Visit Russian North: Amazing Karelia
During our adventure we will visit the medieval fortress of Vyborg in Leningrad oblast, which has experienced many battles, several times it was under the control of different warring parties, but it is still remained as a silent witness to the events of the past! You will try yourself in the role of a musher to take a ride in a fascinating dog sledding race! You will drive across the snowy spaces of the Northern forest braking silence with the engine roar of snowmobile and then you’ll “get some hot” with your new friends in banya – traditional Russian sauna. Also you will visit traditional Karelian village and ethnic Russian village-park where you will get to know the culture and life of Karelian and Russian people. We will pass 1250 km (780 miles) together and will admire the beautiful northern nature of Russia, try delicious traditional dishes of Russian and Karelian cuisine and talk for hours about the history, culture and interesting places of Russia with your new friends.
Day 1. Welcome to the Russian Empire’s capital – wonderful city of Saint Petersburg!
- This day we meet you at the airport or railway station of Saint Petersburg and bring to the hotel for you to relax a little after the flight.
- Depending upon your arrival time, we will have a little walk in historical part of the city enjoying architectural beauty of Emperor’s Capital. Don’t forget that we are going to the north, where there can be strong frosts. So in case if you don’t have warm clothes, shoes, winter hat and gloves – we can go to the shop and buy it.
- When the whole group will arrive, we will have a Welcome Dinner in a cozy restaurant of Saint Petersburg, where you can try traditional Russian cuisine food and make acquaintance with new friends.
Day 2. Travel to medieval European city
- After breakfast we will start our unforgettable adventures in a winter Wonderland! The first point of our trip will be small city Vyborg which is located in 35 km from the Russian-Finnish border, that was founded in 1293 by the Swedes. During one of their Crusades they have noticed beneficial location of Castle island, where there was a small Karelian fortress. The fortress was captured and in 1293 Swedes have built a fortified stone castle at this place. During its history Vyborg belonged to Sweden, Russian Empire, Finland, Soviet Union and now Russia.
- We will visit the famous Vyborg Castle, that is located on the island in Vyborg Bay and get to the St. Olav’s tower to watch stunning views of the city!
- After that we will walk around the center of Vyborg and will have a lunch in Round Tower which is another attraction of the city.
- After lunch we will say good-bye to Leningrad oblast and drive out of Vyborg to meet Karelia!
Day 3. The incredible beauty of Karelian nature
- Today we will have very vivid and active day! We will start it with snowmobile tour across the winter trails of gorgeous Karelia. We are going to ride through the forest, breaking silence with the roar of snowmobile engine and having a portion of adrenaline! We’ll ride away from highways to meet a fairy winter forest with huge snow drifts and trees, covered with a snow blanket!
- After this tour we will visit the stunningly beautiful marble quarry Ruskeala – a valuable treasure of Karelian nature! You will see huge and extremely beautiful marble rocks and learn how marble, that was used in decorating of several buildings of Saint Petersburg, was formed here layer by layer through the centuries. Extreme lovers can experience breathtaking rope-jumping from the rock and zip-line along the whole quarry!
- After the day in winter nature we will spend the evening in banya – traditional Russian sauna. This is a perfect place to “heat the bones”, and very good for health as prophylactic of many diseases! During banya everybody who wishes can jump in the snow like Russians do! As for me, I will do it for sure 😉
Day 4. Meeting with indigenous people and inhabitants of the forests of Karelia
- Today we will visit traditional Karelian village which is more than 200 years old. Here we will chat with local people and get acquainted with Karelian traditions, way of life, etc. And of course at lunch we will try different dishes of traditional Karelian cuisine.
- Our next stop will be at the zoo. You know, I don’t like zoos, because I think that all wild animals should live in the nature… But this is a very unique zoo and we will visit it to support the project. Animals, who live here are the lucky ones, who have got a second chance for life, because they almost 100% should die in wild nature. Some of them came here because of disease, some of them got injuries from hunting traps, some of them were too small when lost their parents, etc. During the tour around zoo, you will learn a unique life story of every animal and will see almost all wild animals which live in Karelia.
Day 5. Is it easy to be a musher?
- This day will be one of the most memorable day of our journey! Today we will meet and spend time with huskies – the most friendly dogs in the world 🙂 We will go to the largest kennel of sled dogs in Russia! You will learn about character and hierarchy of huskies and history of the breed. Huskies enjoy to get attention and love to play with people, so we promise you a bunch of positive, warm hugs and cool happy photos! And then you are going to try yourself as a musher! We will have a 10 km route in the forest roads and you will be the one, who drive the sleds!
- After having fun with huskies we are driving to stylized ethnic Russian village where we’ll spend the night and the whole next day.
Day 6. Feel wide Russian soul by living the whole day in Ethnical Russian village
- This will be a day full of new emotions dedicated to fun in Ethnical Russian village-park Verkhnie Mandrogi! We will taste traditional Russian food and get new experience trying to do something by our own hands during workshops, also we will communicate with horses and ride a traditional Russian sleigh with 3 horses. If you want, you can shoot from real gun or arbalest or take a lesson of horseback riding.
Day 7. Saint Petersburg – the treasury of Russian Architecture
- This morning we are going to the last point of our journey – incredible Saint Petersburg!
