Culinary tours of Karelia

We must promote Karelia itself

Photo: "Republic"/Nikolay Smirnov

The new leadership of Karelia is increasingly talking about tourism as one of the main branches of the regional economy. They propose to stake on him when developing a strategy for the development of the republic, and Artur Parfenchikov has already begun to voice creative ideas for specific types of outdoor activities.

There is a department of tourism in Petrozavodsk State University. Its main task is to train specialists who are able to develop, promote and sell a tourist product: routes, tours, travel around the republic. At the same time, teachers not only rely on federal educational standards, but also develop original courses that take into account the specifics of Karelia.

The acting head of the department Natalya Kolesnikova told the Republic about the current state of Karelian tourism, its problems and prospects.

The Eternal Question

- I graduated from the Department of Tourism in 2010, after my first year I started working as a tour guide. Then there was postgraduate study, the defense of the candidate, now I am acting as the head of the department. From the moment I graduated from school and began to take an interest in the tourism industry, everyone says: Karelia has a huge tourism potential, which is not fully used. But several years have passed, and it seems to me that we have not advanced so far in this. And today I can also say that we have a huge natural, historical and cultural potential, but we, unfortunately, have not yet been able to use it to the fullest.

Valaam is one of the tourist mecca of Karelia. Photo: Valaam Monastery Press Service

However, despite many problems (some of them are common to all of Russia, some are specific to Karelia), we are developing. Because the main thing in Karelia is people who want to develop tourism. Thanks to this, the movement is, perhaps, not as fast as many would like. But I believe that everything should happen gradually.

Our university, our department is trying to get involved in this company of people interested. We work closely with the regional tourism office, scientific centers, non-profit organizations and tourism entrepreneurs. Somewhere we act as experts, we teach not only students, but also entrepreneurs in seminars and lectures.


The potential of Karelia is in an amazing combination of things that a person who comes here meets. Firstly, this is nature of amazing beauty, a special nature, not like the neighboring regions. We have unique natural objects, for example, the remains of the ancient paleovolcano Girvas. Can you name another region where you can find something similar? There is a huge number of specially protected areas in Karelia, where nature is preserved in its original form.

Secondly, the unique historical and cultural potential: more than four thousand objects of cultural heritage are located in Karelia. And what is important, we know practically nothing about them! Where is the tourist going with us? On Kizhi, on Valaam, through Karelia he passes to Solovki - that's all. The most interesting thing is that not only tourists, but also local residents do not know Karelia. But we have really unique objects, for example, Kinerma, which received the status of the most beautiful village in Russia. A unique village, in which there is not a single new building, in which all the old houses have been preserved in their original form.

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2. Restaurant "Karelia" Petrozavodsk, nab. Gyllinga, 2 +7 (921) 727-10-10

3. Restaurant "Severny" Petrozavodsk, Lenin Ave., 21 +7 (8142) 63-03-25

4. Restaurant "Yagel" Petrozavodsk, Lenin Ave., 28 +7 (8142) 78-21-04

5. Restaurant "VkareliiEst" Petrozavodsk, nab. Varkausa, 27 building 2 +7 (911) 400-90-60

6. Cafe and hotel "Vilga" Prionezhsky district, der. Vilga, Prionezhskoe highway, 1B +7 (911) 421-08-89

7. Guest house "Kodirandu" Olonets district, der. Nurmolitsy, 47A +7 (81436) 4-17-50

8. Cafe "Villaggio" Olonets, st. Svir divisions, 9 +7 (953) 543-05-05

10. Center of crafts "Armas talo" Olonets district, der. Megrega, st. School, 23 +7 (81436) 4-68-42

11. Hotel and restaurant "Villa Vitele" Olonetsky district, Ustye-Vidlitsy village, st. Rybatskaya, 3A +7 (921) 221-80-91

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