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Blue Road – Karelian Summer

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Blue Road – Karelian Summer

Program, for individuals & groups (7+ persons)

The tour is available with the start and until the end of navigation season on Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega and the White Sea.

Duration: 6 days.

Route start: Sortavala, Karelia.

Tourists arrive in Sortavala on their own by the morning Lastochka train or by bus. Recommended trains: 821Ч LASTOCHKA DOSS 

Route St. Petersburg-Sortavala, departure at 06:15 am St. Petersburg-Finlyandsky Railway Station, arrival at 10:20 am, Sortavala. Ticket price: $7-10

Day 1: Meeting the tour guide at the railway station. 

Breakfast in a cafe.

Sightseeing tour around the city with a visit to the unique private museum of the skillful woodcarver Kronid Gogolev. Boat trip along the Ladoga skerries.

02:00 pm Accommodation in a hotel

02:30 pm Ruskeala Mountain Park. More than 200 years (until the mid-19th century) fancy light grey marble had been pried out in local open-casts for temples and palaces of St. Petersburg, fountains in Peterhof, pillars in Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina. The canyon is full with crystal-clear water with 20 m deep visibility. The rocky grotto and mine galleries in marble rocks produce a true once-in-a-lifetime experience!

05:30 pm Coming back from the Park by Retro train.

 Ruskeala Express is a deluxe retro train N 921/922 and N 923/924, running en route Sortavala-Ruskeala Mountain Park-Sortavala. It is the only daily steam train in Russia left until today. The train runs since June 1, 2019, its average speed is 40-60 kmph, the journey takes one hour. The train got its official name Ruskeala Express from its destination – Ruskeala Mountain Park. All carriages of the train are painted blue and contain signs in English and Russian. The train consists of five carriages – four compartment cars with 172 seats each and a dining car.

Arrival in Sortavala at 06:35 pm, dinner in a cafe, walking along the Ladoga Lake Embankment, leisure.

Day 2:

Breakfast, checkout, transfer to the port.

09:00 am transfer by Comet motor boat to Valaam Island (50 mins along Lake Onega). Full program on the island: 

*Tour around the Central monastery estate. Valaam Gardens, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior, the Assumption Church, the gateway church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, chapels, the Old Brotherhood and Igumensky cemeteries.

* Visiting one of the Sketes. Travel by Comet motor boat along Ladoga skerries.

* Lunch at the refectory. Duration: 6 hrs.

03:00 pm departure by comfortable bus to Petrozavodsk (250 km). 

*Stop in Kinerma village with a tour round and Karelian dinner.

Kinerma is a unique Karelian village. Founded about four hundred years ago, it was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1563. Kinerma is one-of-a-kind because 10 out of its 17 houses are considered architectural landmarks. After a hearty dinner, we continue the way to Lake Onega coast.

Arrival in Petrozavodsk in the evening;

Accommodation in a hotel, leisure.

Day 3: 

Breakfast in a cafe. Transfer to the port.

09:00 am – 03:00 pm Tour to Kizhi Island.

Comet motor boat departure from the port (1.5 hr along Lake Onega. Kizhi is a unique historical, cultural and natural complex, a particularly valuable cultural heritage site of the Russian peoples. The heart of the museum is Kizhi church ensemble, the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site. The most valuable exhibit is Church of the Transfiguration with 22 cupolas.


 Duration: 6 hrs.

Lunch in a cafe.

04:00 pm Sightseeing tour around Petrozavodsk by bus + visiting the First Marcial Waters Resort.

On the territory of Kondopoga district, 54 km to the north of Petrozavodsk, there is the first Russian spa resort Marcial Waters founded by Peter the Great in 1719 next to iron-rich mineral springs. Peter the Great repeatedly came to the resort to be treated with his family and nobles. The modern Marcial Waters opened in 1964 is a healthcare facility having a water clinic, mud baths with medicinal mud extracted from the bottom of Lake Gabozero. On the territory of the resort, there is St. Peter and St. Paul Church built according to the plans of Peter the Great and a small museum.

