When choosing a route, it is better to stay away from highways and megacities. To immerse yourself in the natural element, you can go deep into the forest and stop, for example, on the shore of the relic lake Yanisjärvi, the oldest in Europe. The village of Vartsila is located 270 kilometers from St. Petersburg, not far from the famous city of Sortavala.
The Karelian coniferous forests are still covered with a snow-white blanket, and hundreds of the purest lakes sparkle with their icy surface. The air at this time is especially saturated with ozone. And what picturesque and unforgettable sunsets are here at this time. The luminary goes beyond the horizon into a bright blue sky, in its rays the virgin nature of the northern region becomes even more mysterious and seductive.
On forest trails with an experienced snowmobile guide, you can scale Lynx Mountain. This area once belonged to the Finns. From the hill, there is a beautiful view of the forest and the Finnish border. In the snowy expanses you can practice skiing, skating or snowmobiling. And also get a charge of vivacity from a real Russian bath with a birch or oak broom. How delicious it is to plunge into the cool fountain of Yanisjarvi after the steam bath. And what kind of fishing at this time, you just wonder!
The lakes are still covered in dense ice. There are countless of them, they are small, called lambushki. According to the stories of experienced people, unique pikes weighing up to 25 kilograms are found here! You can easily catch a true northern walleye. This is one of the most expensive and cleanest fish that is grown in a natural environment. And then cook the catch yourself or, for example, entrust this business to experienced chefs.
Dishes like Karelian ones are hard to find anywhere else. They are prepared according to national Karelian recipes, which are passed down from generation to generation.
– In the chops called “Heart of pike”, in addition to the fish, a little fat is added. This gives the dish a spicy and unique flavor,” says Oksana Shabun, chef at the Gardarika eco-hotel-club, which is located on the very bank of the Yanisjarvi and is visited by tourists from all over the country. Its unusual name translates as “country of cities.” The Scandinavians first called the northern lands that way, then they began to call all the Rus that way.
So, choosing routes for recreation, you should definitely pay attention to Karelia. Holidays there will be unforgettable.