a VirtualTourist member from Sheffield
can anybody tell me the price of the hydrofoil from Sortavala to Valaam ?
How long is the journey and do i need to book it in advance ?
Check my Valaam pages my fried, you might find the answer. The trip takes some 45 minutes, in Russia it's always the best guarantee that you book it advance, but it's not needed. if you have friends in Sortavala they tell you how to proceed. It's a wonderful trip, really, and the Valaam is something special.
Still more, the answer depends on what you are looking for? Just a day trip or would you like to accommodate there some night. That is what I recommend, just stay there at least a night. You probably get a hotel experience never had before :))
I can give you the price and reservation information also, when check the last season changes, you know!
As you know there's no traffic currently and the new season with new prices start from spring. They had long and short programs last season, and the price of short was 45 and long 66€. Should you book in advance? Yes and no, you have to have the tickets when going to the ship but you can purchase the tickets from Sortavala. The office (Ladoga tours) is besides the church in Karelskaja street.
Knowing where to get the tickets is very useful. I presume they can be bought the day before travel ??
Yeah, you are right sometimes the ticketing system in Ru is quite challenging. I have used some travel agency, it makes everything easy. It depends how long you stay there. If you are only on daily visit, I recommend guided tour, then you find the important places. If you are longer you have of course more time to wander and go around, there are distances and no public transportaions. You have friends there, they help a lot, start from Ladoga tours. If you stay there nights book the accomodation and meal in advance the hotel/restaurant are a little bit different (I have some tips, should I write those more carefully).
Btw, there are travel agencies in St.P also, did I remeber correctly that you start from there? The trouble currently is, that some web sites I have visited are only in Russian and if there is English pages, they don't work. We can come back to this question later spring, if you are lucky, the StP agencies are on your route and you can arrange you plans there. In general they speak better english in StP tourist offices than in Sortavala.
I will be in Sortavala for 7 days and with my friends being locals i think they will be able to assist me with the booking a day or so in advance. if you can give me some details about staying overnight, that would be useful. I had not thought of this option before.
Here is one link, in Petrozavodsk Russia, at least you have a contact point speaking English and they can give your more details or you can even book your trip via them. intourist.onego.ru/eng/index... Take a look to pages, you might find suitable package or you can go by your own.
The hotel in Valaam is Igumenskaja, about some 30 rooms, price level 80-100€ I think, don't know the coming season. Breakfast included and remember, it's monastery, no smoking in Monastery area, no wine or spirits, common showers and toilets. But the feeling and atmosphere is fabulous, you can even wake up to church bells (at 5:00AM) if lucky :) The hotel is renovated so it's clean and I give it five stars (when comparing to normal Sortavala level). Rooms are small but comfortable. Hopefully you eat fish, it's more common as dinner as meal :)