The program features:

  • Tasting iron-rich water from the spring.
  • Visiting the museum and church.

Duration: 4-5 hrs. 

Day 4: 

Breakfast, checkout. Bus trip to the north of Karelia: the White Sea, to the Pomora town of Kem. This is the start of the voyage to Solovki Islands. For centuries, pilgrims have used this route to get to the Holy Island.

Cultural and educational stops with tours and leisure en route.

The first stop: Kivach reserve. 

Kivach is the second largest flat waterfall in Europe. Visiting the famous Karelian birch arboretum, a museum of nature. The reserve has observation decks, eco trails, souvenir shops, cafes.

The second stop: extinct Girvas Volcano

The most ancient volcano of Karelia left evidence of its former turbulent activity: lava, tongue, and orifice. The view is jaw dropping! There are waterfalls nearby – the eponymous Girvas on the Suna River and Poor-Porog rapid. 

Lunch in a cafe en route. 

Third stop – White Sea Petroglyphs (Zolotets village). 

Walking tour around Zalavruga with an experienced tour guide. White Sea Petroglyphs are drawings or solar signs on a rock made by ancient people, or it could be a ceremonial calendar or maps of the area. The walking tour to a den of cave drawings, a place Zalavruga, will help to find answers for all or almost all questions. Now the territory is well developed, wooden flooring is laid, there are some souvenir stalls. To get to the place, you have to cross a bridge and a swamp, 20 minutes on foot along an organized trail, but it is worth it! 

08:00 pm Arrival in Kem, hotel accommodation, dinner.

In the evening, a little sightseeing tour around Kem with a visit or observation of the Assumption Cathedral, a monument of wooden architecture erected in 1714 (it the process of long-term renovation).

In the summer of North Karelia, there are white nights. The sun descends beyond the edge of the sea for only a few hours and then rises again. Admire the sunset and take some unique photos in the sunlight!

Day 5: 

Breakfast, checkout. Transfer to the pier.

08:00 am departure to Solovki Islands by ship, voyage time 2 hrs.

Upon arrival, getting to know the Solovetsky Archipelago. Sightseeing tour around Solovki Kremlin. Learn the history of the Solovetsky Monastery. Tourists visit the central complex of the monastery, operating churches, monuments include in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, household areas and expositions. Duration: 3 hrs.

02:00 pm accommodation in the hotel, dinner in the cafe.

03:30 pm Bus tour to Sekirnaya Mountain. Holy Ascension skete.
Visiting one of the highest points of Bolshoy Solovetsky Island- Mount Sekirnaya, which offers a stunning view of Bolshoy Solovetsky Island and the White Sea. Explore the history and monuments of the Holy Ascension skete that functions until now! Back in the times of Solovki prison camp, it served as a punitive isolation ward, a place of detention. Explore the unique lighthouse church. 

In the evening: free time for an independent walk around the island.

Day 6: 

Breakfast in the hotel's cafe. Tour Solovki, Lakes, Canals (Small Circle). Boat trip along the small circle of the lake & canal system. Pass along man-made canals connecting five lakes, 5 km one way. The boat is steered independently. Duration: 5 hrs.

After the tour, return to the hotel for checkout, transfer to the pier.

07:00 pm Departure to Kem by motor ship, transfer by ship for 2 hrs.

Upon arrival in the mainland, dinner in a cafe, transfer to the railway station. Departure to the south by night train or one more overnight stay in Kem for extra fee. Optional: bus transfer to Petrozavodsk.

Price per group 15+1 — $790 per person. Discounts for children. Extra charge for single accommodation $100.

For smaller groups, families and individuals: price is to be recalculated!

Inclusive: 

  • transfers, guided tour program,
  • all entrance tickets, tours,
  • meals according to the program,
  • accommodation in the hotel with room amenities;
  • tour guide service.

 

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