Karelia is a very interesting destination for independent travel. You can come here for 1-2-3 weeks - and there is something to do and what to see. It is possible to make a 2-3 day route, but this is for residents of nearby areas who do not have to spend a lot of time on the road.
In this article, we will analyze the main options for routes from several days to several weeks.
The unequivocal answer to the question “when is it better to go to Karelia” is in summer. At this time of the year, you can see everything "in full", plus a long daylight hours and more or less cold weather. Summer provides more opportunities for traveling in Karelia: these are, of course, cruises, which are more exciting than usual travel by car/bus/train.
But in winter in Karelia it is quite possible to find entertainment: recreation centers work, and many attractions, albeit in a truncated, but year-round mode.
What to see in Karelia - the answer to this question is both complicated and simple. There is a huge number of beautiful natural places (waterfalls, canyons, skerries, forests) and world-class attractions. So, where to rest and what to see in Karelia:
There is no one center in Karelia where one could stop to see everything. The fact is that the republic is very large, the distances are enormous, so it is worth choosing several "bases" for convenience:
Vodlozersky National Park is located in two regions at once: the Republic of Karelia and the Arkhangelsk Region. Its territory covers 470 thousand hectares. They are divided into zones. For tourists, 51.2 thousand hectares have been allocated. This is the so-called recreational part, where you can experience all the delights of ecological tourism.
The Vodlozero region is an extremely beautiful place. This is an untouched taiga, a fabulous forest with incredible wealth. Young trees here are under 250 years old. The oldest have already passed the mark of half a thousand. Spruces, pine forests, larches fill the local forests in large numbers.
Birch and aspen, usual for the middle strip, are also present. Usually they live near swampy streams or huddle in heaps, forming rugged thickets.
Of course, there are many birds and animals here. And not only bears, foxes, wolves and lynxes familiar to the Central Russian inhabitant. There are reindeer in Vodlozerie. Not often, of course, but still occur. Feathered predators, including rare golden eagles, white-tailed eagles and osprey can often be seen in Vodlozersky Park. Swans, bean geese, and loons live in the reservoirs. There are also many fish here. There are about 20 species. These are pike, European smelt, crucian carp, dace, and many others.
The park is considered the largest in Europe. There are also architectural monuments of the 18th and 19th centuries. These are small peasant houses and chapels. The greatest pride of the park is the Ilyinsky Pogost. It consists of the Church of Elijah the Prophet and the Assumption of the Virgin, a bell tower, and a fence made of logs.
Ilyinsky Island or, as it is also called, small Kolgostrov, is the main attraction of Vodlozersky National Park. Monks live on the island all year round. The above-mentioned Ilyinsky Vodlozersky Pogost is located here. Even at the entrance to the island, you can see the Church of Elijah the Prophet, built in 1798.
They say that the Ilyinsky churchyard appeared on the site of an ancient pagan sanctuary, where local tribes made sacrifices. However, the version about the creation of the churchyard by the monks who went to Solovki seems to be more plausible.
The nature of the island is interesting. An unusual birch tree is located here, which is popularly nicknamed "The 12 Apostles". 12 trunks grow from one root.
In summer, the island is covered with flowering meadows, and in winter, when Vodlozero is covered with ice, the domes of churches are covered with snow.
The amazing region of Karelia is a great place to relax, about which you will have unforgettable impressions. Karelia is famous for its beautiful pristine nature, a variety of flora and fauna, many reserves, unique architectural monuments and other attractions. The article contains the most interesting information about Karelia with regards to recreation and places that you can see there.
Rest in Karelia is not limited to time intervals, since the tourist season is open here all year round. The mild climate, beauty of nature, clean air, architecture, kindness and friendliness of the local population attract tourists all the time. There is entertainment for lovers of active recreation (river rafting, fishing, hunting, skiing, safari with ATVs), and for adherents of visiting interesting excursions, nature reserves, architectural attractions, and for those who want to calmly relax in the clean fresh air, enjoying the beauty of the pristine nature.
Karelia is the kingdom of nature: 50% of the territory of the region is occupied by forests, 40% - by lakes, rivers, swamps, and only the remaining 10% are inhabited by people.
Karelia is a republic in the northwestern part of Russia, bordering Finland. It is a distinctive state within Russia, has its own constitution, coat of arms. The indigenous people are Karelians, today the Russian population predominates in the region. The region is washed by the White Sea, borders on such regions as Murmansk, Vologda, Arkhangelsk, Leningradskaya.
The capital of the republic - Petrozavodsk - is famous for a very beautiful embankment with a lot of interesting sculptures and a charming view of Onega Lake, which is the second largest lake in Europe after Ladoga Lake, which is also located in Karelia.
How to get to the resort
You can get to Karelia in three ways:
In Karelia, you can visit not only the capital. Other cities of the republic have no less beauty. Many are surprised at how many cities there are in Karelia. And there are thirteen of them, and each has its own flavor. The largest cities in Karelia are Petrozavodsk, Sortavala, Kostomuksha: they have the status of cities of republican significance. Olonets, Belomorsk, Medvezhyegorsk are also major tourist centers.
