The Leningrad region is a rich and unique region from the cultural point of view, bordering with many territories, which once were the epicenter of historical events of ancient Russia. Probably not even a month will be enough to see and go around the most interesting things in the nearest regions. Planning this trip, we intended to visit the most significant tourist cities of the region and its surrounding areas, including Volkhov, Tikhvin, Veliky Novgorod and Ivangorod. Each of these cities has a variety of interesting sights. We will see the famous Novgorod Detinets and Ivangorod Fortress, drive along the Old Ladoga, and visit several ancient estates. We are planning a lot of excursions and walks around historical places.
Today we start our cultural-historical trip, first of all we will head east, where famous ancient defensive constructions are located, as well as a number of interesting museums and monuments.
Our trip began with the fact that we went to the east and in the city of Kirovsk decided to make a stop to visit the museum-diorama Breakthrough of the blockade of Leningrad. Its exposition conveys in every detail the harsh life of those times, as well as in colorful detail tells us how and at what cost the breakthrough of the blockade was made.
There are quite a few ancient castles and fortresses in the Leningrad region. One of the closest to St. Petersburg is the Oreshek Fortress. It was founded almost seven centuries ago, served for a long time as an important defensive border, was destroyed and restored several times. And now there is a museum and fascinating excursions, during which you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Russia of the times of Peter the Great.
Noteburg is a spacious and cozy restaurant with a beautiful open veranda, where dishes of Russian and European cuisine are served. This is where we decided to have lunch. The menu included a lot of fish and meat dishes, of which we liked salmon tartar and chicken liver pate.
In a small village Staraya Ladoga near the banks of the Volkhov River there is a fortress of the same name. Many of its towers, as well as some parts of the walls have managed to collapse over the centuries, but thanks to large-scale restoration work it is not difficult to imagine its appearance today. There is a museum on its territory, which tells all the details about the history of the region and the fortress itself.
In the northern part of the village of Staraya Ladoga is presumably the grave of one of the founders of the Russian state of Prophetic Oleg. Among several mounds the highest and is named after this Old Russian prince. Walking here, you can admire the impressive view of the Volkhov river valley.
The atmospheric and cozy Calypso restaurant is perfect for spending the rest of the evening here. For dinner there is nothing better than a plate of traditional borscht, as well as a serving of shish kebab cooked on coals.
On this day, we're going to go to the town of Tikhvin. We plan to pass through Old Ladoga, see several local monuments, as well as go on a tour to one of the local museums.
Red Cat is a small cozy bakery on Kirovsky Prospect, where we started the second day of our trip. Among the baked goods offered here we liked pancakes with jam and sour cream, as well as berry envelopes.
On our way to Tikhvin, we decided to stop by Old Ladoga for a walk again. We have stopped near a monument to founders of the Russian state to Princes Rurik and Oleg. It is not so far from the river Volkhov, and also from a chapel of Uspensky monastery so the views from here open rather good.
The journey to Tikhvin was quite long, so right at the entrance to the city we decided to get out of the car for a short walk near one quite impressive attraction - the MiG 21 plane. The monument was erected on a small patch of territory, where narrow paths are laid out. After taking a few memorable shots, we moved on.
Having arrived in the city, we immediately went to have lunch in a rather atmospheric restaurant of a small hotel "Podvorie", which is located not so far from the Tikhvin Monastery. The dishes here are mostly national ones. The prices are different, but most of them are quite acceptable for a budget traveler.
Tikhvin is a relatively small and quiet city and museums are also small here. First of all we went to visit the house-museum dedicated to the memory of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov. His exposition also tells the great composer's family about the contribution they made not only to music, but also to naval science and geography of this region. When planning your visit here, it is important to consider that the museum is not open on Mondays.
In the central part of Tikhvin there is also a small but attractive place for a walk - the square, where the stele "City of Military Glory" is installed. The area around it is planted with rare herringbones and bushes, there are benches, as well as parking for cars.
Before going to the hotel, we went to the Astral Hotel restaurant on Sovetskaya Street for dinner. The atmosphere is a bit provincial, but very hospitable. Russian and European cuisine is on the menu. We liked most of all steak with vegetables, as well as light salads.
