Leningradskaya region is situated in the north-west of European Russia. It occupies the part of the Vostochno-Evropeyskaya plain and fits closely to the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea with the coastline of 330 km.
In the West the region borders on Estonia (along the Narova River), in the north-west it borders with Finland (on the Karelian Isthmus). Pskovskaya and Novgorodskaya regions neighbour Leningradskaya region in the South, in the East - Vologodskaya region, in the north-east there is an administrative border with the Republic of Karelia.
Leningradskaya region was established in 1927. Leningrad appeared to be the historical center of the region. These days Saint- Petersburg is an independent subject of RF and administratively is not included into Leningradskaya region. However, Saint-Petersburg is historically inseparably contacts Leningrad region, there are historical, cultural, demographic, social and other relations.
Saint-Petersburg is a gateway for great tourist streams, they get into the region from abroad and other regions of Russia, practically all transit transport ways pass through the territory of Leningradskaya region.
The natural resources of the region are traditionally widely used by residents of the 5 million megapolis for leisure purposes; many health resorts, children's camps, gardening comradeships are organized. Tourists, who arrive in Saint-Petersburg, are not limited to study only the sights of the city and its richest tourist resources, they also attend tourist objects in the territory of Leningradskaya region. Residents of the region traditionally and predominantly use the tourist recreational resources of SaintPetersburg. In view of the historical traditions, steady social, cultural, commercial, scientific, industrial, transport, educational and other contacts, Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region harmoniously and mutually supplement each other with tourist resources and in this meaning they are often seen inseparable.
Business tourism caters to businessmen and specialists coming to cities and towns, which combine the possibility of conducting conferences, seminars, panoramic tours, expanding business contacts, with leisure, getting to know the history and culture of the region.
In Leningrad region, this type of tourism is now developing quite actively. Conducting seminars, conferences and training sessions outside St. Petersburg city limits, in hotels and resorts is becoming popular. Considering the demand, the property owners and tourist infrustructure managers allocate the spaces equipped for conducting such business activities. The majority of properties has 1-2 spaces accommodating groups of 25-40 people, and is prepared to provide all concurrent services (meals, accomodations, entertainment).
Cultural tourism is based on the undying interest towards the enormous informational potential of Leningrad region, including its many historical, architectural, literary, archeological monuments, as well as lesser historical towns and villages with their folk festivals and open air fairs included in specialised tours' programs.
The first towns, fortressed and monasteries, founded and built on Leningrad soil were one of the oldest in Russia. They started at the crossroad of trade and waterways connecting Europe with Scandinavia and Mediterranean and the Orient, anitquity and Christian world. The territory of the region has over 3,900 monuments of culture and history, including circa 200 archeological monuments: burial mounds, hills, the ancient Slavic urban and cultural centers' remains, etc.
Today, there are 7 fortresses on the territory of the region: Vyborg castle (Vyborg), Korela (Priozersk), Oreshek (Schlisselburg), Staroladozhskaya (Staraya Ladoga), Koporskaya (Koporye, Lomononsov district), Yamgorod (Kingisepp), Ivangorodskaya (Ivangorod). They were built on the crossroads of trade routes. All fortresses are open for visitors. Many are conducting archeological digs, some require restoration, some are remembered dues to fortress walls, but all carry information of historical events which took place here in the remote past. Ivangorod features the museum of fortresses.
The monasteries of Staraya and Novaya Ladoga, Alexandro-Svirsky (near Lodeynoe Pole), Bolshoy Uspensky (Tikhvin), Antonievo-Dymsky (Tikhvinsky district), Troitsko-Zelenetsky (Volkhov district), Rozhdestvensky Konevsky monastery on the Island of Konevets (Ladoga lake) since 12th century have become important spiritual centers. Today, the majority of them is open for tourists and pilgrims; some were given back to the church, in many, restoration works are underway.
In the east of Leningrad region (Posvirye) there are some magnificent monuments of wooden architecture (churches and residential buildings).
In 18-19th centuries, a great number of estate and park complexes has been created in different districts of Leningrad region. Russian estates present an enormous cultural layer, related to the development of the national history, culture, architecture, philosophy, literature, and general everyday life.
The great number of memorial historical places in the region is tied with the names of eminent Russian poets, writers, artists, composers, state figures, who lived and worked in their estates and mansions located in picturesque places of Leningrad region. These were A. Suvorov, N. Rerikh, I. Repin, N. Rimsky-Korsakov, V. Nabokov, A. Pushkin, A. I. Stakensnaider et al. The majority of estates either has memorial museums of their former owners, or else, houses various institutions.
