Losevo: Woodlands on the water

Losevo cat taking a boat ride (Photo credit: Catherine Barney)

An obscure day trip north of St Petersburg

Losevo isn’t listed in your Russian Lonely Planet guide but it’s the perfect day trip to get away from the noise, breathe some fresh air and see Russia’s rustic nature. It’s a little village made up of roughly 200 year-round inhabitants north of St Petersburg.

Travelling to Losevo

  • Train Ticket: 239 roubles (3.5 euros*), 119 roubles for students (1.70 euro*) one way,
  • Train timetable
  • Distance: 107 km, 2 hours
  • Type of Trip: day/weekend excursion, outdoor
  • Things to Do: hiking, canoe rental, rafting, camping, mushroom hunting
  • Travel Budget: day trip 800 roubles (11.50 euros*)
  • Tip: Pack a lunch! Take a boat ride!

Day Trip Itinerary

This trip starts with boarding the traditional Soviet elektrichka at the Findlandsky Station adjacent to the metro station Ploschad Lenina in St Petersburg.

Taking the elektrichka is an experience on its own. Passengers of all types ranging from your unassuming executive to high school students are on their way to escape into the nature. They will share the 25-stop ride with you and face the booming voices of merchants selling everything from LED lamps to Soviet chocolates.

Pay attention to the ride as St Petersburg transforms into sleepy villages and modest train stops. After crossing a modern-looking bridge with rapids opening up to a lake on the left side, you have arrived in Losevo.

1. Coffee Break

Make your first stop at Cafe Prichal (Кафе Причал) and warm up with a 80-rouble (1.15 euro*) coffee. Make sure to check out behind the cafe, there is a beautiful and creepy art space in the back that the locals hope will turn into a city park.

The owner of the cafe is Lena. A spunky, jovial woman who swears to Losevo’s medicinal spirit. Lena says intellectuals and artists are especially drawn to Losevo in the summer for inspiration and to escape from the city hustle.

2. Outdoor Adventures & Vuoski Walk

After coffee, continue down the dirt road leading to the Recreation Centre or База Отдыха и Туризма––an outdoor complex of wood buildings and more dirt roads. If you go in the summer, you can rent bikes, kayaks and canoes here. If you go in autumn, take a walk along the Vuoski river heading away from the village to do some of your own exploring. You can catch a plaque with a walking tour map in English at the entrance.

Hiking along the Vuoksa river, you’ll find picnic tables suitable for a lunch spot while enjoying the view of Lake Sukhodolskoye.

3. Into the Woods

If you wander further down the river, you’ll eventually hit a gate that is easily propped open. Take a short ten-minute walk up the path which leads you into the woods. Perhaps here is where the magic happens and your city blues are swept away. Hike around, be curious and only eat mushrooms if you know what you’re doing.

4. Boat Ride

After the woods, make your way back into town (just follow the dirt road back). You might check out the supermarket for some snacks or if you’re lucky, grab some homemade food from vendors alongside the main road. We recommend the cabbage pie!

If you are visiting in autumn, most places are closed but there is one boat rental service that is open near the railway. Walk back to the railway station, cross under the tracks and head towards the water. The rental service is called Club Vanya Voda or Клуб Бурная Вода. They offer a two-hour minimum boat rental out into the calmer lake waters for 300 roubles (4.35 euros*).

A bit of history: Losevo was originally given the Finnish name Kiviniemi. The town once belonged to Finland until the Winter War of 1939 with Soviet Russia. In an attempt to keep its independence, Finland ceded the territory to Russia. To date, war bunkers and other remnants litter the forestry.

*conversion rates for October 2016

 

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