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Lake Valdai
November 26, 2020 17:58


Lake Valdai is located in the Novgorod region and is the main attraction of the Valdai national park. The reservoir received the status of a natural monument. This source belongs to the Baltic Sea basin. The reservoir itself is of glacial origin. Every year, a huge number of tourists come to the spring; there are equipped recreational areas on the coast where you can pitch a tent.

The Iversky Monastery is located on one of the islands in the center of Valdai. During the fishing season, fishermen come to the reservoir. There are many recreation centers and hotels here.

Features of the lake

The lake is located in the central part of the Valdai National Park of the Novgorod Region. The city of Valdai is located on the western side of the reservoir. This is one of the cleanest lakes in Russia with fresh water. The average depth of Lake Valdai is 12 meters. In some places of the reservoir, the depth reaches almost 60 meters.  The lake is stretched from north to south for almost 40 kilometers. Its width is 32 kilometers. In the center of the reservoir there is Ryabinovy Island, which divides it into two parts. The spring is connected to Lake Uzhin by the artificial canal "Kopkoy". There are small sandy areas along the coast. The largest islands of this reservoir are Berezovy, Ryabinovy and Patochny. On one of the Valdai islands there is a local landmark - a complex of buildings of the Iversky Monastery. The lake, according to its hydrological features, belongs to the type of stagnant water bodies. Water renewal in the source occurs approximately once every 40 years. At the very bottom of the lake there are natural springs with cold water. Thanks to them, fresh water is restored in the source. The weather on Lake Valdai is typical for an area with a temperate continental climate. The reservoir is covered with ice from December to May. Summers are warm, winters last 4–5 months. The average temperature in January is -10 º. The minimum air temperature in winter was recorded at around -50 º. In winter, there is less rainfall than in summer. The summer season starts in June and ends in mid-September. The average monthly temperature in July is + 16… + 17 º. The water temperature in Lake Valdai in summer rises to + 15 ... + 17 º. The upper layers of the reservoir warm up poorly.

Tourism and prices

The national park with the adjacent territory and the main attraction - Lake Valdai annually attracts thousands of tourists to this place. Sandy beaches, picturesque coastlines covered with forests, a variety of vegetation, the opportunity to relax on the coast in a tent, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms - all this awaits tourists here. You can visit a thematic exposition or choose a guided tour (walking or by bus). An entertainment and educational trail has been organized for children as part of their recreation in the Valdai National Park. For lovers of active recreation there are walking tours. The price of excursion routes depends on the number of people in the group. The cost of a ticket in a group of up to 10 people is from 150 to 200 rubles.   Prices for tourist routes are slightly higher, but also depend on the number of people in the group. For a group of up to 10 people, the cost of the excursion is from 150 to 250 rubles.   On the shores of Lake Valdai, you can relax in a camping park, pitch a tent, go fishing, visit the Iversky Monastery.

Recreation centers

About 60 thousand tourists come here annually. On the territory of the park near Lake Valdai there are recreation centers and hotels  for any budget. You can also rent guest houses from the national park. The average price tag for a hotel room is about 2,000 rubles. The cost depends on the class and the number of people in the room. Renting an apartment or a lake house will cost more.


During the summer season, camping sites are very popular by Lake Valdai. For those who like camping on the territory of the Valdai National Park, there are 80 tourist sites with a capacity of 4 to 100 people. In the north of Lake Valdai there are 3 campgrounds. An information stand with rules of conduct and contacts for communication is installed near each such site. Camping is paid. You can get a receipt from the park administration or from the state inspector. The price per day for one person is 100 rubles.


The reservoir in the Novgorod region is the most popular place for fishing enthusiasts. The fishing season on Lake Valdai is year-round. The pristine nature of the reservoir has been preserved thanks to the ban on the use of motorized watercraft. Most fish are found in the small lakes of the reserve. Due to the fact that the water in the source is stagnant and transparent, it is more difficult to catch large fish. In this case, the fish is afraid of the shadow above the water. Experienced fishermen advise using tackle and fishing from the shore. About 20 species of fish are found here.

Iversky monastery

An Orthodox monastery was erected on the Selvitsky island of Lake Valdai. The construction of the monastery complex began in 1653 at the initiative of Patriarch Nikon. During the Soviet era, the monastery was closed, and the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God was lost. In the post-war years, disabled soldiers and children suffering from tuberculosis lived on the territory of the former temple. In 1970, a recreation center was built on the territory of the former Church. The monastery was returned to Orthodox believers only in 1991. Today the complex of the monastery buildings has been restored. The island is supplied with electricity and an asphalt road. On the territory of the Iversky Monastery there are buildings of the 17th – 19th centuries, the Assumption Cathedral and the museum of the history of the temple.

Other lakes of the national park

In addition to Lake Valdai, a large number of other reservoirs are located in the territory of the national park. The most famous among them are Seliger, Velie, Boroe, Yelchinskoe and Beloe. Lake Seliger is only partly included in the nature protection zone of the Valdai Park. It is located on the border of the Novgorod and Tver regions. Lake Velje was subject to the least anthropogenic load. The reservoir is located within the boundaries of the national park and includes about 200 large and small islands. The reservoirs Beloe and Boroe are located in the southwest of Lake Valdai. They are located about 500 meters from each other.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Valdai national park Valdai Valdai lake Russian nature Russian national parks 

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