There's a gas station coming up. If you are tired, make a comfortable stop - come for a coffee!
Today we plan to leave Tikhvin and go south to one of the most interesting Russian cities, Veliky Novgorod. The road will be long, so we plan to dilute it with small walks in nature, as well as in various interesting places along the way.
It was decided to start our morning at a restaurant in the recreation center Verizhitsa, from where we will then be quite comfortable to go to Veliky Novgorod. The range of dishes here is quite extensive, but we preferred to limit ourselves to a classic omelette with bacon, as well as a couple of vegetable salads.
We had a very long road ahead of us, during which we did not see much sights, so in order to get some rest from the constant driving we decided to take a short walk in the fresh air through the picturesque forests around Lake Zelenoye. On one of its banks there are private plots, and on the opposite one there is a descent to the water and a small forest.
The next stop was a small town called Chudovo. Here we visited the manor of the same name, where once spent his last years of life a great Russian poet and prose writer Nikolai Alexeevich Nekrasov. Here you can get acquainted with a fascinating literary exhibition, as well as learn more about the life and work of the writer.
Not far from Chudovo is a small roadside cafe called Oasis. It serves a standard set of dishes, including meat in French, stewed liver, pilaf, as well as a very wide selection of soup and salads.
According to our established tradition, during the long journeys we make short stops near various memorials and monuments for a little rest and breath of fresh air. And now for the same purpose we stop near the military burial site of Lubino Polje.
We arrived in Veliky Novgorod quite late, all the most interesting places were already closed by that time, so most of the sightseeing will be seen the next day, and today we'll just walk along the embankment of the Volkhov River, which offers beautiful views of the Novgorod Detinets and the river itself.
After a long walk along the promenade, we headed for dinner at a restaurant bar on the other side of the river called. There were many meat dishes on the menu, among which we definitely liked Bavarian sausages, as well as meat in French.
Today's day will be entirely devoted to exploring the historical sights of the city. We will visit its main museums, as well as walk around the famous Novgorod Kremlin.
The cafe with the original name "House of Koromyslom" was perfect for a cheerful start of the day. The interior is furnished in the style of pre-revolutionary taverns with all the appropriate attributes. For breakfast usual European dishes are served: omelette with meat and fries, various salads and pastries. It's open Monday through Saturday.
One of the most interesting places to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Veliky Novgorod is the museum of wooden architecture of Vitoslavlitsa. His exposition is divided into several zones, each of which tells about a separate aspect of our ancestors' lives. Here you can find out how holidays were held in Russia, how weddings were celebrated, what is peasant life in winter and much more.
Today we begin to explore the sights of the Novgorod Kremlin, and the first of them will be the Lord's Chamber, a museum, whose building is one of the oldest in the fortress. Here you can learn more about the history of the princes who ruled here and the life of the city population, see a variety of archaeological finds and much more. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
"Telegraph" is a small cozy cafe, located on Ludogoshcha Street right next to the entrance to the Kremlin. This is where we decided to have lunch. Among the dishes on the menu you can find Asian, Italian and native Russians. We took a taste of lasagna, as well as a few pancakes with cottage cheese and dried fruits and were satisfied.
The next place we went was the famous Novgorod Museum of Fine Arts. In its vast halls there is an exposition devoted to the Russian art of XVII-XX centuries. Here you can see a variety of artistic miniatures, drawings, sculpture portraits and much more. Before you go here, it is worth clarifying your schedule, as the museum is closed on Mondays.
Well, after a fascinating and long excursion we decided to just take a little walk around the territory of the Novgorod Kremlin and get a better idea of its architecture. From the reign of Ivan III to the present day, many impressive buildings have been preserved, including most of the towers, as well as the St. Sophia Cathedral.
A small atmospheric restaurant is perfect for spending the rest of the day here. Facility's interior is home-like and cozy, popular European and Italian dishes are cooked here, including classical lasagna, salads with meat and fish, and a lot of light snacks.
