Reviews on vacation in Karelia – 2020-2021. Is it worth to go

Trip to Karelia by car in 2021. Sights of Karelia by car

We’ve gathered traveler reviews about vacationing in Karelia in summer and winter in 2020-2021. Learn about the seasons and weather, excursions and prices, wilderness, car and base holidays.

The territory of the Republic of Karelia lies in the northwest of our country – from Ladoga and Onega Lakes to the White Sea. According to reviews from tourists, vacation in Karelia is not suitable for those who like to vacation by the warm sea. Despite the fact that there are beaches in Karelia, the water temperature in most reservoirs even in the height of summer does not rise above +18 … +20 ° C.

To Karelia go connoisseurs of mighty pine forests, picking mushrooms and berries, rafting and rafting fans. People come here to fish and go skiing and snowmobiling. Tourists enjoy trips to Kivach and Girvas waterfalls, Marble Canyon, Kizhi wooden temples and Valaam Island.

  • “Big Country” – tours of Karelia for all tastes and budgets.
  • Rumguru – hotels and campgrounds. See the rules for finding accommodation.

Reviews about recreation in Karelia in the wild and by car.

Wild campers. Recreation in Karelia is liked by lovers of spending vacations in nature. On the shores of the Karelian rivers and lakes you can set up tent camps. According to reviews of tourists, the use of running water is absolutely safe, with the exception of river beds and streams, located below the settlements and villages. There is enough firewood for a fire everywhere. However, in the summer, local authorities ask all tourists to strictly obey the rules of fire safety.

You can get to Petrozavodsk by plane from Moscow and Arkhangelsk. Also easily accessible by rail – from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Petrozavodsk there are direct trains. In addition, all the trains which go to Murmansk make a stop in the capital of the republic.

By car. Residents of the Central, Northwestern and Privolzhsky districts it is convenient to get to Karelia by car. Independent auto-trip is inexpensive and in summer time is accessible to cars of any passability. You can take a tent, camping equipment, kayaks and bicycles by car. The main disadvantage of such trip is low quality of the Karelian roads.

Vacationers leave positive reviews about camping places in Karelia. There are places for overnight stays in Petrozavodsk, Ruskeala and the village of Sopokha in the Kondopoga district of the republic.

Going to Karelia by car →

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How to reach attractions in Karelia by car

Water Sports

Ever since Soviet times, Karelia has been considered a Mecca for kayakers, canoeists, boaters and pleasure boaters. Ladoga and Onega Lakes, which are the largest in Europe, are an ideal location for kitesurfing and wakeboarding. Knowledgeable people advise rafting on mountain rivers, replete with rapids. Here are the best routes for rafting in Russia.

Reviews about vacation in Karelia on tour

Tours to Karelia are sold all year round. In the Russian south, tours for beach holidays are popular, and in Karelia – sightseeing tours, designed for 2-8 days, plus the road to the place. Such trips are organized from Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other Russian cities. Tour participants get to Karelia by plane, rail, bus or ship.

A wide variety of tours in Karelia can be found in the tour operator “Big Country”. They have both inexpensive tours with a classic program, and real adventures for the most demanding tourists.

According to reviews of holidaymakers, the most popular tours – to Valaam, cruises around Ladoga, visiting Petrozavodsk, Kizhi and rest on the White Sea. Tourists really like the tours, which include water walks, visits to ancient monasteries, jeep rides and dog sledding. In winter, snowmobile tours are very popular.

Prices for sightseeing tours in Karelia in 2021 start at 6,400 ₽ per person for a two-day trip and 1,700 ₽ for a week-long tour. The cost of tours rises noticeably during the May holidays and the New Year.

Features of tours to Karelia:

  • quite budget prices;
  • Only the most popular sights are included in the program;
  • food is included in the cost of travel, and some tours – no.
READ
Holidays in Karelia: how to plan + prices in 2022

A useful selection:

  • Rest in St. Petersburg
  • Rest in Moscow and Moscow region

Tourist reviews about rest in Karelia

(Photo: Alexxx1979 / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)

Lots of mosquitoes, but not many people.

It does not matter whether you have a rest in the city or pitch a tent in the woods, hordes of mosquitoes and midges are guaranteed. Also a serious danger of ticks. This is the main disadvantage of recreation in Karelia. Be sure to stock up on quality repellents and take a fumigator.

