It’s the land where Tetris was invented, where Cats play guardians at the country’s greatest museum – The Hermitage, where teachers can be paid in Vodka if high inflation is declared, it’s the country that sent the first man to space, and dog, and then proceeded to have statutes for both. Russia feels like a constant movie set, with its splendidly colorful domes, incredibly beautiful underground metro stations, cultures, and traditions. With their exotic names and beautiful attitude, Russia is something of a mystery to the outside world. But not anymore. The country has been welcoming tourists with wonderful deals for a while now. Let’s go have some Vodka with the Russians!
Dobro pozhalovat' v Moscow! On arrival, meet and greet with our representative and check in to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day acclimatizing to the city.
Moscow is the powerhouse of Russia. With its postcard-like European-style palaces, fountains, pleasure boats, cultural institutes, architecture and statues, Moscow constantly reminds everyone of its power and wealth. Grandeur is what Moscow does well, particularly in the Kremlin, where you could spend years rather than days. Moscow is the place to be, and the fantastic place what you will be exploring for the next couple of days before taking off inland.
Den 1 in Moscow, start on the top and work your way through the city. Drive to Vorobyevi Hills that has the most incredible view of the city, next stop is at the Moscow State University, a Stalin-time architecture, then on to Novodevichiy Convent, the Diplomatic Village, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect, and the Arbat. Then arrive at the beautiful Red Square and visit the famous St. Basil´s Cathedral. Also, stop over at the statues of Minin and Pozharsky and the Mausoleum of Lenin. Close the day with a performance at The Bolshoi Opera House.
Be ready to have your mind blown by Kremlin today. The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure that serves multiple roles - an ancient tower, the city’s former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury and the workplace of the Russian President. The Kremlin has always been the center of Russia’s political and state life from the time of Tsars. Also, visit the Assumption Cathedral, the Archangel’s Cathedral and the Annunciation Cathedral. The Diamond Fund was set up in 1922. It originally contained the treasury of Russia and the crowned jewels of the Russian Tsars.
Time to go further into Russia, and head to Vladimir, a beautiful town founded in the 12th century. Start at the small village of Bogolyubovo, located on the hill overlooking the Klyazma valley and visit of the church of Pokrov on the Nerl. This church is famous for its ideal proportions and the light plastics of the relieves engraved on the white stone. Continue to Suzdal – with small villages and picturesque datchas on both sides of the road.
Suzdal is a place where you feel as if you are witness to a historical heritage of mankind, with over 60 historical monuments. From the Kremlin of the 12th century with its church of the Nativity of Our Lady, the Icons museum within the former Metropolite’s quarters, visit of the Cross Chamber, and the Museum of Wooden architecture and the modest izbas, there is every thing! Rest of the day, explore the city at your leisure.
Today head to Kostroma, the city that used to be the pilgrimage place for the Romanov family. Start with the St. Hipatius Monastery founded in 1330: the St. Trinity cathedral, then Tsar Michael’s Palace wherefrom the first Romanov reigned for 4 months. In March 1613 Michael received in this palace the boyar delegation who announced to him that he had been elected to the Russian throne. Use the rest of the afternoon to explore Suzdal independently.
Next stop of the tour is at Yaroslavl, a perfect example of an urban renovation programme undertaken in 1763 by the empress Catherine the Great for the whole of Russia. Start with the Fyodor Volkov Theatre, the first one in Russia, the Volga embankments, Savior Monastery with its Transfiguration Cathedral, then the Metropolite’s Palace/St. Elya’s Church.
Multiple stops on the way back to Moscow today. First stop at Rostov, for about an hour to see the Kremlin and some churches. Then continue to Serguiev Possad, the most important orthodox centre of Russia. Start with a guided tour of this beautiful monastery founded in the 14th century by St. Serguey. Its fortified walls surround an ensemble of 7 churches with the most beautiful one – that of the Assumption, and the St, Trinity Cathedral, an Ecclesiastic Academy, a library and numerous religious treasures. Then carry on to Moscow.
From Moscow head to St Petersburg on the high-speed train. On arrival in St. Petersburg, get transferred to your hotel. St. Petersburg was home to Catherine the Great, 'Bloody Sunday' and Romanovs. The Russian Revolution in 1917 led to the foundation of the world's first communist state, radically changed the course of 20th century world history, ultimately affecting such far-flung countries as Cuba and Vietnam. Today though, St Petersburg has emerged from its more turbulent past, reclaiming its rightful place amongst the world's most beautiful and fascinating cities as somewhere you really must experience for yourself.
St. Peteresburg was founded in 1703, which makes it relatively young, but has been playing key role in the history of Russia ever since. Today, acquaint yourself with the main architectural and historical monuments of Saint Petersburg. As you explore the city at your pace, by noon, arrive at one of the largest museums in the world - the State Hermitage. It occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the Neva River. It would take 15 years to see all the exhibits treasured in the Hermitage! Just saying.
Today is about checking out the Royal lifestyles in St. Petersburg. Full day excursion to the royal residences of Pushkin and Pavlovsk. Pushkin, one of the earliest royal estates, and Pavlovsk, one of the latest, make a lovely combination! Pushkin, also called Tsarskoye Selo (Tsars’ village, literally). The ensemble of its palace and park is a true masterpiece of 18-19 centuries’ architects. The center of the composition is Catherine’s palace and its interiors, including the famed Amber Room – lost in the WWII and completely restored recently. As a logical continuation of this tour, you will visit Pavlovsk, a town that used to be the favorite summer residence of Emperor Pavel and his family. You will amaze at luxurious interiors and marvelous collections!
Still from St. Petersburg, take a half day excursion to Peterhof. Take the hydrofoil across the Gulf of Finland to Peterhof. The Grand Palace of Peterhof is one of the richest and most interesting summer palaces in Russia. Although, a lot of people come here just to see the magnificent fountains of the Lower Park. It is also known as "the kingdom of fountains". There are about 300 fountains on the territory of the Lower Park of Peterhof, moreover there is a number of small private palaces scattered around the park. Return to your hotel in St. Petersburg for the final nights’ stay before your return flight home the following morning.
For more information, get in touch with us.