Pskov is one of the oldest cities in Russia, well over 1000 years old, but has not lost it charm. Its ancient kremlin, known as the Krom, and other fortifications still surround the historical centre where many ancient churches still stand.
Pskov was first mentioned in Russian chronicles under the year 903. From the second half of the 14th century to 1510, when it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Pskov was the capital of the independent Pskov Republic. Up until the 18th century it was one of the largest cities in Russia and an strategic city in terms of defence and trade. The fortifications of Pskov consist of five rings (three of which survive today) which made the city practically impregnable and over the centuries Pskov has been besieged several times. After the foundation of St Petersburg however, Pskov's importance declined.
Izborsk is one of the most ancient cities in Russia. The city is known to have been in existence since at least 862 and there are only a few other cities in the whole of Russia and neighbouring Ukraine and Belarus which can trace their history back to this period. It is considered to have been part of the original area of the state which would later be known as Rus and then Russia. According to the foundation legend of Rus, Truvor – one of the three Varangian brothers who were invited to rule Rus – settled here and founded a fortress on the high bank of a river. The ruins of this fortress remain today and you can't help but feel the history and be impressed by the natural beauty of the place.
Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery – this cave-monastery is one of few monasteries in Russia to have survived for over five hundred years, having been founded in 1473. It is also one of the most revered holy sites in the country as the monastery has been given the status of a 'lavra'. It is located very close to the Estonian border. From the outside the monastery has the appearance of a fortress with a two-metre thick wall, 726 metres in length and incorporating nine towers. Its fortifications have been put to good use though and in its history it has been attacked by Livonia, Sweden and Poland. The monastery has also been visited by and enjoyed the patronage of various tsars including Ivan the Terrible, Alexander I and Nicholas II.
Moscow → Pskov → Pechyory → Izborsk → Pskov →Moscow
Total distance of the tour: 1,474km - 1,374km | 100km
FRIDAY | DEPARTING MOSCOW
20:23 | Departure of the premium train Pskov from Leningrad Railway Station of Moscow.
SATURDAY | PSKOV
08:05 | Arrival in Pskov. Transfer to the hotel. A driver will way for you next to your carriage with a sign saying .
Breakfast in the hotel.
City tour of Pskov - the highlights of the tour include:
- Pskov Kremlin – this is one of the oldest kremlins in Russia. It is also known as the Krom. In its long history it has survived many sieges and has been the administrative, religious and culture centre of the city. During the time of the Pskov Republic the veche (a type of parliament meeting) was held here, as well as the city’s stores of supplies.
- Trinity Cathedral - this imposing cathedral in the kremlin dates from 1699 and is the city’s main cathedral. It is 72 metres tall and can be seen from many points in the city. Inside it holds a wonderful seven-tiered iconostasis.
- Pokrovskaya Tower - out of all the stone towers of the kremlin erected in the beginning of the 16th century, the Pokrovskaya (Intercession) Tower on the south-western corner on the bank of the River Velikaya is perhaps the most outstanding. It is unique in the fact that its first level is cut out of the stone on which it stands.
- Gremyachia Tower - this six-tier tower of Pskov’s outer walls is connected with many mystical legends.
- Dovmont Town – just outside the kremlin are the foundations of another set of fortifications and a settlement known as Dovmont Town after the 13th century prince of Pskov - Dovmont (or Daumantas – to give him his original Lithuanian name). The small territory only covers one and a half hectares, but over 20 churches and civilian buildings once stood here.
- Pogankin Chambers - this is a unique example of civil architecture from the late 17th century. It was the home of one of the richest merchants in Pskov – Sergey Pogankin. It is now a museum which holds icons from the 14th to 17th centuries from the Pskov school of icon-painting.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: by a private car
Free time in Pskov.
Night in Pskov.
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • PSKOV •
|Excursion to Mirozhsky Monastery|
Duration: 1h | Transportation: by a private car
SUNDAY | IZBORSK - PECHYORY MONASTERY
Breakfast at your hotel.
Transfer to the Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery.
Guided tour around the Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery (Pskov Cave Monastery) - the highlights of this tour include:
- Dormition Cave Church – this is the oldest church in the monastery. It was built in 1473 in a cave by the monk Iona. It is unique as it consists of only a façade, the rest of the church is inside the cave. In the 19th century the church was redecorated in the Ukrainian Baroque style to resemble the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Cave Monastery). The monastery’s most precious relics are held here: the miracle-working Dormition of the Virgin Mary icon and the Tenderness of the Virgin Mary icon.
- Petrovsky Bastion – the bastion was built on the orders of Peter the Great to form a defensive line during the Northern War. The defensive walls run parallel with the monastery's walls and surround it.
- Bloody Path – this path leads from the Holy Gates to the caves. According to legend, the path gets its name from events connected with Tsar Ivan the Terrible’s visit to the monastery. Ivan believed the monastery's abbot Kornily was plotting against him and so Ivan struck him with his staff and killed him. The tsar immediately repented and carried the body down the path to the church, leaving a trail of blood.
- Archangel Michael’s Cathedral – this cathedral was built between 1815 and 1827 in the classical style to commemorate the salvation of Pskov and the whole of Russia from Napoleon.
Transfer to Izborsk.
Excursion to Izborsk - on this excursion it will seem like you are travelling back in time to the very beginnings of Ancient Rus. The main highlights of the excursion include:
- Izborsk Fortress – an ancient stone fortress which dates from the beginning of the 14th century. Over the centuries it has survived several sieges and defended Rus from its enemies. Despite its semi-ruined condition, it is considered an outstanding example of ancient Russian military architecture.
- Slovenskie Springs of the Twelve Apostles – these beautiful springs were first mentioned in the 17th century. The waters pass through carbonaceous rock as several streams of water (between 12 and 15), it noisily falls from an exposed slope forming a small cascade of waterfalls.
- Truvor Gorodische – this is the former site of a 7th century settlement. It is connected with the foundation legend of Rus and one of the three Varangian brothers – Truvor - is said to have been invited to rule here. From here you can enjoy spectacular views of Izborsk and its surroundings.
Duration: 6h | Transportation: by private car
Transfer to Pskov.
Free time in the city.
18:30 | Transfer to Pskov Railway Station.
19:30 | Overnight train to Moscow.
MONDAY | ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW
06:14 | Arrival in Moscow.
- The tour is planned for starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday, but it is possible on any day except for Monday when the museums are closed.
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
- Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
- The tour is available in other languages upon request.
- All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
- The tour is suitable for travellers with children.
- Best time to travel on this route: from the end of April to mid-October and from December to mid-March.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|
• COST OF THE TOUR WITH 3* HOTELS •
|PRICE PER GROUP||1-2 PAX||3-4 PAX||5-6 PAX||7-8 PAX|
• COST OF THE TOUR WITH 4* HOTELS •
|PRICE PER GROUP||1-2 PAX||3-4 PAX||5-6 PAX||7-8 PAX|
- Individual excursions according to the programme.
- Entrance tickets to the museums
- Transfers in a private car according to the programme.
- Accommodation in a hotel, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast.
- 24h emergency support during the tour
- Visa support documents
- Return train tickets Moscow - Pskov
- Meals (except for breakfast where stated).
- Tips for the guides and drivers (optional).