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Ecotourism in Russia: Paanajärvi National Park (Republic of Karelia)
April 19, 2019 21:24


(Source: https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/tiina)

The Republic of Karelia is a famous land of wild forests, countless lakes and rivers, a favorite place for fishing and ecotourism. Paanajärvi National Park is located in the very north of Karelia, near the border with Finland, and despite the harsh climate, is accessible to visitors all year round.

The nature of these places is glorified in many Karelian songs - hills covered with dense forests, slightly humid air, and fast streams running down from the mountains. The tranquility   of Paanajärvi is amazing: although up to 3 thousand tourists come here every year, the park's ecosystem remains untouchable, and the landscapes seem to echo from the pre-civilizational era.



Since 1992, the park has been recognized as a conservation area, so there is not a single settlement on its territory, and access to two thirds of the reserve is closed to tourists.

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What to see

Paanajärvi is a great place for hiking and outdoor activities. Paths and major attractions are marked with signs, tent parking and simple wooden huts for overnight stays are organized. There are several routes around the reserve, some of which will take only one day, others - up to a week; in winter, snowmobile trails are made (equipment can be rented on site), and in summer some tours run along the lakes.



The park is located near the Arctic Circle, therefore, spectacular flashes of the northern lights are often observed here.

The route to the peak Nourunen passes through the mountain tundra - 21 km of ascent through the marshland, surrounded by low-growing trees and mosses. This is the highest point of Karelia, offering a breathtaking view of the Karelian and Finnish natural beauty.

Mount Kivakka is lower, and easier to get to - only 5 km along well-maintained paths.

Small but very deep lake Paanajärvi is the cleanest reservoir full of fish and framed by picturesque wooded shores. Fishing there   is allowed under a special license, which is issued in the park's visitor center. The loud and wide Kivakkakoski waterfall forms picturesque cascades on the Olanga River, it is also included in the main park routes. On the territory of the park you can meet squirrels, hares and elks, not  afraid of humans.



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Practical information

Address: Karelia, Loukhi district;

The park's visitor center is located in Pyaozersky, Druzhby Street, 31. Coordinates: 66 ° 9 ′ 45 ″ N, 30 ° 32 ′ 37 ″ E.

How to get there:

by car: the highway “St. Petersburg – Murmansk” to Loukhi, then 110 km to the west to Pyaozersky;

by bus from St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk or Loukhi.

Opening hours: the visitor center is open on weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00, staying in the park is allowed daily. Cost: from 200 to 1000 RUB per day depending on the chosen program.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian National Parks ecotourism Karelia Russian regions travel to Russia 

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