 15th century. Kizhi's population was rural, but forced by the government to assist in the development of area's iron plants and ore mining that resulted in Kizhi Uprising (1769–1771).

By the 1950s most villages had disappeared from Kizhi Island and only a tiny rural settlement still remains. During the 18th century, a pair of major churches and bell tower were constructed on the island, now known as "Kizhi Pogost". Dozens of historical buildings were moved to the isle from different Karelia's parts for preservation purposes in the 1950s. Currently, the entire island and nearby area form an open-air museum with over 80 wooden structures. Kizhi Pogost, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the most famous. 

Although the island is within a kilometer distance from other islands of Lake Onega, there are no major transport routes and cities nearby. Access to Kizhi is provided by hydrofoil (daily crossings from Petrozavodsk during summer), snowcat (during winter), helicopter and cruise ships. Transportation on the island is mostly on foot, with snowmobiles used during winter. Several guesthouses are available on nearby isles. Kizhi offers a 20-bed wooden guesthouse and a restaurant.

Kizhi Island cruise terminal

Cruise ships to Kizhi Island dock (anchor) at Petrozavodsk - port city on the wesrern part of Lake Onega.

Departure ports for cruises to Kizhi Island are Saratov, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Moscow, St Petersburg. On VODOVOD-operated routes, Kizhi is visited on the following river cruise itineraries:

  • Moscow-St Petersburg (Veliky Novgorod)-Moscow (11-day)
  • Moscow-St Petersburg (2-3 days)-Moscow (12-13-14-day)
  • St Petersburg-Valaam-Kizhi-Mandrogi-St Petersburg(5-day)
  • St Petersburg-Valaam-Kizhi-Petrozavodsk-St Petersburg (6-day)
  • St Petersburg-Karelia-St Petersburg (8-9-day)
  • St Petersburg-Uglich-Rybinsk-St Petersburg (11-day)
  • St Petersburg-Novgorod-St Petersburg (12-day)
  • St Petersburg-Samara-Tolyatti-St Petersburg (17-day)
  • Volgograd-St Petersburg (2 days)-Volgograd (23-day)
  • Volgograd-St Petersburg (2 days)-Povenets (Solovetsky Islands)-Volgograd (24-day)
  • Volgograd-St Petersburg-Karelia-Volgograd (24-day)
  • Samara-St Petersburg (2 days)-Samara (17-day)
  • Samara-St Petersburg (2 days)-Karelia-Samara (18-day)
  • Samara-St Petersburg (2 days)-Povenets (Solovetsky Islands)-Samara (20-day)
  • Saratov-St Petersburg (2 days)-Povenets (Solovetsky Islands)-Saratov (22-day)
  • Novgorod-St Petersburg (2 days)-Novgorod (13-day)
  • Novgorod-St Petersburg-Novgorod (14-day)
  • Novgorod-St Petersburg-Karelia-Novgorod (14-day)
  • Novgorod-St Petersburg (2 days)-Povenets (Solovetsky Islands)-Novgorod (15-day)