Another ancient lakeside town, Pereslavl-Zalessky is a popular dacha (summer country house) getaway for Muscovites. Its attractions are scattered around a large area, which makes it hard to explore without a car or a bicycle. But quiet and pretty spots are easily found once you escape from the main drag.
The town’s main claim to fame is as the birthplace of 13th-century prince (and later Russian saint) Alexander Nevsky. Its earthen walls and the little Cathedral of the Transfiguration are as old as the town itself, founded in 1152 by Prince Yury Dolguruky. Lake Pleshcheyevo is also famous as the unlikely cradle of the Russian navy – thanks to a boat-loving teenager who went on to become Peter the Great.