Fortress in Stary Izborsk

The ruins of this ancient stone fortress are among the oldest in Russia, and from its ridge location it overlooks a beautiful slice of countryside. Inside is the small 14th-century Church of St Nicholas and a stone tower with a viewing platform. A path behind the fortress leads to the tranquil Gorodishchenskoye Lake and Slovenian Springs (Словенские ключи), a 10-minute walk away. It's a pleasant spot with a few small cascading falls and moss-covered stones.

Locals carry their own water bottles to fill up at the springs – legend has it that the water will bring love, happiness, health and good luck.