Karelia is situated to the north of St.Petersburg: it stretches along the border with Finland up to the Arctic Circle and is abundant with forests, lakes and rivers, including the Ladoga and the Onega – the two largest lakes in Europe. This singular place in the Russian North is truly a land of primordial nature. The Karelia tour will take you on scenic boat rides to some of the region’s many lakes or rivers, trekking with huskies on trails in the beautiful pine forests and picking berries in the woods. Take your time. Wander around. Enjoy the scenery.
Gems of Karelia Trip Highlights
- The Kizhi Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture is one of the most unmissable greatest cultural attractions in Russia. The island contains some 83 relocated wooden buildings from the 17th to the 19th centuries, with the crown jewel being the elaborate 1714 Church of the Transfiguration
- The Valaam Archipelago is a group of 50 islands in Lake Lagoda, the largest lake in Europe. The heart of Valaam is its magnificent monastery complex, which is somewhere between 1000 and 600 years old and was at the centre of the 16th-century power struggle between the Russians and Swedes
Experience a train journey unlike any other. An adventure on rails to the top of the world, the lands above the Arctic Circle where the mythical Aurora Borealis performs her breathtaking celestial dance in the velvet black Polar night sky. This compelling 12-day Northern Lights Train Tour showcases the unique contrast between two of Russia’s most majestic cities and the isolated yet charming communities deep within the Russian and Norwegian Arctic Circle. Commencing in St. Petersburg, we visit some of the city’s most prominent historical and cultural sites, before embarking on this remarkable Arctic railway adventure in search of the elusive Aurora Borealis.
Arctic Rail Explorer Tour Highlights:
- Admire the architectural splendour of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities on a guided two-day tour of St Petersburg that includes St Isaac’s Cathedral and the Hermitage, as well as a trip to Pushkin to visit the extravagant Catherine Palace
- In the extreme north of Norway, above the Arctic Circle lies Kirkenes, a tiny frontier town near the Russian border. Ride a snowmobile across the frozen fjords outside town and try your hand at fishing for the Arctic’s most prized seafood, the king crab
On this mesmerising and romantic Moscow to St Petersburg river cruise, you’ll take in the sights, sounds and history of Russia’s heartland from the comfort of a stunning 5-star modern cruise vessel. After three days of touring the must-see sights of Moscow, we’ll sail through the Moscow Canal which connects the city to the majestic Volga River, the longest river in Europe. Heading north, you’ll experience the contrast between life in a heaving megacity and the languid pace of the gorgeous Russian countryside. Traversing the Volga with port calls in the timeless townships of Russia’s ancient Golden Ring, our Russian river cruise finishes in the glittering far northern metropolis of St Petersburg, one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Moscow to St Petersburg Volga river cruise highlights:
- Highlights of Moscow: Enjoy guided excursions to the most lauded landmarks of the Russian capital. Walk the Red Square, enter the halls of the imposing Kremlin and marvel at the works of the Russian masters at the Tretyakov Gallery
- Uglich: One of the most magnificent towns to behold from the Volga, with its brightly painted Kremlin standing proudly along the waters’ edge, Uglich is home to the Church of St Dmitry, where the last heir of Ivan the Terrible met his mysterious demise
- Yaroslavl is one of the oldest and most celebrated cities of Russia’s Golden Ring. Admire the incredible artistry of the Spassky Monastery and take part in a costumed reception at the Governer’s House