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Winter holidays in Karelia

The Republic of Karelia is 60 thousand lakes and 27 thousand rivers, fields dotted with berries, dozens of rare species of animals listed in the Red Book and endless woodlands. You can admire this unspoiled beauty not only in the warm season. Winter holidays in Karelia will interest both extreme people and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as tourists who are looking for solitude with nature.

The unique nature, developed tourist infrastructure and accessibility make the region attractive for corporate events, family vacations, budget and wealthy tourists. Below is more about interesting locations, recreation centers and winter entertainments in the Republic of Karelia.

Northern Lights
One of the main natural wonders that can only be observed in winter is the northern lights. Since there are more chances to see the northern lights on a hill, and a breathtaking view of the local landscape opens up, the West Karelian hill is an excellent viewing platform for observing this natural phenomenon.

Dog Sledding Tour
Dog sledding is an active activity for adults and children. The tour will help you get acquainted with the life of the northern peoples, explore local attractions and have fun outdoors with your family, relatives or colleagues.

On a visit to Santa Claus

Everyone knows that Santa Claus lives in Lapland, but few people know that our Santa Claus settled in Karelia. It is located on the snowy shores of Lake Onega. Here, the assistants of Santa Claus will offer children a tasty lingonberry fruit drink and stronger tinctures for adults, teach interesting games and conduct a tour of the territory.

Children’s animators, cafes and restaurants, attractions and outdoor entertainments, photo zone with a deer harness. This is just a small list of entertainment in the residence of Santa Claus.

Ski track “Fountains”
Every year, hundreds of athletes and lovers of skiing come to Petrozavodsk for a mass run along the Fontany highway. Visitors and local volunteers contribute to the improvement of the track, maintaining it in good condition all season.
The total length of the Fontana highway is 11.5 km. As practice shows, in order to drive a full circle you do not need to have special physical training, almost everyone can overcome the track, taking tea breaks and photographing local landscapes along the way.

Kizhi island

An hour away by air-cushion from the mainland of Karelia is the island of Kizhi. Tourists come here all year round to look at the legendary monument of folk architecture – the Kizhi architectural ensemble. The complex is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site.

Snowmobile Safari
A snowmobile safari tour in Karelia is the best way to explore the endless expanses of snow in the region, get acquainted with representatives of the local fauna and go on an unforgettable journey.

Winter fishing in Karelia
Karelia is rich in water resources, and local reservoirs are filled with fish, which attracts fishermen from all over the country. To go fishing it is worth renting a cottage by the shore of a lake or river. Fishing cottages are equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable stay and cooking dishes from freshly caught fish.

Winter horseback riding
Running dogs and deer are not the only pack modes of transport in the region. Equestrian tourism is popular in the Republic of Karelia. There are many camp sites in the region that offer horse riding in the winter.
Here you can take riding lessons, ride a cart or try more extreme skiing, sledding or snowboarding, tied to a horse.

Accommodation in Karelia

Traditional and wild tourism is well developed in the Republic of Karelia. There are hundreds of hotels, recreation centers, cottage complexes, camp sites and club houses in the region. Everyone will find a suitable option for themselves in terms of income and requirements for comfort.

The largest concentration of sanatorium and recreational complexes in the Republic of Karelia is located in the area of ​​the resort of Marcial waters. Officially, it is considered the first Russian resort founded by Peter the Great in 1719.

What to try in Karelia in winter
The main difference between Karelian cuisine from Finnish and Estonian is the rare presence of meat in it, the abundance of fish and the use of rye and barley flour. In traditional Karelian cuisine there are many dishes from mushrooms, wild berries and dairy products.

Worth a try:
Kalakeitto is a Karelian-Finnish national dish. Sometimes it is also called milk ear. It is made from white fish and milk, but there is also a festive option, where cream is used instead of milk, and salmon fillet is used instead of white fish.
Wickets are small cakes made from rye unleavened dough with various fillings and liquors.
Elk meat cutlets are a dish of high Karelian cuisine.
Fruit drinks, preserves and jams from local berries.

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