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But lovers of silence and universal harmony are likely to be pleased with a small number of tourists. And they are concentrated in several popular tourist centers. It is enough to go to the nature to be alone for a long time.

Reviews of excursions in Karelia

In Petrozavodsk, Sortavala and other Karelian cities, many one-day excursions are sold all year round. According to reviews of holidaymakers, on vacation in Karelia in 2021 to buy all the tours in a row does not make sense. It is worth it to take tours to places that are difficult to get on their own, and tours, which provide a fascinating outdoor activities.

Here are the prices in 2021 for the most popular tours:

  • journey to the huskies and reindeer, 3 hours – 2500 rubles;
  • Dog sledding, 3 hours – 3700 rubles;
  • Kizhi Island from Petrozavodsk, 7 hours – 4400 rubles;
  • trip to Valaam from Sortavala, 7 hours – 3,300 rubles;
  • rafting on Shuya river, 5 hours – 1300 rubles
  • Horse walk on forest paths, 4 hours – 4000 rubles;
  • jeep-tour, 10-11 hours – 5000 rubles;
  • ATV rides, 2 hours – 2000 rubles.

Excursions in Karelia

  • What to see in Karelia
  • TOP Worst Sightseeing in Karelia

Where to have a rest in Karelia in summer according to tourists' reviews

(Photo: msmych / flickr.com / CC BY-ND 2.0 license)

Unpredictable weather

Summer is considered the main tourist season. In the off-season it is cold and wet, in winter scare away cracking frosts, and skiing is not well developed. But in June-July there are white nights – the more north, the brighter they are. August is good for picking mushrooms and berries, fishing and eco-tourism.

But no matter how warm the weather is, be sure to take a raincoat with you. Karelia is influenced by the unpredictable maritime climate of the competing Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The hot weather is often replaced by thunderstorms, showers and low temperatures. Lightweight jacket in stock will not be superfluous.

Here you can find information about summer camps in Karelia.

In Karelia you can stay in country houses, cottages, recreation centers and tourist centers. All of them are built in picturesque places – on the banks of rivers and lakes and surrounded by forests. According to tourists’ reviews, the most popular in Karelia are recreation centers which organize the guests’ leisure time. In some places holidaymakers are offered barbecues for cooking kebabs, ready-made meals in the cafe, courts for playing tennis and volleyball. From Karelian recreation bases carry out bike tours, horseback riding and bus tours to places of interest.

Recreation centers for fishermen are in demand all year round. Unlike usual camping sites you can rent a speedboat, a motorboat, fishing tackle and get fishing advice at the nearby river or lake. According to reviews of holiday-makers a lot of fishermen come to the Karelian camping sites in the autumn – in September and October when the fish is most active and fattening.

Look for camping sites, cottages and camping sites at Rumguru, and apartments, rooms and other private appartments at Airbnb.

  • Inexpensive Bases in Karelia
  • Top 10 special resorts for recreation with children in Karelia

Tourist reviews of holiday camps in Karelia

(Photo: unsplash.com / @asiafish)

Prices. The cost of recreation at recreation bases in Karelia depends on the degree of comfort and remoteness from major cities and main highways. Accommodation in summer rooms for two with private facilities on the floor costs from 1500-2000 rubles per day. Prices for a spacious cottage with a sauna, which is designed for large companies, start at 8000 rubles.

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Inexpensive recreation centers in Karelia. Prices - 2022

It must be borne in mind that Karelia is not the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Suggestions budget housing here is much less. The experienced travelers are advised to reserve the favorite rooms or cottages at the tourist centers beforehand. And before you arrive, don’t forget to bring your children, whether you need a shuttle to the airport or a train station, whether the tourist center has hot water and how its food is served.

Summer Holidays in Karelia

Photo: booking.com / Freegreen cottages.

Forest trips

In August, the nature of Karelia is rich in berries and mushrooms, for which we went. We chose our routes chaotically.

Karelian forest nature

We have gone away from our lodge about 30-40 kilometers and went deep into the forest by the road. We had been wandering around for hours, gathering the gifts of nature. The forests are endless and very beautiful, the grass is carpeted, even in the European part of Russia there is no such beauty.

First berry crop (blueberries).

There are a lot of animals: from hares and beavers to bears and wolverines. For several trips we picked up a bucket of blueberries, which grow literally under our feet, and some mushrooms. A little later, as locals said, blueberries will come too.

Berry bushes in the forests of Karelia

We didn’t try to collect cloudberries, because it was necessary to find them in the swamps. On one of the days we went to the forest lake, where we fished during the day.

