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A THOUSAND REASONS FOR FALLING IN LOVE

VIA KARELIA IN EASTERN FINLAND INVITES
YOU TO EXPLORE THE ORIGINS OF KARELIAN CHARM

Open Your Heart to the Beauty of Nature

Via Karelia is a feast for nature lovers.

En route you can find fine cultural sights, untouched wilderness, short and longer hiking routes and nature trails, water routes and lake sceneries, and observation towers for birdwatching and enjoying the view from above.

Many of them need to be found - they are cleverly hidden behind commercial forests stretching on the side of the road.

There are about forty nature reserves of different kinds near Via Karelia. As many as eight of them are National Parks, but all the other are worth seeing, too.

Most reserve areas welcome over-night campers. If tent is not for you, you can always find a more stable form of accommodation nearby.

Themes of Via Karelia

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Karelian Kitchen

Finnish cuisine has many Karelian delicacies. Karelian stew and pastries are known and liked by all Finns. Karelian women have prepared food from natural ingredients for centuries, and many of their methods have found their way into the Finnish kitchen.

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Nature Sites

Via Karelia is a feast for nature lovers. Take your time and stop for a while, and take in the beauty of nature manifesting itself in so many ways. Open your heart to the beauty of nature.

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Orthodox religion

The Karelian Church Road is a route for tourists and pilgrims, introducing the Orthodox faith, starting from Heinävesi at pretty Karvio canal near the Lintula convent and the Valamo monastery, and ending in Värtsilä, by the Russian border. The second branch of the Church Road turns north and takes you to the easternmost village in Finland, Hattuvaara in Ilomantsi. Hopefully, the route will some day end at the old Valamo, on Lake Ladoga.

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Military history

Via Karelia has many museums and memorials commemorating the stages of WW II. Memorials of former battle sites can only be found north of Ilomantsi. This is because south of Ilomantsi, all battle sites are now on the Russian side of border.

Roads of Via Karelia

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The Road of Poem and Border

The Road of Poem and Border is a part of the Via Karelia route. Founded in 1966, it is the oldest tourism route in Finland. The Road covers 1,080 kilometres. It follows the eastern border of Finland all the way from the Gulf of Finland to Lapland.

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The Karelian Church Route

The Karelian Church Road is a route for tourists and pilgrims, introducing the Orthodox faith, starting from Heinävesi at pretty Karvio canal near the Lintula convent and the Valamo monastery, and ending in Värtsilä, by the Russian border. The second branch of the Church Road turns north and takes you to the easternmost village in Finland, Hattuvaara in Ilomantsi. Hopefully, the route will some day end at the old Valamo, on Lake Ladoga.

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Ontrei Malinen's Kantele Tour Route

Crossing with the Road of Poem and Border, the Ontrei Malinen's Kantele Tour Route is now part of the same administrative entity as Via Karelia. The route has been planned to serve independent travellers. It provides a glimpse of culture and lifestyle on the other side of the border, closely linked with Finnish society in many ways.

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Lake Pielinen Tour

The route takes you around Lake Pielinen. Main sights include small villages and towns on the forested hills of Karelia, and magnificent sights, including one of our national landscapes, Koli. The round-trip of Lake Pielinen from Joensuu is roughly 300km. The route is not an official tourism route.

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