The Valaam Island

  • access_time26 March, 2014
The Island of Valaam is a sacred spiritual place in the heart of Ladoga Lake. This Island is 9.6 km length and 7.8 km wide. Nature of this place is not disturbed by noisy cars or plants. In the 1843 the steamship service started operating between main land and the island, since then the charm of this place has never stopped attracting people.
Island is rich with forests, bays, gulfs and inner lakes. Amazing giant pine trees and huge granit stones are creating a unique image of the island. The Male Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery has found its place among the peaceful nature. Monastery is living mostly on the plants and vegetables that the monks grow and store during the warm months. Annually many volunteers come to the island to live there and help with the household, they weed and prepare the soil, clean and help with the intermediates. This place provides people with shelter, food and work. Volunteers can also participate in the religious life of the Monastery, by joining the ecclesiastical school or daily Divine Liturgy.
Island is also opened for the public. Many tourists are coming to see this place and also witness the life of the Monastery. Those who are lucky to be there during the choir concert, will have a very precious memories about this devine singing. Trips to the Valaam are normally done by ferries with departures from St. Petersburg and take 1 day and 2 nights, what can be a perfect weekend tour. Also Valaam can be visited with another Ladoga Lake Cruises, with stops in different places and towns.
Even if the Monastery life or religion is not interesting for you, just the opportunity of walking through the Island is worth visiting, as Valaam is also a nature reserve and is protected by the government. We highly recommend you to include the visit of this place in your plans if you come to Russia.