Fishing on a forest lake in Karelia

True, we caught only a few perch, because we didn’t take good tackle with us.

View of Karelian lake

In the Karelian forests the potholes are in a decent condition. There are a lot of them there, and they are well groomed, so you can travel in many places with a car with medium ground clearance in the summer.

Dirt track in the Karelian forest

Lodging

In Karelia, the tourist infrastructure is quite developed. Of course, you won’t find luxurious hotels like Egyptian or Turkish hotels, as this is a completely different format of recreation. But there are a lot of tourist bases, campsites, agrohouses. There are also classic hotels, and a small Marcial Waters, where mineral water was treated even by Peter I.

You can order accommodation on such popular aggregators as Booking, Airbnb, “Agoda”, “Ostrovok”. Or through tour operators, or directly on the sites of hotels. The cost is constantly changing. A small house at a camping site costs from 10,000 rubles for a large company. You can order additional services, such as horseback riding, fishing, bathing. You can find a modest hotel room for 550 rubles, accommodation in a 4-star hotel starts at 3000 rubles.

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Onega Lake

The republic can be conventionally divided into 3 tourist regions – Onega, Ladoga and the northern regions, where the Karelians live. As a rule, travelers first arrive in the region’s capital city of Petrozavodsk. It stands on the western shore of Lake Onega.

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This is an old town, founded as far back as Peter the Great. Over the past year, taking advantage of a pause in travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, local authorities have cleaned up the administrative center. A number of buildings have been restored, tiles have been laid, and parks and recreation areas have been improved.

Although there are a couple of museums in the city, the long promenade is considered the most interesting and lively place. It has places for recreation, playgrounds, installed a lot of interesting sculptures. Experienced tourists are advised to visit the Devil’s Chair, a rock from which there is an enchanting panorama of the city and the lake.

The most famous attraction in Karelia, which is known throughout the world, is the Historical and Architectural Museum of Wooden Architecture “Kizhi”. It is located on a small island of the same name in the heart of Onega. Admission is paid, a full ticket costs 600 rubles.

For the romantics I recommend to come here on a cruise ship or a high-speed hydrofoil vessel. They depart from Petrozavodsk, the distance to “Kizhi” is 68 km. Prices for a boat ride lasting 6-7 hours start at 2200 rubles.

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Lake Ladoga

While Onega is very cold even in summer, on Ladoga you can have a good rest at the climatic resort of Sortavala. Here are developed water sports, and the town itself fascinates with its old architecture and colorful wooden Finnish houses. Before the pandemic, many visitors from neighboring Finland came here.

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Not far from Sortavala there is a new attraction, which has become incredibly popular among young people. We are talking about the town of Ruskeala, near which there are flooded quarries, where marble used to be mined. They are turned into a theme park with a lot of options for entertainment. Here you can go diving, jump off cliffs, ride a boat, swim, walk in the abandoned tunnels, ride a zipline, buy goodies and souvenirs made of marble.

In the middle of the Ladoga is the famous Valaam Archipelago, on which stands one of the most famous and respected Orthodox monasteries in Russia. Water excursions are organized to the holy monastery. Be sure to visit!

Water procedures

Lovers of beach recreation need to clearly understand where you are going. Although Karelia has its own White Sea, thousands of lakes and rivers, you will not find reservoirs with steaming water. After all, this is the North.

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From mid-July to mid-August, the weather is usually warm. In the south of the country the water gets as warm as 18-20 degrees. Although the temperature is not ideal for swimming, you can have a swim on a hot day without consequences for the body. However, for hardened Russians +20 ° C is almost a resort.

Ecotourism

Northern Karelia is completely another world. It attracts those tourists who cannot imagine their holiday without hiking, river rafting, fishing, and testing the strength of body and mind. In the Republic organized four national parks, available for visits.

In such cities as Segezha, Kostomuksha, Kalevala, you can explore the traditional way of life of the local population, different from the life of Central Russia. Be sure to visit the villages, where representatives of the indigenous people – Karelians live. Most of them live in Olonetsky, Kalevala and Pryazhinsky regions. During the tour you will get acquainted with folklore and ritual dances, will hear interesting stories and legends, will be able to buy authentic souvenirs.

What tourists think about Karelia

Reviews about vacations in Karelia

We have collected tourist reviews about holidays in Karelia in summer and winter in 2021-2022. Learn about the seasons and weather, excursions and prices, wilderness vacations, by car and at the bases.

