Karelian Isthmus for the family: from Ladoga to the Gulf of Finland – Road.Travel

Karelian Isthmus for the family: from Ladoga to the Gulf of Finland

Road Trip Route. Visit Venta Arena equestrian sports complex., To admire mesmerizing views from Koltushskaya hill., Take a walk on the shore of Lake Ladoga., Visit the main museum of the Road of Life., Rest at the resort of Igora., Meet the animals in the zoo "Na Lampushka"., Finish the trip on the coast of the Gulf of Finland., .

**Saint Petersburg-Vsevolozhsk-Zelenogorsk-Saint Petersburg** It's easy to have a rest with your family in the open air without tents and backpacks! The nearest suburbs of St. Petersburg will delight you not only with picturesque nature of the Karelian Isthmus, but also places that will appreciate your family, from small to large. On the way you will find a lot of interesting things: communication with animals, visits to the stone labyrinth and fairy oak, walking on protected trails and climbing on rope forest trails. Part of the trail runs along the legendary Road of Life with its famous monuments and museums. During four days you'll visit the beaches of Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland, you'll admire the wild rapids of the largest river in the Karelian Isthmus. Take your good mood and hit the road! ** Route features:** - A variety of hiking routes with equipped forest eco-trails; - Some natural locations will need to be reached on foot; - Urban comfort at stops in the natural environment. **Recommendations:** - Take comfortable shoes for nature walks, insect repellent, and a raincoat or umbrella. - There are cafes and restaurants along the trail, but it doesn't hurt to grab a lunchbox. - There will be an opportunity to swim and go to the sauna, so take swimwear.

Uninhabited Nature, Families with Kids, Active Leisure, Animals and Farms. From: Saint Petersburg

Vladimir Kapustin. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: The vastness of Koltushsky Heights

You will explore the beauty of Koltushka heights and understand why this territory has received the status of specially protected area. You will visit a Slavic temple and a stone labyrinth, take a walk in the scientific town, where the first Russian Nobel laureate Ivan Pavlov worked, and relax in the equestrian sports club.

Saint Petersburg

You don't have to travel hundreds of kilometres to get to the countryside with your family. In just half an hour's drive from the city centre, you'll find yourself in a place where horses walk and sheep graze across endless fields. On the first day there won't be much of a commute. But you will have to do a lot of walking on your own. Be prepared for this!

Konnyy Klub Venta

Just outside the bustling metropolis, a real surprise awaits you - an immersion in the countryside, where a large equestrian sports complex "Venta Arena" stands apart, with its blue roofs visible from afar. The grounds include a hotel, a restaurant, horse stables, and several outdoor and indoor arenas for equestrian sports. This place has all the conditions for holding international level competitions and for family recreation. Don't forget to sign up in advance!

Labirint "Vol'nyy Veter"

One of the main places of attraction at Koltushki Heights is the sanctuary of Slavic gods and the "Free Wind" labyrinth. These two sites have ancient roots. The stone construction is made in the image of classic northern labyrinths, which have survived on the Kola Peninsula. The part of stones of the labyrinth was brought from their northern homeland. Make a wish or ask a question important for you, walk along the twisting stone labyrinth. The wish will come true and the answer will come. It works - it's been tested.

Pamyatnik Prirody Koltushskiye Vysoty

There are three nature trails that range from one to four kilometres in length. Following the signs, you can walk along the most scenic trails and get to the viewpoints. There are stands and signs describing the flora and fauna along the trails. Feature of this place is that Koltushskaya elevation is elevated relative to surrounding lowlands on 40-50 meters and gives the magnificent view over the surroundings. Even St. Petersburg is visible here!

Lake 3rd Tokkarevskoye

The eco-trail "Kamovye hills" will take you to one of the local lakes, which is adjacent to a picturesque bog. The territory of Koltushskaya Upland abounds with relict lakes (drained and undrained), small rivers, brooks and bogs that increase the recreational quality of the local landscapes. There are groundwater outlets on the surface in the form of springs, as well as small lakes on the edges of the bogs. There are 7 lakes within the natural monument.

Колтушские Высоты

After the observation point by the lake, you can get off the eco-route and return to the open hills. There you will find another interesting angle. One of the viewpoints is on a bluff, which offers a panoramic view of the bog and a cottage village with colourful roofs. There is a swing hanging from one of the trees. This is a famous instagram location, where you get good pictures, especially in the sunset.

