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Around St Petersburg/Russia

Introducing Around St Petersburg

The area south of St Petersburg, reaching roughly from the Gulf of Finland to the headwaters of the Volga in the Valdai Hills north of Moscow is a must for aficionados of Russian history and culture. Novgorod, with its well-preserved kremlin and handsome cathedral has claims to being Russia's birthplace and, further west, the stout walls of Pskov have stood sentinel to centuries of conflict. Close to the Estonian border is the village of Izborsk, home to one of western Russia's oldest and most atmospheric stone fortresses. You can walk in Pushkin's footsteps at his family estate at Mikhailovskoe and book freaks will get a thrill out of Staraya Russa where Dostoevsky spent his summers and penned much of 'The Brothers Karamazov'. If old castles and book-learning aren't your bag, the region also offers a chance to relax by gently flowing rivers and visit almost miracle-working mineral springs.