Across the Karelia Isthmus by Ski
Karelian tour map

The principal idea of this tour is to combine two things which seem to be incompatible: the lofty, human-made beauty of Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities of the world, and fascination of the wild, quasi-virgin nature, which is so rare in Europe and may be found out only fifty miles from the center of Petersburg.

While your travelling through winter Karelian forests, a sort of famous "taiga", you will make the acquaintance of the "Country of Thousand Lakes" which takes a major part of the Southern Finland and the whole Russian Karelia. Also you will discover for yourself a part of provincial Russia with its special spirit different from that of large cities.

At the same time this is a recreation place and an area of rather intense sport activity in the North-West region of Russia. Kayaking on the lakes and rivers, multi-day hiking in the virgin forests, sport orienteering in the summer and all the sorts of ski sports in the winter attract people of all the ages to Karelia. Two villages, Kavgolovo and Toksovo, in 20-25km from Petersburg form a nucleus for ski training and competitions. Ski stadium in Toksovo is where the annual Kavgolovo Games take place (a stage of the World Cross-Country Ski Cup). When skiing along well-prepared snow tracks of the stadium we can meet some of best cross-country ski professionals of the country and of the world.

Lying between the Gulf of Finland and Ladoga lake (the largest lake of Europe), the Karelian Isthmus had its landscape formed during the Ice Age. In spite of their small elevation above the sea (200m), woody hills, granite rocks, moraines, all these look like a virgin mountainous country.

Our ski trip through the winter Karelia forests takes start at Losevo village approximately 90km from Petersburg. Here a short, one kilometer water flow between two lakes of the Vuoksi system forms powerful, never freezing rapids. We shall go stopping overnight in small hotels and shelters. The temperature rarely falls lower than -15 -20C in February.

The tour was elaborated by CET "Neva" in 1992. Recently, in February '98, it had been performed for the next time by three courageous Frenchwomen. You can see some pictures of their travel in our photogallery.

Program of the Tour
Day 1. Arrival to St.Petersburg. Hotel.
Day 2. City tour.
Day 3. Morning: Toksovo ski stadium, 5 to 20 km long promenade. Lunch. By the evening to Losevo village by car or bus. Hotel.
Day 4. From Losevo to Michurinskoye through the forest by ski, 18-20km. Lodge, sauna.
Day 5. Cross-country ski around Michurinskoye, lakes, hills, excellent scenery. Visit to the local village. Return to the same lodge.
Day 6. From Michurinskoye to Lembolovo, 25-30 km by ski. Lodge. Sauna.
Day 7. Morning: around Lembolovo by ski, 3-5-10-15km. After midday return to St.Petersburg by car or bus. Hotel.
Day 8. Excursions. Farewell party.
Day 9. Departure for home.

Though this trail is not too complex, good physical shape and some practice in cross-country skiing is recommended to enjoy the tour.

Required: personal equipment for back-country skiing; cross-country skis with "scales" or ointments.

Formalities: according to standard.

Price'2005 of the tour is €395 per person in a group of 8 participants.

The price includes:
three meals a day,
transfers necessary for implementing the tour,
CET "Neva" guide(s) with supporting team.

The price does not include:
Russian visa,
personal expenses,
unexpected premature repatriation,



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