Valaam monastery - the Athos of the North

Valaam monastery - the Athos of the North

Valaam is the largest of 50 islands of the Valaamsky archipelag, located in the northwestern part of Lake Ladoga. There are Valaam settlement, which is part of Sortavala rural settlement, and the Valaam Stauropegial Monastery, a monument of Russian architecture, located on the Island. The Valaam Monastery is one of the most respected in Russia, which in the past is was called "the Athos of the North".

The Monastery can be reached by boat, the distance to the nearest shoreline. More than 480 plant species, which are cultured by monks, are located on the territory of the Island. Gardens with more than 150-year-old fruit trees have been preserved. The island is mainly covered with coniferous forests.

The Island has been visited by Emperors Alexander I and Alexander II, and other members of the imperial family. The nature of Valaam has always inspired the best known geniuses in the scientific, artistic fields, among them are artists such as I.I.Shishkin, F.A.Vasiliev, A.I.Kuindzhi, writers and poets as N.S.Leskov, F.I.Tyutchev, A.N. Apukhtin, I.S. Shmelev, B.K.Zaytsev, composers as P.I.Tchaikovsky, A.K.Glazunov, scientists as M. N. Miklukho-Maklay, D.I.Mendeleyev and many others visited this Island. Alexandre Dumas (père) came here during his trip to Russia in the nineteenth century.

The landscapes of the Valaam Island, wrought by I.I.Shishkin ("View of Valaam Island", 1860), A.I.Kuindzhi ("On the island of Valaam",1873) and Nicholas Roerich ("Holy Island", 1917) are well known.

A visit to Valaam is also included in our tour in Karelia. We will visit Sartavala, the authentic house with fireplace and Russian bath on the shores of Ladoga Lake. In the morning we will visit the Island and the Monastery with the local guide. We will make the cruise to the small islands of the Archipelag, enjoy the beautiful nature and explore the remaining fortifications, which were built before the Second World War and played an important role in the defending Saint Petersburg.

More detailed information about the tour in Karelia can be found on our website