The Pskov Region ranks in the Top 5 destinations popular with travelers
Marina Egorova
Chairwoman of the Tourism Committee of the Pskov Region

The Pskov Region ranks in the Top 5 destinations popular with travelers

Marina Egorova, Chairwoman of the Tourism Committee of the Pskov Region speaks about the tourism attractions and the promising future of the tourism industry in the Pskov Region.

- Last year, the Pskov Region ranked in the Top 5 destinations enjoying the growing popularity with tourists. What are the most ‘heavyweight tourism anchors’ for travelers today?

- Over the past 3 years, the tourist flow to the Pskov Region has increased by 30 percent. In 2023, about 500 thousand tourists visited the region. Of course, travelers are primarily attracted by the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Pskov Region. We have preserved medieval fortresses, unique churches, frescoes of the 12th century, estates of prominent people, including the famous Mikhailovskoye one associated with Aleksandr S. Pushkin, the world-famous Russian poet, as well as the estates of great Russian composers Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

There are more than 4 thousand historical and cultural monuments in the Pskov Region, 8 operating monasteries and 10 churches and cathedrals entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Pskov Kremlin is among the longest fortresses in Europe.


In the evenings, enthusiasts of active tourism enjoy SUP-surfing along the Velikaya (Great) River around the Pskov Kremlin’s walls, paragliding over the very center of Pskov, horseback riding or quad biking, visiting rope parks, hot air ballooning over the Izborsk-Mal Valley or in Velikiye Luki.

- The center of Pskov has recently changed greatly. What has already been done and what are the plans for developing the tourism potential?

- Numerous programs are under implementation in Pskov to create or improve the comfortable urban environment. A project to create a tourism ‘hallmark’ for the center of the city of Pskov is among them, and a modern fair space, light illuminations, photo zones, viewing platforms, and art objects were created last year, including several small-size sculptures of leopards, which are popular with the city residents and travelers. In 2024, architectural lighting for buildings in the city center is expected.

The city attracts significant investments for its tourism projects. Since 2019, the formation of the Spiritual Bedrocks tourism cluster has begun in the Pskov Region comprising 12 investment projects under implementation to create tourism infrastructure facilities, with recreation centers, hotels and multifunctional tourism centers among them. Public spaces are under reconstruction and improvement, and new accommodation facilities are being built. In particular, a project is under implementation as part of this cluster to create first 5-star hotels in the region. It will give new life to historical heritage sites like the 16th-century Trubinsky Chamber and the 19th-century Twine Factory.

The plans are to build two large hotels in the future, with 165 rooms in one of them and 120 rooms in the other hotel; their investors are going to take advantage of the Favorable Credit Facilities program implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation this year.

Considering that our region is of particular interest to auto-tourists, active work is in progress to build modular hotels and car camping sites. We are currently studying new opportunities for creating road service facilities. Together with the municipalities, we install tourist navigation signs to make it convenient for auto-tourists to stop over during their journey, go sightseeing, and admire the stunning views.

- What routes can you recommend for a first visit to get acquainted with the Pskov Region?

- The Pskov - Izborsk - Pechory - Pushkin Mountains route is the main tour itinerary most popular for traveling around the Pskov Region, and in the summer, I would like to advise a visit to the Talab Islands. The Talab archipelago consisting of three islands is the ‘pearl’ of our nature. This unique place in the Pskov Region combines the spirituality, culture, religion, history, and beautiful nature. Every visitor can feel the real attraction of the Talab Islands.

In 2022, two touristic routes in the Pskov Region received the ‘national’ status. The first one dubbed Alexander Nevsky is the Name of Russia (Alexander Nevsky) brings together the main historical places, significant cultural heritage sites of the Pskov Region and the areas associated with the name of Alexander Nevsky.

Alexander Nevsky is Duke of Novgorod, Grand Duke of Kiev, Grand Duke of Vladimir, commander, the Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church. He won many victories, including the victory over the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240 and the victory in the Battle on the Ice of Lake Peipus fought between the army of Alexander Nevsky and the Teutonic Knights (Livonian Order) in 1242; he protected the western borders of Rus’ (Russia) from foreign invasion. Alexander Nevsky was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The second route is dubbed Traveling to the Farms or The Eyes are Afraid but the Hands Keep on Doing - gives the tourists an opportunity to get some first-hand experience and information about the lifestyle of the villagers from. Agritourism enthusiast have a chance to visit farms, including ostrich farms. In the workshops, tourists can get some idea about crafts and the production technology and take part in the manufacturing process. It is interesting to visit the pottery workshops, the flax and hemp museum called Linen Province, the workshops the Izborsky Gingerbread and the Bread Farm. They can also visit cheese factories, cider factories and even a snail farm that produce high-quality natural products, welcome tourists and are happy to offer excursions and hold tasting events for tourists.


Travelers should definitely taste sbiten (tea with honey and spices) and smelt (small fish, 7-10 cm long) - the real brand food of the region from the Pskov and Peipus lakes; smelt dishes are the favorite food of the Pskov residents, they like smelt soup, as well as dried smelt, fried or stewed smelt...

I think that the cuisine of the small Seto people living in the Pechora District is of interest to the enthusiasts of gastronomic tourism, for example, boiled cheese ‘a la Seto’ made with cumin.

- Very beautiful lakes are among the main attractions of the Pskov Region. What locations in the region are of interest to ecotourists?

- Ecotourists, I think, will be interested in visiting specially protected natural areas like the Polistovsky State Nature Reserve, the Sebezhsky National Park, as well as the natural monuments, for example, the Izborsk-Mal Valley and the island named after I. S. Belova.


The ecological trail Plavnitskoye Marshland is the attraction of the Polistovsky Reserve as it gives an opportunity to travel along the edge of an extensive system of high-moor bogs. The trail is equipped with wooden walkways and is laid over sphagnum mosses covering the swamps with a continuous multi-colored carpet. Tourists can enjoy their vast space from the viewing platform. Sphagnum mosses have an interesting feature - they disinfect water. The Polistovsky Reserve also offers the opportunity to take a boat ride on the lakes and rivers, take a swamp-shoe excursion, and in winter, take a snowmobile tour of the reserve.

Walking routes and trails in the Sebezhsky National Park are of interest to tourists; 650 rare species of plants grow in it, and over 200 species of birds live in their natural habitat, many of which are listed in the Red Data Book. There are water excursions along the system of lakes that is part of the trade route From the Varangians to the Greeks.

In the Izborsk-Mal Valley, there is a 3.5-km long fitness trail. This historical trail passes near the Truvorov Settlement, an archaeological site of the 7th century, the chapel of St. Anastasia, lakes, water springs, carbonate rock outcrops, tuff deposits, and rare and protected plant species.

The Pskov Region is unique and diverse, all travelers can find something to their liking. During the trip to our region, tourists can also visit numerous large-scale festivals and historical reconstructions. Their schedule and other useful information for travelers is on our portal

Photos courtesy of the Pskov Region Tourism Committee