Country estate getaways for the autumn

Yasnaya Polyana. Source: Lori / Legion Media

Yasnaya Polyana. Source: Lori / Legion Media

September is the ideal time to visit the summer country homes of Russian poets and writers, many of whom occupied their estates all year round.

Yasnaya Polyana

The “autumn” writer Leo Tolstoy (born September 9, 1828, new style) lived and worked at his ancestral estate, Yasnaya Polyana, which is located 200 kilometers south of Moscow. There he wrote his famous novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” among a great number of his other works. This is also the location of his burial site. The Yasnaya Polyana state memorial and natural preserve currently displays authentic furniture from the estate, Tolstoy’s personal possessions, his 20,000-book library, the work house of the writer Prince Volkonsky, the Kuzminsky House, which held a school that Tolstoy opened for peasant children, and a bathhouse.

How to get there

On the official site , you can find out how to get there, where to stay and how to book an organized tour (in English).

Bolshoe Boldino

Bolshoe Boldino. Source: Lori / Legion Media

The Boldino autumn (1830, 1833) was the most productive period in the working life of Alexander Pushkin, who during that time completed “Eugene Onegin” and “The Little Tragedies” and wrote more than 30 lyric poems. The seclusion in the village of Bolshoe Boldino, which is situated in the Nizhny Novgorod region (570 kilometers from Moscow), due to a cholera quarantine which coincided with his long-awaited marriage to Natalya Goncharova. In 1918, the residents themselves declared the village to be reserved Pushkin sites—a park and the poet’s favorite grove, the renovated estate, and a reconstructed patrimonial office have been preserved there.

How to get there – only in Russian

To get here, take a train from Yaroslavsky Railway Station in Moscow:

36f-Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod “Nizhegorodets” 7:18 a.m. and 11:40 p.m. daily

24f-Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod “Premium” 6:30 a.m. and 11:35 p.m. daily

62f-Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod “Burevestnik” 1:55 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. daily

120-Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod “Burevestnik-2” 4:42 p.m. and 9:59 p.m. daily

Where to stay

You can stay in the Bolshoye Boldino Hotel

View the list of organized tours to Bolshoye Boldino here.

Pushkinskie Gory

Pushkinskiye Gory. Source: Lori / Legion Media

Another site in European Russia is associated with the work of Alexander Pushkin: the Mikhailovskoe estate, which in the early 20th century became part of the Pushkinskie Gory state reserve along with the nearby Trigorskoe and Petrovskoe estates. The Pushkins’ estate was built at Mikhailovskoe in the 18th century by the poet’s uncle, Osip Gannibal. There the poet wrote the middle chapters of the novel “Eugene Onegin,” the tragedy “Boris Godunov” and other works. Now, this reserve, that lies 650 kilometers from Moscow, covers 9,800 hectares and includes five lakes; flood meadows and park areas near the estates of the poet’s relatives and friends; Pushkin’s grave and the family necropolis; and the scientific and cultural center of the Pushkinskie Gory community.

On the official site , you can find out how to get there, where to stay and how to book an organized tour


Polenovo. Source: Lori / Legion Media

A favorite autumn destination among Russians is the “house on the Oka,” the estate of Vasily Polenov, a national artist of the RSFSR. The estate was built more than 100 years ago and stands 130 kilometers from Moscow. The artist designed the main house, the artist’s “Abbey,” and the annexes, all of which are located on the estate, as well as St. Trinity Church, which is two kilometers away. Today the estate is a state museum-reserve covering 14 hectares and including 17 memorial buildings and a park on the grounds, where most of the trees were planted personally by the artist.

How to get there

You can travel independently to the estate via suburban trains Moscow–Tula, departing from the Kursky Railway Station in Moscow to Tarusskaya Station, then take a marshrutka (fixed-route taxi) or bus to Polenovo.

Where to stay

A sightseeing tour is the best way to visit Polenovo. Sightseeing tours. The cost of the tour, including transfers from Moscow, ranges from 150 to 250 euros for adults, depending on the number of days and sites to be visited. Please, contact the tour department for information on all excursions and sightseeing tours. You can book a tour by phone or at the official website – only in Russian. Tel. / Fax: 8 (487) 342-1180 Tel.: 8 (906) 702-5752 E-mail: More information about the estate in English.


Abramtsevo. Source: Lori / Legion Media

Situated 76 kilometers from Moscow, the Abramtsevo manor estate, now a museum-reserve, belonged to the writer Sergei Aksakov and, later, Savva Mamontov. Thanks to Mamontov, the Abramtsevo estate became a center of artistic life in late 19th-century Russia. The estate welcomed a roster of guests that included the writers Gogol and Turgenev, the artists Repin, Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Korovin and Levitan, and the renowned bass singer Fyodor Shalyapin. Nowadays, the 50 hectares occupied by this museum-reserve contain a park and monuments to 18th- and 19th-century architecture.

On the official site , you can find out how to get there, where to stay and how to book an organized tour.


Konstantinovo. Source: Lori / Legion Media

In the native village of the Russian poet Sergei Esenin, located in the Ryazan region 270 kilometers from Moscow, a museum-reserve was opened in 1965. Right after the poet’s death in 1925, devotees of his work began making pilgrimages to Konstantinvo. They met Esenin’s mother and sister in Esenin’s house, and record books show thousands of notes requesting that an Esenin museum be opened in the village. Annual festivals, poetry nights and concerts are now held in the village. The Esenins’ estate, the Church of Our Lady of Kazan, a literary exhibition, and zemstvo and teacher training schools have all been preserved in the village.

How to get there

( – the official website, only in Russian. You can reach it by taking the Express Train Moscow-Ryazan, or the electric train Moscow-Ryazan from the Kazansky Railway Station in Moscow to the Rybnoye Station, then by bus or a marshrutka (fixed-route taxi) (No. 132). Take a bus to Ryazan (No. 960) from the Vykhino Bus Station.

Where to stay

Barskiye Zabavy Recreation Center. Comfortable wooden cottages, suitable for year-round stay. All the rooms are doubles with private facilities. The cottages have kitchens and living rooms with TV sets. Tourists are offered three meals a day, cooked in the tradition of Russian cuisine. Services: accommodation, horseback riding and hiking, sauna, hunting with hounds, falconry, fishing, family and children's programs.

Tel.: 8 (910) 901-3662 8 (920) 963-2777

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