Day 1: arrive in St. Petersburg
Arrive in St.Petersburg and transfer to the hotel. If time permits it is possible to have some orientation tour on the way.
Day 2: St. Petersburg
Full day to explore the beauty of St.Petersburg. Visit Peter-and-Paul Fortress to see the birthplace of the city and burial places for Romanovs'(tsar) family. Continue to the Hermitage, one of the world's famous museum. If time permits it is possible to get inside one of the Cathedrals or climb the colonnade of the huge St.Isaac's Cathedral for a great city view.
Day 3: Velikiy Novgorod
Day trip to Velikiy Novgorod, an ancient Russian town. Depart by a high-speed morning train around 7 a.m. to find ourselves in an ancient town already at 10 a.m. Full day tour of Velikiy Novgorod, including visit to the old Kremlin, Yaroslav's Yard and Yuriev Monastery. Finish the day at Vitoslavlitsy open-air museum with Russian wooden architecture. In the evening take train back to St. Petersburg and arrive there before 10 p.m.
Day 4: St.Petersburg
One more day for St.Petersburg when we can visit one of the summer residences: Peterhof or Pushkin, or spend more time in the city itself.
Day 5: St.Petersburg – Shlisselburg – Staraya Ladoga
Drive to Shlisselburg to see the “Road to life” museum. The 'road to life' across the Ladoga lake was the only way to escape from St.Petersburg during the siege of WW2 that lasted 900 days. Continue to Staraya Ladoga, an ancient Russian fortress. There is also a monastery. It is possible to organise a boat trip along Volkhov river into Ladoga lake. Overnight not far from Staraya Ladoga.
Day 6: Staraya Ladoga – Lodeynoe Pole - Sheltozeto
Drive to Lodeynoye Pole and visit to Alexander-Svisrki Monastery. Then continue driving via Podporozhie to Youksovitchi where we will find the oldest wooden church of the region, built in 1493. These places are not often visited by tourists. You will see small Russian towns and villages. See how old small dachas and homes are mixed with huge and rich new summer residences of newly rich people. And somewhere in this mixture we will find a nice piece of ancient wooden architecture. In Vozneseniye, a village in the Svir River Estuary we cross the Svir river by a small ferry. The Svir is the river flowing from Onego lake to Ladoga lake. On the other side of the river we will see two more old wooden churches surrounded by tiny Carelian villages, one in Scheleiki, another in Gimreka. Finally we arrive in Sheltozero, a centre of local ethnic veps culture. Veps – finno-hungarian people, now a national minority, living in the region. Accommodation in local private houses. Overnight.
Day 7: Sheltozero
Full day in Sheltozero. Meeting with locals, see the local Veps museum. Accommodation in local houses. Possibility to arrange Russian banya.
Day 8: Sheltozero - Petrozavodsk
Early morning drive to Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelian Republic.Take a 1,5 hour hydrofoil to the Island of Kizhi hidden in the waters of the huge Onego Lake. Enjoy another wooden masterpieces, including the 12-domed wooden church which is said to be built without a single nail.Return to Petrozavodsk in late afternoon.Overnight in Petrozavodsk.
Day 9: Petrozavodsk - Sortavala
Transfer to Sortavala, a small town on Ladoga lake. Sightseeing and free time there. Overnight in Sortavala
Day 10: Sortavala – Valaam
Take boat to Valaam island. This Island is the Orthodox centre and the most important Monastery of the region. But beside that the Island has a very beautiful nature. Sightseeing the island and Monasteries. Meeting the monks and eating in the monks canteen.Overnight in Valaam in former monks hotel (facilities shared).
Day 11: Valaam – Priozersk
Sightseeing and easy walking in Valaam. In the afternoon take a boat to Priozersk. Arrive in Priozersk, another small Russian town. Overnight there.
Day 12: Priozersk - Vyborg
Some sightseeing in Priozersk to see the remains of an old fortress and drive to Vyborg (ca. 2 hours). Sightseeing in Vyborg, a former Finnish town, now located very close to the Russian-Finnish border. Overnight in Vyborg.
Day 13: Vyborg – St. Petersburg
Drive to St.Petersburg via Kronshtadt, a naval town that used to be closed for the visitors for quite a long time. It is located on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland very close to St. Petersburg. We will drive there by the DAMBA - the famous anti-flood construction to protect St.Petersburg from regular floods. Sightseeing in Kronshtadt including visit to the recently reconstructed Naval Cathedral. Drive to St.Petersburg. Overnight in St.Petersburg
Day 14: departure
Fly out of St.Petersburg.