- On the way we will visit Alexander-Svirsky Orthodox Monastery, which history starts from 1530. The monastery itself has very beautiful architecture and is located in a very scenic place. This monastery has very rich history, which includes both tragic and triumphal periods. After walking in monastery, we will continue our trip to Saint Petersburg.
- On arrival we will check in the hotel and will go for a walk in the historical center of Saint Petersburg. We will pass such architecture treasures as Hermitage and Palace Square, Church of the Savior on Blood, Kazan and Isaac Cathedrals.
- This evening we will have a Long and cozy Farewell Dinner with chatting, laughing and refreshing all amazing adventures that we have experienced together! I guess that we will go to sleep very late 😉
Day 8. Farewell hugs!
- Today some of you are leaving back home, some of you will decide to stay in Saint Petersburg for couple of days, but anyway this is the last day of our traveling together for this time!
- Be ready for long goodbyes, laughing, tears and promises that we will meet each other again in Russia, in your country or somewhere else in the world 🙂
- Russia is huge, wonderful and interesting country which will take your heart forever! So please, check other Tours to Russia with Value Of The Moment if you want to come here again.
Date of tour:
from December 1'st, 2017 till April 1'st, 2018
Prices for this tour for individual groups:
Number of participants
Price per person
1580$ / 1490€
1300$ / 1230€
1250$ / 1180€
1160$ / 1100€
1070$ / 1010€
- Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
- Accommodation: Twin rooms
- Where: Leningrad oblast and Republic of Karelia
- Total Distance: 1250 km (780 miles)
- Native cultures: Karels and Russians
- Start: Saint-Petersburg
- Finish: Saint-Petersburg
- Fitness level: Easy
- Transport: comfortable car or van
- Daily Temperature: -15˚…-30˚C
- Minimum age: From 6 to 17 y.o. – only accompanied by adults. From 18 y.o. – independently
- Language: English / Russian. If your group needs translation to another language – please, mention about it when booking.
- Excursions & Entertainments: Walking in the historical center of Saint Petersburg, visiting of medieval fortress in Vyborg, Marble quarry Ruskeala, Karelian Village, Non-typical zoo of Karelian animals, visiting of the largest kennel of sledding dogs in Russia, Alexander Svirskiy Orthodox Monastery, Snowmobiling, banya (Russian sauna), dog sledding, workshop, traditional Russian horse sledding. Optional: zip-line or ropejumping, horseback riding, shooting with the gun or arbalest.
- Always with you: Dmitry and Ilaria
Cost of Adventure – from $1070 / €1010
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- Group airport transfers
- Transport on tour
- Accommodation in Husky nursery (kennel) for 1 night
- Accommodation in the Verkhnie Mandrogi village for 2 nights
- Food: lunch in Karelian village, lunch and dinner in husky dog sledding base, lunch in Alexander-Svirsky Monastery.
- Entry fees to attractions and sightseeing
- Active Entertainments: Snowmobiling, banya (Russian sauna), dog sledding, workshop, traditional Russian horse sledding
- Photos and movie with your adventures in Russia
- All necessary consultations and 24-hours support during the trip
- English/Russian speaking guides. If your group needs translation to another language – please, mention it when booking
- Russian visa support letter
- Always with you – Dmitry and Ilaria
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Airfare: Your city – Saint Petersburg – Your city
- Accommodation in St. Petersburg (2 nights) and Sortavala (2 nights)
- Interpreter to another language (if not Russian/English). If you have a group and you need a translation in your language, please, mention about it when booking
- Travel medical insurance (if necessary)
- Visa fees
- Food that is not mentioned above and alcohol (approximately 20-30$ per day)
- Souvenirs, tips and other personal expenses
- Optional activities: zip-line (30$), ropejumping (30$), horseback riding (50$), shooting with the gun (20$ for 10 shots), shooting with arbalest (10$ for 10 shots) and others that are not mentioned in main program
- Individual transfers during free time
- To book a place in the group, you need: 1) To fill the Booking form for us to contact you. 2) After that, to pay a minimum deposit of 30% of tour cost. Please, check our cancelation and refund policy and payment methods here - Guarantee, documents and payment methods. The rest of your fees must be transferred to us no later than 7 days before your arrival.
- Depending upon weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to make changes in our program, keeping the itinerary action-packed and interesting.
Citizens of these countries have visa-free entrance to Russia for 90 days (or number of days that is in brackets):
Abkhazia, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus (no limits), Bosnia and Herzegovina (30 days), Brazil, Chile, China (only for travelling as a part of official tour group and only for 14 days), Colombia, Cuba (30 days), Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong (14 days), Israel, Kazakhstan (no limits), Kyrgyzstan (no limits), Macau (30 days), Macedonia (30 days only with invitation voucher that we can do for you), Mauritius (60 days), Moldova (no limits), Mongolia (30 days), Montenegro (30 days), Nauru (14 days), Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Serbia (30 days), Seychelles (30 days), South Korea (60 days), South Ossetia (no limits), Tajikistan (no limits), Thailand (30 days), Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan (no limits), Venezuela.If you don't have citizenship of any countries above - check our full article How to get Russian visa. If you have diplomatic or other special passport in addition to regular one, you have different visa requirements and periods. Please, contact us via Contact Form to check visa requirements for your case.
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