Venta Arena Restaurant

After a rich hike through the forests and hills, return to the Venta Arena clubhouse. The central building has a cosy restaurant. On the ground floor its interior has an aristocratic design. The second floor is simpler and looser, with large windows overlooking the main competition arena. Choose the place according to your liking and enjoy your meal!

Биг Бен

If your company has had a blast during the day, which is likely to be the case, the rest of the day can be spent on the club grounds. If you fancy a new adventure, there are a couple of other attractions to explore in the evening. One of them is located in a nearby community. Big Ben Clock was installed to commemorate the 510th anniversary of Koltush Township. They have nothing to do with their "big brother", but they attract the attention of tourists.

Koltushskoye Ozero

Ivan Pavlov himself bathed in the lake; he was a Russian and Soviet scientist, physiologist, vivisector, creator of the science of higher nervous activity and the first Russian Nobel Prize winner. Nowadays the area around the lake is landscaped and is a popular recreation area for local residents. On the lakeshore there is a fountain, an obelisk with the history of Koltushi, a monument to the dead inhabitants and memorial plaques with the names of countrymen who did not return from the Great Patriotic War.

Museum IP Pavlov Koltushi

Follow the picturesque embankment to Pavlovo - "the capital of conditioned reflexes". It was here, on I.P. Pavlov's initiative, that in 1923 a kennel for growing dogs for conducting experiments was organized. Later an entire biostation was built with laboratories, houses for employees, vivariums and an anthropoid - the place where chimpanzees were kept. The science town is a delightful park with alleys and old buildings. A relaxing stroll through it is ideal for completing the first day of your trip!

Day 2: Road to Ladoga

You'll discover a hidden place with fairy-tale forest characters, you'll communicate with animals, plunge into our heroic past and stop at the shore of Lake Ladoga.

Usad'ba Neyasyt'

Baba Yaga and other fairy tale characters live in a dense forest. And this is no joke! At the beginning of the second day of the trip you will go to the magic forest. After the turn from the settlement of Voeikovo you have to turn to the unpaved road that leads to the fairy estate "Nejasyt". This is a hidden place that not many tourists know about. Drive up to the barrier and then walk the rest of the way. There is a wooden path around the forest lake, there are pontoons on the water, there are picturesque log cabins in the forest. Silence and peace.

Farm stay Ruteniya

Ruthenia Children's Equestrian Academy opens its arms to even the youngest riders. This place has everything for a full-fledged recreation of a large family. In addition to lessons and communication with horses, you can go fishing, visit the mini-farm, where it is allowed not only to walk and watch, but also to touch the animals. There is an opportunity to eat in a restaurant with Hungarian cuisine. There is also a rope park with three levels of height. Choose the entertainment to your taste. Opening hours: 9:00-21:00.


There are several interesting places on the way to Lake Ladoga. One of them is the park "Peschanka". On an area of 12.5 hectares there is a space for sports enthusiasts. The park has the largest concrete skate park in Russia. There is also a workout zone and tables for table tennis. A 15 row amphitheater is built, where open air movie screenings are held in the summer. Take an hour off from the road and then hit the road. Social media: [https://vk.com/park_peschanka](https://vk.com/park_peschanka)

Muzey "Dom Aviatorov"

Next to the park there is a new museum "Aviators' House". It is located at the intersection of the Koltush highway and the Road of Life. This is where the house, where pilots and navigators rested during the war, was located during the war. The museum has a lot of interesting exhibits. The exhibition includes model airplanes and full-size models of bombs, sculptures of pilots in full gear, interactive maps of battles, elements of military life. Not only children, but adults as well will enjoy it!

Памятник «Машине-солдату»

From here, your route will take you along the Road of Life. Along it there are many monuments and memorials dedicated to the period of the siege of Leningrad. On the right side of the road you can see the monument "Machine-Soldier". It is also called "Polutorca".

Memory Garden

In 2021, a park of military glory was opened next to the Polutorka monument to celebrate the anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The authors of the park tried to keep up with the times and make a memorable but still interactive space. Here children can twirl an airplane propeller, fly anti-aircraft guns, and see how trenches and trenches were built. All the exhibits correspond to the reality of the war times.

