Tour The Beauties of Karelia


Karelia is a region of Russia where the amazing nature of the North of Russia has been preserved: rivers and lakes, canyons and waterfalls, dense forests; it is a land famous for its charming landscapes and unique architectural monuments.

During our tour you will have the opportunity to visit the mysterious island of Valaam on a meteor, enjoy the beauty of the Kizhi Museum of Wooden Architecture in the open air (a unique architectural monument under the protection of UNESCO), ride a retro train to Ruskeala with its famous marble canyon, and much more...

We also recommend extending your stay in Russia by adding to the “Beauties of Karelia” our additional program for a few days in Saint-Petersburg before and after the tour.
Program 6 days/5 nights
Optional: Train from Saint-Petersburg to Petrozavodsk.
Transfer from Petrozavodsk railway station to the hotel. Check in.
Optional: Dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel. Meeting with a guide at the hotel lobby.
Transfer to the pier. Departure to the Kizhy island by high-speed ship meteor (~1h 20 min).
Visit to the Museum of wooden architecture.
Kizhy Museum-reserve is one of the largest open-air museums in Russia, a protected monument of wooden architecture. It is called no other than the 8th wonder of the world – it is so unique. The unique architectural ensemble of the Kizhy churchyard includes about 80 buildings of various levels and purposes: churches, wooden chapels, bell towers, and a mill. In 2020, the restoration of the main monument of the Kizhy Museum-Reserve was completed. It is the 22-domed Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in 1714, which is recognized by UNESCO as the only monument of wooden architecture in the world for its architectural merit and of particular cultural significance, built without a single nail. It is in this fabulous place that you can feel the spirit of the distant past of Karelia. The feeling of this deep antiquity makes Kizhy island even more attractive and mysterious.
Attention: you need comfortable shoes and raincoats / umbrellas (in case of rain).
Lunch in a local café.
Free time to explore the island on your own.
Return to Petrozavodsk by meteor.
Sightseeing tour of Petrozavodsk.
Petrozavodsk is the same age as Saint-Petersburg and the capital of the Republic of Karelia. This is a city that you can't help but fall in love with! The emergence of Petrozavodsk is connected with the stormy historical events of the beginning of the XVIII century: the struggle for Russia's access to the Baltic sea, the reconstruction of the entire life of the country in the “European manner”, the active development of industrial production. You will get acquainted with the main sights of the city, learn its history, and you will also have the opportunity to walk along the embankment of the city, which is the pride of Petrozavodsk residents.
Return to the hotel.
Optional: Dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out.
Transfer to the village of Kinerma (~1h 30min).
Tour of the village with a visit to museums.
Kinerma was recognized as the most beautiful village in Russia in 2016. The village is an open-air museum: 7 of the 17 buildings in Kinerma are recognized architectural monuments. The history of the village can be traced back to 1563. Today Kinerma is a unique complex monument of folk wooden architecture of Karelia of the XIX century, which includes the village chapel of our lady of Smolensk of the second half of the XVIII century, peasant houses and baths in the black of the XIX century. You will walk around the village, visit the house-museum and get to know the locals.
Lunch of Karelian specialties.
Transfer to Sortavala (~2h).
Sightseeing tour of Sortavala.
Sortavala, which has changed its name three times in different centuries, belonged to the ancient Karelians, Swedes, Finns and Rus, so here you will find an amazing interweaving of cultures and nationalities. Sortavala is deservedly called the most Finnish city in Russia, a museum of Finnish architecture and the capital of the Northern Ladoga region - the city is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ladoga, on both sides of the Lappajarvi Bay. Due to its exceptional geographical position and favorable natural conditions, the territory of Sortavala has always been attractive for settlement. During the excursion, you will stroll through the ancient streets, admire the northern landscapes and architecture of the ancient city and learn its history.
Transfer to the hotel. Check in.
Optional: Dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the pier.
Departure to Valaam by high-speed ship meteor (~1h).
Excursion of the Central Estate.
The Russian North has always been famous for its natural beauty. Located in the Northern part of Lake Ladoga, the Valaam archipelago is no exception. Sheer cliffs that take on the mighty waves of Ladoga, and the quiet peace of inland lakes, age — old firs and pines that resist cold winds, and the discreet beauty of light alleys and gardens, the harsh grandeur of pristine Northern nature and the originality of architectural ensembles-all this gives Valaam a unique appearance of one of the most beautiful Islands in the world. But the earthly beauty of these places is also a visible reflection of the unearthly, spiritual beauty. For all Orthodox people, Valaam is unthinkable without its ancient monastic monastery, which for centuries was the spiritual center of Orthodox Russia and was rightfully called Northern Athos! You will take a tour of The Central estate of the monastery with a tour of the Transfiguration Cathedral, the assumption Church, Pokrovskaya, Blagoveshchenskaya, Znamenskaya, and All the Joy-sorrowing chapels.
Late lunch at the monastery refectory.
Return to Sortavala by meteor.
Return to the hotel. Free time.
Optional: Dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the railway station.
Departure by retro train to Ruskeala (~1h 10 min).
Marble canyon tour in Ruskeala mountain Park.
We offer you a trip to the famous mountain Park “Ruskeala” on a steam-powered Retro train. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the past, in the era of Imperial Russia – the interiors of the compartment cars and the restaurant are made in the style of the Nikolaev Express of the 19th century. Ruskeala mountain Park is a natural ensemble that is beautiful at any time of the year. Along the left Bank of the Tokhmayoki river (translated as “mad”), three quarries were formed in the process of marble mining, connected by adits and drifts. Stone mining stopped, and the old abandoned quarries turned into beautiful mountain lakes – white marble bowls filled with the purest blue-green water. Long-dormant mines and tunnels have become like mysterious caves and grottos... Ruskeala marble the color of white nights, with greenish flashes like the Northern lights, was extracted to decorate the temples and palaces of St. Petersburg, the fountains of Petrodvorets, the columns of Tsarskoye Selo and Gatchina! A truly luxurious stone! Tour of the canyon.
Lunch in a local cafe.
Free time to explore the park on your own.
We invite you to join a unique speleo route in the mountain Park. Within an hour, the guide will guide you through the cleared Ruskeala tunnels and show you the marble caves, the pillared hall and the underground lake. The entire space of the caves is decorated with multi-colored dynamic lighting and is complemented by thematic music, so that visitors get an unforgettable experience.
! Attention: the temperature in the tunnels is kept at the mark +6 – +8°C, dress warmly.
Transfer to Ruskeala waterfalls (~15 min). A short walk.
Karelia has always conquered and still conquers with its beauty and untouched nature. So, one of its picturesque attractions is the Ruskeala waterfalls, which are visited by a huge number of tourists every year. Ruskeala waterfalls are four flat waterfalls, the height of which varies from 3 to 4 meters. Transfer to the hotel in Sortavala (~30 min).
Optional: Dinner at the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel or breakfast boxes. Check out.
Transfer to the railway station.
The end of the tour.
Optional: Train from Sortavala to Saint-Petersburg

