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Introducing Pskov

Only 30km from the Estonia border, church-studded Pskov is dominated by its mighty riverside kremlin, an enormous bulwark that has faced up to its fair share of invading armies down the centuries. Leafy lanes and parks wriggle their way round the attractive old quarter on the east bank, past weathered churches, city-wall ruins and handsome 19th-century brick residences.

Day trips include the old fortress and beautiful countryside at Stary Izborsk, the technicolor church and spooky cave necropolis at Pechory, and Mikhailovskoe, the family estate and last resting place of Alexander Pushkin in Pushkinskie Gory.