S.Petersburg. Winter fun in Karelia

Language English, Russian
Price 1 600,00 USD for excursion
Capacity 12 persons max
Duration 6 days

Republic of Karelia is a beautiful region with Northern character. In this journey you will learn about the history and culture of native population of Karels and Russians, feel real Russian winter with lots of snow, winter fun and activities, and during the whole way of 1250 km you will admire incredible Northern nature!

We will visit the medieval fortress of Vyborg, which has experienced many battles, but it is still remained as a silent witness to the events of the past! You will try yourself in the role of a musher to take a ride in a fascinating dog sledding race! You will drive across the snowy spaces of the forest braking silence with the roar of snowmobile and then you’ll "get some hot" in banya – traditional Russian sauna. You will visit traditional Karelian village and ethnic Russian village-park where you will learn about culture and life of Karelian and Russian people

Excursions:

- Visiting of medieval fortress in Vyborg

- Beautiful marble quarry Ruskeala

- Traditional Karelian Village

- Non-typical zoo of Karelian animals

- Visiting of the largest kennel of sledding dogs in Russia

- Alexander Svirskiy Orthodox Monastery

Active Entertainments:

- Snowmobiling

- Banya (traditional Russian sauna)

- Dog sledding

- Workshop

- Traditional Russian horse sledding

- Optional activities: zip-line or ropejumping, horseback riding, shooting with the gun or arbalest.

ITENARARY

Day 1. Travel to medieval European city

Today we will start our unforgettable adventures in a winter Wonderland! The first point of our trip will be small city Vyborg which is located in 35 km from the Russian-Finnish border, that was founded in 1293 by the Swedes. During one of their Crusades they have noticed benefecial location of Castle island, where there was a small Karelian fortress. The fortress was captured and in 1293 Swedes have built a fortified stone castle at this place. During its history Vyborg belonged to Sweden, Russian Empire, Finland, Soviet Union and now Russia.

We will visit the famous Vyborg Castle, that is located on the island in Vyborg Bay and get to the St. Olav’s tower to watch stunning views of the city!

After that we will walk around the center of Vyborg and will have a lunch in Round Tower which is another attraction of the city.

After lunch we will say good bye to Leningrad oblast and drive out of Vyborg to meet Karelia!

Day 2. The incredible beauty of Karelian nature

Today we will have very vivid and active day! We will start it with snowmobile tour across the winter trails of gorgeous Karelia. We are going to ride through the forest, breaking silence with the roar of snowmobile engine and having a portion of adrenaline! We’ll ride away from highways to meet a fairy winter forest with huge snow drifts and trees, covered with a snow blanket!

After this tour we will visit the stunningly beautiful marble quarry Ruskeala – a valuable treasure of Karelian nature! You will see huge and extremely beautiful marble rocks and learn how marble, that was used in decorating of several buildings of Saint Petersburg, was formed here layer by layer through the centuries. Extreme lovers can experience breathtaking rope-jumping from the rock and zip-line along the whole quarry!

After the day in winter nature we will spend the evening in banya – traditional Russian sauna. This is a perfect place to “heat the bones”, and very good for health as prophylactic of many diseases! During banya everybody who wishes can jump in the snow like Russians do As for me, I will do it for sure !

Day 3. Meeting with indigenous people and inhabitants of the forests of Karelia

Today we will visit traditional Karelian village which is more than 200 years old. Here we will chat with local people and get acquainted with Karelian traditions, way of life, etc. And of course at lunch we will try different dishes of traditional Karelian cuisine.

Our next stop will be at the zoo. You know, I don’t like zoos, because I think that all wild animals should live in the nature… But this is a very unique zoo and we will visit it to support the project. Animals, who live here are the lucky ones, who have got a second chance for life, because they almost 100% should die in wild nature. Some of them came here because of disease, some of them got injuries from hunting traps, some of them were too small when lost their parents, etc. During the tour around zoo, you will learn a unique life story of every animal and will see almost all wild animals which live in Karelia.

Day 4. Is it easy to be a musher?

This day will be one of the most memorable day of our journey! Today we will meet and spend time with huskies – the most friendly dogs in the world We will go to the largest kennel of sled dogs in Russia! You will learn about character and hierarchy of huskies and history of the breed. Huskies enjoy to get attention and love to play with people, so we promise you a bunch of positive, warm hugs and cool happy photos! And then you are going to try yourself as a musher! We will have a 10 km route in the forest roads and you will be the one, who drive the sleds!

After having fun with huskies we are driving to stylized ethnic Russian village where we’ll spend the night and the whole next day.

Day 5. Feel wide Russian soul by living the whole day in Ethnical Russian village!

This will be a day full of new emotions dedicated to fun in Ethnical Russian village-park Verkhnie Mandrogi! We will taste traditional Russian food and get new experience trying to do something by our own hands during workshops, also we will communicate with horses and ride a traditional Russian sleigh with 3 horses. If you want, you can shoot from real gun or arbalest or take a lesson of horseback riding.

Day 6. Saint Petersburg – the treasury of Russian Architecture

This morning we are going to the last point of our journey – incredible Saint Petersburg!

On the way we will visit Alexander-Svirsky Orthodox Monastery, which history starts from 1530. The monastery itself has very beautiful architecture and is located in a very scenic place. This monastery has very rich history, which includes both tragic and triumphal periods. After walking in monastery, we will continue our trip to Saint Petersburg.

On arrival you can go to hotel or we can go for a walk in the historical center of Saint Petersburg.

Today we can also spend the evening with Long and cozy Farewell Dinner with chatting, laughing and refreshing all amazing adventures that we have experienced together!

WHAT IS INCLUDED:

- Group airport transfers

- Transport on tour

- 3* Hotel accommodation in twin-rooms

- Food: Daily breakfasts on the route, lunch in Karelian village, lunch and dinner in husky dog sledding base, lunch in Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, snacks and drinks during long drivings on the route

- Entry fees to attractions and sightseeing

- Active Entertainments: Snowmobiling, banya (Russian sauna), dog sledding, workshop, traditional Russian horse sledding

- All necessary consultations and 24-hours support during the trip

- English/Russian speaking guides or translation. If your group needs translation to another language – please, mention it when booking

- Russian visa support letter

- Photos and movie with your adventures in Russia

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:

- Interpreter to another language (not Russian/English). If you have a group and you need a translation in your language, please, mention about it when booking

- Travel medical insurance

- Russian Visa fees

- Lunches and dinners that are not mentioned above and alcohol (approximately 30-50$ per day)

- Souvenirs, tips and other personal expenses

- Optional activities: zip-line (30$), ropejumping (30$), horseback riding (50$), shooting with the gun (20$ for 10 shots), shooting with arbalest (10$ for 10 shots) and others that are not mentioned in main program

- Additional experiences and activities that are not included in program

- Individual transfers during free time

- Additional payment for single accomodation: $350 / €330

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