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Welcome to Russia and the start of your holiday! Meet and greet arrival transfer from airport to hotel and check-in.
Today we journey to Red Square for a guided tour of the Kitay-Gorod and Lubyanka area. In Red Square, feast your eyes on the wildly coloured, onion domed St Basil’s Cathedral. Along one side of the square runs the elegant façade of the GUM department store - once the only choice for shopping in the Communist era. Also on Red Square is Lenin’s Mausoleum, where if open, we can pay our respects to the father of Communism.
Journeying to Red Square, we enjoy a guided tour of the mighty Kremlin. The fortified stronghold built in the 11th century, was home to the campaigns of Ivan the Terrible, Stalin, Lenin, Napoleon and more recently Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin. We view the Russian Palaces of Congresses, Senate and Supreme Soviet buildings and the Assumption Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Tsar Bell and Armoury.
Relax and chill out or perhaps visit one or two of the city’s plentiful museums. The Moscow Metro, a gift to the good Soviet people from Joseph Stalin, is a tourist attraction in itself. Many of the central stations are richly adorned with bronzes and chandeliers and clad with marble and mosaic! Tonight, we travel by overnight sleeper train to Pskov.
Just a stone’s throw from Estonia, historical Pskov has played host to a stream of Baltic invaders for 700 years. A tour of Pskov takes in the riverside fortified Kremlin and cathedral. A short drive brings us to the beautiful 14th century Pechory Monastery, where we explore the peaceful grounds and if permitted, we can go underground and view the burial caves of this fascinating and still-working cloister.
This morning, we drive to St Petersburg, early afternoon arrival and remainder of the day at leisure. Stunningly grandiose St Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703, is built around a series of bridge-connected canals and rivers. With more than 90 museums, many of which are housed in imperial palaces, flamboyant galleries, and churches, the city is a feast for eyes and a real favourite of visitors.
This morning, a city tour takes us to the Church on Spilled Blood and Admiralty End. Later we visit the Hermitage, housing some 2.8 million pieces of art, with collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to Greek vases and a vast and dazzling array of Old Masters, we view the highlights of the collection. The rest of the day is free to do St Pete’s your way.
We visits to Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral and the Summer Gardens at Peterhof. Peter and Paul Fortress was built in 1703, on the orders of Peter the Great, is considered to mark the founding of St Petersburg. It has a gruesome history, hundreds of forced labourers died while building the fortress. Peterhof is Russia’s ‘Versailles’ and popular in summer.
Be sure to spend some time shopping along Nevsky Prospekt, taking a bite at the Pushkin Inn, famous for its Stroganoff and enjoying an evening of ballet or theatre. St Pete’s has plenty to see and do, by day and by night.
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. 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 travel by overnight sleeper train from Novgorod to Moscow.
Early this morning, we arrive into Moscow and check into the hotel. Remainder of the day is free for you to explore and sightsee on your own.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure transfer.
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