The territory of the Republic of Karelia lies in the northwest of our country – from Lake Ladoga and Onega to the White Sea. According to reviews from tourists, vacation in Karelia is not suitable for those who like to vacation by the warm sea. Despite the fact that there are beaches in Karelia, the water temperature in most reservoirs even in high summer does not rise above +18. +20°С.

To Karelia go connoisseurs of mighty pine forests, picking mushrooms and berries, rafting and rafting fans. People come here to fish and go skiing and snowmobiling. Tourists enjoy trips to Kivach and Girvas waterfalls, Marble Canyon, Kizhi wooden temples and Valaam Island.

    – Tours in Karelia for all tastes and budgets – hotels and campgrounds

Content:

Reviews about the weather and seasons

Summer. According to reviews of holidaymakers, holidays in Karelia in June, July and August – the most successful choice. In the summer months here you can enjoy white nights, travel through national parks, look at waterfalls and ancient monuments of wooden architecture. Northern summer is the best time for fans of kitesurfing, wakeboarding, rafting, and kayaking trips.

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But summer weather in Karelia is unpredictable. Hot days are often replaced by rains and thunderstorms. If you’re going on a trip, take a light clothing kit and an autumn jacket. Wherever you spend your vacation – in a tent or in the city – summer in Karelia is often visited by gnats and mosquitoes, so don’t forget the repellents and fumigators.

A useful selection:

Autumn. Karelia’s nature is especially beautiful in late September and the first half of October. At the beginning of autumn, the weather is usually sunny and dry. It is already cold to swim, so few holidaymakers come. In autumn, as in summer, tourists travel in kayaks, make horseback riding tours and do “quiet hunting”, because the forests are full of berries and mushrooms. Experienced tourists are advised to take more warm clothes, raincoats and rubber boots for an autumn trip.

Tourist reviews of Karelia

At the top of Vottovaara in early autumn.

Winter. Because of the peculiarities of the climate, winter in the republic lasts from mid-October to April. It is snowy, but without severe frosts. The Karelian winter is perfect for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobile trips and dog sledding. Fishermen appreciate the winter months for good ice fishing.

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Spring. After the snow melts, water tourists come to Karelia. The time before the onset of summer heat try to use and those who want to heal. According to tourists, in the spring in Karelia is good to rest in sanatoriums. Improve your health helps mineral water, sulfide and silt mud and shungite. Vacationers are especially popular with week-long recovery courses, which relieve chronic fatigue syndrome and stress.

Articles on the topic:

Reviews for vacations in Karelia in winter

(Photo: hikuta / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Reviews about recreation in Karelia in the wild and by car.

Wild campers. Recreation in Karelia is liked by lovers of spending vacations in nature. On the shores of the Karelian rivers and lakes you can set up tent camps. According to reviews of tourists, the use of running water is absolutely safe, with the exception of river beds and streams, located below the settlements and villages. There is enough firewood for a fire everywhere. However, in the summer, local authorities ask all tourists to strictly obey the rules of fire safety.

You can get to Petrozavodsk by plane from Moscow and Arkhangelsk. Also easily accessible by rail – from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Petrozavodsk there are direct trains. In addition, all the trains which go to Murmansk make a stop in the capital of the republic.

By car. Residents of the Central, Northwestern and Privolzhsky districts it is convenient to get to Karelia by car. Independent auto-trip is inexpensive and in summer time is accessible to cars of any passability. You can take a tent, camping equipment, kayaks and bicycles by car. The main disadvantage of such trip is low quality of the Karelian roads.

Vacationers leave positive reviews about camping places in Karelia. There are places for overnight stays in Petrozavodsk, Ruskeala and the village of Sopokha in the Kondopoga district of the republic.

Articles on the topic:

How to get by car to the sights of Karelia

Reviews about vacation in Karelia on tour

Tours to Karelia are sold all year round. In the Russian south, tours for beach holidays are popular, and in Karelia – sightseeing tours, designed for 2-8 days, plus the road to the place. Such trips are organized from Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other Russian cities. Tour participants get to Karelia by plane, rail, bus or ship.

A wide variety of tours in Karelia can be found in the tour operator “Big Country”. They have both inexpensive tours with a classic program, and real adventures for the most demanding tourists.

