Russia: Silver Ring of Karelia

Northwest Russia is often called the land of lakes stretching from the Gulf of Finland to the Arctic Barents Sea and from Finland to the Urals. It is one of the least populated regions of Russia but its rivers and lakes are rich with fish like salmon. It combines abundant pristine pine and birch forest with marsh and thousands of lakes, which make it a paradise for hikers, boaters, and all outdoorsmen in the summer and winter.

The Northwest of Russia is rich in history as well, with towns like Pskov and Novgorod and the isolated monasteries like Valaam and Solovetsky. Solovetsky Island is situated in the Archangel region, less than 100 miles from the Arctic Circle. Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic of Karelia of this region and the base for a visit to the extraordinary wooden buildings of Kizhi Island. For centuries the early inhabitants came from Novgorod, Finland and Sweden.

Come and experience the little known Silver Ring of Karelia.

We also suggest you our tour Georgia: Tour to Abkhazia.


2021 pricing, please contact us for an estimate anytime.

2020 Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy)

Available Anytime – $2840

Price Includes:

  • 3 – 4* accommodation (DBL) on the program
  • Meals according the program
  • Service charges and sales taxes at hotels and restaurants
  • All transfers on the program (excluding transfers to St. Petersburg)
  • Transportation in comfortable vehicles and vessels
  • Excursions and entertainment programs
  • Guide services throughout

Price Does Not Include:

  • Visa fees
  • Transfers to St. Petersburg
  • Airfare (unless otherwise arranged)
  • Departure and custom fees
  • Gratuities and individual daily expenses
  • Additional beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Trip cancellation
  • We recommend medical and luggage insurance for coverage against all unforeseen circumstances

Day 1:
Depart from St. Petersburg via Lodeinoye Pole for Sortavala on Lake Ladoga, which is the embarkation point for our forty-five minute hydrofoil ride to Valaam Island and Monastery known as the “Athens of the North.” Founded in the 14th century, the monastery became a self-sufficient little world of its own. The monks dried out the swamps and built a drainage system. They brought black fertile soil in their carts from lands in the south. The island was transformed into a garden where even fruit trees grew despite the climate. Visit at the central stone monastery complex with the Cathedral of Savoir and Transfiguration, the church of Assumption, and the large numbers of chapels, monastery cells, domestic quarters and ancient cemeteries. Lunch will be served in the Monastery’s refectory. Transfer to Nikon bay for an excursion around Valaam’s monk cells, the Resurrection cells, the Mount of Olives, the Ascension Chapel, the Hegumenos Lakes and the Monastery Farm. Return to for Sortavala for dinner and overnight. (L, D)

Day 2:
After breakfast, transfer to Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia. It was once the location of an iron foundry for Peter The Great and later a place of exile for St. Petersburg’s undesirables. Its name means “Peter’s Factory.” Stop in Marbe Park of Ruskeala to visit a beautiful lake of emerald color and marble mines. Upon arrival in Petrozavodsk, check in at the Hotel Severnaya for dinner, free time, and overnight. (B, D)

Day 3:
After breakfast in the café of the hotel there will be a walking city tour of “Petrozavodsk-300,” an architectural collection of a Round square with the 18th century Governor’s garden, the Theatre square with its four theatres, the Onego lake embankment with a unique open-air museum of modern sculpture, the Peter the Great monument, and the port. We depart by hydrofoil for our 1½-hour trip on Onego Lake to Kizhi Island. This special island is a treasure of the Russian North with its museum of wooden architecture, the most beautiful of which is the five-story Church of the Transfiguration with its twenty-two cupolas dating back to 1714. It was built of pine logs with axes and chisels without a single nail. It is said that Peter the Great was the architect. Today wooden architecture from all over Karalia has been gathered on Kizhi Island. After our visit we return to Petrozavodsk for dinner in a city restaurant with authentic Karelian cuisine. (B, D)

Day 4:
After breakfast in the café of the hotel, departure from Petrozavodsk for Belomorsk. Not far from Petrozavodsk we will visit Kivach, the tallest waterfall in Europe. In earlier days the noise of the waterfall cascading from a height of 11 meters could be heard four to five kilometers away. These days, the power of the waterfall has somewhat lessened due to the dam on the Suna River but it is still a spectacular sight. Kivach Nature Reserve is the home of the well-known Karel birch. Lunch in Medvezhegorsk, a mainly industrial port today on Lake Onega associated with WWII memorial sites. Afternoon arrival in Belomorsk and later visits to the Belomorsk Petroglyphs. Dinner and overnight at your hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 5:
After breakfast, departure by ship for the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, duration of about 1½ hours. The Solovetsky Monastery, located on small islands of the White Sea almost at the Arctic Circle, was one of the most venerated monastic sites in Russia. Pilgrims would brave the harsh waters in rickety little boats to reach the cherished hermitage. Sadly, in the 1920’s and 1930’s thousands of Stalin’s political prisoners were tormented within the monastery walls. On a walking excursion around the Central Architectural Complex of the Solovki Monastery you will see the Holy Gates, the Dormition Church, Refectory and Procurator Chambers, the Transfiguration Cathedral, the Annunciation Church, cell buildings of the XVII-XIX centuries, and buildings of the Southern yard of the monastery. You will visit powerful fortress walls and battle towers. Special exhibitions and expositions of the museum are of great interest for those who love antiquity. Lunch in the café. Walking tour to Voznesensky skit on Mount Sekirnaya. In recent years the Solovetskiy archipelago began attracting tourists and there are now many new hotels. Dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 6:
After breakfast, transfer to the railway station and departure for St. Petersburg. (B)

Payment and Refund Policies

If you have any questions or you’d like to book this trip, please contact us.

Custom itineraries available to this or any of the destinations we travel to.

Please check the Resources page for more information on Travel Insurance, Visa Service and other useful links.

SPECIAL AIRFARES: Kutrubes Travel can assist you with your flight reservations to your destination with all major carriers. We offer special rates through our various airline contracts. Please call us or email us with your proposed travel plans and we will be sure to accommodate you and respond quickly.

Kutrubes Travel also offers a variety of other tours throughout this region. Contact us for detailed itineraries and descriptions.

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