Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting in Russia

Karelia

Highlights

  • Scenic drive to your destination
  • XV century Solovetsky monastery on the White sea archipelago
  • Kizhi island open air wooden architecture museum
  • Watch bears, moose, harp seals, ladoga lake seals reindeer and eider ducks
  • Fish for pike, Atlantic salmon, arctic char and grayling
  • Kivach waterfalls
  • lake Ladoga Valaam archipelago with one of the oldest Russian monasteries
  • Ruskeala mountain park nature preserve

Destination overview

Karelia is an infinitely beautiful, harsh land not far from St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg, in the north-west of Russia, in close proximity to the Arctic Circle. Karelia is a country of pristine and wild forests, 60,000 lakes – including the two largest lakes in Europe, Ladoga and Onega – 27,000 rivers – 30 of which have a length of more than 150 km ­– and endless mossy bogs. The river rapids of Karelia vary in degree of complexity and are filled with beautiful waterfalls. It is a country of majestic islands and a calm, still and mirror-like surface of lakes. Karelia is the country of cloudy blue skies, white nights, and the winter fireworks of the Northern Lights. It is the country of waterfalls, rapids, and granite Ladoga fjords. Russian Lapland begins in the north of Karelia ­– a real magnet for adventurers and lovers of active tourism.

Holidays in Karelia will be the embodiment of the dreams of everyone who delights in canoeing, kayaking, and rafting on wild rivers, on the connecting endless streams of lakes, or on the White Sea. Travelling around Karelia will be appreciated both by lovers of historical architecture – ancient monasteries abound, including the Solovetsky Monastery founded in the early 15th century on a tiny archipelago near the southern coast of the White Sea, or the majestic 300-year-old wooden churches on the island of Kizhi on Lake Onega – and by fans of natural beauty.

Numerous routes here are designed for people with solid physical and technical background, as well as for “green” beginners, and even for families with children.

We are ready to offer trips to Karelia to all those who wish to try their hand at kayaking and canoeing trips on the rivers Uksa, Shuya, Okhta, Vama, Vonga, Pista, Vodla, and many others. We want to show you the beauty of the Karelian land in sea kayaks along the coastline of the White Sea, the islands of Lake Onega, and the Ladoga skerries and fjords. 

The population of Karelia is just over 600,000 people, and the area of the territory is 170,000 square kilometers. The low population density, which is about 10 times lower than in neighboring Finland, means that meetings with people during wilderness travel in Karelia are extremely rare. But you may see a bear, elk, lynx, wolf, wolverine, reindeer, rare birds of prey and rare sea ducks, as well as unique marine and freshwater mammals.

You can get to any point of Karelia from St. Petersburg by train or car, or you can fly to Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia.

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