Welcome to Karelia

Densely forested and gloriously remote, the region is a paradise for nature lovers. Bears, wolverines and wolves roam freely across the Russian frontier, and animal hides allow visitors a close encounter. Opportunities to get active abound: the landscape is threaded by hiking routes, white-water rapids and waterways navigable by canoe, and lakes offer idyllic kayaking and boating. In winter, outdoor pursuits include fantastic skiing, dog-sledding, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

Karelia straddles both sides of the Finnish–Russian border, and has a distinct culture, language, religion, cuisine, music and architecture. In Finland's Karelian regions, lakeside Lappeenranta is still strongly connected to its sister cities that have been part of Russia since WWII. Once-battle-scarred Joensuu is now a vibrant university town, and Imatra still recalls its 18th-century golden age as a Russian aristocracy playground.

Top experiences in Karelia

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Karelia activities

$18 Cultural & Theme Tours

VDNKh Tour with a private guide

The guide will meet you at the hotel, from where, depending on the location of the hotel, you will go on foot, by public transport or by taxi to the main entrance of VDNKh. There you will start your interesting tour through the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy.By the scenic Central Avenue, you will go towards the Central Pavilion No. 1, which welcomes guests with its shining white colonnade. The guide will tell you about the changes that have occurred to the building since its opening, and what difficulties Soviet architects faced during its construction. Turning around the building of the pavilion on the right side, you will get introduced with one of the main attractions of the exhibition complex - the great Friendship of the Peoples Fountain. Later, you will move to the pavilions "Armenia", "Karelia" and "Culture", each of them has its own individual architectural characteristics.The following stop on your itinerary will be the monumental fountain “The Stone Flower”, the work of the eminent architect Konstantin Topuridze. The tour will end at the Industry Square, where you will appreciate the achievements of Soviet cosmonautics, the Vostok spacecraft - a copy of the spacecraft on which Yuri Gagarin circled the Earth in 108 minutes. At the end of the tour, the guide will accompany you to the VDNKh metro station.

$47 Private & Custom Tours

A Unique Tour to Traditional Karelian Village Kinerma

During this wonderful tour you will visit a unique village Kinerma. Despite all the changes of the last century, she was able to keep the spirit of the Karelians who lived in it for almost 500 years. We offer ethnographic tour to see the places in republic of Karelia, where the old traditions, customs and mode of life of Karelian villages are still kept. The old Karelian village Kinerma is situated 100 km from Petrozavodsk. You’ll be taken to the village by car or bus, have a look around the village. Then you will visit the Chapel of the Virgin of Smolensk (built in 16th century) and have a dinner in the Karelian wooden house, where you will be able to try traditional Karelian food.The history of the village can be traced back to 1563. Kinerma village offers a unique opportunity to go back in time and feel like a resident of a Karelian settlement, feel its atmosphere, feel the life of the era. Here you can not only taste the dishes of Karelian cuisine, but also learn how to bake real Karelian national dishes.At your request, you can visit a very exotic black bath in modern times - it becomes more and more difficult to find such active copies every year.

$47 Private & Custom Tours

The Exclusive Ethnographic Tour to Sheltozero

During this wonderful tour you will visit a unique Sheltozero  old vepsian village.You will see places in the Republic of Karelia, where old traditions, customs and lifestyle of Karelian villages are preserved. During the excursion to Sheltozero (the real traditional village of Veps, located 84 km from Petrozavodsk), you will get acquainted with the traditional culture of Veps - a small nation in the Republic of Karelia. You will see their traditional wooden houses, visit the Museum of Ethnography, enjoy traditional folk shows and sample local cakes with tea.The guide will tell you about the history, traditional culture, crafts and main occupations of the Vepe people.All this and more you will learn having been on this tour

$40 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Tour to the Waterfall Kivach with Visit to the Church of Assumption

Visit: U Visit RussiaDuring this incredible tour you will visit  to Karelian nature reserve where the famous waterfall Kivach is situated. It is the second biggest waterfall in Europe.You will enjoy the landscapes and get acquainted with the nature of Karelia. In the reserve you will see the waterfall Kivach, formed by the fall of the river Suna. Water falls from four steps. The total height of the fall from the upper mirror of the river to the lower one is 10.7 m. Also included is a survey of the reserve arboretum with a unique famous tree - Karelian birch.Also you will see the Church of Assumption, magnificent example of wooden architecture of XVIII century.You will learn about the animal and plant world of our region. Mysterious legends and wise tales of ancient Karelia will not leave anyone indifferent. You will have time to make unique photos and buy Karelian souvenirs.

$85 Private & Custom Tours

Incredible Tour to Mountain Park ''Ruskeala''

During this incredible tour you will visit a unique natural parks "Ruskeala". Ruskeala Mountain Park is one of the main attractions of Karelia, which is interesting to visit at any time of the year and get positive emotions from the trip. In the cold season, the rainbow illumination of the Marble Canyon is turned on in Ruskeala. Over the course of three hundred meters, all the steep banks of the canyon are illuminated with dozens of powerful spotlights with rainbow color filters. The backlight is dynamic, the colors shimmer into each other, every minute creating a new picture on the marble and the surrounding trees. It turns out a real lake of light and color, an impressive sight.The quarries were used to supply various projects in Saint Petersburg, including Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Marble Palace, Saint Michael's Castle, the interiors of the Winter Palace, etc You will see these picturesque deep quarries and adits with limpid water, impressive rocks and deep caverns. A series of small cascade waterfalls on the river Tohmajoki is another sight you will visit during the tour.

$28 Private & Custom Tours

Extreme Tour: Rafting Along the Shuya River

The uniqueness of the tour in 1 day is that the rafting includes the opportunity to see the most interesting places of Shuya: the thresholds of Big Tolly and the Site allow you to feel like a real water conductor. And even if you do not know how to swim or are afraid of turbulent rapids - do not worry, since the tour “Shuya - rafting” is the maximum of calm. And it will be exciting, both for children and adults, and for people of old age.Rafting in 1 day along the wide and full-flowing Shuya is ideal for those who have no experience of water trekking, because on this river the complexity of the rapids increases gradually, and the rapids are harmoniously combined with the lakes. The undoubted advantages of traveling along this river can also be attributed to the unusually beautiful cliffs, as well as the stone labyrinths of the islands, which make this path not only excitingly interesting, but also attractive for recreation. Communication in an informal setting and new acquaintances surrounded by amazing nature will only complement the adventures on the water. In combination with a warm atmosphere and fragrant Karelian cuisine, a safe fusion will give the opportunity to enjoy the charming panoramas that Karelia is so rich with. The most convenient and short route for children and families, as well as beginners is waiting for you!

Karelia in detail