Valaam Archipelago is one of the most interesting cultural, historical and nature attractions in the North of Russia. The nature of Valaam is unique and extremely beautiful. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims come from all over the world to this northern part of Lake Ladoga, the biggest lake in Europe.
Besides the nature beauty Valaam island is best known as the 14th century Valaam Monastery that is nowadays permanently inhabited by monks and families. There are about 600 residents on the main island, including monks and guides, army service personnel and restoration workers. In the 12th century the islands were a part of Novgorod Rebublic. In the 17th century it was captured by Sweden. Russia has conquered Valaam back less than a century later.