Ladoga Lake is the biggest lake in the Russian Karelia with a tremendous tourism potential. The lake is especially beautiful in its northern part, with its bluffy shoreline, scenic northern nature, good environmental conditions, and has everything you will need for a quiet, lonely rest and fishing.
The Volga-Baltic Waterway is in the south of Ladoga Lake, as well as many settlements, so tourism opportunities are restricted there. Old Ladoga, the oldest city in Russia located 130 km from St. Petersburg, is an interesting place in the south of the lake.
The exact opposite is the northern shore near the cities of Sortavala and Pitkyaranta. The granite northern shore of Ladoga Lake is channeled with skerries, and a line of closely spaced islets stretches for several kilometers from the shore of the lake. Totally, there are over 500 islets on Lake Ladoga. Together with the skerries the islets create a very beautiful archipelago where it will be interesting to ride in a motorboat and stop at the secluded reserve places.
The city of Sortavala may be considered the most advantageous starting point for the purpose on Lake Ladoga. Firstly, it is from there that the fast excursion boats daily depart to the Russian sanctuary – the island Valaam. The Valaam Transfiguration Monastery is located on the archipelago. The monastery complex comprises the central estate and a great number of skits and chapels scattered in the most picturesque places of the island.
Also from Sortalava you may have a boat ride over the picturesque places of Lake Ladoga in the neighborhood of Mari-Lahti and Toulon. The most picturesque rocky islands are there. You may land and have a walk on the most of them. All these islands are strewn with big boulders covered with a continuous carpet of mosses.
When in Sortavala you may plan very interesting trips to the Ruskeala marble quarries, as well as the Ruskeala waterfalls. They are only 30 km from Sortavala. Also from there you may easily get to Petrozavodsk and have a trip to Kizhi.
When planning boat tours, especially to remote places, including the Valaam archipelago, you must get the information on the weather and wind force. Lake Ladoga is very dangerous for navigation, as because of the peculiarities of its shoreline and depth, there prevail the so-called short and deep waves. They are very dangerous both for big excursion ships and motorboats.