Pskov Oblast : Pushkinskie Gory
Pushkinskie Gory (also can be called Pushgory or Pushkin Hills) is a large open-air museum around the former Alexander Pushkin's family mansion. Its area includes several villages, each having a mansion and a park, surrounding forests, and riverside landscape. There is also a settlement with the same title nearby.
Silent alleys of picturesque parks, astonishing views at traditional Russian scenery, and the total atmosphere of early 19th century - everything makes this place a perfect destination for those who want to explore the incredible beauty of hidden Russia.
The museum is best to visit at summer or early autumn, when a guest can easily get lost for a week in this place. But usually Pushkinskie Gory is a weekend destination from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. During the winter the place is also worth to visit.
As in most parts of Russia, local infrastructure is not yet adapted for non-Russian speakers, so, language barrier problems can be expected even at most westernized hotels. English guided tours are probably available in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
The villages of Petrovskoe and Mikhailovskoe were the familiar property of Alexander Pushkin's ancestry since 18th century. In 1817 Pushkin visited the place for the first time and was completely charmed by it. Afterwards he spent here 2 years being in exile after his disfavour at the capital. Here he wrote a significant part of his poetry, which became Russian and international legacy, including the part of Eugeny Onegin poem.
The museum was founded in 1922 by Bolsheviks, who decided to preserve Pushkin's cultural heritage from peasant disorders occured after 1917 revolution. The mansions suffered greatly from fire and were carefully renovated in 20th century.
Low hills, pine forests, meadows, lakes, and River Sorot flowing through the museum territory.
Suschevo train station is about 70 km from museum. Transit trains go to/from Saint Petersburg (5 hours), Minsk (8.5 hours), Kiev (17.5 hours), and Odessa (29 hours). The rest of the way can be done by taxi, or hotel transfer can be arranged.
The most suitable way to Pushkin Hills is by car.
From Riga and Moscow: take E22/M9 road, turn to Pskov at Pustoshka (Пустошка), go by E22/M9 road till Novgorodka (Новгородка) village, then turn right to Pushkinskie Gory. Expect 7-9 hours for the route. Form Saint Petersburg and Kiev: take E95/M20 road and turn to Pushkinskie Gory at Novgorodka (Новгородка) village. Expect 5-6 hours for the route from Saint Petersburg and 12 hours from Kiev.
Entering museum territory is free of charge. A permit is needed for those who want to enter the territory by car (200 RUR / 5 EUR). Visiting mansions and exhibitions is at additional cost.
Walking is the usual way to explore the Pushgory museum, but Mikhailovskoe, Trigorie and Petrovskoe are located at 5-10 km distance from each other. So, if you are not ready to walk such distance, use a car or hire a bike (bike rental is available at some hotels, e.g. Arina R.)
The place is lacking restaurants and cafes. Service level in those few operating can be at low level, especially if a bus tourists group is being served.
There are several sleeping facilities in the museum or right outside it. Book in advance during the summer season.
The place is generally safe for visitors. Take repellent in summer, because of many mosquitos and botflies.
There are at least 3 historic cities at the distance of 100-150 km from Pushgory:
Also, there are few beautiful mansions around:
Altun mansion - 15 munites drive from Pushgory. Once a deserted noble mansion, now being intensively reconstructed, promising to be a beautiful destination in the nearest future. A hotel at the mansion will also start to operate soon.
Musorgsky mansion - the only house-museum of famous Russian composer Musorgsky in the world. Located near E22/M9 road in Tver Oblast near its border with Pskov Oblast. This place is on the way between Moscow (350 km away) and Pushkinskie Gory (200 km away).