The Essential
This former fishing village, tucked away on the banks of the Volga, is a great weekend favourite with Moscow's and Saint Petersburg's intelligentsia. Its narrow lanes, whose urban plan has not changed since the late 17C-early 18C, remain steeped in period charm. Don't miss the church of Dormition (17C) and the church of St Peter and St Paul (18C). Russian landscapist Isaac Levitan was inspired by this idyllic spot to paint countless works depicting the surrounding countryside.