Sights of the Leningrad region: where to go by car
The Leningrad Region is located in the northwestern part of Russia — in the land of forests and lakes, white nights, cool summers and mild winters. Especially picturesque local nature in the Gulf of Finland. The region is adjacent to Karelia, Pskov, Novgorod, Vologodchina. In the northwest it borders with the countries of the European Union — Estonia and Finland. Until the 18th century, part of the land of the Leningrad region was the Swedish Ingermanland. From the moment of conquest by Peter the Great, and until 1918, St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire. Hence the mass of historical attractions in its vicinity: palaces, castles, monasteries, park complexes.
Perhaps the most interesting places in the Leningrad Region are Tsarskoye Selo, Peterhof, Kronstadt, Gatchina and Vyborg. At the weekend you can go to Pushkin — the city in whose territory the Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Reserve is located. The road to the tourist center by car takes 45 minutes. From St. Petersburg, you have to go south — along Vitebsky Avenue or Petersburg Highway. The palace and park ensemble of Tsarskoye Selo, dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, served as the royal residence.
On the territory of the reserve there are several parks. The most beautiful among them — Catherine and Alexander.
Interesting places in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) of the Leningrad Region:
- Admiralty on the banks of the Big Pond.
- English park.
- The Grand Catherine Palace with the Amber and Agate rooms.
- Granite terrace.
- Pavilion «Hermitage».
- Cameron Gallery.
- Pavilion «Turkish bath».
- The old garden of Rozen and Focht.
- Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum with the A. Pushkin Memorial Museum.
- Alexander Palace.
- Chinese village.
- Pavilion «White Tower».
- New Garden Girard.
- Pavilion «Arsenal».
- Landscape park with three ponds.
Peterhof and Kronstadt
An hour’s drive from the regional center is Peterhof, a country imperial residence listed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. Part of the museum-reserve forms the palace and park ensemble «Peterhof» of the time of Peter the Great. It consists of the Grand Peterhof Palace, Upper and Lower Park.
The Alexandria Palace and Park Ensemble was built under Nicholas I. The complex is named after the emperor’s wife, Prussian princess Frederica Charlotte Wilhelmina, who took the name Alexandra Feodorovna in Russia. The ensemble includes:
- Alexandria Park;
- Palaces Farmers and Cottages;
- Gothic Alexander Nevsky Chapel;
- Lower cottage.
In the south of Peterhof there is a Renaissance Colonist park with two pavilions and the Olgin pond.
To see the «St. Petersburg sea shield» — Kronstadt, you need to go to the island of Kotlin. A small piece of land of 16 square meters. km is located in the Gulf of Finland. The highway connects it with the mainland. The journey from St. Petersburg to Kronstadt by car takes just over an hour. The city-port was founded by Peter I, is the capital of the Baltic Fleet of Russia. What to see in Kronstadt? Among the architectural sights of the city is to highlight
- Italian Palace;
- Admiralty complex;
- Kronstadt fortress;
- Vladimir and Marine Nikolsky Cathedrals.
Of interest are the local parks and gardens:
Gatchina and Vyborg
At 50 km from St. Petersburg there is another center of military glory, closely connected with the life of the imperial family, Gatchina. The city was founded at the end of the 18th century, but the predecessor of the settlement, the village of Hotchino, was first mentioned in 1500. For a long time, the Luzhsko-Oredezhskaya locality was the subject of claims by the two countries, Sweden and Russia, and at the beginning of the 18th century finally came under the authority of the latter.
Sights of the Leningrad region near Gatchina:
- The ensemble of the hospital town.
- Birch house.
- Grand Gatchina Palace architect Antonio Rinaldi.
- Palace Park.
- Round Riga.
- Pavilion of Venus.
- Parks «Menagerie» and «Silvia».
- Square Connetable.
- Pokrovsky Cathedral.
- Priory Palace and Park.
- Orphan Institute.
- Cloth factory.
- Manor Shcherbova in the style of northern modernity.