According to reviews of holidaymakers, the most popular tours – to Valaam, cruises around Ladoga, visiting Petrozavodsk, Kizhi and rest on the White Sea. Tourists really like the tours, which include water walks, visits to ancient monasteries, jeep rides and dog sledding. In winter, snowmobile tours are very popular.

Prices for sightseeing tours of Karelia in 2022 start at 6,400 ₽ per person for a two-day trip and 1,700 ₽ for a week-long tour. The cost of tours rises noticeably on May holidays and New Year’s Eve.

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Features of tours to Karelia:

  • quite budget prices;
  • Only the most popular sights are included in the program;
  • food is included in the cost of travel, and some tours – no.

A useful selection:

Tourist reviews about rest in Karelia

(Photo: Alexxx1979 / flickr.com / License CC BY-SA 2.0)

Reviews of excursions in Karelia

In Petrozavodsk, Sortavala and other Karelian cities all year round sell a lot of one-day excursions. According to reviews of holidaymakers, on vacation in Karelia in 2022 to buy all the tours in a row does not make sense. It is worth taking excursions to places that are difficult to get on their own, and tours that provide a fascinating outdoor activities.

Here are the prices in 2022 for the most popular tourist excursions:

    , 3 hours – 2500 rubles;
  • Dog sledding, 3 hours – 3700 rubles;, 7 hours – 4400 rubles;
  • trip to Valaam from Sortavala, 7 hours – 3,300 rubles;
  • rafting on Shuya river, 5 hours – 1300 rubles
  • Horse walk on forest paths, 4 hours – 4000 rubles;
  • jeep-tour, 10-11 hours – 5000 rubles;
  • ATV rides, 2 hours – 2000 rubles.

Where to have a rest in Karelia in summer according to tourists' reviews

(Photo: msmych / flickr.com / CC BY-ND 2.0 license)

Here you can find information about summer camps in Karelia.

In Karelia you can stay in country houses, cottages, recreation centers and tourist centers. All of them are built in picturesque places – on the banks of rivers and lakes and surrounded by forests. According to tourists’ reviews, the most popular in Karelia are recreation centers which organize the guests’ leisure time. In some places holidaymakers are offered barbecues for cooking kebabs, ready-made meals in the cafe, courts for playing tennis and volleyball. From Karelian recreation bases carry out bike tours, horseback riding and bus tours to places of interest.

Recreation centers for fishermen are in demand all year round. Unlike usual camping sites you can rent a speedboat, a motorboat, fishing tackle and get fishing advice at the nearby river or lake. According to reviews of holiday-makers a lot of fishermen come to the Karelian camping sites in the autumn – in September and October when the fish is most active and fattening.

    – huge choice of camping sites and hotels

Tourist reviews of holiday camps in Karelia

(Photo: unsplash.com / @asiafish)

Prices. The cost of recreation at recreation bases in Karelia depends on the degree of comfort and remoteness from major cities and main highways. Accommodation in summer rooms for two with private facilities on the floor costs from 1500-2000 rubles per day. Prices for a spacious cottage with a sauna, which is designed for large companies, start at 8000 rubles.

It must be borne in mind that Karelia is not the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Suggestions budget housing here is much less. The experienced travelers are advised to reserve the favorite rooms or cottages at the tourist centers beforehand. And before you arrive, don’t forget to bring your children, whether you need a shuttle to the airport or a train station, whether the tourist center has hot water and how its food is served.

Summer Holidays in Karelia

Photo: booking.com / Freegreen cottages.

Pros and cons of vacationing in Karelia – 2022

According to reviews from vacationers, a trip to Karelia in 2022 has a lot of advantages:

  • The road here does not take much time. In Karelia you can get in different ways: by plane, by train, by bus or by private car.
  • Rest in Karelia is quite budget-friendly.
  • On Karelian lakes there is a wide choice of places where you can pitch a tent. Here you can find camping sites for auto-tourists and camping on the banks of lakes and rivers.
  • Vacation in nature without a large gathering of people helps to break away from the noisy city life.

Disadvantages :

  • Short and rather rainy summers.
  • Water in most reservoirs is cool for swimming.
  • Poor quality of country roads.
  • Abundance of mosquitoes, midges and ticks in the summer season.

Despite the disadvantages noted by tourists, recreation in Karelia is very popular. Many of those who have come here once, tend to return to the Karelian forests and lakes again and again.

Articles on the topic:

Reviews about vacations in Karelia

Glamping. Photo: Hygge Camp Karelia.

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