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Incoming tourists can get the information about tourist sights, itineraries and accomodation in Sortavala and nearby regions in Visit-center of Sortavala city.

Karelian villages Kinerma, Sholtozero and Rubchoila invite you to experience real  country life with its splendid air and imperceptible charm without city ruffle, noise and high technology.

Belomorsky

Location of the region
Nature monuments and peculiarities
Cultural and historical peculiarities
Key lines of tourist development

Сities


Location of the region

The territory of Belomorsky region, the area of which is about 12 thousand square km, is located on the most ancient geological platforms along the coast of the White Sea and not far from Vyg river. There are two concrete bridges across the branches of the river, which are about half a kilometer long. In the north the region borders with Kemsky region, in the west – with Segezhsky, Kalevalsky and Muezersky and in the southeast – with Arkhangeskaja region. In the east the region is washed by the White Sea.

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Nature monuments and peculiarities

Naturally the territory of Belomorskiy region is divided into three zones:

  • The basin of the White Sea;
  • Pribelomorian plain, which is waterlogged and occupies more than a half of the region’s dry land;
  • The territory of Belomoro-Onego watershed, which is rich with lakes and rivers flowing into the White Sea.

Each of these zones has its own nature monuments, which are of great interest for tourists. On the sea these are two landscape reserves – Shuiostrovsky (10 thousand hectares) and Soroksky (73.9 thousand hectares), which were organized with the purpose of protection of numerous water animals and birds. If organized appropriately, the reserves may be used for cognitive and hunting tourism. With time scientists think that Sorokskiy reserve will get the status of the sea nature park (the second in Russia), which can tell about its recreational landscape preservation value. During the flight hundreds thousands of water birds stop here for feeding.

On a vast Pribelomorian plain there is a famous territory near Nukhcha village (20 thousand hectares), the glaciers of which reflect all the stages of the White Sea regressions. This territory is included in the list of valuable bogs of Russia. It is interesting for scientific and ecological tourists. The upper part of the region is interesting for organization of sports and water tourism. Okhta, Suma >and Shuja rivers are especially suitable for it.

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Cultural and historical peculiarities

Historically and culturally the region is very peculiar. Its history dated back to ancient times and is full of great events. A famous monument of ancient art – Belomorian petroglyphs – is located here. Its galleries consist of more than 2000 drawings of animals, birds, people, boats and so on. The petroglyphs are dated back to IV-III centuries B.C. Numerous ancient sites situated close to the petroglyphs probably belong to the same period. There are about 50 of them.

The most ancient population of the region were Saami. They are commemorated in the national legends and geographical names – Nukhcha, Suma, Kolezhma, Virma and so on. In I-II centuries of the Common Era the ancient Karelians came here.

Novgorodians, which came some time later, reached the region along Vyg river, which played a significant role in the further history of Russia: in 1702 a famous "Tsar’s road" passed along this way. Todays the road is used for Belomoro-Baltic canal. Step-by-step a peculiar ethnic group formed along the shores of the White Sea. These are the Pomorians, whose traditions are still alive and can be used for cultural and cognitive tourism.

The Center of the Pomorian Culture in Belomorsk studies the cultural heritage of this ethnic group. There are about 3 thousand units of issue in the museum of local lore, but there is no space for expositions. There is a seasonal exhibition "Sea culture of the Pomorians" in the village of Shizhnja. Folk ensembles are organized in many villages of the region. All these forms the spirit bases for the propaganda and development of the Pomorian heritage and can be used for the development of cultural and cognitive tourism.

There are lots of well-preserved cultural and historical monuments on the territory of the region. The most outstanding of them are the archeological complex "Belomorian petroglyphs", the Church of St. Peter and Paul (1696) in the village of Virma, the Church of Nicholas Wonderworker (1602) and the Chapel of the Savoir (1672). Lots of local architectural monuments such as ancient houses and barns are also interesting for tourists. They can be met in many villages of the region, but are complexly presented on the historical and cultural territory of Sumozero. There are 19 architectural monuments in the village of Vorenzha.

The traces of two burgs are preserved on the territory of the region. These are Troitsky burg, which played a significant role in the repulse of Swedish attack in 1580 and Sumsky burg, which stood up to the fight with Polish and Lithuanian troops.

The monument of modern history, which is especially interesting for foreign tourists, is Belomoro-Baltic canal.

Its time to treat our historical and cultural heritage better and its protection can be efficient only if it is used for common aims. Now we understand that tourism is as necessary for prolonging the life of the monuments as they are necessary for the development of tourism.

A significant nature and historical potential of the region is completed with the benefits of its geographical location and easy transport access. The region is located in the eastern part of Karelia and can be easily reached from any direction and with the use of any means of transport. Meridianally it is crossed with the railroad and highway of the federal significance. Belomoro-Baltic canal, which connects three tourism pearls in the North Russia – Valaam, Kizhi and Solovki, crosses the region in the south. The region is also easy to reach from any of the Scandinavia countries both by highways and railroads. It is also important to mention that in the near future an international ship cruise “Northern Lights”, which is being developed in Norway, may pass along the Belomoro-Baltic canal. It will probably start in Norway, then bend round Scandinavia and Kola peninsulas and come to the White Sea.

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Tourist infrastructure of the region and its future development

Belomorsky region has a very high tourist potential, which is poorly claimed nowadays. This happens first of all because there are no special tourist structures in the region and no vision of the prospective of the development of tourism. It is enough to tell that there is no tourist company in the region. The development of tourist industry is impossible without forming of the appropriate infrastructure: hotels, transport connections, road network, advertising promotion and tourist objects.

The main things are places for accommodation. In the region these are three hotels in Belomorsk and tourist complex in the village of Shuezero. This is not enough for a vast region. The solution might be construction of small private cottages and hotels. However, they will be built only when they will be claimed for by tourists.

Road network and service centers are rather developed in the region, but still there is no special tourist buses. The weakest point is the lack of advertising and souvenirs, which is very important for tourist industry.

There is no professional tourist staff in the region too. It is necessary for local authorities to organize active advertising promotion and to teach specialists in the tourist industry.

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