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Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve

The Ladoga Skerries Reserve occupies the entire northern shore of Lake Ladoga in the Landepohsky and Pitkyarantsky districts. The word "skerries" comes from the Old Norse word "sker", which means "rock in the sea". The entire coast in the north of Ladoga is cut by numerous rocky islands, bays and channels. 

The archipelago of 650 islands that makes up the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve begins near the village of Berezovo, on the border of the Leningradsky region and Karelia. Then it stretches for 170 kilometers north to Pitkyaranta. The total area of the reserve is 120 thousand hectares. 

The Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve was established in 2017 to protect the unique ecosystem of Lake Ladoga. The rocky landscape of the Ladoga skerries was formed during the Great Glaciation. The last Cenozoic era of glaciation began about 30 million years ago. The glaciers reached the Voronezh steppes, but then retreated. On the territory of Karelia, these glaciers left numerous granite rocks. When you drive through Karelia by car, in many places, you see these rocky formations in the ground, but in the skerries of Lake Ladoga, the water has completely washed out the ground and only granite rocks remain. 

Tourists come to the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve to relax with a tent in nature. To get around among the main attractions of the reserve, you need a motor boat. At the coastal tourist bases, you can rent kayaks or rowing boats to go by boat independently among the islands and skerries of the reserve. There are numerous places on the islands where you can put up a tent and light a fire, go fishing and just relax from the city bustle. On the islands, you can pick berries and mushrooms. 

The rocky islands of the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve are mostly covered with coniferous forests. Pine trees predominate here, but there are also spruce trees. The stone surfaces are covered with a dense carpet of multicolored moss. There are many berry plants that grow more often in wetlands. The fauna on the islands is very diverse. 

Guided tours of the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve 

The most beautiful places in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve are located on the northern shore of the lake. Therefore, the starting point for most routes is the city of Sortavala. In addition, almost all ships that carry tourists and pilgrims to the island of Valaam depart from Sortavala. Thus, the easiest way to find a captain with a boat is in Sortavala. 

The main purpose of the tour will be the southern shore of the island of Khankosalo, as well as the island of Kaarnetsaari. Starting from Sortavala, you have to take a course to the island of Havus. On the way, you will see a local attraction – Winter`s cottage. On the island of Havus, you can see the rocky shores several tens of meters high, descending into the waters of Ladoga. Just south of Havus Island is Markatsimansaari Island. Inside this island, there is a huge Quiet Bay. This is a very popular place for fishing and camping. 

After Quiet Bay, you need to sail to the southern part of the island of Hankosalo. You will see the most beautiful Ladoga skerries. They cut deep into the island here, and the rocks are very picturesque. From the island of Khankosalo, you need to sail a little to the east and see one of the main attractions of the Ladoga Skerries Reserve, Kaarnetsaari Island, where the cracked Crow`s Gate rock and Mount Aino are located. Nearby there is a small but very picturesque island of Lehtosaari with granite terraces. 

After that, you need to sail to the northern part of the island of Hankosalo to see the narrow channels between the islands of Hankosalo and Laukka. Here, the nature is very different from the typical Ladoga ecosystem. Instead of granite rocks and pine trees, here you will see deciduous forests and reeds. After that, along the coast of the large island of Riekalonsaari, return to Sortavala. 

If you go on a tour of the Ladoga skerries from the village of Berezovsky, then you can see nature near the islands of Montossaari and Kilpola. The main goal is a guided tour of the Rullahdenvuori Mountain. Very picturesque cliffs can be seen along the coast on the islands of Montossaari and Kilpola. 

Photo Gallery
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The famous split rock Raven`s Gate on the island of Kaarnetsaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
Skerries on the southern shore of Honkasalo Island - the most beautiful place of the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Granite terraces of Lehtosaari island overgrown with moss in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
In some places the height of the rocks on the shore of Havus Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve exceeds 20 meters
Underwater rocks in the Ladoga skerries on Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Small rocky island of Layvasaari near the southern shore of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
Picturesque coastline in the skerries of Lake Ladoga in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Thickets of various types of moss in the central part of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
View of Lake Ladoga from the top of Mount Rulalahdenvuori on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
High cliffs in the central part of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Narrow bays in the south of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Beautiful bays in the south of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Rocky shore of Mount Haukkariutta on Havus Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Pine trees growing on the steep slope of Mount Haukkariutta on the island of Havus in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Granite terraces of the small island of Lehtosaari in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
The coast of the island of Lehtosaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve is covered with a thick carpet of various types of moss
Narrow channels between the islands of Laukku and Honkasalo in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
The shores of the island of Laukku and Honkasalo are overgrown with mixed forest, they are very different from the usual ecosystem of the Ladoga skerries
The narrowest place is the channel between the islands of Laukku and Honkasalo in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
Shore in the Quite Bay on the island of Markatsimansaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
A fragment that broke off from the Aino Mount on the island of Kaarnetsaari, several thousand years ago, later there appeared a crack
Mount Aino on the island of Kaarnetsaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
A small bay in the northern part of the island of Lehtosaari, which can be moored by a small motor boat
The rocky coast of the island of Havus with a height of about 20 meters in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
Convenient bays in the south of Honkasalo Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Rocks polished by water on Ladoga are called Ram`s Foreheads on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
View of Lake Ladoga from a cliff on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Rock with a height of more than 30 meters on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
Rocky coast of Montossaari Island in the Ladoga Skerries Nature Reserve
Mount Rulalahdenvuori is the highest point on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve
The rocky slope of Mount Rulalahdenvuori on the island of Montossaari in the Ladoga Skerries Reserve