Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

Lakes, quarries and waterfalls, as well as amazing Kizhi, ancient temples and even the estate of Father Frost – all this is Karelia. How to see the most interesting places in one trip? Read our travel expert’s plan!

How to get there

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

This is a route for traveling by car. If you don’t have a car, you can rent one through OneTwoTrip.

If you do not want to travel by car from Moscow, you can get to Petrozavodsk by train or fly by plane, and then travel by buses and trains.

Flights Moscow —  Petrozavodsk costs from 1,000 rubles. The flight is only 1 hour 40 minutes. The train journey will last from 12 hours. A one-way ticket for one person costs from 1,525 rubles.

Find train and air tickets on OneTwoTrip.

Day 1. Moving from Moscow to Belozersk

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

We suggest making the first stop along the way in the town of Belozersk in the Vologda region. The distance from Moscow to Belozersk is just over 600 km, you will get there in 9 hours. The road runs first along the Volga, then along the Rybinsk Reservoir, and along the way you will pass through Rybinsk and Cherepovets.

Belozersk, founded in 862, is considered one of the most ancient cities of Rus’. The city is picturesquely located on the shores of Lake Beloye, and the main attraction here is the snow-white Transfiguration Cathedral. In addition, Belozersk is famous for its nice wooden architecture.

We offer an overnight stay in a cozy guest house on the shore of the lake.

  • Guest complex “Priozerye”

 Day 2. Transfer from Belozersk to Petrozavodsk

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

Traveling from Belozersk to Petrozavodsk will take approximately 7 hours, the distance between the cities is 400 km. The road will run along the southwestern part of Lake Onega.

Along the way, you can make a stop in the ancient Vepsian village of Sheltozero. Vepsians, or Chud, are a small indigenous people of Karelia. Thanks to the large number of traditional houses preserved in their original form, the entire village is considered a historical monument.

Days 2–6. Petrozavodsk and Kizhi

We suggest staying in Petrozavodsk for 3 full days. The city offers comfortable hotels and easy access by car to various attractions in the surrounding area.

We have selected a hotel for you in Petrozavodsk for 4 nights:

  • Piter Inn Petrozavodsk


Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

One day can be devoted to the sights of the city itself. Be sure to take a walk along the Onega embankment, look at the modern city sculpture “Fishermen”, and find the Monument to Peter I in Petrovsky Square. 

Take a look at one of the city’s museums – Petrozavodsk is home to the Polar Odyssey Maritime Museum, the National Museum of the Republic of Karelia and the Museum of Fine Arts of Karelia. And just walk around the city, looking at architectural monuments and churches.


Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

One day is worth setting aside for a trip to Kizhi. You can get to the village of Velikaya Guba (270 km from Petrozavodsk) and from there get to Kizhi by water taxi. In addition, you can get to Kizhi as part of an excursion.

The architectural ensemble “Kizhi” is a valuable monument of wooden architecture, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Museum opening hours: from 08:00 to 20:00.

The patrimony of Karelian Father Frost Talvi Ukko

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

For one day you can go to visit Karelian Santa Claus. Here you can visit a husky nursery, walk around a reindeer farm and visit a Sami village. Center opening hours: from 10:00 to 17:00.

Days 6–8. Kondopoga and Kivach waterfall

We suggest staying for two more days near Kondopoga. From this city it will be convenient to get to the Kivach waterfall, as well as to the most beautiful places of Lake Onega. The road from Petrozavodsk to Kondopoga by car will take an hour, the distance between the cities is 60 km. There is also a bus between the cities, the journey takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

We suggest staying in a cottage near Kondopoga for two nights.

  • Chunki Tourist Village


Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

The most famous waterfall in Karelia, located on the territory of the reserve of the same name. The road from Kondopoga to the waterfall will take half an hour.

Marcial waters

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

Also from Kondopoga in half an hour you can get to the Marcial Waters resort, which is famous for its mineral springs.

Lake Onega

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

One of the most picturesque places on Lake Onega are the Lizhemskaya and Unitskaya bays, notable for their numerous rocky outcrops. To get to these places, take the villages of Lizhma and Unitsa as reference points. And not far from them you will find the abandoned village of Pegrema. Another amazing place on the lake is the Zaonezhsky Peninsula (landmark – Medvezhyegorsk).

Days 8–11. Ruskeala Mountain Park

From Kondopoga we suggest heading towards the border with Finland – to the Ruskeala mountain park. The journey by car from Kondopoga will take about 4 hours, the distance between the cities is 300 km.

We suggest staying for a few nights in a guest house next to the park.

  • Guest house “King of the Mountain”

Ruskeala Mountain Park

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

An incredibly beautiful mountain park formed on the site of a marble quarry. The marble mined here was used to decorate St. Petersburg under construction (decoration of the Mikhailovsky Castle, Marble Palace, Hermitage, St. Isaac’s Cathedral). Today the quarry is flooded with water of amazing emerald color, and along the perimeter of the canyon there are hiking trails with observation platforms.

Day 11. Transfer from Sortavala to Veliky Novgorod

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

On the way back we suggest going through Veliky Novgorod. The journey to it by car will take about 6.5 hours, the distance between the cities is 460 km. You can also take a train to St. Petersburg, and then change to a train to Novgorod. This journey will take at least 12 hours.

Walk through the compact and cozy historical center of the city and be sure to visit the St. Sophia Cathedral, a monument of ancient Russian architecture built in the 11th century.

We have selected for you two hotel options in Veliky Novgorod for one night:

  • Park Inn Veliky Novgorod
  • Volkhov Hotel

Day 12. Moving from Veliky Novgorod to Moscow

Route around Karelia from travel expert OneTwoTrip

The distance from Veliky Novgorod to Moscow is about 600 km. The journey will take 7 hours. Along the way, you can visit the Valdai National Park and see the amazing Iversky Monastery.

If you are traveling without a car, take the train. A ticket from Novgorod to Moscow costs from 1,465 rubles, the journey takes 8 hours.

If you’re planning a trip, we recommend booking your hotel on OneTwoTrip in advance so you don’t have to think about it during your trip.

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