The Russian Winter Adventure.


Day 1


Overnight: St. Petersburg four-star Hotel Ambassador.

Arrival to St. Petersburg airport SPB.

  • Optional:
    Transfer service airport to hotel.

Day 2


Overnight: Petrozavodsk four-star Hotel Karelia.

Morning: City tour of St Petersburg.
Afternoon: Transfer to Petrozavodsk.

Without a doubt, Saint Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Built on the water, it enjoys a romantic atmosphere similar to Venice emboldened with the bold Russian architecture and cosiness of the winter tones. During the tour we would see the famous Winter Palace, St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Nevsky convent and more. In the afternoon we will take the train to Petrozavodsk and transfer to the hotel.

Day 3


Overnight: Petrozavodsk four-star Hotel Karelia.

Morning: City tour of Petrozavodsk.
Evening: Return to hotel.

Karelia has been a territory fought through centuries by Russia, Sweden and Finland. Today the territory of Karelia extends across the borders between Russia and Finland. Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic of Karelia and home of valued architectural treasures. During the tour we’ll visit the village of Kinerma and the Chapel of St. Mary and many examples of extraordinary Russian wooden arquitecture. For lunch we’ll enjoy a meal in a traditional Karelian establishment and we’ll take a cooking lesson on traditional Karelian food.

Day 4


Overnight: Petrozavodsk four-star hotel.

Morning: Excursion to Kizhi island.

Today we take a ferry cruise across Lake Onega to visit the Open Air Museum in Kizhi. The entire island has been an ethnographic museum since 1951 and it’s one of the first founded in Russia. In here we’ll find some of the oldest wooden constructions in Russia, dating back to the 14th century. The museum provides more than 40000 exhibits distributed in 80 buildings.

The crown jewel of Kizhi is the famous Pogost, a complex of churches elaborated entirely in wood without the use of metal nails, or any metal at all for that matter. The structures are hold together by a complex system of wood pegs and intricate interconnecting parts. UNESCO added the Pogost to its World Heritage list in 1990. During the tour, we will know about the construction process. After lunch we’ll head back to Petrozavodsk.

Day 5


Overnight: St. Petersburg four-star Hotel Ambassador.

Morning: Excursion to the Husky Farm.
Afternoon: Snowmobile excursion. Transfer to St. Petersburg.

Our day begins with an excursion to a Husky farm, where we would learn everything about this noble dogs. We’ll learn as well, how to prepare a dog-pulled sleigh and take it for a ride through the winter landscape. Once back at the farm, we'll enjoy a local lunch.

And if think the first ride if fun, get ready for the second one, this time with snowmobiles, an excursion of thirty kilometres through the Karelian winter forest. We return to Petrozavodsk and take the train to St. Petersburg.

Day 6


Departure from St. Petersburg airport SPB.

  • Optional:
    Transfer service hotel to airport.
Itinerary map of Best of Lapland tour
Welcome to Saint Petersburg
Hermitage Museum
Canals in St Petersburg
Kizhi island
Lake Ladoga
Great view from the woods
Kizhi open air museum
Winter in Saint Petersburg

What's Included in the Tour


  • 5x Nights accommodation in four-star category hotels:
    • 2x nights in St. Petersburg, Hotel Ambassador.
    • 3x nights in Petrozavodsk, Hotel Karelia.
  • 5x Buffet-style breakfasts at hotels.
  • Entrances and visits:
    • St. Petersburg city tour.
    • Petrozavodsk city tour.
    • Peter and Paul Fortress.
    • Kinerma Village.
    • Kizhi’s Open Air Museum.
    • Husky farm.
  • Railway tickets SPB-PES-SPB 2nd class.
  • Ferry transfer Petrozavodsk to Kizhi Island.
  • Comfort coach with climate control.
  • Local guides in SPB, PES and Kizhi.

  • Notes:
    Hotel ratings are shown according to the date of this publication. Bear in mind customer reviews may vary.


  • Hotel Ambassador St. Petersburg
    Ambassador Hotel St. Petersburg
    TripAdvisor: ⦿⦿⦿⦿ 4/5
    950 Reviews
  • Hotel Karelia
    Hotel Karelia
    TripAdvisor: ⦿⦿⦿⦿⦾ 4.5/5
    254 Reviews

The Russian Winter Adventure.

If you ask me, I have to tell you. No one ever bother to see the North of Russia. Most people would land on St. Petersburg, spend few days around, then take the train to Moscow, spend some days there as well and, that's it. That's the tour most people do. The thing is, this is not a tour for most people. This is a tour for those looking for more than just the usual stuff.

We begin in St. Petersburg, a city famous for its flamboyant architecture with over-indulgent splashes of gold noticeable on almost every building. If you ever wonder about Russians love for all things glitter, here is your answer and It began with the Tzar's daughter, Elizabeth Petrovna. Peter the Great might have built St. Petersburg on top of a marshland but Elizabeth, fond of all things western-European, teamed up with Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and transformed St. Petersburg into what we can see today. A golden fusion of Russian and Baroque architecture.

In the winter St. Petersburg is an explosion of lights, perhaps to accentuate the gold all over the city, when the sun is down and the days are short. By the way, yes, it's cold. But hey, you know what they say: there is no bad weather only bad clothes, so come prepared.

Leaving St. Petersburg, we take our coach Northbound to the Republic of Karelia. Located between the Finnish border and the White Sea, this territory has been disputed ever since the XII century. First Swedish, then Russian, then Finnish, and then, Russian again. Now it is divided between Finland and Russia. The status of Karelia continues to be somewhat disputed to this date, with some people still hoping for its unification. Who knows, perhaps someday.

Kizhi wooden church, Karelia
Photo: Victor Malyushev

We arrive in Karelia's capital, Petrozavodsk. Here we'll find numerous examples of Russian architecture like the village of Kinerma and the Chapel of St. Mary. Russian wooden architecture is very special with intricate carved details. In some cases they use no nails or any type of metal connections, only pieces of wood cleverly assembled to form a complete self-supported structure.

The Republic of Karelia is popular for its vast beautiful natural landscapes, but perhaps the most interesting attraction would be Kizhi Island. With just six kilometres in length, this island contains the national open air museum with about 80 ancient wooden structures, which include the Pogost, made UNESCO World Heritage site 1990. This is one of the most remarkable examples of Russian wooden architecture. To this day it has been carefully preserved by specialised artisans who take care in maintaining the building by using the exact same techniques employed by its original builders more than five centuries ago.

On our fifth day, we break up with the cultural sightseeing and get ready to enjoy a bit of action. We start with a visit to the Husky farm. The noble Husky dogs have been of critical importance to the peoples living above the Arctic Circle. They are friendly, dependable and resilient, but also loyal company and great helpers in time of need. We'll learn how to prepare a dog sleigh and of course, take it for a ride!

In the afternoon, and after a well deserved local lunch, we get prepare for the second ride of the day, this time on snowmobiles. Here in the North, this vehicles replaced the sleigh as the number-one form of transportation (which is great for the dogs!). Also, snowmobiles are the best way to see more of the Karelian winter forests.

Karelia in winter
Photo: Pavel Bolotovskii

All in all, the Republic of Karelia offers an opportunity to discover Russia afresh, beyond the stereotypes and deeply rooted in its traditions. Non-urban Russia is, in many ways, the real Russia. And I know, some people might feel a bit uneasy to come here just because of the cold weather (most Hollywood movies portray Russia as a cold dreary place), but in reality you would be so fascinated by all the things around you that you'll barely think of cold at all. Just put some proper winter clothes on, and go!