When visiting Novgorod the Great in summer you must go on an excursion along the Volkhov river. Every hour the excursion ships depart from the two landings, opposite the Novgorod Kremlin and the Yaroslav`s Court. Volkhov river flows from the Lake Ilmen towards the Lake Ladoga.
From the ship you can see interesting sights near Novgorod the Great such as the Saviour Church on Nereditsa, St. Yuri Monastery and Ryurik Gorodishche. All of them are located 5 kilometers down the Volkhov river just opposite each other. In past centuries the guests of Novgorod could get an idea of the wealth of the city by these buildings.
It was St. Yuri Monastery surrounded with strong walls that protected Novgorod the Great on the side of the Lake Ilmen for several centuries. In 1342 on the site of the Ryurik Gorodishche there was erected the Church of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. Now only the ruins of the chancel remained of it.
At the end of the 19 century there was dug the Siversov Canal dividing the hill of the Ryurik Gorodishche in two parts. This canal connects the rivers Msta and Volkhov. Also, in the river near the Gorodishche one can see the piers of the railway bridge «Petrograd-Orel», which was planned in 1916, but under public pressure and then because of the war the project was stopped.
The destination of the Volkhov boat excursion is the Lake Ilmen. The excursion boat approaches it so that the tourists could see the boundless water space. The lake is 35 km wide and 45 km long. At that, the average depth of the lake is 3-4 meters (maximum depth is 10 meters). The lake has a very fast water exchange (6 times a year) and the water is saturated with oxygen. Thanks to this the water has a lot of fish nutrients. For the abundance of fish the Lake Ilmen was always called the «Golden Bottom».