Wild northern nature. Infinite chain of forest ponds, blue like the sky. Lakesides, covered with thick coniferous forests. Lakes, with a number of islands, full of clear-crystal water. A combination of vast forest-tundra and dense, nearly impassible forest tracts. Huge boulders, bottomless rivers and lakes are witnesses of the boulder-period of our planet.
Noticeable, almost real presence of the mysterious and mystical country Kalevala. Historical crossroad of epochs, where the Peter I times, designated by 'Osudareva road', ( i.e. the tsars road ) from Lake Onega to the White sea , are crossed with the monuments and traces of the Second World War, Finnish campaign, with a gloomy mark of the Stalin's Gulag - the White Sea-and-Baltic Canal. Such interlacing of tragic periods with the unique nature, as if specially created for a man, seems contradictory. This is the Beauty, that has often been praised in verses and prose
Here, in the centre of Karelia, far from any civilization, a fishing-and-hunting centre 'Windy Belt' is located. It is surrounded by lakes and forests. There are a lot of wild animals and game-birds in any season. Beautiful winter sceneries are highly competitive with summer ones. Many fishermen, hunters and tourists come here but they do not impede each other. The 'Windy Belt' centre has modern all terrain vehicles to make both fishing and hunting effective and to give a good rest for their visitors. A trophy wolf is not a rarity there, though wolf-hunting needs special skills and experience. During the hunting season it is possible to get the permit to black grouses and wood-grouses, partridges and hazel grouses, woodcocks. Our experienced gamekeepers have all information concerning terms of hunting and inhabitation of game. One can meet bears, elks, foxes, hares and other animals in hunting grounds. A real hunter will have a good time there.
The chapel was erected in the beginning of November, 2005 on a stony island of Lake Vyg, 20 km far from Segezha, under benediction of Very Reverend Manuil, Archbishop of Petrozavodsk and Karelia. Andrey Markov, businessman and director of OOO Topaz, invested into it personally. The chapel is a monument to the victims of the White Sea-and-Baltic Canal's construction.
The recreation centre is conveniently located on the lakeside of Khizhozero, where the Sumy river flows into it, it is surrounded by water on the one side and by a thick pine forest on the other side. There are some comfortable log houses, made of round wood, looking like rustic homes. There is a fridge and microwave in the kitchen, you can always make tea or coffee, warm up or cook some food. There is a convenient bedroom with a wooden bed, a big hall with a fireplace and sofas. Modern original design and space television will make you feel at ease in any weather.
It is a great blessing for a man to live and rest in the forest near to the lake, far from cities and villages in the comfortable recreation centre 'Windy Belt'. Everyone will find what he likes, excursions or trips, fishing or hunting. The one who will arrive here for the first time, will be helped by skilled instructors, they will secure on water and on land. There are not many buildings there, but they make the uniform architectural complex, nice for seeing, convenient for residing. Well thought-out planning and quite democratic regulations in the centre allow to rest free and independently. At your first request our employee immediately will bring firewood, repair a malfunction, if any. The territory is well illuminated at night. Two powerful generators completely provide the centre with electric power in spite of the fact that nearest 'civilization', i.e. the inhabited settlement, is in 40 kilometers from here. There is heating and electric light in the cottages all the day round.
The owner of the centre 'Windy Belt' is OOO Topaz, it was founded in 1991. Since that time a lot of people have been visited and enjoyed the rest in Karelia. Their comments you can read here: www.topaz-tur.ru
A bath-house ('bania') is located at the lakeside of Khizhozero. Its big steam room is intended for 6-8 people, it is equipped with all necessary things. There is a separate shower room with a small pool, which can be changed from an ice-cold font into a warm coniferous bath. After the steam room it is also possible to swim in Lake Khizhozero. The bath is a success for visitors in any season.
After a day spent by the lake or difficult hunting in the forests it makes sense to drop in to a cozy hall of the restaurant to relax and satisfy hunger. Here, by tradition, a visitor will be invited to have a cup of tea, made of cleanest spring water, and then to try roast wood-grouses or a specialty of the house - pelmeni with elk meat, and certainly fish-soup of burbot. You can also enjoy a natural cranberry drink cooked from local berries.
OOO Topaz own some public catering establishments and cafe in the town of Segezha. The cooks in 'Windy Belt' are real professionals; therefore there is a broad assortment of dishes here.
