About Karelia Russia — Climate, Lakes, Attractions …

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Karelia is located on the north-west of Russia and had borders with Finland on west, Leningrad oblast and Vologodsk oblast on south, and with Murmansk oblast on north (there, the borders crosses polar circle twice), and with Arkhangelsk oblast. Total territory – 172.4 square meters.


Karelia has rugged topography with relative elevations up to 350 m.

Mineral deposits

There are mica, fieldspar, gangue quartz, ceramic pegmatits, stone construction and facing materials found in Karelia.

Karelian marbles have good resistance to weather, are easy to polish and are often found in huge monoliths.


Karelia is distinguished by a long and mild winter, short cold summer and decreased cloud amount. Annual precipitation on the north-east is 400 mm, and is more than 600 mm on the south-west. Weather in Karelia is unstable: in winter, longstanding thaw period with abundant snowfalls are changed by sudden cooling, in summer temperature may fall, and strong winds and intensive rainfalls are observed.

Winter starts in the middle of October on the north, and is established throughout the entire region in the first half of November. The cold period lasts 190 days on the north, and 150 days on the south. Since November, a stable snow cover 40-60 cm high appears. Winter temperatures may vary considerable (from 0 to -50С). February is the coldest month: average temperature on the north is about -14С, and -10С on the south. During winter, cloudy days are 70-80%.

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Spring starts in the end of March. In the middle of April, above-zero temperature establishes. In the second part of April, rivers break up, and in May lakes get opened.

Summer comes in the beginning of June in southern areas, and in the second part of June in northern areas. Summer period lasts from 2.5 months on north and up to 3.5 months on south. Maximum temperature in July reaches +34С. Rain showers often occur in summer, and the number of days with thunder is 14 on south and 7 on north.

Autumn lasts from the second half of August till the middle of October, when waters get cold.

Day duration in Karelia at 66 degrees of north latitude is (at the end of month): 20 hours 13 min in May, 24 hours in June, and 22 hours 12 min in July.

White Sea

White Sea at Karelian seaside is characterized by good climate conditions, rich flora and fauna.

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Coast dweller seaside has bluffy coastline with lots of small creeks and bays.


The number of rivers in Karelia reaches 11.200, and their total length is 54.300 km. White Sea basin includes river systems of the middle and northern parts of the republic. The main rivers are Vug and Kem, shorter ones are Vonga, Shua, Pongoma, Kuzema, Sig, Keret (Karelian shore), as well as Suma, Virma, Kolezhma, Nukcha (Coast dweller seaside).


The biggest European lakes Ladozhskoye Ozero and Onega Lake are located in Karelia. Other major lakes are Vygozero (more than 1000 square meters), Topozero, Segozero, Pyaozero, Vodlozero, Kuyto, Samozero. There are about 60.000 kales with total surface more than 40.000 square kilometers. Lakes with surface up to 1 sq.km comprise 97,4% of all lakes and count about 10.000 sq.km of surface.

Average maximum depth of lakes is 21.3 m, which explains the existence of cold water fish – grayling, trout, vendace, cisco.

The vast majority of medium and big lakes have water transparency 6-8 meters at blue-green color.


Karelia is located in pine forest, taiga zone. Marshes and moss lands take up to 30% of its area and are located mostly in flowing ravines, closed and waste watersinks, river valleys and territories of dry lake beds and stretches.

Total surface covered by forests is 87% of the entire territory and in most part of the republic was subject to forest management. Pinewoods comprise the most part of Karelian forests (about 69%).


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Karelian fauna is rich. Among mammals: lynx, marten, mink, ferret, ermine, weasel, wolverine, badger, otter, brown bear, wolf, fox, raccoon dog, moose, wild northern dear, squirrel, mole, lots of shrew, mice, rats. As for reptiles, water snakes and a lot of asps are met on south.

Tourist’s attractions in Karelia

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Historical landmarks include: the birth-place of the Kalevala folk epic – Ladvozero and Kaskol villages, Kalevala vollage, preserve grounds and museum Martsialnye Vody (Marcial Waters) in Dvortsy village.

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