The program is organized in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
We recommend to book with us the extension in Saint-Petersburg: 2 nights before + 2 nights after the tour.
The program is preliminary. The organizers reserve the right to replace the excursion blocks with similar ones, without changing main waypoints.
Departures 2024
12 May – 17 May
19 May – 24 May
20 May – 31 May
16 June – 21 June
30 June – 05 July
07 July – 12 July
21 July – 26 July
04 Aug – 09 Aug
11 Aug – 16 Aug
18 Aug – 23 Aug
01 Sept – 06 Sept
08 Sept – 13 Sept
15 Sept – 20 Sept
22 Sept – 27 Sept
06 Oct – 11 Oct
13 Oct – 18 Oct
20 Oct – 25 Oct
What is included and not included in the tour?
Our prices include:
  • Double accommodation in Petrozavodsk in hotel 4* (Cosmos Hotel or similar)
  • Double accommodation in Sortavala in hotel 4* (Dacha Wintera park-hotel or similar)
  • Breakfast in hotels
  • Lunches on Day 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Transport service and all transfers per program
  • Excursion program with entrance tickets when necessary
  • Local English, French, German, Italian, Spanish speaking guides per program or assistants for translation from local Russian speaking guides (Service in Spanish and Italian with supplement!)
  • Visa support letter

Supplementary (for prebooking only):
  • Dinners in hotels
  • Optional: Underground Ruskeala Tour
  • Train tickets from Saint-Petersburg to Petrozavodsk and from Sortavala to Saint-Petersburg
  • Accommodation and/or program in Saint-Petersburg before or after the tour
  • Single supplement * Please always consider a single supplement when number of pax is odd
  • Non obligatory insurance of medical, medical transport and other expenses
  • Non obligatory accident insurance

* If restrictions are imposed on the entrance to museums for a certain number of people, we can serve group requests with the division of groups into smaller ones, with the predominant use of the same transport (or with a different number and capacity of transport), but with a large number of guides.
** Some museums or excursions can be excluded from the program if circumstances beyond the control of the tour operator require it (time constraints due to covid-19 / bans on the operation of facilities). At the same time, as far as possible, we will offer an alternative replacement.
Feel free to write and call us
+7 922 1841362 whatsapp/telegram
Registered office in Russia
Maxelenatravel LLC - Ulitsa Turistskaya 2-2, Moscow

Company in Italy for tourism promotion
Italhouse Srls - Via Piraineto 44, 90044 Carini (PA)
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