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Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Meet and greet arrival transfer from St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport to your hotel and check in. Tonight, our Welcome Meeting takes place. The remainder of the evening is free for you to do as you please. Your tour leader will recommend some local bars and restaurants for you to try out
A city tour gives us a run-down of St Pete’s key areas. We will drive along the famed Nevsky Prospekt, the museum and university districts and a stop will be made at the Church on Spilled Blood (viewed from outside from the Nevsky prospect side for photo opportunities), The Bronze Horseman and Peter and Paul Fortress. Peter and Paul Fortress was built on the orders of Peter the Great. At one time a gruesome prison, within the compound is SS Peter and Paul Cathedral - housing the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. Later, we enjoy a guided visit at the Hermitage - which houses one of the biggest and best art collections on earth. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore. Most of the city sights are dotted along and just off the main thoroughfare - Nevsky Prospekt.
Today we will visit the famous Palaces in St Petersburg. Touring will include, dependent upon opening hours and availability, either a visit to the gardens of Peter the Great’s palatial Peterhof which overlooks the Gulf of Finland (in summer) or a visit to Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo i. We then stop for lunch overlooking the Griboyedov Canal where we can enjoy a hearty meal. After lunch we continue with a guided tour of the interior of The Church on Spilled Blood with time to shop in the souvenir market located alongside the church.
Today gives the opportunity to shop for souvenirs, maybe some wooden dolls or russian memorabilia found at the canal side market near the striking Church on Spilled Blood. Or take a walk along Nevsky Prospekt. Later we travel by coach or train to Novgorod where we enjoy a steamy Russian banya (sauna)
Novgorod is one of Russia’s oldest cities, located within reach of the Volkhov River and Lake Ilmen. It was formed as a town in the middle of the 10th century. A tour of Novgorod takes in the riverside fortified kremlin, cathedral and other sights. The fortress was mentioned in chronicles as early as in 1044, whilst today’s walls and towers, despite being re-built in 15th century, are impressive all the same. Tonight we have dinner before travelling by overnight sleeper train from Novgorod to Moscow
Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow - the capital that spawned dozens of spy novels! Today we will ride on the capital’s efficient Metro to Red Square. From here, we’ll take in the jewels of Russia’s capital on a guided walk in the Kitay-Gorod and Lubyanka area, taking in sights such as the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin (guided tour on day 8), Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ritzy GUM department store. At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the wildly coloured, turban domed St Basil’s Cathedral, an enduring Russian symbol commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the terrible) in 1555
A free day to explore Moscow. There are plenty of galleries, museums and shops to entertain. Perhaps hit one of the late night bars or nightclubs this evening; Moscow’s nightlife can rival any of the world’s capital cities!
Today, we head into Red Square where, if open, we can pay our respects for free to Lenin, the grandfather of Communism, who has lain in state within his eerie mausoleum since his death in 1924. We continue inside the Kremlin - Russia’s bastion of political might, where we enjoy a guided walk through the grounds, seeing numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the tsar bell. This afternoon we offer guided tour of a formerly top secret Cold War bunker! Up until recently this Stalinist-era Soviet Bunker was a secret symbol of Soviet Power. Hidden beneath an ordinary two storey apartment building in Moscow, 18 floors below ground level, this 75,000-squarefoot facility was constructed covertly, in the 1950’s, to protect against the threat of a US nuclear attack.
Today the tour ends we will transfer to the airport
The ancient and provincial town of Novgorod is en route from St Petersburg to Moscow and a popular pit-stop. ...