According to A2zcamerablog, 35 km southeast of Belomorsk along the coast is the ancient Pomeranian village of Virma. The village has preserved several old wooden houses, the remains of the saltworks of the Solovetsky Monastery of the 16th-17th centuries and the Church of Peter and Paul of the early 17th century. The wooden five-domed Peter and Paul Church was built in 1625, and the refectory, together with the vestibule-porch, was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The carved gilded iconostasis has been preserved in the interior. The ancient icons of the Peter and Paul Church are now kept in the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia. Solovetsky archipelago is located 75 km northeast of Belomorsk. On the swampy coast of the Onega Bay and the islands located in it, several ornithological reserves were created, the largest of which are Shuyostrovsky with an area of 10 thousand hectares and Soroksky with an area of 73.9 thousand hectares. In the southern part of the Belomorsky region, on the coast of the Onega Bay, near the village of Nyukhcha, there are valuable wetlands, which are a vivid example of the landscapes and nature of the White Sea Lowland. Also in the southern part of the Belomorsky region, along the shores of Lake Sumozero, villages with old Pomeranian houses, barns and baths have been preserved. Lake Muezero is interesting in the western part of the Belomorsky region. On one of its islands – Troitsky Island – there are the remains of the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of 1602 and the chapel of the Savior Not Made by Hands of 1672 with a three-meter wooden cross. 50 km north of Belomorsk along the coast at the mouth of the Kem River is the city of Kem. The first mention of the Kem lands dates back to 1450, when the Novgorod noblewoman Martha Boretskaya presented them to the Solovetsky Monastery. In the 16-17 centuries, these places were repeatedly attacked by the Swedes and Finns, so in 1657 the monks of the Solovetsky Monastery built a prison here. The presence of vast forests in the vicinity of Kem contributed to the development of shipbuilding. A port was established here. The Kem sailors made a significant contribution to the study of the northern seas.
In 1785, the prison received the status of a county town. From the second half of the 19th century, sawmills appeared in Kem, and a booming timber trade began from the Kem port. Under the Soviet rule, Kem became the first city where an official political concentration camp was organized. From here the prisoners were sent to Solovki. Nowadays, Kem is a historical city where the features of the traditional buildings of the North have been preserved. In the architecture of the city, the wooden hipped Assumption Cathedral stands out. 1717. The Assumption Cathedral was built in honor of deliverance from Swedish raids and is now a unique monument of Russian wooden architecture. The cathedral became a truly monumental building. It consists of three churches united by a refectory. The central temple – the chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – has a height of 35.5 m. On the north side of the refectory there is a chapel of Saints Zosima and Savvaty, and on the south – the chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The church is very strict. Inside, a carved five-tiered iconostasis has been preserved. Next to the Assumption Cathedral stands a hipped chapel of the first half of the 18th century. Not far from the cathedral, in the building of the former treasury, there is the local history museum “Pomorie”, representing the stages of development of the Karelian Pomorie and telling about the life and culture of the Pomors.
The city of Kem is the closest to The Solovetsky Islands settlement of the mainland – the archipelago is located 45 km from here. Therefore, Kem most often becomes only a transit point on the way to Solovki. However, in the vicinity of the city there are several interesting sights. Among the Kem skerries (rocky islands), located near Kem in the Onega Bay, the Kuzovets archipelago stands out. On its territory there is a natural reserve. Here are the places of mass nesting of Razorbill, Arctic Tern, Atlantic Guillemot and Eider, sometimes there are such rare birds as white-tailed eagle and kestrel. Sea hare, ringed seal and white whale live in coastal waters. In addition to natural attractions, the archipelago is known for archaeological sites. Saami cult seids, consisting of stones folded in a mysterious way, and ancient labyrinths were found on the islands.
In addition, it is worth visiting the ancient villages of the Kemsky district, such as Panozero, Gridino, Pongoma, Letnyaya Rechka and Kalgalaksha. In these villages, many architectural monuments of the 19th and early 20th centuries have been preserved. Loukhsky district is located in the very north of the Republic of Karelia. Far from civilization, the areas of northern Karelia still retain their originality. These are the regions where Russian and Karelian folklore was born, they were sung in the Karelian-Finnish folk epic “Kalevala”. This is where many epic songs were recorded.
In the northeastern part of the Loukhsky district, on the islands of the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea, a part of the Kandalaksha Reserve is located. Its main territories are located in the Murmansk region. The reserve was established in 1932. The island part of the reserve is designed to protect the habitats of sea, waterfowl and near-water birds. The largest population of eiders in the White Sea, as well as many common gulls and oystercatchers, nest here. In addition, bearded seals, ringed seals, gray seals and white whales are found in coastal waters.