Memorial "Katyusha"

On the road again on the right side of the road you can see Katyusha memorial. This is another reminder of the past war and the defense of Leningrad. This is where the Soviet Army's anti-aircraft guns stood, defending the skies of the northern capital in the area of the Road of Life from German aircraft.

Dub Chereshchatyy

To dilute the military theme, stop next to a local natural landmark. In a clear field stands a huge oak tree. According to a local legend, which has been circulating in these parts for ages, the Irinovsky oak in Vsevolozhsk district is so old that it has been seen by Kutuzov. Another less widespread legend says that it was here, near the oak, that Emperor Alexander III swore an oath of allegiance to the Fatherland. Knowledgeable people say that the oak tree is more than 280 years old.

Monument "Broken Ring"

This monument is located right on the shore of Lake Ladoga. It is dedicated to the hardest page in the history of the Great Patriotic War. In September 1941, after the city was surrounded by the enemy, the only way of communication with it remained Lake Ladoga. Two 7 m high reinforced concrete half-racks symbolise the siege ring, the gap between them - the Road of Life, and on the concrete base there are tire tracks towards the lake. Stop your thoughts and think about the eternal.

Mir Mayakov

After the day rich in impressions have dinner at the cafe on the shore of Lake Ladoga. The menu is full of local fish dishes. The menu is restaurant level and the atmosphere is quite informal.

Osinovezckiy lighthouse

Next to the cafe there is a large sandy beach with a wooden walkway, recreational areas and playgrounds for children. The water in Ladoga gets warm in summer to a maximum of 11 degrees. That is why there are not many people wishing to swim even in the season. The main activities for tourists are organized at the shore. But if you want to get your strength back - take a dip. You will definitely remember this experience for a long time. Near the beach there is a beautiful lighthouse. This is the highest working lighthouse on Ladoga. It appeared here in 1905. Its height is 70 meters. The lighthouse is still in operation. And thanks to its height and 500-watt light bulb, which lights up every 4 seconds in the dark, its light is visible from 40 kilometers away from the shore.

Day 3: From military museum to family resort

You will finish your journey along the Road of Life and head to the heart of the Karelian Isthmus, where bison and fascinating forest rope courses await you. And at the end of the day you'll get to the famous resort "Igora".

DOROGA ZhIZNI, filial Tsentralnogo voyenno-morskogo muzeya

On the third day of the trip you will get to the final point of the Road of Life and visit its main museum. It is located on the shore of Lake Ladoga. In 2015 the museum was renovated, the territory of the complex was landscaped, a new embankment and a building for large museum exhibits were built. Children will love the multimedia exhibition. Visitors will be impressed by the military planes and boats that stand right outside. Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10:00-18:00, and closed Mon-Fri. Website: [https://navalmuseum.ru/filials/lifeline](https://navalmuseum.ru/filials/lifeline) Phone: 8 (813) 70-33-771.

Мемориальный музей «Дорога жизни»

After visiting the museum, take a walk along the road along the lake and walk to the terminus of the railway station. Its building with a triangular roof looks quite atypical. Nearby stands a war-time train. The bravest climb right into the cabin. A cool breeze usually blows from the lake, and the station fills with a small number of people only when the train arrives. On the way back, admire the panoramas from the cliff to the lake.


The Zubrovnik family recreation and ecotourism park is one of the largest country complexes in terms of area and the only facility in the Leningrad region specialising in ecotourism. "Zubrovnik" is not only horses and ponies, it is an entire recreation and entertainment state. And the main thing is that bison live here! It is a hybrid of the European and American bison. The nursery was founded in 1979 and had 16 animals.

Verevochnyy Norvezhskiy Park Orekh

No matter how much the bisons persuade you to stay, still leave some more time for the most famous rope park in the Leningrad region. 11 trails of different difficulty levels, 214 different stages, bungee and zip-lines over 200 meters long, Quick Jump attraction on the black trail - it is a sea of adrenaline and a fascinating program for the whole day! For those who dream about flying: the unique attraction Skyfall offers an indescribable thrill of free-fall from a tower 30 metres high! Opening hours: Monday - Friday 11:00-18:30, Saturday 10:00-18:30. Cash desk until 16:30. Opening to the slopes until 17:30.

