Valaam is an island located on Lake Ladoga, in Karelia. Many tourists and pilgrims arrive there every year, and not only from Russia, but also from all over the world. As a rule, people go to Valaam in order to look at the Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior. But there are other attractions on the island - unique and amazing nature, very beautiful pine forests and rocks on the shores of the lake. There are several ways to get to Valaam.
On the island there is a pilgrimage service of the Valaam monastery, for all questions about organized tourist trips, you need to contact it there. Service site http://vp.valaam.ru/. The desire to stay on the island for more than one day must also be coordinated with the pilgrimage service
The most common way to get to Valaam is a tourist trip by boat from St. Petersburg. This method is the most expensive of all existing, but at the same time the most comfortable and simple. The cost varies, the specific amount can be found on the website of the pilgrim service or when ordering an excursion to Valaam. The prices include meals, a trip by boat, where you will be allocated a separate cabin, as well as an excursion and entertainment program.
There are also cheaper tours that do not provide accommodation in cabins and meals on board the ship. In most cases, the ship goes to the island at night, you spend the day on the island, and the next night you come back. The cruise route to Valaam can be combined with visiting other places: the island of Kanevets, Svirstroy, on which the Alexander-Svirsky monastery is located, are sometimes included in the excursion program and other attractions. Specify details when ordering a tour.
From St. Petersburg you can get to Valaam "Meteorom". An organized trip includes an early morning departure, a stay on the island (approximately 8 hours) and the return trip. The one way trip takes only 4 hours, but the conditions on the Meteor are not so comfortable. In addition, this is a rather noisy way to travel on water, so many people prefer a motor ship.
You can get there not from St. Petersburg itself, but from the cities of the Leningrad Region located closer to Valaam, for example, from Priozersk. "Meteor" also runs from there, the journey takes about an hour.
"Meteor" goes to Valaam and from the city of Sortavala. If water transport from other cities runs only at the very peak of the season, then ships from Sortavala do not stop running from May to November.