Winter Activities in Karelia, Sortavala

Winter Activities in Karelia, Sortavala, 4 days, 4 nights

Open Russia Tours introduces a new Tour from St. Petersburg to Karelia, Sortavala, to provide excellent opportunities for snowy winter fun: snowmobiling, skiing, dog-sledding, ice fishing, and that includes the most famous and exiting historic and nature sights such as Ruskeala Mountain Park, Ahvenkoski waterfalls, Sortavala city centre and more. Our tours are led by knowledgeable guides speaking various languages, professional instructors ad top -level accommodation. The distance between St. Petersburg and Sortavala is 260 km, but you’ll cover it in 4 hours by fast train Sapsan.

The best time to travel is between mid-December and mid-March.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly to St. Petersburg

Transfer from airport to Hotel in St. Petersburg with guide’s assistance

Day 2: Sortavala, Country Club

05:30Check out of Hotel with luggage and transfer to Ladozhsky Train Station

06:15Departure by fast train to Sortavala

10:20Arrive Sortavala. Meet and greet by the local guide.

Sortavala city-tour

Over centuries, Sortavala belonged to ancient Karelians, Swedes, Finns an, now, to Russia, so there one can find an amazing interweaving of cultures and nationalities. Sortavala is deservedly called ‘a Museum of Finnish architecture’. You’ll walk through old streets, stop at the monument to the Rune singer, admire the surrounding northern landscapes and visit the Art Museum of Kronid Gogolev with traditional Karelian woodcarvings.

Lunch in а restaurant (pre-set)

Transfer to a country club (5-15 km). Checking-in to Hotel / cottages

Tour of the club territory and Ladoga Lake views.

At ‘Dacha Winter’ and ‘Ladoga Estate’ clubs you can visit the authentic houses of the former owners of these residences.

Free time for winter activities (skates, skies, sleighs are available for rent)

Dinner in the restaurant (pre-set)

Optional: Bathhouse with a steam-room

Day 3: Country Club

Breakfast at the club

AM Meeting the snowmobile instructor. A short training course on safety measures and driving technique. Getting special helmets and outfit; test drive. Circle snowmobile route along the forest and Ladoga shore: viewing most picturesque sights, islands and mountains including Vakhtimyaki Mountain known as ‘Roof of Ladoga’. 40-80 km depending on the group skills.

Picnic stop: hot tea, sandwiches, chocolate, pastries and sweets.

Return to the Club

Dinner (pre-set)

Optional: Bathhouse with a steam-room

Day 4: Country Club and train to St. Petersburg

Breakfast at the club, Checking out of the rooms (luggage on-board)

Transfer to Sortavala train station and board the retro locomotive train to Ruskeala – “Ruskeala Express”. The interior of the train is made in the style of the late 19th – early 20th centuries.

AM Departure from Sortavala

Arrival at Ruskeala Mountain Park

Tour of ‘Ruskeala’ – the park and outdoor museum of nature and mining history in Russia and Finland. The Marble Canyon, surrounded by marble walls, is impressive at any time of the year, especially in winter, when snow and marble complement each other.

Husky dog kennel at Ruskeala and a dog sledding safari

Lunch at Ruskeala (pre-set)

Transfer to Ahvenkoski waterfalls (15 min)
A cascade of picturesque waterfalls on the Tohmajoki River. The largest of the waterfalls, Ahvenkoski, reaches the height of four meters. It plunges with a hiss, growl and roar into a rather vast basin, more like a lake. Waterfalls were often filmed by Russian film directors which made them very popular.

There is a comfortable walk around waterfalls on elevated wooden roads. A store offers traditional souvenirs of Karelian birch and shungite stone, and local berries jams.

17:15Transfer to Sortavala to catch 18:45 fast train to St. Petersburg

22:43Arrive to St. Petersburg, Ladozhsky Station *

* You can also depart for Moscow by 20:25 overnight train arriving at 10:16 next morning

Transfer to Hotel, check in

TOUR EXTENSIONS

Upon request, this programme can be extended for sightseeing in St. Petersburg / or Moscow

Please fill in the Customise your tour form to give us details about your trip and your tour preferences, for this tour alone or in combination with others.