Pudozh, Karelia

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There are several reasons for me to feature this town of just under 10 thousand somewhere east of Lake Onega.

Pudozh is half way between Moscow and Kandalaksha if you opt to go around Lake Onega from the east. That makes Pudozh a good place to recuperate. The town is inexpensive and relaxed. It has a high concentration of hotels and guesthouses, and 600 roubles ($20) per person per night is the usual rate. There are so many places to stay in or around Pudozh that there is no point in documenting them unless I become aware of somethins truly outstanding, which is unlikely because I travel with a camper in tow in these rare cases when I can’t altogether avoid dragging my old arse through space.

Karelian roads, especially in the desolate east, are brutal, and by the time you get to Pudozh your poor car is likely to have something cracked or torn out of it. Service stations are very few, far between, and usually not able to do much. You have a good chance of getting your car fixed in Pudozh however. Before I got used to local roads I managed to damage our car three times on monstrous potholes, all in the same area east of Lake Onega, with Pudozh the only civilized place around. All three times we had in fixed the. On one occasion mechanics searched all over to find us a ball bearing that fits.  

Alexandra has connections there through her Chow-chow network.

Pudozh is definitely a “familiar territory”. Need anything in Pudozh? Write to alexandragor4@yandex.ru

To get a sense of what the city and area are like I recommend this set of Pudozh photos from the fellow who found refuge from Moscow noise and other annoyances in Petrozavodsk, about 7 hours south from Pudozh.

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Free guide and accommodation in Pudozh, Karelia, in exchange for English


Meet the Merkulenkov family: Julia, Dima, Jean, three Chow-chow dogs, one chinchilla, and several parrots. They will host you and act as your guides – and they know the area real well – entirely free in exchange for some very serious English conversation practice.

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Two guesthouses near Pudozh


Camp “Medvezhy Ugol” in Krasnoborsky, on Lake Murmozero, 20km south from Pudozh. I haven’t inspected this one myself but judging from the number of billboards the “Bear Corner” guesthouse a major center of tourism. Don’t worry,”major” has a very different meaning in Karelia than in gigantomaniac Central Russia. more >>

“Forest Festival” in Pyal’ma, Karelia

pyalma-festivalThis weekend, August 14 and 15, Forest Festival was held in the village of Pyal’ma, Pudozh district, on the east shore of Onega Lake.

The aim of the festival was to attract attention to the preservation of Karelian taiga forests. The festival had several hundred visitors, and featured regional eco-tourism operators, local artisans, lectures and tours of taiga, and a separate programme for children.

This was the second event of this sort. The third one is planned for next year, for end of July or beginning of August 2016. Visitors, participants, or sponsors are invited. To participate next year contact Elena Pilipenko by writing to elenapilipenko86@mail.ru.

Read more about the Festival, in Russian, on the site of the event’s organizer SPOK, or on their Vkontakte page.