Kostomuksha, Republic of Karelia (Russia)

According to Plus Size Tips, Kostomuksha urban district is located on the border with Finland, about 500 km from Petrozavodsk. Just 30 km from Kostomuksha there is an international checkpoint “Luttya-Vartius”. The name Kostomuksha is translated as “place of death”. It was given to a settlement that suffered devastating attacks by the Swedes in the 16th and 17th centuries. The settlement has not survived to this day, as it was wiped off the face of the Earth during the Great Patriotic War. The modern history of the city dates back to the 70s of the 20th century, when the construction of a mining and processing plant began at an iron ore deposit discovered in 1946. In 1983, Kostomuksha officially received the status of a city. Kostomuksha – a young industrial city, which includes original old villages located in the vicinity. In Kostomuksha, in addition to the mining and processing plant, the Kostomuksha City Museum is interesting. It was opened in 1981. The museum presents collections that tell about the history of the formation of the urban district, about the construction of the plant, about the culture of the Karelians and the work of the writer Ya.V. Rugoev.

From Kostomuksha you can go to the ancient villages – Voknavolok, Ladvozero, Pongaguba, Sudnozero, Tolloreka and Pirttiguba. The most popular village is Voknavolok, which is located on the shores of Lake Upper Kuito, 50 km from Kostomuksha. 90% of the local population are Karelians. Voknavolok became the cradle of Karelian and Finnish culture, the songs of the epic “Kalevala” were born here and the most famous rune singers lived here. Today in the village you can see monuments of Karelian wooden architecture – residential huts, outbuildings and places of worship. In 1991, a monument to rune singer Miikhkali Perttunen was erected here. In 2006, the ancient villages of the northwestern part of the Kostomuksha urban district became part of the newly formed Kalevalsky National Park in the same year.. Its area was 74 thousand hectares and covered the cultural and natural landscape, which became the basis of the world-famous Kalevala epic. Ancient forests, lakes and swamps and rapids flow in the park. All this territory has remained untouched by man for several thousand years, which makes it unique.

25 km southwest of Kostomuksha in the vicinity of Lake Kamennoye and the Kamennaya River on the border with Finland, the Kostomuksha Reserve was founded in 1983. In 1991, the reserve, together with the Finnish nature park “Kuhmo”, became part of the Russian-Finnish reserve “Druzhba”. The visitor center of the Kostomuksha Reserve is located in the city of Kostomuksha. The territories of the reserve cover the eastern slopes of the West Karelian Upland. Most of the slopes are covered with pine forests, spruce forests are less common, and relief depressions are occupied by birch forests. Reindeer, elk, brown bear, lynx, wolf, fox, wolverine, pine marten, ermine, weasel, American mink, otter, squirrel and 182 species of birds, including rare white-tailed eagle, osprey and golden eagle, are found here. The main natural attraction of the reserve is Stone Lake. The area of the lake is 95.5 sq. km (about 20% of the territory of the reserve), and the depth reaches 26 m. The coastline of the lake is heavily indented, there are many bays and capes, as well as small islands. Also of interest is the Stone River flowing from it with the beautiful Tsar Threshold, sandwiched between sheer cliffs. In the rivers and lakes of the reserve there are salmon, grayling, lake-river whitefish, ide, vendace, pike, roach, burbot, perch, ruff and sculpin. There are several routes in the reserve – hiking, water, ecological, skiing and winter on snowmobiles.

Lazarevskoe, Krasnodar Krai (Russia)

The village of Lazarevskoye is located 50 km northwest of Sochi along the Black Sea coast. This is the northernmost regional center of the Sochi resort. From here begins the unique climatic zone of humid subtropics. In the village and its surroundings, you can see palm trees, magnolias, cypresses and eucalyptus trees. The sea air here is saturated with oxygen, salts of sodium chloride, calcium, magnesium and bromine, so rest in Lazarevsky can be called therapeutic.

The beaches in this resort area are pebbly, up to 40 meters wide. There are municipal and private (owned by hotels and sanatoriums) beaches. The cleanest are the private beaches, but you have to pay to enter them. Municipal beaches are not very clean, but there are more opportunities for water sports. You can stay in Lazarevsky not only in hotels or in private houses or apartments, but also in sanatoriums and boarding houses. It offers a variety of procedures – electro-light therapy, inhalations, heat therapy, herbal medicine, massage and hydrotherapy, with the help of which they carry out the prevention of diseases such as diseases of the respiratory system, cardiovascular and nervous systems, musculoskeletal system, as well as the gastrointestinal tract.

In the village along the entire coast there is a wide promenade with bars, restaurants and clubs, where tourists stroll in the evening. There are many attractions in the local Park of Culture and Leisure. You can also have a great rest in two modern water parks, the area of each of which is about 2 hectares. In addition, the Ethnographic Museum has been opened in Lazarevsky, which tells about the history of this region from ancient times to the present.

In Lazarevsky there are opportunities for diving. There is a dive club with equipment rental and experienced instructors. Divers are offered sightseeing dives, deep sea fishing, and shipwreck diving. Diving depth – about 10 m, the bottom is mostly rocky.

For those who do not like just sunbathing and swimming, a variety of excursions around Lazarevsky are offered. Basically, these are excursions to natural attractions. In the northern part of the village there is an excursion trail Berendeyevo kingdom. The trail is 600 m long. It passes through a forested area with a rich flora, where you can see waterfalls, streams, karst formations and dolmens. Dolmens are stone burial structures that were built in 3-2 millennia BC. e. Numerous gorges of this region are very beautiful. It is worth going to the Svir Gorge, which is surrounded by a picturesque valley, mountain and rock formations, as well as several waterfalls, Beauty Gorge, where the Beauty River forms a picturesque waterfall, and Mamedovo gorge with limestone white rocks. A very beautiful place called 33 waterfalls. Here you can see a cascade of 33 waterfalls. They are located in the valley of the Shahe River in a mountain gorge. The height of the waterfalls reaches 12 m.

Numerous mountain rivers in the vicinity of Lazarevsky are a great place for rafting.

Kostomuksha, Republic of Karelia (Russia)