The Republic of Karelia is a federal subject of Russia, located in the northwest of the country. It is a unique region with a very favorable geopolitical position, rich natural and recreational resources, and centuries-old cultural and historical heritage. All these factors make Karelia a very special touristic zone, which every year attracts thousands of Russian and international tourists.
The total area of Karelia is 180, 5 thousands sq. km, and more than 50% of this territory is covered with forests (Karelia’s second name is “The lungs of Europe”). About 26% of the territory is covered with huge amount of rivers (27 000) and lakes (63 000). There are two European biggest lakes – Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega. Thanks to developed system of rivers and lakes, boating and lakeside vacation are very popular in Karelia.
More than one million hectares of land, or 5.6% of total area of the republic, are specially protected natural sites: national parks, nature reserves, 46 wildlife preserves, 108 natural monuments. There are plenty of beautiful natural landscapes. One hundred kilometers from Petrozavodsk on river Suna there is the largest in Europe lowland Kivach waterfalls. All these factors promote development of eco-tourism and recreation in Karelia. The first in Russia Marcial Waters spa established by emperor Peter I is located in 50 km from Petrozavodsk.
Forests, lakes and rivers open up perfect opportunities for quiet vacation in Karelia out in the country and for active tourism such as hunting, fishing, safaris on snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles, rafting, canoeing and boating, eco-tours and jeep-safaris.
There are not only natural, but also cultural and historical tourist attractions in Karelia. Among them there are Kizhi architectural museum, the Holy-Transfiguration Valaam Monastery, Karelian petroglyphs (on the White Sea and on the Lake Onego), Lappish stone labyrinths and seids. On the territory of Karelia there is the shortest and the most convenient way to Solovetsky Islands and to the architectural ensemble of Solovetsky Monastery.
Karelia is a unique cultural area because of its edge position between the East and the West, between orthodox Slavic and catholic German worlds. The main unifying factor for that region was the Orthodox religion.
Cultural centre of Karelia is the city of Petrozavodsk, which is the capital of the republic. There are concentrated the most important cultural facilities: libraries, museums, theatres, concert halls, educational institutions.
Handicrafts are highly developed in Karelia. Traditional handicrafts are: basketry, embroidery, weaving, woodcarving, jewelry and pottery.
There are many opportunities in Karelia for recreation and development of cultural, educational, natural, ecological, sports, water and rural tourism. This area is highly valued by Russian tourists as an ideal place for fishing and for spending winter holidays.
Excursion tour with winter activities,
Excursion tour to Karelia, 4 days
Veliky Novgorod & Karelia