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Valaam Island

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Karelian Landmarks

Valaam Island

Valaam welcomes everyone — individual guests seeking solitude and tourist groups. The duration of stay on Valaam, upon customer request can be from 1 to 3 days. In addition, the tour may additionally include a visit to the New Valaam monastery in Finland and the Riza Museum in Kuopio, the shrines of the entire North-West of Russia Pskov-Pechersky, Alexander-Svirsky, Tikhvin monasteries.

Valaam means “high, mountainous land” in Karelian. The island is located in the southwest of the Republic of Karelia, on the shore of Lake Ladoga. There is Valaam village on the island and a monument of the Russian architecture — Valaam stavropegic monastery.

Moreover, Valaam is a popular tourist destination. The shortest trip to Valaam is from Sortavala, Karelia. You can get from Petrozavodsk, Karelian capital, to Sortavala choosing different options: by bus, by train, by helicopter.


Awesome Trip to Valaam Island (bus tour)!

Duration: 16-17 hrs.

7:00 am departure from Petrozavodsk by a comfortable bus. Trip to Sortavala (250 km);

11:00 am Boarding Meteor express ship.

Crossing Lake Ladoga to Valaam Island (45 mins)-Sortavala- Valaam Island, Monastery Bay

Sightseeing tour around the central area of the monastery with a visit to the Transfiguration Cathedral, church singing; Transfer along Lake Ladoga to Nikonovskaya Bay by Meteor motor ship, 30 mins; 03:00 pm lunch in the refectory, New Jerusalem tour;

05:00 pm transfer from Valaam Island, from Nikonovskaya Bay to Sortavala;

06:00 pm Arrival in Sortavala, getting inside the bus, departure to Petrozavodsk.

• On the way, stops at Tokhmayok Waterfalls, in Karelian villages, Ruskeala Mountain Park.

Price depends on group size. Individual trips by car or minibus up to five persons with a driver and a guide-interpreter may cost $400 per group.

Paid extra:

Guided tour around Valaam Island, lunch in the refectory, travel by ship – $58 per person;

Trip to Ruskeala Mountain Park by a retro train – $50 Inclusive: entrance tickets to the Park, a tour around the park, train tickets;

Night in a hotel in Sortavala – from $25 upwards

Valaam at your fingertips (helicopter tour)!

Duration: 6-7 hrs.

Departure from Peski airport in Petrozavodsk. Check-in, boarding a helicopter.

Flight duration: 1.5 hr. Enjoy the view of Valaam archipelago from above in all its glory at any time of the year.

Price depends on group size. The price may vary depending on helicopter model and characteristics.

The average rent of a MI-8 helicopter in Karelia is about $2,200 per hour, depending on the number of passengers, cargo weight and dimensions. The exact rent of a helicopter across Karelia from Petrozavodsk is $4.5K. (1.1 hr one-way). Waiting up to 3 hrs is included in the price. Paid extra: guided tour on Valaam Island: $58 per person


Crew – 3 persons; seat capacity – 22. Maximum speed 250 kmph; cruise speed with normal flight weight 220 kmph; maximum altitude with passengers 3,000 m; flying range in the transport version without additional fuel tanks 450 km; maximum take-off weight 12,000 kg; maximum payload 4,000 kg;

Valaam tours


Sightseeing tour around the central estate of Valaam's Monastery of Transfiguration of the Savior, traditionally begins from the pier of Monastyrskaya Bay, where Valaam's fleet arrived in the 19th-early 20th century, and from where the monastery, perched on a high rock, looks especially stunning. From the pier, the road passes to the foot of Mount Favor, which has a wide staircase of 62 steps built in the middle of the last century. To the left of the stairs, there is a view of the famous monastery garden enchanting with its delicate beauty during bloom and serene falls. Above the garden, along an ornamented cast-iron lattice on the edge of the cliff, there is a trail, from where the monks of old Valaam admired the gloomy waters of Monastyrskaya Bay, reflecting the crimson rocks, meeting or seeing off pilgrim vessels. Further, the route passes through Znamenskaya Chapel to the holy gates of the abode with St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church, which was once the home church of royalty arriving at Valaam, with church singing held until today. Passing the Holy Gates, guests enter the monastery. A special place is given to visiting the main functioning church of the monastery — the majestic Cathedral of Transfiguration of the Savior, where the relics of the holy founders of the monastery – the Monks Sergius and Herman of Valaam Wonderworkers – are kept. Explore the Assumption Church with a refectory — the oldest church preserved on Valaam, and the Church of the Valaam Icon of the Mother of God consecrated in 2002, the cells and outbuildings, learn about Valaam's ascetics of the past at the Old Brotherhood Cemetery. The souvenir shop sells monastic items to take with you as a souvenir from Valaam.

Route length: 1.5 km

Tour duration: 2.30 hrs


The route passes through the area dubbed as New Jerusalem in early 20th century. Its heart is the Resurrection Skete on the high Ladoga bank, completely restored and consecrated prior to its 100th anniversary in 2006. The lower church of this skete, which is reminiscent of early Christian churches in its decor, has a kind of the cave similar to the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem. From the Resurrection Skete, the wild road leads to the man-made Gethsemane Garden, where, among the southern broad-leaved trees and picturesque lilac bushes, there is a small, cozy Gethsemane skete with a wooden church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The tour ends on the Mount of Olives, with one of the most supreme views of Ladoga from the chapel of the Ascension of the Lord. The tour repeats the favorite route of Russian pilgrims of the early 20th century.

Route length: 2.5 km


The tour to one of the most beautiful skete of Valaam, where a refurbished tent-shaped church in the name of sanctifier Nicholas the Wonderworker, a niveous cellular pavilion, an apple orchard, a massive granite intending cross and even a tiny hovel of former monastic customs make up an unparalleled architecture & landscape ensemble.

Route length: 3 km

Tour duration: 1.30 hrs (the tour is organized if permitted by the monastery prior).


The choir of Valaam's fraternity is a chance to experience ancient, amazing in its strict beauty tradition of famous chant revived in Valaam monastery. You will enjoy Greek, Serbian, Georgian traditional chants sung in Valaam in the time of festive worship service. CDs with Valaam records can be bought in the shop after the concert.

Concert duration: 20 mins


1.            Revealing clothes and beachwear, sportswear, shorts, miniskirts and such are not allowed on the territory of monastery.

2. All women must wear skirts and cover their head during their visit of all functioning temples, territory of inside square of Central Estate and functioning sketes.

3. All men must be hatless visiting all functioning temples.

4. Cultural visits of temples are not allowed during the worship service.

5. Visiting rules of temples during the worship service are regulated by canonical typicon of the monastery.

6. Smoking, drinking, being intoxicated are prohibited on the territory of monastery including monastery hotels.

7. Any public events and religious activities are prohibited, except permitted ones.

8. Usage of loudspeakers, playing musical instruments, singing, shouting, loud laughing and such are prohibited.

9. Visiting of monastery complex with pets, birds and such are not allowed.

10. Amateur photography, filming and video of monks and the clergy, amateur photography, filming and video without specific permission, professional photography, filming and video without written permission by the prior are prohibited.





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