Primorsky highway runs along the sea and is famous among local cyclists for its speeding possibilities. It is easy to keep the speed at least 30 km per hour.
After Sestroretsk, the highway turns left and follows the Repino settlement right along the bay. In the distance, you can see Kronstadt town and the Northern Forts. We turn onto the quieter Srednevyborgskoye Highway, and immediately after that hills and pines begin, the landmarks of the Karelian Isthmus.
After 75 km we drive into the town of Vyborg - the most European city in Russia.
The checkpoint is located in the courtyard of a medieval castle, which is quite typical for European brevet, but unique to Russian one. We drive a little along the cobblestones of an actively renovated town and move towards the hilliest part of the Karelian Isthmus - Korobitsyno district. 5 km along the busy Scandinavia highway - and we are again on a quiet road: the old (but recently repaired) Vyborg highway. Then, after 30 km in a village with the speaking name Podgorye (literally: under the mountain), we turn left and the little hills and hills immediately begin, the largest one - near the ski resort of Korobitsyno. Well, so as not to seem a little, after a while we are passing by another winter resort, Igora, located on the oldPriozersky highway, in front of which a new auto-racing track was built. Of course, there are enough slides here. Well, after the hills, we are going down to the Orekhovo railway station and again turn north along quiet paths.
Having left on the old Priozersky highway, we soon reach the famous Losevsky rapids, the center of St. Petersburg water tourism. Although in recent years they do not look so menacing, you can clearly see them from the bridge over Vuoksa river. After Losevo, be careful, we leave the main track twice.
!! To control the passage along roads parallel to the main highways, composters on checkpoints are used.
We reach Priozersk in the evening, do not miss a chance to have look at the famous Korela fortress on the left.
Of course the organizers want to show you the endless lake Ladoga. You can adore this magnificent lake near the town of Priozersk (the exact place and checkpoint type to be determined later).
White night allows you to enjoy these gorgeous views, even despite your fatigue. After Priozersk we drive along the old (but having a new asphalt pavement) winding highway. Soon we reach the border with Karelia, already on new asphalt, and not on the dirt road. On the way we have the opportunity to ride along the old roads duplicating the new highway in order to feel all the charm of Karelian nature and small villages along the way.
The Karelian hills are smooth in the beginning, but after another fork to the old highway near the village of Ihala, real Karelian hills begin.
The road near Ihala
Near the settlement of Lahdenpohja we recommend you to taste delicious fish soup. However, the checkpoint is not far away, in the military-historical museum FilinMountain (Eagle Owl mountain), on the territory of which there is a rock, where the reserve command post of the Finnish army was located.
After the checkpoint, the hills continue till the amazing Russian-Karelian-Finnish city of Sortavala.
Near the next checkpoint (20 km from Sortavala), the road goes straight to the shore of Ladoga lake, Kiryavalakhti Bay, where it winds along Ladoga skerries. This is an amazingly beautiful stretch of route.
The village of Lyaskelya, the old Finnish hydroelectric station, which has recently started operating recently, and the road is gradually getting smoother, we move away from Ladoga and begin to move along the desert highway towards Petrozavodsk. At the crossroads, we see the Cross of Sorrow - the first monument in Russia dedicated to the memory of people died during the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939 -1940.
Cross of sorrow
Soon on the right there is an infrequent round-the-clock gas station here, where you can have coffee and a snack. A wide road leads us through forests and swamps, smooth descents. Checkpoint is located on the picturesque banks of the Uksunjoki River.
Continuing along the highway, we pass the village of Kolatselga on the shores of Karelian Lake Tulmooozero, to the village of Yurgilitsa we drive along an even quieter local path, well, and down to the village of Vedlozero and further along the inferior path to the historic village of Kinerma. After the checkpoint you have to go up, back to the track. A completely new section begins, soon we turn to Savinovo. 30 km of a quiet path, old, cracked, but pretty smooth asphalt, sometimes unpleasantly patchy. Traffic becomes more severe, but the asphalt improves after the bridge over the Shuya river. After turning to Petrozavodsk, civilization marks appear, the remarkable Syamozero lake appears on the left. Checkpoint is located on the lakeshore within 10 km distance.
Until Petrozavodsk, sections of new asphalt and old patched roads alternate. Traffic increases closer to the city, be careful! Driving into the capital of Karelia, the track passes along the embankment of Lake Onega, the gem of Petrozavodsk, and goes to the checkpoint.
Petrozavodsk state, embankment.
Leaving the city, we get to the Murmansk highway, continue to be attentive, the traffic is quite high. The quality of the roads from this point to the finish line is excellent. In Pryazha, we again leave onto the A-121 highway, after 20 km we turn into Kroshnooozero. This dump is especially good: excellent asphalt and few cars. The checkpoint is in a beautiful village cottage. Soon we leave on the track - and forward, forward! You can relax in a coffee / hotel in Lakhta, eat buns baked in a Russian oven in Kolatselga, or, without stopping, get to the hospitable checkpoint on the banks of the Uuksa.
We start from the checkpoint forward again. For those who are tired, there is a cafe at a gas station near the intersection. The hilly relief begins before Lyaskelya. For the last night, it is convenient to stay in the famous House of Composers, located on the shore of the Ladoga skerries.
House of Composers
After the checkpoint, we make a ride along the just-repaired road leading to very interesting places - Tohmajoki Falls (famous movie The Dawns Here Are Quiet was filmed here), a few kilometers later - the famous marble quarry of Ruskeala, and then a small local path of good quality leads us to an unexpected place - the Northern Zoo. It is unfortunate that there is no time to walk along its spacious enclosures, but even from the road, it’s nice to see animals walking very close by.
We return back along the hills, drive through Sortavala, and soon the Karelian hills start again, up and down.
We wrap up on the checkpoint to Filin Mountain and go to the finish line, on the road back, without any lapels on the old roads, right along the new highway.
Finish: Drive park in Berezovo. We accepted the fair complaints of the participants of the last VOL on how we organized the finish, and we will inspire the weather, so we hope everything will be fine here.
Fast train Lastochka (Swallow) now runs from Kuznechnoe railway station (7 km from the finish line), which can take you to St. Petersburg in two hours.
Attractions on the route
Participants not always have time to stop and to explore the sights on the route, but we believe...