Dive into the unknown and embark for Karelia. Join this unique program to discover the last unknown borders of wilderness in Europe. Located North of St-Petersburg, with its vast untouched romantic scenery, Karelia boasts endless deep forests where wolves and bears are kings. The road to Karelia will be open to you right after the visit of the magnificent imperial city of St-Petersburg. You will continue your journey visiting Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia built on the shores of the lake Onega. The wooden architecture of towns and small villages built in the wild will transport you into a unique world dominated by humility and mystical isolation. Nature will take a grip on you as you will never forget the magic fairy tales of the amazing Karelia.
Day 1 Wednesday: Arrival St. Petersburg Arrival in St. Petersburg, optional transfer to Hotel Ambassador**** or similar, check-in.
Day 2 Thursday: St. Petersburg - Petrozavodsk St. Petersburg is an amazing city. Its imperial palaces and museums enjoy worldwide fame, while the Neva River and the many canals have deservedly given the city the title “The Venice of the North”. When the city is covered in snow it has a special romantic atmosphere. During the morning sightseeing tour we get acquainted with all the splendours of the city: the Winter Palace, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Church of the Bleeding Saviour, the Nevsky Convent and much more. In the afternoon we go to the Karelia Railway Station and board the train bound for Petrozavodsk. Arrival and transfer to Hotel Karelia**** or similar.
Day 3 Friday: Petrozavodsk Petrozavodsk is the capital if Karelia and stands directly at the banks of Lake Onega. We start our Karelia winter adventure with a tour of the center and the main sights of Petrozavodsk. The tour continues to the ancient village of Karelia, Kinerma, which is considered one of most beautiful villages in Russia. We see the main places of interest, such as the houses of the late nineteenth century and the wooden chapel of the St. Mary the Virgin of Smolensk erected in the seventeenth century. After the tour through the village we enjoy a lunch at a typical Karelian house and we have the opportunity to experience a traditional Karelian pie master-class before we return back to Petrozavodsk.
Day 4 Saturday: Petrozavodsk In the morning we depart with the ferry to Kizhi Island in the Lake Onega. Upon arrival in Kizhi we visit the Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture in Kizhi. This is one of the first open-air museums and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Russia. The main attraction of the museum is the Kizhi Pogost, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1990, with its world-famous Church of the Transfiguration, the bell tower (19th century) and the Church of Intercession. We learn there about the restoration process of the churches of Kizhi. We see how they are restored and learn secrets of Russian traditional wooden church architecture. On the way back we make a stop near the highest point of Kizhi to enjoy the splendid panoramic view. Lunch at a local restaurant and transfer back to Petrozavodsk.
Day 5 Sunday: Petrozavodsk - St. Petersburg Today we continue our winter adventure with a visit to a husky farm. We get acquainted with friendly sled dogs and learn interesting facts about the breed and their character. Afterwards, we learn how to prepare the sled dogs and how to operate a sleigh pulled by them. We enjoy a 3 km ride along the picturesque Shuya River shore in the scenic pine forest and return to the husky farm for a traditional lunch in a tent. After the lunch we continue with a snowmobile ride. The ride covers the distance of 30 km and we enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of the Karelia forest covered with a white blanket of snow. In the afternoon we return back to Petrozavodsk to catch train to St. Petersburg. Arrival to St. Petersburg and transfer to Hotel Ambassador**** or similar.
Day 6 Monday: St. Petersburg Departure Optional departure transfer to St. Petersburg airport.