Military patriotic tourism
Military patriotic tourism includes visits to such sites as battle groundsm war memorials, the museums of local history and serves as a way of reconcillation and strengthening unity and friendship as well as citizen patriotic education.
The territory of present-day Leningrad region in the last millenniun was the arena of bloody battles and wars, at times decades-long. Every inch of this land preserves the memory of those hard times. Today, the territory of the region has over 750 war memorials.
Event tourism is based on attracting great numbers of tourists to some regional event of cultural or sport life, interesting for tourists. Virtually every regional center is full of cultural and athletic events taking place with lots of visitors watching them, for instance, film festivals in Vyborg and Gatchina; Vuoksa international water festivals taking place in Losevo village of Priozersk district; the Sails of Vyborg festival in Vyborg, the Alexander Nevsky Wreath of Glory folk fesitval in Staraya Ladoga; the evenings of chamber music in historical and architectural national park Monrepos (Vyborg), folk festivals and open air fairs in Staraya Ladoga, Vinnitsy, Tikhvin, and many others.
Nature and eco-tourism
The nature tourism is based on visiting the sites to familiarize with variety of plant and wildlife and bird- and animal watching. The region territory has a number of federal and regional protected zones and national parks, opening the limitless possibilities for eco-tourism. There are the natural park Vepssky forest, Nizhne-Svirsky state park, the national parks of Ragusha river, Mshinskoe marshlands, Kurgalsky, Kotelsy and Dubravy parks near Velkota village, Rakovye lakes et al.
Also popular are the geological natural sites, hydrological or landscape: Yastrebinoe lake, multiple surfacing natural minerals with extinct fauna, rock caves in Staraya Ladoga, Sablino caves, etc.
Leningrad region presents wide possibilities for fishing and hunting. These activities are being monitored and reglated by the Inspection of safety, control and regulation of hunting grounds' use of Leningrad region. Tourists wanting to fish or hunt must have respective permits.
Rural tourism (village or agro-tourism)
Rural tourism supposes tourist accomodation in the conditions close to the rural life conditions. First and foremost, there are ecologically clean areas. The type of tourism is about organizing the vacation packages for small numbers of tourists (families) in traditional, mostly remote villages in the houses of local residents.
In Luga, Priozersk, Tikhvin and other regional areas are the leaders of this type of tourism, offering accommodations in peasant houses, bathing in rivers and lakes, fishing, picking berries, real Russian sauna and making traditional fish soups.
Ethnographic tourism is based on the interest towards authentic etno-life, familiarizing with folk traditions, ceremonies, art, and culture. The earliest settlements had appeared on the territory of present-day Leningrad region back in 7-9th millennia AD, after the glacier. By the middle of the 1st millennion AD. This way the territory of settles Ugoro-Finnish tribes engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and hunting. in 7th century AD, these lands were also firmly settled by Slavic tribes.
Today, a number of native small nationalities live on the territory of Leningrad region: Izhora, Finns, Livs, Karels, Vod, Veps.
Despite the difficulties, the traditional culture of native small nationalities of Leningrad region is being revived. Step by step, thanks to local enthusiasts, the folk arts and craft centers are being created; such as Veps center for arts and crafts; Vod and Izhora national centers, the center of Ingermanland Finns. The local history museums organize ethnographic exhibits. Folk and historical festivities are also being held. National crafts, such as weaving, patchwork, woodcutting, birch bark works, creating of woven belts, are being revived. The Veps center, has the national puppet theater functionaing, which serves as a base for langugage learning.
Leningrad region has enormous water resources and potentioin for the development of various water sports- cruise, yacht and motor boat, kayaking, boating, rafting, diving, etc. The Gulf of Finland, Ladoga and Onega lakes, powerful and abundant extended river routes of Volkhov, Syas, Pasha, Oyat, Svir, Luga, Oredezh, Neva; river-and-lake system of Vuoksa, great number of lesser rivers, channels, mid-size and small lakes; there are natural waterfalls and rapids.
This is why Leningrad region is rich in opportunities for water-related sports and recreation. There are water festivals and regattas being organized on annual basis.
Sports and Recreation
Sports and recreation tourism is targeting tourists engaged in amateur sports. The properties have football, basketball, and volleyball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools. The sports and recreation offers in Leningrad region are quite wide and diverse. Priozersk, Vsevolozhsk and Lomonosov district have some of the best-equipped facilities. Nine mountain ski resorts, which already won the name and popularity of mountain ski and snowboard aficionados, are at your service. Luga, Volosovo and other districts present the equestrian sports: horseback riding, horseback routes and tourist routes; the riding festivals are being conducted. Tourists also can try parachute jumping, helicopter trips, and mountaineering exercises.