Karelia isn’t as well-known as many other tourist destinations in Russia, but it does have a lot to offer. It doesn’t just have the natural beauty, but also the cultural beauty that any traveler would love to explore. Karelia is located in the northwest region of Russia and shares borders with Finland.
Because of this, there’s a sizable Finnish population present here. It’s situated between the Baltic and the White Sea. You get a potent combination of natural beauty, culture, and ancient history at Karelia. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular amongst our clients at Taiga Travel.
Things to DoKarelia is one of the many relatively untouched places in Russia. Yes, there’s a small human population here, but the landscape and the forests are well-preserved. That makes this place a wonderful escape for nature lovers. Here are some places and activities that you just have to explore:
- The Lakes – Karelia actually surpasses Putorana Plateau when it comes to the number of lakes. Unbelievably, this small Russian territory has 60,000 lakes! About 25% of Karelia is covered with water. The most notable lake here is Onega and it’s the second largest lake in Europe. A portion of Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe is also located in Karelia. The view from the Onega Lake is stunning and shouldn’t be missed.
- Wildlife – There are dense forests scattered across Karelia that offer an amazing experience to trekkers, campers, and hikers. As you traverse the forests, you’ll spot bears, wolves, foxes, wolverines, and other such animals native to this land. The many lakes and rivers also offer ample opportunity to fish. The water bodies are full of salmon, trout, Arctic char, and other such fish.
- Adventure Travel – There are many waterways and rapids in Karelia and they offer ample opportunity to try some white-water rafting, kayaking, and boating. You can also explore the surrounding forests and valleys on foot and set up camp on the shore of one of the many lakes you’ll stumble upon. If you’re daring enough to venture into Russia during winter, you can try skiing, ice-water fishing, sledding, and snowshoeing.
- Parks – There are three national parks located in Karelia; Vodlozero, Kalevala, and Paanajarvi. These areas are protected and offer a glimpse of raw, unspoiled nature. If you want to get away from busy city life and the modern stresses, this is where you need to be.
- Kizhi Island – The Kizhi Island is located in the middle of Lake Onega and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to a stunning and ancient wooden Church.
- Martial Waters Spa – The Martial Waters Spa is the Russia’s first ever spa. It was established by Peter the Great back in 18th Century. The water has three levels of iron content, which is great for people with anemia.