Technical equipment of the centre will give you a possibility to get pleasure from hunting or fishing and not to be tired of long foot tours. In winter powerful snowmobiles will bring you to the most distant fishing or hunting places. There are all terrain vehicles and motor boats available in summer. Skilled instructors and gamekeepers are always ready to help guests, to accompany them to hunting or fishing places, to give them any support.
It is also nice to go boating along picturesque lakesides or to go for a cycle ride on the endless earth roads or to go by quad bikes without any roads. In any case you will learn some 'secret' just around the corner and everywhere you will see fantastic landscapes of the Russian North. Certainly, it is a wonderful rest for the whole family both in winter and in summer.
If you arrive with your family, all of you will get a lot of entertainments in the recreation centre. There is a children's playground for small visitors. It is also possible to go by quad bike for children, but accompanied by adults. There are motor-boats and paddle boats available for our guests. Usually our visitors are interested very much in gathering mushrooms and berries, walking along the lakeside, frying shashlik or baking potatoes in hot ash.
There are a lot of black grouses, wood-grouses, hazel grouses, and partridges on the islands and along the wood roads. There are plenty of wild ducks on the swamps and lakes there. Sometimes one can meet flocks of geese. The forests are full of animals; many different traces will be their visual proof. Hunters often bring their dogs, which have full freedom here. By request it is possible to arrange a big hunting for a bear or an elk. The hunting can be arranged according to the current legislation and regulations of the Republic of Karelia with registration of necessary documents. Administration of the centre provides with licenses and permits and bears responsibility for the hunting. Hunting for a bear is interesting during winter time. There are a lot of them; one can meet a trophy specimen.
To hunt for large animals it is better to come together with a prepared group of riflemen and beaters for them to make the main part of the hunting by themselves. Our local skilled gamekeeper will show where the animals are, where they should be chased and how to place the people. Otherwise it would be necessary to collect beaters at site, but it would be not so easy, because the centre is located far from any settlements. There are no idle employees, as a rule, qualified gamekeepers are very busy. Therefore it is necessary to contact administration and agree everything beforehand.
There is much fish (the pike, burbot, pike perch, perch, white-fish, etc.) in the rivers and lakes, in their clear and pure water. The depth of some of them reaches 100 metres. Fishing in these places, especially in Lake Vyg and Lake Khizhozero, is excellent all year long. When people first go for fishing in Karelia they are surprised at an abundance of the fish and excellent biting. They are astonished at a number of big and small lakes, wood ponds, fast rivers and waterfalls. One has to get used to white nights and clear dawns of the Northern country! In autumn and in winter it is getting dark early, sometimes northern lights can be seen.
Tasty fish-soup cooked from the caught fish, quiet talk at a night fire in anticipation of a morning dawn… This is a real fisherman's happiness.
Ice-fishing here is good and effective as well: pikes and burbots bite on a minnow, perches and roaches – on a mosquito grub. Winter fishing is very popular; fishermen not only from Karelia but also from St. Petersburg go to the center in spite of a great distance. The recreation centre is not empty in winter. Skiing, snowmobiling, walking, sauna, bania make your staying here gay and interesting; not to mention hunters – main hunting happens surely in winter. If you are eager for new impressions and adventures, you are welcome to Karelia!
In August the hunting season opens, it lasts until the middle of winter. August is the most remarkable month for gathering berries and mushrooms. It is the time of bright colors, yellowing trees and sizing up of the past summer. Usually the recreation center 'Windy Belt” is overcrowded during this season, it is better to book it early, in May or June. The forests are rich of aspen mushrooms, ceps, brown-cap boletuses, russules etc. They attract the berry-pickers, which come here to gather ecologically pure whortleberry, red whortleberry, cranberry, blueberry, and cloudberry. In day time the cottages and the site around them become empty. Many inhabitants of the recreation centre prefer spending their time in the forest. Only fishermen and hunters do not alter their habits and as usual they go fishing on shore or in boats, or go with rifles across swamps or thickets looking for a prey. But at the same time their wives and children are busy storing up the vitaminous gifts of nature for the coming winter.
There is no need to introduce the nature of Karelia, which is beautiful and unique. You will contemplate and perceive it and enjoy vivid recollections afterwards. Here in the vast expanses of boundless lakes, rivers and woods a man has got the sense of privacy and peace of mind, which is so necessary for an individual, tired of urban vanity.Topaz booklet (PDF, English)