Karelia is a region located in the northwest of Russia. The coniferous wood and clear transparent lakes make the beauty of this place. You can start your journey to Karelia from its capital – Petrozavodsk. It has convenient train connection with St. Petersburg: an overnight train or a fast-speed train.

When visiting Valaam you can stay in one of the hotels on the island for a night or two to feel the atmosphere of this holy place. But be informed there are just a couple of hotels and they are quite popular among pilgrims so the early booking is required. You will get completely different impression from the place when you stay there in the afternoon and walk on your own along the numerous paths of the island. In the morning it can be a bit too crowded with the tourists but later when all the cruise ships have left you will feel calmness, delight and grace of God.
Stay for a night in a 400-year-old village – Kinerma. There are 17 houses, and 10 out for them are considered to be architectural monuments. Right now only one house is inhabited all year round. The household of this house Nadezhda organized a museum of the village. She bakes delicious “Kalitki” – traditional Karelian pies. She can make a master class for you.
Visiting the Kizhi island don’t forget to attend the restauration complex to witness the unique process of restoration of the church of the Transfiguration. If you have some time to spend on the island try to take a boat trip around the island. At the pier you can always find some local men with boats. But be careful with the timing, don’t be late for your ship back to Petrozavodsk.
Visit ‘Rusakeala’ mountain park, 30 km from Sortavala. The main attraction of the park is a filled with limpid water abandoned marble quarry – astonishing view.
When in Karelia visit Husky farm located not far from Petorzavodsk. Different kinds of trekking and dog-sledging programs can be organized there.