All about Karelia


Karelia is a wonderful country of thousand lakes, forests and picturesque cliffs. But the country is not only rich in natural resources but also on their cultural heritage, collected and preserved in hundreds of years. There are a lot of things you can see here. Petrozavodsk is the capital of Karelia, and it was founded in 1703 the same year as St.Petersburg that was the capital of Russia then. But apart from that, the city is keeping to be young and growing all the time.
Not far from Petrozavodsk you ca find the first Russian spa - Martsialnie vodi. The water here contains much iron and the place was named after an ancient Roman God of war - Mars who is also associated with iron. The Russian Emperor Peter the Great visited this place four times and each time he was healed from his diseases. On the way to Martsialnie vodi you can visit one of the largest natural waterfall in Europe - Kivach. An image of falling water, shining in its beauty, raises high emotions at all times.
The island Kizhi which is located in the Lake Onego, is the pearl of Karelia, the beauty of northwest Russia. Here you can find a masterpiece of Russian wooden architecture - an orthodox temple with multiple domes combining rigorous power of the walls with an elegant silhouette and patterned cover of the domes. One of the churches, Epiphany Church, was built in 1714 and has 22 domes.
It combines all experience and best traditions of the northern Russian wooden architecture. The second church is Pokrov Church which has 9 domes and was built in 1764. A legend says that no nails were used in construction of these churches. According to the decision of UNESCO Kizhi is classified as one of the world heritages.
Around 50 islands included in the Valaam archipelago which is located in Lake Ladoga - the largest lake in Europe. The unique nature, the magnificent churches, chapels, amazing plant collection attract people of high spirituality to the Valaam monastery. The monastery has a large household: boats, farm, stables, workshop, smithy, bakery, garden.
Solovetskie islands or as they are also called Solovki are islands in the White Sea. They are one of the few places on the planet where you can see the whole story of the last seven thousand years: residence of ancient people, mysterious labyrinth and pagan shrines, magnificent monasteries, home of hermits and the first concentration camp in Russia as well. Furthermore, you can see here the cold White Sea with ships and sailing boats, white whales and flocks of birds, forests and tundra. One can experience the Solovki only if you come here, to these mysterious islands, personally.
The tourists, who would like to learn about life and culture of the Karelian people, have the opportunity to visit an unique monument of folk architecture - the village Kinerma. Old houses in Karelian style makes life to stop still here. Here you can find the wonderful nature, the lake Vedlozero with sandy beach and the hospitable generous inhabitants. You can stay in the village some time, fish, cook dried fish, hike, bake national Karelian pies - kalitka. For those who are interested in ethnographic tourism it can be of good opportunity to visit the old Karelian, Vepsian, Russian settlements with great cultural heritage. The famous Karelian-Finnish national epos Kalevala that arose from the old Karelian and Finnish myths and legends which was collected in this area.
There are good opportunities for different types of tourism in Karelia: excursions, tours, hiking, camping, hunting, tourism for family with children, military historical tourism, winter tourism and ecological tourism. To book tickets and to get help with visa you can contact tourist offices (LINKS) or write to us directly (CONTACTS).