Vodlozersky National Park is situated in the northwest of Russia on the territory of the Republic of Karelia and Arkhangelsk Region.
The National Park was established in 1991 in order to preserve natural, historical and cultural heritage of this area. The Park is a federal natural reserve as well as a scientific and ecological establishment.
Currently, the total area of the Park is 468,340 ha. This is one of the biggest national parks in Europe.
Head office of the Park is situated in Petrozavodsk.
About 10 per cent of the Park area is occupied by lakes and rivers. The main lake of the Park is Lake Vodlozero with the total area of 358 square kilometers and with the total length of the coastline of 438 kilometers.
There are a lot of hills in the northern part of the Park. The highest peaks come to 300 meters. The central part is mostly plain.
Most of the forests in the Park are virgin ones and were never disturbed by industry. Taiga plant species prevail in the Park such as Siberian larch, Tatarian dogwood, Scotch pine, Norway spruce, White birch, Aspen, Juniper, Mountain Ash, Goat willow. The shrub and grass vegetation is represented by blueberry, red bilberry, heather, two-leaved bead-ruby, starflower, shamrock.
Among the mammals the most notable carnivores are Bears, Foxes, Lynxes, Martens. The Park contains one of the biggest deer populations. One can observe rare bird species which are included into the Red Data Book, such as White-tailed Eagle, Fish-hawk, Erne. In the Park there are also populations of Whooper Swan, Windhover, Gray Crane, Black Kite, Thrush Nightingale. Vodlozersky National Park is a good place for birdwatching.
Because of the remote location, Vodlozero Lake is very rich with fish - pike, pike-perch, perch etc.
Kuganavolok village located on the southern shore of Vodlozero Lake is a starting point of the most trips around the Park. Boats take visitors from Kuganavolok to cabins and guesthouses in Novguda, Okhtoma, Kanzanavolok or to the numerous islands where one can stay in a tent. Kuganavolok is a picturesque village with calm atmosphere and lots of old buildings.
Vodlozero area has always been a place of hermitry. Nowadays it is a home of several monks. In the centre of the lake stands Ilyinskiy Pogost (named after Saint Ilya) - a church founded in the 18th Century. It is a working church and services are hold several times a month.
The island of Kizhi in Lake Onego is famous for the biggest world ensemble of wooden architecture - Kizhi Museum. It is enlisted in UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Petrozavodsk is a nice city with several interesting sights and a perfect starting point for the trips to Kizhi and other cultural and nature landmarks of Karelia.
The Nature Reserve of Kivach is located to the north of Petrozavodsk (65 km).
Paanajarvi National Park is situated in the northern part of Karelia, Russia. The Polar Circle is just several kilometers far from its northern boundary.
The island of Valaam is located in Lake Ladoga. The famous Valaam Monastery was founded on the island centuries ago. It is one of the most interesting cultural, historical and nature attractions in the North of Russia.
Marble quarry in Ruskeala is an interesting and picturesque touristic object in Karelia.
The White Sea is located in the northwest of Russia. It is known for the medieval Solovetsky monastery and rich wildlife, including Beluga whales, harp seals and bearded seals, as well as numerous bird species.
Vodlozersky National Park is situated on the territory of Karelia and Arkhangelsk Region. The Park is a great place for canoeing, birdwatching, hiking and fishing.
The White Sea - Baltic Canal was built in the 30's of the 20th Century at the command of Joseph Stalin.
Onego Lake Petroglyphs assemble is located on the Besov Nos Cape which is situated at the eastern shore of Onego Lake.
The White Sea (Belomorskie) Petroglyphs are located in the forest not far from the town of Belomorsk.
There are several villages in Karelia which represent the culture and history of the local population. In some villages one can observe the examples of wooden architecture such as small churches and chapels as well as traditional houses.
Seids and labyrinths are ancient sacred places. They are believed to be the traces of ancient civilizations that inhabited Scandinavia and the north of Russia ages ago.