the Mystery of Thousand Lakes
Karelia is the
land to the north from St.Petersburg between Finland and the White
Sea. For many outdoor travelers it is usually associated with thousands
of beautiful lakes surrounded by rocky shores and hilly landscape,
massive fur- and pine-tree forests and abundance of fish and wild
animals. In the distance of overnight train sleeper from St.Petersburg
there is Petrozavodsk. The capital of Karelia founded by the Peter
the Great on the bank of Lake Onega is the gate for most of adventure
travel programs on the Russian North.
From here one can also take a hydrofoil boat to come to an amazing
museum of wooden Russian architecture on the Kizhi island. Lakes
kayaking and rafting down to the river Shuya are "the brand names"
of Karelia. Many outdoor travelers return here every year for exciting
kayaking holidays together with wild abundant nature and white summer
nights. Treking along picturesque granite shores is less popular,
though camping on a cosy bay with great fishing would make one's
trip to remember.
On the way to
Karelia is so called Karelian Isthmus, which stratches between the
Gulf of Finland and Ladoga Lake to the north from St.Petersburg.
Situated not far from the city it is the most favorite place for
it's outdoor-minded citizens. Great diversity of outdoor sports
available here makes this place a little mekka for local climbers,
white water kayakers, velo bikers or just ramblers. It's reputation
among local adventurers can compare with Glen Coe valley in Scotland
or Colorado River Gorge.
several popular festivals in summer here. One is "White Nights
of Vuoksa", which occurs in the end of June for 3 days and brings
hundreds crazy kayakers from Russia and Finland to get a challenge
in White Water slalom competitions at the "Losevo" rapid. This
event goes together with one of the biggest Outdoor Gear Fair.
To get "Losevo" takes 2 hours by the Priozersk road from St.Petersburg.
Winter is the season of cross-country skiing and downhill
skiing in Kavgolovo village. Located in 40 minutes from the
city center this place is very popular in winter weekends.
Some people rather prefer to rent a house - "dacha" in this
village to spend as much time as possible there during weekend.
Late spring and
autumn are the best time for rambling and biking on the Isthmus.
Areas around Orekhovo, Lembolovo and Losevo are the most popular
for their proximity, clear pine-tree's forests, crystal lakes
and brooks and easy paths. There are many "off-road" biking
routes here for one or two days, which would be very in the
end of a hard working week.
read more about wild nature of Karelia and Karelian Isthmus on sites:
Onego.ru: A good travel guide to Karelia Rock
climbing in St.Petersburg - excellent review about a rock massive
300 to the north of St.Petersburg. Ask for one day climbing course
in the "Wild Russia" office.
for travellers - useful info for independent and budget travellers
visiting Karelia. Where
is Karelia located? - a map of Europe, where Karelia is shown.
Biodiversity of Karelia. Red data books - description of most
rare and unique spiecies that can be found in Karelia.
Parks and protected areas of Karelia - site supported by TACIS
about the national reserves of Karelia.
by Victor Bus - site of a professional photographer about old
Russian wooden masterpiece island - Kizhi.
of published Maps and books about Karelia. - site from Ukraine
(!!), a collection of books and maps about Karelia.
Alexander Hikkinen photos - another good (but very slow downloaded)
collection of photos about Karelia.
Kyrill Krylov Geological Site - excellent pictures from a field
geological trip to Karelia. Paanajarvi
reserve Site. - a wildlife reserve in the northern part of Karelia.
Window to Karelia. - a great collection of links to Karelian
Photo Site of Karelia - a great pics collection from Karelian
Map of Karelia - complete map 1:200 000 (Militaty HQ maps) of
the northern and middle part of Karelia. Feel free to ask your questions
how to use it if any problems occure.
Virtual Ex-cit Club - site of ex-citizen of Karelia, e-mails
and contacts around the world. Kivach
Waterfall Pictures - a collection of pics from the highest waterfall
in Karelia (text in Russian).
Karelian Isthmus general info - a general ifo site about climate,
forestry, territories and natural resources.
Ex-travel Vyborg Site - info about one of the oldest town in
the region with some really good pics.
Priozersk, a northern fortress of St.Petersburg region - site
about history of the Karelian Isthmus.
Alexandre Kliouchnik's Page - a very good pics collection about
historical places in St.Petersburg region, Karelia and some other
exciting corners of the Wild Russia.
Climbing in Finland - we believe that Finland is very close
to Karelia by all means and so we include a very good reference
about climbing in this northern next door country.