Category: Resorts » Tourism in CIS » Russia | Author: alex | Views: 3956 | 6-10-2011, 22:30



Official name: Republic of Karelia (republic of Russian Federation) 

Geografical position: North-West of Russia

Capital: Petrozavodsk 

Area: 180,520 km  

Climate: moderate continental

Population: 645 thousand 

Language: Russian 

Local Time: MSK (UTC +4) 

Internet domain: Karelia.ru 

Telephone code: (7) 8142

Отели Кубы Hotels in Karelia   Туры в Кубу Tours in Karelia     Курортные города Кубы Resort cities of Karelia

Другие места отдыха на Кубе Other places of rest in Karelia    Рассказы туристов о Кубе Stories of travelers about Karelia



Flag of Karelia


Map of Karelia


Coat of arms of Karelia


Information about Karelia

Karelia is a wonderful part of Russia, which attracts both summer and winter tourists. A great number of natural resources contribute to the development of infra structure for outdoor activities: rafting, jeeping, cycling, fishing, and, of course, fascinating walks. Snow-covered Karelia is a winter fairy tale, that's why many tourists visit it during the winter holidays. Snowfields, silent woods, horse and deer riding, skiing, snowmobile safaris - all it takes you to the world of adventure and fairy tales. 

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Geographical position

Republic of Karelia is located in the North-West of Russia, and has the area of 180.5 thousand sq. km. Capital is Petrozavodsk. Most of the territory is occupied by hilly plain, which have preserved traces of a glacier. More than 49% of the area is covered by forests (mainly coniferous), 25.7% is taken by lakes and rivers and 20% - by swamps. Lake-river system belongs to the most unique in the world. In Karelia there are about 27,000 rivers, the largest of them are: Vodla, Kem, Onda, Unga, Chirka-Kem, Kovda, Shuya and Suna. There are also 60 000 lakes. The Lake Ladoga and Onega are the largest in Europe.


The climate of Karelia

Climate in Karelia is moderate continental. Winter is long and summer is short and not hot. To the southern part spring comes in April, but there is possible frost in May. In the north part frost is possible until mid-June. To the South Summer comes in June.


Flora and fauna of Karelia

49% of its territory is occupied by forests, mostly coniferous. The most common species are pines and spruces. Birch, aspen and alder are also spreading on the whole territory. In South coniferous forests are interspersed with deciduous (linden, elm, alder). Forests of Karelia are rich on blueberry, blackberry, myrtle, cranberry, which makes the region a
Into the berries paradise. The rocks are generally covered by patches of crustose lichen and mosses.

Karelia has a diverse fauna. Almost everywhere one can see squirrels, hares, muskrats, beavers, moose and wild boars. Less commonly, you can meet brown bears, wolves, badgers and lynx. Otter, marten and mink live near lakes. In the White Sea and Lake Ladoga are found seals. There is also a great number of birds, among them grouse, black grouse, partridge, grouse, owls, hawks, eagles and waterfowl (ducks, loons, sandpipers), which attracts hunters from all areas.
Fish are divided into three groups: migratious, fresh water and sea fish. Migratious are those species of fish that inhabit in the sea or large lakes, and swim to spawn in the rivers. These are mainly valuable species such as salmon, whitefish and trout. Lakes and rivers are represented by ruff, perch, roach, bream, whitefish and pike. In the White Sea - herring, saffron cod, cod and flounder. 

