Sortavala (Karelia, Russia)
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Sortavala is a Lake Ladoga cruise port and town in Karelia (Russia). The town is located on the lake's northern tip and has a population of around 22,000. Approx 63 km (40 mi) to the west is the Russia-Finland border. By road, Sortavala is linked to Sankt Petersburg (256 km / 159 mi) and Petrozavodsk (284 km / 176 mi).
Founded in the early 15th century, this is one of Karelia's oldest towns, with a unique history and well-preserved cultural and historical identity. In the 12th century, Karelia became part of Novgorod principality and baptized (by Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich) in 1227.
The city's location made it an important river shipping point for merchants importing goods from Sweden, Finland, and Karelia to Rus. Lake Ladoga - Europe's largest freshwater lake having length 219 km / 136 mi, width 138 km / 86 mi, and max depth 230 m / 750 ft. By area (17,700 km2 / 6800 mi2) Ladoga is ranked the world's 14th largest - following Lake Ontario (Canada-USA).
In 1617, Karelia's entire territory was transferred to Sweden. In 1632, King Gustav II Adolph issued a decree for building new towns in the conquered lands. Sordavala was granted town status in 1646.
In 1990, it was declared a historic city, Sortavala has 56 stone architecture monuments (including 8 complexes), 165 wooden architecture monuments), 17 historical and 2 cultural monuments, 8 archaeological sites.
As shore excursions on cruises to Sortavala are offered guided tours to Kronid Gogolev's Art Gallery and bus tours to Ruskeala Mountain Park.
Sortavala cruise terminal
Among the Russian cruise ships visiting Sortavala are the VODOHOD-owned boats MS Krylov, MS Belinsky, MS Suvorov, MS Budyonny, MS Sankt Peterburg, MS Radishchev.
Departure ports for cruises to Sortavala are Yaroslavl, Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Volgograd, Moscow, St Petersburg. Sortavala is visited on the following river cruisetour itineraries:
- Moscow-St Petersburg-Sortavala-Moscow (12-13-day)
- Moscow-Karelia-Moscow (14-day)
- Samara-St Petersburg (10-day)
- Samara-St Petersburg (3 days)-Karelia-Samara (20-day)
- St Petersburg-Valaam Islands- Konevets-Sortavala-St Petersburg (5-day)
- St Petersburg-Karelia-St Petersburg (8-day)
- Volgograd-Karelia-St Petersburg (14-day)
- Volgograd-St Petersburg (12-day)
- Saratov-St Petersburg (11-day)
- Saratov-Karelia-St Petersburg (13-day)
- Kazan-Karelia-St Petersburg (2 days)-Kazan (17-day)
- Kazan-Karelia-St Petersburg (10-day)
- Yaroslavl-Karelia-Kostroma (12-day)
- Novgorod-Karelia-Novgorod (14-day)
- Novgorod-Karelia-St Petersburg-Novgorod (14-15-day)