Valday is a scenic town set on the shores of Lake Valdayskoye and surrounded by forested hills. Attractions like the Valday Bell Museum and Iversky Monastery recall the town’s ancient past. Venture outside the town centre to discover scenic hiking trails, sun-dappled forests and picturesque lakes in Valday National Park.
Things to do
Valday was once a major town on a historic trade route between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It became a popular base for local artisans and craftspeople, with many of the historic shopfronts still visible along Molotkovskaya and Gostinopolskaya Streets.
The Valday Bell Museum celebrates the long history of bell casting in the town. The museum occupies a beautiful white church and showcases dozens of centuries-old bells cast in Valday. Today you can see Valday bells hanging in churches and cathedrals across Europe.
In the 18th-century, Valday gained a reputation for its mouth-watering bagels. Today you’ll still see bakeries selling the delicious bread products. You’ll also see plenty of traditional dishes from the Novgorod Region, including “solyanka” smoked fish soup, baked turnips and porridge with mushrooms.
Set on an island in the middle of Lake Valdayskoye, Iversky Monastery is an important Russian Orthodox pilgrimage site. The ancient monastery dates back to the 1600s and can be accessed via a series of bridges. Spend a few hours strolling around the centuries-old complex and admiring the beautiful lakeside views.
More than 70 lakes dot the pristine Valday National Park. The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is laced with scenic trails that wind through the hills.
Valday is compact and easy to get around on foot. The town is a four-hour drive from St Petersburg and five hours from Moscow. Valday Train Station offers daily connections to St Petersburg and Moscow while rental cars offer the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Valday travel FAQs
What are the best hotels in Valday?
Valday is home to many highly-rated hotels, one of which is Valday Eco Club, which has a current rating of 8.9. For other potential stays, consider Sks Motel and Apart-hotel Marakanas, which can also be great places to stay in Valday.