The Official Karelia
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Welcome to Karelia!

Karelia with its favourable geopolitical position (the longest border upon the European Union, proximity and transport accessibility to the largest Russian megacities), unique landscape and natural, rich recreation resources, centuries-old cultural and historical heritage has its special place in the tourist market and causes steady interest of Russians and citizens of foreign countries.

Total area of the republic makes 180.5 thousand square kilometers, more than 50% of its territory is covered by forest (Karelia is called "the lungs of Europe"), and about 26% – by water with lots of lakes (63,000) and rivers (27,000). In territory of Karelia there are two lakes largest in Europe – Lake Ladoga and Lake Onego. Lakes of the republic contain approximately 2000 cubic meters of fresh clear water of high quality and may become fresh water reserve for the whole Europe. Thanks to developed system of rivers and lakes, boating and lakeside vacation are very popular in Karelia.

More than one million hectares of land, or 5.6% of total area of the republic, are specially protected natural sites: national parks Paanajärvi, Vodlosersky, Kalevalsky, the Valaam Archipelago nature park, Kivach and Kostomukshsky nature reserves, 46 wildlife preserves, 108 natural monuments. There are plenty of beautiful natural landscapes. One hundred kilometers from Petrozavodsk on river Suna "...the diamond mountain strews..." where there is the largest in Europe lowland Kivach waterfalls. All these factors promote development of eco-tourism and recreation in Karelia. The first in Russia Marcial Waters spa established by emperior Peter I is located fifty kilometers from Petrozavodsk. The resort has springs of unique chalybeate mineral water second to none in the world on iron content.

Forests, lakes and rivers open up perfect opportunities for quiet vacation in Karelia out in the country and for active tourism such as hunting, fishing, safaries on snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles, rafting, canoeing and boating, eco-tours and jeep-safaries.

In territory of Karelia there are thousands of monuments of history and culture, natural monuments, historical sites of the world and national value. Among them there are Kizhi architectural museum, the Holy-Transfiguration Valaam Monastery, Karelian petroglyphs (on the White Sea and on the Lake Onego), Lappish stone labyrinths and seids. The most convenient and short way to Solovetsky Islands and to the architectural ensemble of Solovetsky Monastery is opening from the territory of Karelia.

The Republic of Karelia offers perfect conditions for recreation and development of cultural, educational, natural, ecological, sports, water and rural tourism. In the Russian tourist rating the Republic of Karelia gains the lead in active tourism preferences and is the third favourite in winter tourism.

Welcome to Karelia!

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Created: October 19, 2009. Last updated: October 19, 2009.
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