Founded in the Middle Ages by the Swedes, Vyborg is located on the shores of the bay of the same name. From the Finnish border, the ancient city is separated by some 27 km. The road from St. Petersburg to Vyborg by car takes about two hours. It is necessary to go to the north-west along the highway E 18. Vyborg was tentatively founded at the end of the 13th century on the trade routes of Novgorod, Hanseatic and Gotland merchants. The oldest building of the city is considered to be Vyborg Castle in 1293.
Other sights of the Leningrad region in Vyborg:
- Alley of sculptures.
- Ann fortifications.
- Bastion Panzerlaks.
- Tower of St. Olaf.
- Alvar Aalto Library.
- Exhibition Center Hermitage-Vyborg.
- House of the merchant guild of the Holy Spirit.
- Catholic church of St. Hyacinth.
- Round Tower.
- Town Hall.
- Old market.
Museum Reserve «Yalkala»
In the Vyborg district, between two Simaginsky lakes, the Long and the Big, there is an open-air historical ethnographic museum. Going to «Yalkalu» is for the sake of pristine nature, creating a mythical atmosphere. The local glacial reservoirs amaze with their harsh beauty: gloomy waters surrounded by sandy beaches and slender, fading into the sky pines. It is not surprising that in such regions inhabited by different peoples of the Karelian Isthmus, a very distinctive culture was born. You can learn about it in the house museum Perviainen.
The main exhibition takes visitors back to the times of the 19th century, in the atmosphere of a Finnish farm. The museum contains items of village life, folk costumes, documents.
Some exhibits are devoted to the activities of such famous personalities as the artist Alexander Benois, the composer Sulho Ranta, the politicians George Plekhanov and Vladimir Lenin. There is a stand telling about the events of the Soviet-Finnish war. Under “Yalkal”, the chapel of St. Leonid operates, built in memory of the soldiers who fought for independence.
Toksovo and Korobitsyno
The village of Toksovo, located one hour from St. Petersburg, is well known to fans of alpine skiing. In winter, both amateurs and professionals gather, as a rule, at the “Northern Slopes” resort. Vacationers can stay in a hotel, motel or cottage. On the territory of the complex there are three slopes of different complexity, there are three lifts, there is a bath, a gym, a massage room.
Where to go in the summer? Among the main natural attractions of the Leningrad region and Toksovo including — lakes. Near the village there are two large glacial reservoirs — Kavgolovskoe and Hepoyarvi. Lakes are smaller: Babia Luzha, Verojärvi, Kurgulovskoe, Shchuchye, Tea. If you have children with you, then it is advisable to go to Lake Kavgolovskoye, as there is better infrastructure. Near the Big Beach there is a parking, cafe, shop. Another comfortable corner, «Venice», is located on the southern shore of the lake. Those who are looking for protected sights of the Leningrad region will be interested in the reservoir Hepoyarvi. The local beach is surrounded by real taiga jungle, blueberry and crimson thickets.
Korobitsyno is a village on the Karelian Isthmus, located 90 km north-west of St. Petersburg. The road by car will take 1-1.5 hours, runs through Pervomayskoye to Podgorye, and from there turns to Michurinskoe. Korobitsyno Ski Center combines several resorts:
The peak of the tourist season here falls on the New Year and Christmas.
However, life in the resorts does not stop in the warm season. Attractions in the Leningrad region, located near Korobitsyno, are the lakes Pravdinskoe, Vishnevskoe, Volochaevskoe, Michurinskoe, Glubokoe. The nearest reservoir to the village — Red Lake.
In summer, families come to its coast. Walking around the neighborhood with a child, you can watch the life of forest animals, listen to the singing of pichugs.
On the territory of local holiday homes and cottages there are tennis courts and sports fields. Some beaches are equipped with jumps and lifts, slides for water «cheesecakes».
Where else to go? You can drive around the beautiful natural sights of the Leningrad Region by driving to the eastern part of Lake Ladoga. You should see Alekhovshin, Shark Mountain, Lodeynoye Pole, Nizhne-Svirsky Reserve.