A huge part of the territory of Karelia is occupied with natural reserves. Probably the best way to explore the beauty of virgin nature is by hiking. You can do so in the natural parks Paanajarvi and Ruskeala. Both have walking routes and guided excursions.
Dog sledding is extremely popular in Karelia. The biggest center of dogs prepared and trained for sledding is Kudama. There, you can learn how to manage the dog sled, and can arrange a 2-5 day dog sled tour. Karjala Park is another great destination for dog sledding. From there you can take interesting 4-day dog sled tours to Kizhi.
Karelia is a heaven for ski lovers. Offering the perfect climate for skiing and some of the best ski resorts, it is a perfect place to indulge your skiing passions. Resorts worth checking out are Yalgora near Petrozavodsk, Malaya Medvezhka in Medvezhiegorsk and Gorka right in Petrozavodsk. All resorts feature routes of different difficulty, and the ski season lasts pretty much the whole of the cold time of year.
You can learn the fundamentals of snowkiting in Petrozavodsk, for example at Onego-Pirates school. There are lots of places near Petrozavodsk and further perfect for snowkiting, the best being Onega lake.
Rafting season starts in Karelia in May. The most popular river to raft is the Shuya. This is a particularly great place to try rafting for the first time. Spring is the best time to do so, as the water level is at the maximum level. There are even rafting options that include entering the White Sea.
Karelia itself is a land of thousands of lakes, perfect for boat lovers. Some really refreshing experiences are offered at the Paanajarvi natural reserve. Paanajarvi Lake is the deepest lake in Karelia, Finland and Sweden, with crystal clear water.
If you want to try driving a road that doesn’t really exist, choose a jeep safari. There are different levels of intensity, from quite simple routes that follow the asphalt roads to difficult ones going through the woods.
You can snowmobile in Karjala Park and have a three-day journey to the historical village of Kinerma, which has retained its authentic look. You can spend two nights in the old village and try some local home-cooked food.