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Russian Tourist Destinations: Karelia - The Land of Lakes and Rivers
September 16, 2007 15:17


The image of Karelia, one of the Russian regions, is first of all associated with a land of blue lakes. Indeed, here there are a lot of lakes – over 61 thousand. In a number of lakes per 1000 square kilometres Karelia takes the first position not only in Russia but also in the world.

The lakes in Karelia are all different in size – starting with small inland lakes that have no name, and ending with some largest lakes in Europe, such as Ladozhskoye and Onezhskoye Lakes. The prevailing number of lakes is those taking the total area over one square kilometre; however, there are many bigger lakes in the region – taking up to 10 and more square kilometres, and 20 of them – over 100 square kilometres. The average number of lakes in Karelia is much higher than that in one of the countries it is neighbouring with – Finland, and twice more than in the Murmansk Region of Russia.

Many of the lakes were formed as a result of tectonic movements of the earth crust, but the majority of them appeared due to the ploughing and accumulating effect of glaciers. Lakes of the first type usually have a prolate form, high rocky shores, and mainly a small quantity of islands. The configuration of the lakes of glacial origin is generally more diverse – they can be characterized with a great number of islands, bays, gulfs, and a relatively small depth. However, many of the lakes in Karelia are of mixed origin which adds special colouring to their scape.

The deepest lake in Karelia is Ladozhskoye – its maximum depth reaches 260 metres. The second deepest lake is Onezhskoye – 126 metres deep. The depth of many of the Karelian lakes lays within 20-50 metres, but at the same time there are also multiple lakes the depth of which hardly exceeds 10 metres. The shores of Karelian lakes are very beautiful too: they are often rocky, full of boulders, and surrounded with forest rich in berries and mushrooms.

The large lakes in Karelia are linked with channels and big and small rivers the number of which in the region is nearly 27 thousand with a total length of 83 thousand kilometres. This shows that the rivers in Karelia are mainly short – the length of the majority of the rivers does not even exceed 10 kilometres while the biggest rivers there are 260-360 kilometres long.

A great number of rivers and the diversity of barriers in their beds make the region highly attractive for travellers seeking active leisure. Here it is not hard to choose a water route of any complexity. The most popular rivers are Shuya, Suna, Vodla, Chirka-Kem, Onda, Pongoma, Kuzema, Vodlitsa, and many others.

An object of special interest of tourists is the multiple Karelian waterfalls which are also very diverse. Nevertheless, only one regional waterfall – Kivach – has obtained wide fame.

The White Sea – the only Russian inland sea – completes the hydrographical picture of Karelia. The sea has its own exceptional attractiveness, its own fauna with dwelling whales, picturesque islands, and rich history. It is also the place where widely famous Solovetskiye Islands with their eponymous Solovetsky Monastery are situated.

Source:     www.gov.karelia.ru

Natalya Lavrentyeva


Tags: Russian tourism Karelia Solovki   

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