Verkhnie Mandrogi. Fairytales do exist!
Once upon a time there was a village called Verkhnie Mandrogi, or "Upper Falls" in the language of the locals. 170 miles north-east of St. Petersburg, on the banks of the Svir, a beautiful river running from Lake Ladoga to Lake Onega, right on the way from the Baltic to the Volga, part of the Valaam Archipelago.
Here the reminiscences of old fairytales come back alive: the gingerbread houses, cobbled stones, the old craftsmanship , the honest and simple peasant life. A visit brings one in a parallel world between dreams and reality. Come ashore and indulge yourself in this wondrous world of this toy-like village offering all kinds of entertainment: a horse festival, fishing, hunting, picnicking, relax in a sauna, attending culinary workshops or visiting some of the souvenir shops, the Vodka museum, the Bread museum, a little zoo. There is even a marina for the yachters.
Step into the village's artfully decorated handicraft center and artisans in traditional Russian costumes are practicing their crafts as lace work, classical hand weaving, pottery, golden embroidery, knitting, carving, jewelry, enameled miniatures, and making nesting dolls (matreshkas) as they have done for centuries. Be fascinated by the distinctively Russian, homey feel of this lively and colorful village and live happily ever after.
Learn more about Russian river cruises.