The Valaam archipelago in winter


The Valaam Archipelago, the largest island cluster found in Lake Ladoga, is characterised by breathtaking beauty year-round. The territory’s steep, forest-covered cliffs are reminiscent of a typical fortress landscape. In winter the islands are marked by their severe, ascetic appearance.

The Valaam Archipelago, the largest island cluster found in Lake Ladoga, is characterised by breathtaking beauty year-round. The territory’s steep, forest-covered cliffs are reminiscent of a typical fortress landscape. In winter the islands are marked by their severe, ascetic appearance. It is thus no real surprise that these isolated Ladoga islands became a type of refuge for those seeking to test themselves both physically and spiritually. No later than in in the 14th century the Valaam Monastery was founded here, becoming home to many of these religious men as well as a stronghold of Orthodoxy. During the harsh winter season the spiritual beauty of life on the islands is particularly noticeable and bright.