When planning a trip by car, consider the time with a margin, since in some places there are not very good roads (especially when approaching Petrozavodsk), and, according to travelers' reviews, there are a lot of trucks on the highway. The most beautiful views are noted on the road through Sortavala, while it should be borne in mind that there are very few gas stations along the way.
This is a view from Ristisaari Island to Lake Ladoga. And this means one thing - our trip with children across Ladoga took place!
5 days, 20 people on five motor boats and stunning landscapes of the skerry region of the Northern Ladoga area! We share our experience in organizing family trips to Karelia and tell you where it is better to stay, how to get to the most beautiful places on Ladoga, what to do with children on uninhabited islands and not only.
Let us remind you of the travel announcement: from August 10 to 15, three families planned to get to the village of Vyatikkya (Lakhdenpohskiy district, Republic of Karelia, Russia) by car and by train/train/taxi, rent kayaks, kayaks, catamarans, etc. go on a water trip to the nearest islands and bays of Lake Ladoga.
There were some changes in the plan of the campaign:
In the diary we will try not only to show Karelia and the skerries of Lake Ladoga near Vyatikkya and Terva, but also to share important information to facilitate the planning and organization of such trips. Some of this information will seem quite obvious, some will help save decent money, and some may save someone's life (and this is not a joke).
In all our trips we try to record expenses (and income, as it was in Karelia-2016 - How much does it cost to have a summer vacation in Karelia?), so there will be many different prices. In the last part of the diary, we will definitely sum up the results, including financial ones. Comparison of "tent" accommodation and accommodation at recreation centers will be presented separately.
Karelia in summer is a popular tourist destination. At this time, you can admire the picturesque northern nature with coniferous forests and lakes, walk through the ancient territories of monasteries on the serene islands and examine ancient wooden architecture. This is the period of romantic white nights, but do not forget to take repellents with you, in summer in Karelia mosquitoes and other midges are very active not only in nature, but also in cities. At this time of the year, a large number of tourists come to the republic, it is worthwhile to draw up a route in advance and take care of booking tickets for sightseeing.
The weather in summer in Karelia is often rainy, the region is characterized by high humidity. The warmest month is July, the average daytime temperature is +22 ° C, but in recent years warming up to +30 ° C has been noticeable, the air cools down by about 8 degrees at night. Closer to autumn, the number of mosquitoes and midges decreases.
Travelers often go to Karelia on their own in the summer for a wild vacation. If you like hiking, sitting around a campfire and spending the night in tents with observation of the starry sky, then this option is for you. Many campsites are equipped near lakes: Ladozhskoye, Syamozero, Sandal, you can also get to some island by boat. Some campsites have showers and toilets. In summer Karelia with tents is close to nature, but if you are not ready to sleep in such conditions, then you should stay in a house of one of the recreation centers. Remember that camping is prohibited in protected areas.
The edge of rivers and forests attracts tourists who want to take a break from noisy cities. It will be convenient to get to the capital of the republic - Petrozavodsk and from it to go to the main attractions of the region. Summer holidays in Karelia are mainly trips to natural places, so it is worth taking suitable clothes and shoes with you. Navigation begins in May, the water leads to many attractions that can be seen in Karelia in the summer.
What to see in summer in Karelia? Ruskeala is the answer that comes to mind one of the first. This is a mountain park recognized as the pearl of the Northern Ladoga area. The view of the turquoise lake in the rocky marble canyon is the hallmark of the region. Three centuries ago, marble was mined here for the majestic buildings of St. Petersburg (St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral).
Throughout the territory you can take walking tours around the main canyon and underground excursions to the failure and the Italian quarry, observation platforms are equipped. Summer vacation in Ruskeale in Karelia can be supplemented with entertainment - rope park, bungee jumping, extreme zip-line descent, boat trip on Lake Marble. From the park you can get to the Akhvenkoski waterfall and the Karelian Zoo. It is worth going to Ruskeala by a retro train from the city of Sortavala, you can also get there by bus, so the mountain park is a suitable option, what to see in Karelia in summer without a car.
What to see in Karelia in the summer? Kivach waterfall is a popular destination for trips from Petrozavodsk. You can watch it at any time of the year, the advantage of summer is the beautiful greenery around. The noisy waterfall is located on the Suna River on the territory of the Kivach nature reserve. It is included in the top of the largest flat waterfalls in Europe. The height of the sheer drop is 8 meters. In the photo of the Kivach waterfall in Karelia in the summer, you will see that the water goes down along 4 ledges. Previously, the capacity of the waterfall was greater, but it decreased due to the construction of a hydroelectric power station.
Where is it better to have a rest in Karelia in the summer, if you also want to improve your health? Rest at the Marcial Waters resort near the Kivach waterfall will suit you. It was founded during the reign of Peter the Great. 1719 There are mineral springs and curative mud in the sanatorium, if you do not plan to stay there for a few days, you should visit the museum of the resort.