Today we leave Veliky Novgorod and move towards Kingisepp. We'll drive through the towns of Luga. On the way we plan to visit some of its sights, as well as take a walk through some historical places.
The day starts at the cozy Cafe Le Chocolat. Its interior is made in a very stylish and atmospheric way. There are many different dishes in the menu, many visitors praise the sushi, as well as fish fillet with vegetables. We liked curd and berry roll and spaghetti with chanterelles.
Since we had quite a long road ahead of us, we wanted to take a short break to walk in the small town of Luga. We decided to stay in the very center of the city not so far from the square, where the memorial "City of Military Glory" is located. The place looks very neat and well-groomed, you can make some memorable shots and have a rest from the trip.
Another interesting place in the city of Luga is the Catholic Church of St. Nicholas, located on Uritsky Avenue. The building was built of red brick in the traditional Neo-Gothic style, and after final restoration in the 90s it was included in the list of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia.
In order not to be distracted by any needs on our next trip, we decided to have lunch a little early in the city of Luga. Café of modern European cuisine called "Chaplin" fit perfectly. The choice of dishes here was very extensive, we noticed several kinds of cakes and pancakes.
The museum-estate "Rozhdestvenno" is a unique house, built back in the times of the Russian Empire. At different times this place was owned by quite famous people: this is the merchant dynasty of the Rukavishnikovs, and the family of the famous Russian writer Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov. The estate is located in a very picturesque place, so the walk itself will be pleasant.
Lutheran churches were not often on our way, so on our way to Kingisepp we decided to make a stop in the village of Gubanitsa to see the famous church of St. John. It was built in traditional Gothic style during the reign of Peter the Great. It was destroyed and rebuilt many times during its history, and in the early 90's it was fully restored.
When we arrived at Kingisepp, we felt pretty tired, so we went straight to dinner. There's a nice gastropub on Karl Marx Avenue called The Collection. We ordered ourselves some pork steaks, and the side dishes we liked were mashed potatoes. The service of the restaurant is very fast, on the whole we were satisfied.
Today we are finishing our journey through historical places, we will go from Kingisepp to St. Petersburg, on the way visiting various interesting places, among which ancient fortresses, defensive constructions and monuments.
The usual European dishes are prepared here, and for breakfast we ordered several chicken cutlets with rice, as well as a couple of portions of vinaigrette. It is also worth noting that the restaurant interior is very cozy and home-like, creating an atmosphere of warmth and calmness.
More than once during the trip we saw ancient fortresses and castles, and now we will visit another famous medieval fortress - Ivangorod Fortress. It is located not far from the Narva River, there is a good view of the quay. A walk along the territory, walls and towers can be complemented by a visit to the local souvenir shop.
Another one of the most interesting ancient defensive forts in the Leningrad region, which is certainly worth visiting is the fortress Koporye, located in the village of the same name. It has a rather rich and interesting story, which the guide will tell you in detail. Restoration works are carried out in some areas, but this does not prevent the general flow of tourists.
After a long tour we went to Pine Forest in search of a place to have lunch. Wandering around the city for a short while, we found the family cafe Spice&Strast. It cooks mainly European and Asian cuisine, many of the dishes are marked with funchosa, as well as salad with chicken thigh.
After lunch we went to the coast of the Gulf of Finland to the village of Shepelevo, where the lighthouse of the same name is located. Of course, the lighthouse itself is still functioning as intended, so it is unlikely to get inside, but a stroll through the area leaves the most pleasant impressions, there are beautiful views of the bay.
Moving further along the coast, you can get to a small village Lebyazhie, where there is another defensive border, once guarded these areas - Fort Krasnaya Gorka. There is a memorial to seamen who died in the sea, in addition, you can see several examples of military equipment and defensive structures.
We decided to finish our journey not so far from Peterhof, having dinner in a small grill bar. Here a huge number of different grilled meat and fish dishes are prepared. You should definitely try Bavarian sausages as well as burgers and ribs. It's worth saying that there's also dessert to choose from. Personally, I had a chocolate cake with fresh strawberry berries to taste.