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Where to go in Karelia
  • Valaam. The unique nature of the island, pine forests on the cliffs, warm and quiet inland lakes and, of course, unique monument of Russian architecture Holy Transfiguration Monastery attracts more and more tourists. Island archipelago is located in the northern part of Lake Ladoga and consists of 50 small islands; the largest of them is Valaam. According to one version the island got its name from the Finnish language, where the word "Valaam" means "high land", and according to the second it was named after the pagan god Vaal. The nature of the island is very unique. It boasts beautiful place with cliffs, coves, islands, straits and forests. The age of some pine trees is about 300 years. There are over 212 species of birds in the area. The Holy Transfiguration Monastery is located on Valaam Island; it is also known the Northern Athos. It was a center of world Orthodoxy. According to the legend the Valaam Monastery was founded in 960, by St. Sergius and Herman. In the 15th century monastery was called the Great Lavra and was inhabited by 600 monks. Many times it was ruined by the Swedish army. Sacred islands are famous for the amazing and sometimes tragic history. They have survived the devastation, destruction and fire. Like all martyrs, the monks had to die, defending the holy temple. During the Soviet Union period it was used as school camp for boys, later invalids of war lived there, and was finally rebuilt into hostel. Nowadays there are about two hundred inhabitants in the monastery. Valaam can be reached from Priozersk, Sortvala or by tourist boat from St. Petersburg.
  • Kizhi Island (60 km from Petrozavodsk, in the northern part of the Lake Onega). Kizhi Island is popular for its architectural ensemble and is another monument of Russian wooden architecture. According to legend, the entire complex was built without any nails, only with an ax. Nowadays, Kizhi is a museum of wooden architecture in the open air and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Vepskaya Parish - District of Vepsian (the people who belong to the Finno-Ugric family). They have a rich and unique culture and history; you can get closer to it visiting Sheltozersky Vepsian Ethnographic Museum.
  • City of Kondopoga. The main landmark is the Church of the Assumption, which stands on a small rocky peninsula and has a height of 42m. Kondolaga is famous for its bells - karilotami, which have been imported from Holland. Kariloty is large, modern bell, controlled by computer. It is also interesting to visit the city museum, which exhibits interesting archaeological artifacts: marble samples, photographs and documents of the city, artwork of Karelian artists. In Kondopoga district there is a popular health resort and the first mud spa in Russia "Marcial Waters", which was opened in 1719 by decree of Tsar Peter the Great. Now the resort has 4 sources of mineral water. The water contains many chemical elements, such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese.
  • Reserve "Kivach" is located northwest of the town Kondologi and was named after the waterfall “kivach” (the height of it is 11 m). The reserve suggests good possibilities for hiking .A great variety of flora and fauna is represented in the reserve. There are more than 50 rapids and waterfalls on the Suna River so it is popular with rafting enthusiasts.
  • Konchezero village (south of the reserve "Kivach"). Previously, there was a copper smelter built by Peter the Great. Today some buildings of the plant, water reservoir, water tunnels, and some of the mechanisms have been preserved. During the construction of the plant the artificial lake Prtozero was dug. It is home for 14 species of fish, among which are rare brook trout, whitefish and trout. It is a great place for fishing.
  • Spasskaya Guba - a popular place for winter recreation. Near the village there is ski resort with 5 tracks of different level and length of 350 meters.
  • Pryazha - the area is rich in lakes and pine forests. Shotozero and Syamozero with their sand and sand-pebble beaches are perfect areas for summer holidays.
  • Reserve "Talvoyarvi" (north-western district of Pryazha). Natural reserve covers an area of 44000ga, most of its lakes and rivers which are surrounded by pine forests. The area is ideal for walking. In the woods you can find squirrels, rabbits, foxes, moose, or even lynx, bears, wolves and wolverines. Lakes are full of different kinds of fishes (roach, perch, pike and bream).
  • Sortavala is a very interesting city from a historical point of view; it is only one city in Karelia, where the buildings of the 19th century have been preserved. Lyaplyayarvi gulf divides the city into northern and southern parts; they are connected with the Karelian bridge. From the pier you can take tourist ship to the archipelago of Valaam (40 km). The city is located near the Finland border so if you have Shengen visa you can take excursion to Finland.
  • Gorodische Paaso (near the village of Heljulja) - Paaso fortress was built in the 12th century on Mount Paasanvuori as a protective structure from the Swedish army.
  • Ruskeala waterfalls - has small rapids and is very popular among rafting enthusiasts.
  • Ruskeala - a village famous for its marble deposits. Marble from these places were used in the construction of the cathedrals in St. Petersburg. In 2005 the "Mountain Park Ruskeala» was formed there. It has very interesting marble canyon, surrounded by marble walls. Around it there is the pedestrian trail from where you can enjoy a wonderful view to the canyon. In the career you can also swim on boat. In the park you can take a tour to the working quarry and watch the process of marble mining with your own eyes.
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What to do in Karelia

  1. Boating. Numerous waterfalls, rivers and lakes contribute to the development of water tourism. The Lakes Ladoga and Onega suggest numerous yacht and boat trips. Rafting is very popular activity. Professionals choose dangerous routes through the rapids, and beginners - quiet rivers Suna and Shuya. Divers can enjoy underwater world of the White Sea, Karelian lakes and flooded quarries. Boat cruises and boating are the most suitable for family vacation.
  2. Eco-tourism. For those who wants to go away from civilization and unity with nature. In Karelia there are many nature reserves and national parks, including nature reserves "Paanajarvi" and "Kostomukshskiy" River Park "Vodlozero" forest reserves of the national park "Kalevala."
  3. Excursion tourism. Sightseeing tours to the holy and historical places. Valaam and Solovetsky monastery are very popular among pilgrims and tourists. We also recommend you to visit ensemble of Kizhi. Educational tours in Karelia and Vepsian village will help you to get more information about traditions and customs of the local population.
  4. Medical and health tourism. Wonderful nature, fresh air and mineral springs create the conditions for the development of health tourism. There are many sanatorium complexes in Karelia. The most famous of them are "White Springs", resort of natural healing "clinic Kivach" and the first Russian resort "Marcial Waters", built by Peter the Great.
  5. Leisure activities (jeeping). Travel is not cheap, but it has several advantages: the ability to travel for long distances, to enjoy the wonderful landscapes, to make stop wherever you want, and to feel the spirit of traveling and adventures. Those, who wish more adrenalin, can try trophy-raid (passing on jeep difficult areas, bogs, forests and peat).
  6. Winter holidays. Skiing and snowmobile safaris belong to winter activities You can spend ski vacation at a high level in Spasskaya Guba, Monchegorsk, Sheregesh, Adzhigardak, Abzakovo, Fox Mountain, and many other places. Depending on the purpose you can head to the daily trip on skis on the snow-covered tracks through forest, or ski on specially equipped slopes. There are many paved routes for snowmobile safaris for both beginners and professionals in Karelia. The routes pass through forest roads, snowmobile trails and ice lakes.
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