Grand Karelia Tour 6 days

Description of the tour

A comprehensive tour of Karelia, including the Solovetsky Islands. 
Visit churches at Kizhi, Valaam and on the Solovetsky islands. 
Take a walk in Ruskeala marble canyon and Kivach Reserve. 
Learn about the White Sea - Baltic Canal.
Taste local food in the historical village of Kinerma.

Route: Petrozavodsk – Kizhi - Kinerma – Ruskeala – Sortavala - Valaam – Sortavala – Petrozavodsk - Kivach – Povenets – Kem - Solovetsky

More info

Tour program:

Day 1. Petrozavodsk – Kizhi - Petrozavodsk
~07:00 (09:00) - Arrival in Petrozavodsk by train from St. Petersburg (Moscow). 
Meeting at the train station, transfer to the hotel. 
Breakfast at the hotel.
~11:15 - Departure by boat for Kizhi. 
~12:45 – Arrival at Kizhi.
Walking tour of the Kizhi Museum with a local English-speaking guide. 
~16:45 - Departure back for Petrozavodsk. 
~18:15 - Return to Petrozavodsk. 
Overnight in Petrozavodsk.

Day 2. Petrozavodsk – Kinerma – Ruskeala - Sortavala
~09:00 - Transfer to the traditional Karelian village of Kinerma. 
~10:30 - Walking tour of the village, lunch with local meals. 
~13:00 - Transfer to Ruskeala. 
~16:30 - Tour to the marble quarries of Ruskeala which were the source of stone for St.Petersburg palaces. 
~18:30 - Accommodation and overnight at the hotel in Sortavala.

Day 3. Sortavala – Valaam – Sortavala – Petrozavodsk
Breakfast at the hotel. 
~09:00 - In the morning take a boat for the tour of Valaam Island and Monastery. 
~10:00 - Visit the central Transfiguration Cathedral, the Church of the Resurrection, observe fairy-tale Gethsemane Skete, and enjoy the beautiful forests and lake landscapes of the Island. In between of the tours the Monastery choir performs a short but impressive concert of the church songs. Lunch is served at the refectory and includes typical monastery meals such as vegetarian soup and fish. 
~16:00 - Return to Sortavala and drive to Petrozavodsk. 
~21:30 - Dinner and overnight at hotel in Petrozavodsk.

Day 4. Petrozavodsk – Kivach – Povenets - Kem
Breakfast at the hotel. 
~08:00 - Transfer to Kivach Nature Reserve. 
~09:30 - Observe Kivach Waterfalls and take a walking tour along the ecological trail in the protected part of the Reserve 
~14:00 - Visit the village of Povenets, observe the White Sea - Baltic Canal built in Stalin's time. 
Transfer to Kem. 
~19:00 - Accommodation at the hotel in Kem. 
Overnight in Kem.

Day 5. Kem - Solovetsky
~08:00 - Departure by boat for Solovetsky Island. 
~10:00 - Arrival at Solovetsky Island, transfer to the hotel. 
~14:00 - Walking tour of Solovetsky Monastery. 
Evening is free. Optional visits - Maritime Museum, Gulag Museum or the White Sea coast. 
Overnight at Solovetsky.

Day 6.Solovetsky - Kem
Breakfast at the hotel. 
~10:00 - Tour to Zayatsky Island. It is a small tranquil island in about 45 minutes boat ride from the Monastery. The main places of interest of Zayatsky, covered with the tundra-type vegetation are its mysterious stone labyrinths dating back about 4000 years and a small wooden church of St. Andrew (1702). 
Transfer to the pier. 
~16:00 - Departure for Kem 
~18:00 - Arrival in Kem. 

Transfer to the train station.
~20:25 - Departure to St. Petersburg by train (arrival St. Petersburg next day at about 12:00 noon). Tickets are not included.
Train for Moscow leaves on the next day early in the morning, extra night in Kem is required.


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