Venice of the North and Land of Lakes

Dear friends,

We would like to tell you more details about one of our favorite tours, about fascinating adventure to the Venice of the North and Land of Lakes. As you might guess we are talking about Moscow – Karelia tour.

Duration – 13 days

Total mileage – 3000 km

Price – 1430 euro on your own bike / 2950 euro if you rent a bike

Nearest tour - 16-28 of June

Price includes tour guiding, accommodation, fishing, Russian bath, tickets and excursions to most popular churches, monasteries and museums at Valday, Saint-Petersburg and Karelia. If you rent a bike from us price also includes gasoline and insurance.

Tour overview

We will start our adventure in Moscow and our goal is to reach Valday at the end of the first day. There we stay in a pretty hotel located in the heart of the forest on the bank of the lake. We will enjoy pure and fresh air and food from local eco farm: milk, cheese, butter, eggs, meat, a variety of pickled products and local liquors. On the bank of the lake there is an amazing Russia bath on the natural springs.

In the morning we will visit Valday Iversky Monastery and drive to Saint-Petersburg – the Venice of the North. City has such name due to its location on a large number of islands with numerous canals between and bridges across them and Italian architecture used in many mansions in the city. For 200 years Saint-Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Federation – it’s a place of palaces, parks and squares, magnificent balls and private saloons.

In Saint-Petersburg we will spend two days, during which we are going to visit main sights  – Peterhof, Kronshtadt, Peter-and-Paul Fortress , walking tour over central streets, main churches and monasteries (St. Isaac Cathedral, the Kazan Cathedral), leaf bridges and white nights. Additionally upon request we can visit Hermitage, make a walking tour on the roofs or just visit local bars which are among the best in Russia.

From Saint-Petersburg we go to the capital of Karelia – Petrozavodsk. There we will visit Kizhi – an architectural ensemble of two wooden churches and an octagonal bell tower that were built on the island in the 18th century without using a single nail. It has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. After a sightseeing tour, we will visit a local cafe, stylized as a tea/reading room of late 19th century, where you can listen to the sound of a gramophone, read paper of the last century and enjoy Kizhi herbal tea and traditional bakeries.

Next we go to Ladoga Lake and Valaam. We will use old gravel roads, which run through thick conifer forests, abandoned villages and forest graveyards. You can ride some of these roads for more than an hour and meet no one. We will see villages where just several people are still living and they will come to road to see strangers travelling in such wild places. We will try to find in one of such villages real Russian stove and ask inhabitants to cook us famous Karelia pie-cakes. They are usually cooked with fruits and berries, meat or fish. We think that pie-cakes with fruits and berries are the most tasteful.

At Ladoga Lake we’ll stay near former Finland city Sortavala in the country house at comfortable cottages right near the lake. There will be Russia bath, fireplace, tasty dinner and interesting talks. In the morning we travel by boat to Valaam monastery and have sightseeing excursion there. After we’ll have another boat tour over Valaam islands and fortification facilities, which remained here from the times of the World War II – earth-and timber bunkers, gunports, naval inshore protection and sighting facilities.

 

 

That was the description of the first half of this tour. We hope it reflects spirit of this adventure. Route back will be also full of interesting events – will visit Viborg, Tsar Selo, Gatchina and Novgorod the Great, Seliger and Rzhev, Moscow Raceway track and Zvenigorod.

We will make another article to tell you how second part of this tour goes on and meanwhile can you please tell us what do you think about this tour, looks good? Would you like to join us in this adventure? Please write your comments at our facebook page and put your likes)))

And what would you like to read about in next post – Kazan, Sochi, Crimea, Astrakhan? May be Solovki or something else?