Restaurant Le Chalet

"Le Chalet" is a wonderful place for a dinner in the circle of family and friends after an active day or relaxation in the spa complex. Here is the atmosphere of classical European restaurant, exquisite author's cuisine, rich collection of wines of old and new world. The interior combines traditional alpine motifs and modern design solutions. It is a beautiful end of the day, isn't it? Book dinner in advance! Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12:00-23:00; Sat 12:00-22:00. Website: [https://igora.ru/bars/le-shale/](https://igora.ru/bars/le-shale/) Phone: +7 (812) 960-00-55.


At any time of the year Igora pleases its guests with active entertainment. There is simply a first-class SPA-complex, providing more than 200 procedures. If there is time left, you should definitely drop in here. For the rest of the activities, it's best to check with the receptionist, as there are many and they change depending on the season. You can also just walk around the extensive grounds of the resort.

Day 4: The largest zoo and recreation on the Gulf of Finland

You'll enjoy communing with the animals, the water element of the Vuoksa River, seeing the anthills on the forest paths, and relaxing in the cozy interiors on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.

Zoopark "Na Lampushke"

On the last day of the trip, continue to meet our little brothers. Na Lampushka Zoo is the largest private zoo in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region with more than 400 animals. Animals came to the zoo for a reason: some were rescued from the hands of poachers, some were picked up injured and released. Here you can not only look at the animals, but also get to know many of them better: feed them with special food, stroke them, walk together and take pictures. Opening hours: in winter 10:00-18:00, in summer 10:00-19:00. Website: [https://lampushki.ru/zhivotnyj-mir/zoopark](https://lampushki.ru/zhivotnyj-mir/zoopark)

Государственный природный заказник «Гряда Вярямянселькя»

Dive into the nature of the Karelian Isthmus. The Värjamänselkä Ridge Nature Reserve is one of the largest in Northwest Russia. The ridge stretches for 50 kilometers along the lakes Vuoksa and Sukhodolskoye. The width of the ridge is 1-3 km, the terrain is slightly hilly. A walk in the reserve is always very authentic and atmospheric: vast areas covered with forests, lakes and the remains of buildings of past centuries. Visitors to the nature reserve are particularly pleased with the well-maintained paths and easy-to-navigate paths.

Losevskiye Porogi

Man does claim to be the master of nature... at least on Earth. The history of the Vuoksa River proves this. There is an 800-metre man-made rapids here, which are by far the largest in Europe. Just seeing the powerful rushing stream that connects the upper lake of the Vuoksa system and Sukhodolsky lake takes your breath away. Admire the water element. If you like active recreation, be sure to come back here for a day.

Evangelical-Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

At the end of your travels, it is customary to slow down and enjoy a relaxing break. The resort area will welcome you with its calmness and tranquillity. In the center of Zelenogorsk there is a Church of Transfiguration of the Evangelical Lutheran parish, which miraculously survived to this day. Near it there is a cozy park, where you can relax and have a snack. Try not to rush anywhere.

Zelenogorskiy Park Kul'tury I Otdykha

Take a stroll along the city's main promenade. There is a museum of retro cars and a yacht club. The central avenue of Zelenogorsk Park leads straight to the Golden Beach, where tourists from all over the Leningrad region come in summer. Once a dacha garden, it has now become a full-fledged recreational and cultural park. In 2012, a real Ferris wheel 37 metres high, a carting, a rope park and children's attractions appeared here.

Eko Tropa

In this place you can see probably the biggest anthills in the Leningrad region. The 2,8 km long eco-route on the "Komarovsky shore" passes through old spruce forests, where you can see a large number of anthills. The route also runs along the coast of the Gulf of Finland with dunes and sandy beaches. In addition to thematic stands, the eco-route is equipped with wooden decking for easy walking through the forest, benches, bird feeders and a gazebo.

НАША Dacha

A cosy gastronomic manor in true Chekhovian spirit is situated on the Gulf of Finland: with lace casings, green greenhouses, massive buffets, wicker chairs and a roaring fireplace. Younger guests will enjoy attractions, a zoo and a cozy tree house, adults - a romantic kissing tower and watching the sunset in a rocking chair on the Gulf of Finland, a wishing well that fulfills the most cherished dreams, sun beds on the beach, covered gazebos for friendly gatherings.

Saint Petersburg

Four days of travelling along the Karelian Isthmus will not leave anyone indifferent. You will get to know many new places, most of which are hard to find in traditional guidebooks. If some place particularly appeals to you, then feel free to go back there again. At different times of the year, the experience can be quite different. The nature of the northern region loves to surprise!