If you book a river cruise with Strelka Tours you will be able to visit the ancient island of Kizhi in North Karelia – a unique place which not many Russians get to see in their life. One of many islands scattered along the coastline, standing idly in the yellowish waters of the Ladoga Lake, Kizhi is recognized as the home of traditional Slavic architecture and wooden carving.
The island can only be reached on a ferry – although the boat trip itself already feels like a dream. You can notice the ornate wooden ensembles from afar – a local smithy, a bell tower, and a local settlement selling fresh berries and homemade bread and cheese. Almost every house here dates back to the 15th century. This outstanding fairytale-like 22-dome Transfiguration Church is one of Russia’s oldest architectural masterpieces and a true wooden wonder.
As you finish your sightseeing tour, jump into the hustle and bustle of the local bazaar. People in the settlement sell plant oil-based soap made by age-old recipes, traditional pottery, and wooden cookery, and cloudberry jam, a delightful treat you will only find in Karelia. Get a taste of local specialties – hearty fresh-soup and steamed lingonberry, traditional Karelian fish-pie, and many others.