Kargopol Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, activities to do, food to try, and where to stay in Kargopol, Russia. Learn about the culture and customs, safety and health, and transportation options to help plan your trip to this beautiful Northwestern Russian town.

Introduction to Kargopol

Kargopol is a charming town located in the Arkhangelsk Oblast region of Northwestern Russia. It has a rich history dating back to the 12th century, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in Russian culture and history. The town is known for its well-preserved architecture, with many buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The town also boasts beautiful natural scenery, with forests, rivers, and lakes surrounding it. Kargopol is a must-visit if you’re travelling to Northwestern Russia.

List of Places to Visit in Kargopol

Here are the top attractions to visit when in Kargopol:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Kargopol State Museum of Architecture and Ethnography is the main museum in town, showcasing the history and culture of the Kargopol region. The museum has several exhibits, including traditional costumes, embroidery, and handicrafts from the local area.

Assumption Cathedral is another must-see attraction in Kargopol. The cathedral is an excellent example of Russian Orthodox architecture and is one of the town’s oldest buildings, dating back to the 16th century.

Kargopol Kremlin is a fortified complex that was built in the 17th century. It is located in the center of Kargopol and was once used as a defense against enemy attacks.

Natural Attractions of Kargopol: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Lake Lacha is a beautiful lake located near Kargopol. It is a popular spot for fishing and boating, and there are several hiking trails and campsites surrounding the lake.

Kargopol Forest is a vast forested area that surrounds the town. It is a great place for hiking, bird watching, and mushroom picking.

Richtersky Park is a lovely park located in the center of Kargopol. It is a popular spot for picnics and has several walking paths and benches.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kargopol

Kargopol has several hiking and biking trails, including:

  • Lake Lacha trail: this 10-kilometer trail takes you around the beautiful Lake Lacha and is suitable for both hiking and biking.
  • Kargopol Forest trail: a 15-kilometer trail that winds through the forested area surrounding Kargopol.
  • Richtersky Park trail: a short, easy walking trail through the town’s central park.

Best Things to Do in Kargopol: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are several other activities to do in Kargopol, including:

  • Visit Kargopol State Museum of Architecture and Ethnography for a comprehensive look at the town’s culture and history.
  • Take a tour of Kargopol Kremlin, a unique surviving example of a Russian fortress.
  • Attend a traditional Russian folk music performance.
  • Take a boat ride on Lake Lacha.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kargopol

Day 1-2: Visit Kargopol State Museum of Architecture and Ethnography and take a walking tour of the town center, including Assumption Cathedral and Kargopol Kremlin.

Day 3: Take a day trip to Lake Lacha for some fishing and hiking.

Day 4: Explore Richtersky Park and relax with a picnic.

Day 5-6: Take a guided tour of the surrounding forested area and learn about the local flora and fauna.

Day 7: Attend a traditional Russian folk music performance.

Food and Drink Scene of Kargopol

Must-Try Dishes

Kargopol is known for its traditional Russian cuisine, including:

  • Pirozhki: small, stuffed pies filled with meat or vegetables.
  • Pelmeni: small dumplings filled with meat and served with sour cream.
  • Borscht: a hearty beet soup served with sour cream.

Local Beverages

Vodka is the most popular drink in Kargopol. There are also several local breweries and wineries in the surrounding area.

Where to Stay in Kargopol: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several accommodation options in Kargopol, including:

  • Hotel Kargopol: a centrally located hotel offering comfortable rooms and a restaurant.
  • Guesthouse Kargopol: a budget-friendly option located near the town center.
  • Hostel Kargopol: a great option for backpackers and budget travelers.

What to Buy in Kargopol: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Kargopol is famous for its traditional handicrafts, including:

  • Embroidered towels and clothing
  • Wooden dolls and figurines
  • Birch bark handicrafts

Local Culture and Customs of Kargopol

The people of Kargopol are proud of their rich cultural heritage and are very welcoming to visitors. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or certain buildings.

Best Time to Visit Kargopol

The best time to visit Kargopol is in the summer months between June and August when the weather is mild, and there are long daylight hours. In the winter months, Kargopol can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kargopol


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Try the traditional Russian cuisine and local beverages.
  • Take time to explore the natural surroundings of Kargopol.


  • Wear shoes inside someone’s home or certain buildings.
  • Disrespect the local culture or customs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Kargopol

Kargopol is a relatively safe town, but like any other destination, visitors should remain vigilant and take precautions to avoid being victims of crime.

Health in Kargopol

Visitors should make sure their vaccinations are up to date and take precautions to avoid tick bites when hiking in the forested areas surrounding Kargopol.

Getting to Kargopol: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kargopol

The nearest airport to Kargopol is the Talagi Airport in Arkhangelsk, approximately 300 kilometers away from the town.

Bus Stations Near Kargopol

There are several bus stations in the surrounding area that provide easy access to Kargopol.

Other Options

Another option for getting to Kargopol is by train. The town has a railway station, and several trains run from Moscow and St Petersburg.

How to Get Around in Kargopol

Kargopol is a small town, and most of the attractions are located within walking distance of each other. There are also several taxi services available in the town center.

Where to Go Next from Kargopol: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore the surrounding area, here are some nearby destinations and excursions:

  • Arkhangelsk, a larger city approximately 300 kilometers away from Kargopol.
  • Solovki Islands, a remote chain of islands known for their stunning natural scenery and historic monasteries.
  • Pinega River, a popular spot for fishing and boating.


Kargopol is a hidden gem in Northwestern Russia, with a rich history, beautiful natural scenery, and delicious cuisine. It’s the perfect destination for anyone interested in Russian culture and history. With this travel guide, you’re sure to have an incredible trip to Kargopol.