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Karelia

North Karelia: on snowshoes round Paanajarvi National Park

Paanajarvi National Park is a virgin territory in the north of Karelia on the border with Finland. Being under particular protection, it had been closed for visits before 1992 which allowed to preserve its original beauty. The park is a real paradise for those who are dreaming to escape from the daily routine and to be left tête-à-tête with the nature literally. The tour with accommodation at a cosy log hut. Every day you will walk on snowshoes and admire picturesque park landscapes. Here, mountain tops are divided by deep gorges, many lakes and the turbulent rivers with noisy rapids and waterfalls. You will see red rocks and ancient Sami sanctuaries, try traditional cuisine of Northern Karelia and if you are lucky you will be able to see the unique natural phenomenon - the Northern Lights.
  • Activity
  • Culture
  • Comfort
  • Avaliable: end of January — end of March
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Group: from 4 people
  • Border permits: a special pass to enter the frontier zone shall be made up to 60 days before the trip.
Languages: English
  • Transfer time: 5,5 hours, 320 km (crossing the border of Finland)
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Snowshoes distance: 30 km
  • Snowmobile distance: 193 km
  • Accommodation: значение
  • Flight to: Oulu (Finland)
Day 1
Arrival in Oulu, Finland. Transfer to Karelia to Pyaozersky by minivan. It will take about 5-6 hours to get there including the time for border passing. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner at the cafe.
Day 2
Excursion to the Paanajarvi Museum (1-1.5 hours). Transfer to Paanajarvi National Park by minibus. Climbing Kivakka Mount along the prepared skiing path (2 hours, 6 km). Kivakkatunturi is "a place of power" which attracts not only people but the UFOs which the park visitors have been observed many times since the park was established. Short transfer by minibus to the sleeping accommodation.
Day 3
Transfer to the start of the route to the secret waterfalls along the forest road by oversnow sledge. Walking on snowshoes in the forest (3 km). Watching the waterfalls. Lunch includes a magnificent ukha (fish soup) with cream made of freshly-caught Karelian fish cooked on the fire. Transfer to the log hut. Master class of candle rolling made of the raw bee wax. Let your friends be surprised with the hand-made souvenirs!
Day 4
Transfer to the deserted Vartiolampi village by oversnow sledge. Watching the village, the short story about the Old Believers. Walking on snowshoes to Kivakkakoski rapids (4 km). The view is really impressive not only in the summer when there is a lot of water, but also in the winter as the river does not freeze in this place even when it is - 40 degrees Celsius. Walking on the snowshoes along to the east coast of the mouth of the Olanga river. Watching Kivakkatunturi Mount.
Day 5
Snowshoe walking. We will go downstream the river Olanga to try to photograph the swans. It is a really unusual phenomenon when some couples of swans stay in the park for wintering. They live in the part of the river which is not deep and where the water never freezes.
Day 6
Today we will have a fascinating travel on snowmobiles along the western part of the park. Watching the highest point of Karelia - Nuorunen Mount (576). On the way, we will see lake Paanajarvi and Krasnye skaly (Red rocks). If you want, you can cover a part of the route walking on snowshoes. Return to Pyaozersky settlement by snowmobiles.
Day 7
Meeting Local Culture. Visit to the Karelian Log Hut Cultural Centre. The workshop is equipped with ancient Karelian manual machine tools, local women weave various cloths - rugs and various things for interior decoration. Herbal tea with “kalitka” (the Karelian pie). Visiting the local house of culture in Sofporog Settlement. You will be met by lovely elderly women who will arrange a miniconcert in the Karelian language with the Karelian and Finnish national dances.
Day 8
Transfer to the airport of Oulu (5-6 h). Flight home
Included
  • Invitation for a tourist visa
  • Medical insurance
  • English-speaking guide and instructor
  • All costs for National park permits and registration fees
  • Meeting at the Oulu airport
  • All transfers
  • Accommodation
  • 3 meal a day
  • Russian bath (sauna)
  • Rent all equipment
  • Snowmobile transfers
  • A snowmobile accompaniment
  • Entrance tickets and folk concert
Not included
  • Flights to Oulu and return tickets
  • Tourist visa fees to Russia
  • Single accommodation
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional paid services
Price for request
Options Per (persons / group) Price
Snowmobile safari Per person for request
Fishing Per person for request
Kalevala excursion Per person for request