The northern fantasy
(One-day trip from St.Petersburg to Petrozavodsk and Kizhi)
The tourintroduces Karelia, the land stretching between the western coast of the White Sea and the Ladoga lake. Often nicknamed The Land of the Thousand Lakes, Karelia attracts the large number of tourists drawn in by her unique nature and the numerous monuments of the ancient northern culture. The lakes actually number more the 60 thousands (one for each dozen of the inhabitants) including two biggest in Europe – Onega and Ladoga. In addition there are about 30 thousands rivers, so you can imagine that in Karelia you are never too far from the water. The rest of the territory is pretty much covered by forest that makes Karelia a wildlife paradise and a perfect escape from the pressures of the city life.
The tour includes visiting Petrozavodsk, the capitalof the autonomous republic of Karelia, former industrial hub founded by Peter the Great to help in his war against Sweden, nowadays a tidy pleasant lakeside town.
But the real gem of the area is the Kizhi island in the Onega lake. Located in the middle of Kizhi skerries (the area of a myriads of the small islands and islets), the island became world famous for its unique ensemble of wooden churches. Once the areabelonged to the Novgorod Principality, and was a part of the trade way from the continental Rus’ (the name of medieval Russia) to the shoresof White Sea. It was in the 11th century the enterprising Novgorodians began to populate the lands around the Ladoga and Onega lakes rich in timber, pearl, fish, salt and mica deposits. The main building material in the area was wood that gave the local architecture its peculiar style and charm.
Nowadaysthebest surviving examples of the wooden architecture are preserved in the Museum of the Wooden Architecture that includes the two original churches that are listed as a part of UNESCO World Heritage. During the stay on the island the group has a guided tour of the museum.
The program of the tour:
Leaving from St.Petersburg for Petrozavodsk by an overnight train. Arrival to Petrozavodsk.
Transfer to the hotel accompanied by the local guide. Breakfast in the hotel.
Trip to the Kizhi island by a hydrofoil (takes 1 hour and 15 minutes). A 3-hour tour of the open air Museum of the Wooden Architecture. Among the highlights of the island is Transfiguration Cathedral of the Savior crowned with 22 cupolas built without a single nail.
Return to Petrozavodsk. Lunch in a city restaurant. Sightseeing tour. Dinner (Russian cuisine).
Transfer to the train station. Departure to St.Petersburg by the overnight train. (Luggage delivery to/from the train station is provided both in St.Petersburg and Petrozavodsk)
Recommended period for travel: from end of May through mid-September.
The price of the tour is quoted by request.