Golden Ring of Russia - 7 days
Discover the age-old allure of Russia on this 7 day tour of Moscow and The Golden Ring. Travelling from the capital to the countryside, where golden spires and the onion shaped domes of colourful monasteries dot the horizon, explore the historic and enchanting towns of Suzdal, Yaroslavl and Kostroma.
Meet your guide in the lobby at 08.30 this morning for an informative welcome meeting. Then we take the metro and make our way to the legendary Red Square for the start of our walking tour. Here we will take in sights such as the epitome of Russian power – the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the ritzy GUM department store. At the south end of the square, feast your eyes on the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral. We also tour the mighty Kremlin, with a guided walk through the grounds to see numerous government buildings, gold-domed cathedrals and the Tsar Bell - the largest bell that never rang! If open, you can pay your respects to the grandfather of Communism at Lenin’s mausoleum. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join some of our optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast, Lunch
If you have booked the optional Inside a Soviet Bunker Tour Bolt On then we will head 65 metres underground and explore the Underground Cold War Museum - a Stalinist-era Soviet Bunker that up until recently was a top secret symbol of Soviet Power. The rest of the day is free to explore amazing galleries, museums, plenty of cafes, shops (including the GUM department store for high rollers) and bars all within walking distance. During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join some of our optional evening excursions, such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour. All optional excursions are subject to availability, and are booked and payable locally.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Moscow - Suzdal. This morning we take the train to Vladimir and then transfer to the picturesque Golden Ring town of Suzdal. Dating back to 1024 with stunning medieval architecture and an array of churches and monasteries, Suzdal is a major religious centre in Russia. Suzdal, with its pretty meadows and livestock grazing along the grassy lanes, retains the feel of a small pastoral village, despite the host of impressive buildings and a population of over 12,000 people.
We take a walking tour around the centre of Suzdal, where we'll see Suzdal Kremlin, Market square, Alexander monastery, Pokrovsky Monastery and Rizopolozhensky monastery. We'll also explore the incredible Museum of Wooden Architecture which has a reconstruction of an ancient Russian village from Ivan the Terrible’s time. This afternoon you can enjoy a traditional Russia banya (sauna) and if you get too hot you can always jump in the river to cool off!
Overnight: Suzdal | Breakfast, Dinner
Suzdal - Kostroma - Yaroslavl. Today we travel on to Kostroma, a historic city which sits on the banks of the Volga River and forms part of Russia's Golden Ring. We see the city sights on a bus tour and visit the fairytale land of the Snow Maiden's museum. Here we'll explore the mansion, learn all about Russian fairy tales and visit the frosty ice-room where you can enjoy ice cocktails at the ice bar. From Kostroma we travel on to Yaroslavl for the night.
Overnight: Yaroslavl | Breakfast, Lunch
Yaroslavl - Moscow. The skyline of Yaroslavl is crowded with onion-shaped domes and imposing spires with churches hidden around every corner. After breakfast today we get to test our artistic skills at a wood painting class in the grounds of one of the city's oldest monasteries and you can take your artwork home as a souvenir! Then we explore the city on a bus tour where highlights include the Assumption cathedral, the remarkable 16th Century Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Theatre square. We'll also visit The Residence of Her Majesty the Queen of Maslenitsa, which is an interactive museum with colourful wooden buildings. Maslenitsa (Butter Week) is a Russian folk festival where people eat traditional pancakes called blinis and you'll have the opportunity to sample a tasty blini at the museum. This afternoon we travel by train back Moscow where we'll spend our final night in the capital.
Overnight: Moscow | Breakfast
Wednesday. Our tour comes to an end after breakfast today. Hotel check out and make your own way to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'single supplement' below applies for single travellers who would like their own room for the entire tour and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Izmailovo Gamma Delta , Moscow
Formerly part of the Olympic Village at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Divided into two wings, Gamma and Delta - the Izmailovo Gamma Delta is part of one of the biggest hotels in the world. The rooms are comfortable and with modern amenities and there is also a number of excellent restaurants plus a gym and swimming pool. On arrival to the hotel guests are often welcomed with chocolate and still bottled mineral water. Well located with good access to transport links.
Stromynka Hotel, Suzdal
The Stromynka Hotel enjoys an ideal location in the heart of Suzdal, within an easy stroll of the historic town's Kremlin and nearby convents. The cosy rooms are typical of rural Russia and made of wood with simple furnishings. Free WiFi is provided.
Alyosha Popovich Dvor Hotel, Yaroslavl
The Alyosha Popovich Dvor Hotel is a colourful accommodation whose design was inspired by traditional Russian folk tales. The guest rooms are spacious and equipped with plush furniture and gorgeous fabrics. In the restaurant, guests can feast upon authentic Russian cuisine, which can then be washed down by a pint of fresh beer. When it comes to relaxing, visitors can while away the hours in the onsite sauna or take a dip in the Finnish baths. The hotel is conveniently located in the historical centre of Yaroslavl, just steps from the nearest bus stop.
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