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Grand Tour of Karelia with Kizhi, Valaam and Solovetsky Islands

8 days
7 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

USD
EUR

$ 1,890.00 (double occupancy)

 

Dates:

Jun 14, 2020 - Jun 21, 2020 
Jul 12, 2020 - Jul 19, 2020 
Jul 26, 2020 - Aug 02, 2020 
Aug 09, 2020 - Aug 16, 2020 
Aug 23, 2020 - Aug 30, 2020 

Included:

6 nights accommodation in hotel.
1 night at train, 2nd class ticket.
12 meals - 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners.
All transport during the tour.
Visits and experiences as per the itinerary.
Guide’s services.

Highlights & Experience:

Discover the most interesting sights of North-European Russia

  • Travel to Valaam, Kizhi and Solovetsky Islands
  • Visit monasteries and museums
  • Observe natural sites and Gulag objects
  • Taste local food and take a vintage steam train
  • Small group tour for up to 12 people

Itinerary:

Day 1  : St. Petersburg

Arrive in St. Petersburg at any time.
Transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel in St. Petersburg (“Dostoevsky” or similar).

Day 2  : Valaam Monastery

Pick-up at the hotel and departure for the town of Sortavala by train or by bus.
Boat tour to Valaam Island (subject to weather conditions).
Visit the central cloister of Valaam Monastery and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration. Learn about the history and modern life of the Monastery.
Short concert of Orthodox church music.
Lunch in the refectory, including typical monastery meals such as vegetarian soup and fish.
Observe smaller monastic buildings, called sketes or hermitages. Among them are the Resurrection Skete and the Gethsemane Skete, surrounded by picturesque pine forest.
Arrive by boat to Sortavala, a town on the northern shore of Ladoga Lake.
Dinner.
Overnight at the hotel in Sortavala (“Piipun-Piha” or similar). (B,L,D)

Day 3  : Ruskeala and Karelian Village

Breakfast.
Take a vintage steam train at Sortavala train station and travel to Ruskeala Mountain Park.
Walking tour of marble Quarry of Ruskeala.
Free time for independent lunch.
Transfer by bus to the historical Karelian village of Kinerma (170 km).
Walking tour around the village, including chapel of the 19th Century.
Meet Karely people, a Finno-Ugric minority living in Karelia and Finland.
Dinner with traditional local meals.
Continue to Petrozavodsk (110 km).
Overnight at the hotel in Petrozavodsk (“Cosmos Petrozavodsk” or similar). (B, D)

Day 4  : Petrozavodsk and Kizhi

Breakfast.
Walking tour of Petrozavodsk.
Departure for the island of Kizhi by boat.
Arrival at Kizhi. Walking tour of Kizhi Museum, followed by free time on the island.
Departure back for Petrozavodsk.
Return to Petrozavodsk.
Free evening, independent dinner.
Overnight at the hotel in Petrozavodsk (“Cosmos Petrozavodsk” or similar). (B)

Day 5  : Kivach and the White Sea Canal

Breakfast.
Transfer to Kivach Nature Reserve (75 km).
Observe Kivach Waterfalls and visit a small museum of the Reserve.
Continue to the small town of Medgora (100 km).
Lunch at local restaurant.
Transfer to the village of Povenets located in the northern part of Onego Lake, a starting point of the White Sea - Baltic Canal built in Stalin's times. We will have a look on the first locks of the Canal and visit Sandarmokh Memorial, a place where Gulag victims were secretly killed and buried in late 1930-s.
Transfer to the town of Kem on the White Sea coast (290 km).
Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel in Kem (“Prichal” or similar). (B,L,D)

Day 6  : Solovetsky Islands

Breakfast.
Departure for Solovetsky Island by boat, travel time is about 2 hours.
Arrival at Solovetsky Island and transfer to comfortable tourist class hotel.
Walking tour of Solovetsky Monastery and Fortress, including the inner bailey and a small graveyard, the Transfiguration Cathedral, churches, monastic cells, refectory, prison, fortress ramparts and one or two towers. Learn about the dramatic history of the monastery from the time of its foundation in the 15th Century till modern days.
Optional tour to the museum of Gulag prison and camp. Located in an old barrack, it holds documents, artefacts, photos and letters of prisoners of 1923-1939.
Independent dinner.
Overnight at the hotel on Solovetsky Island (“Solovetskya Sloboda” or similar).(B)

Day 7  : Solovetsky Islands

Breakfast.
Boat tour to Zayatsky Island. The Island is interesting in terms of both history and nature. The main attraction of the Island is a small wooden church of St. Andrew the Apostle, built in 1702. Thirteen stone labyrinths are located on the Island. There is a version that these labyrinths are in fact pagan “sanctuaries” built several thousand years ago.
After the return, free time for lunch. Pick up the luggage at the hotel and transfer to the port in time for the boat to Kem.
Departure for Kem
Dinner at local restaurant in Kem.
Transfer to the train station.
20:30 - Departure for St. Petersburg by train (2nd class sleeping cabin).
Overnight at the train.

Day 8  : St. Petersburg

Arrive at Ladozhsky train station in St. Petersburg at about 10:10
Transfer to the airport, another train station or your hotel if you want to spend more time in St. Petersburg.