Classic

Classic Russia

28 Jul - 6 Aug
Russia

Explore the vibrant cultural cities and towns of Russia between Moscow and St. Petersburg. See the renowned beautiful architecture and historic sites from the stunning Metro subway in Moscow to Rostov, one of the oldest towns in Russia. We conclude the tour visiting St.Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Highlights

  • City tours of Moscow and St Petersburg
  • Visit to the Moscow Kremlin
  • TheTroitse-Sergiev Monastery, a Russian Orthodox masterpiece
  • Suzdal, the Russian Mecca
  • Moscow Railway Museum
  • St Catherine Palace Amber Room in Tsarskoye Selo
  • Peterhof palace and gardens
  • Hermitage Art Museum
Itinerary

Day 1 Saturday 28 July (D) We depart Heathrow at 08.45 for our British Airways flight direct to Moscow, the capital of Russia. Indirect flights are available from other UK airports. Bus transfer to the hotel. For those who feel up to it we are offering an afternoon tour to the famous Metro and also Arbat street (approx. 3 hours) This tour introduces the history and architecture of the Metro subway system and includes travels by Metro to see the most famous stations that are uniquely designed with decorative elements including mosaics, statues and marble staircases. The tour proceeds to Old Arbat street, one of Moscow’s oldest streets. The street has gone from being the headquarters of Ivan the Terrible’s secret police to the centre of aristocratic life in Moscow in the 18th century to finally being the centre of Russian bohemian life. Welcome dinner with folk show.

Day 2, Sunday 29 July (B, L) After breakfast we have a city tour of Moscow to see its main architectural and cultural monuments (approx. 3 hours) During the tour, you will visit the Vorobyevi Hills where you will get an incredible view of the city, then the Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin, the Diplomatic Village, Triumphal Arch and much more. The tour will finish at Red Square, the so-called heart of the capital. Lunch at restaurant followed by a visit to the Kremlin and its Cathedrals (2 hours). The Moscow Kremlin is one of the largest and most beautiful architectural ensembles in the world and the tour includes visits to the Archangel’s and Annunciation Cathedrals, the Armory, an exhibition in the Assumption belfry and an opportunity to admire the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon, both masterpieces of Russian iron casting.

Day 3 Monday 30 July (B, L) Today we travel by train to Sergiev Posad which is famous for its Troitse-Sergiev Monastery, the spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is often visited as a part of the Golden Ring tour around Moscow. The monastery is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and one of the principal spiritual centres of the Russian Church. It is actually a combination of fortress and monastery with the seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church located in the buildings of the complex. There are several churches to see, as well as a holy source and in general the whole complex with its massive walls and gates is very picturesque. In the late afternoon we return to Moscow by train.

Day 4, Tuesday 31 July (B, L) Leaving Moscow behind we catch a train from Yaroslavskaya railway station to Rostov, one of the oldest towns in Russia. Here we have a city tour including visits to the Kremlin and Spaso-Jacob Monastery followed by lunch at a local restaurant. We then catch a second train, this time to Yaroslavl, the ancient Russian town which stands on a high, steep bank of the Volga River, surrounded by forests.  Our Yaroslavl city tour includes a visit to the Savior Transfiguration Monastery, which is the main sight of the city, then continues to the Church of Elijah the Prophet and the Church of Nicola Idein. These churches have some of the Golden Ring´s most impressive frescoes.  Free time or visit to sauna complex (extra charge). Overnight in Yaroslavl.

Day 5 Wednesday 1 August (B, L) After breakfast we depart by bus from Yaroslavl for Vladimir, stopping en-route at Suzdal, often called the Russian Mecca. A sightseeing tour will take you to the oldest part of the Kremlin, the Cathedral of the Nativity, the Golden Gates and the Archbishops´ Chambers, a large architectural masterpiece which houses a unique collection of historical and archaeological objects, including the Cross-Vaulted Chamber. After arrival at Vladimir we have lunch at a local restaurant followed by a city tour of Vladimir including the Cathedral of Dormition, a unique monument of white stone architecture, the monument to Prince Vladimir and the Golden Gates, which were built in the early XII century by Prince Andrei Bogolubsky and  used as the main military tower of the fortress in ancient times. Finally we visit the Cathedral of Saint Demetrius before travelling to the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture which recreates the life and traditions of the people of Suzdal in the XVIII–XIX centuries. The ensemble includes churches, log houses and other structures. In the evening, we return to Moscow by train.

Day 6 Thursday 2 August (B) Breakfast at our hotel is followed by a tour of the metro system and a visit to the railway museum in Rizhsky station – one of the nine main railway stations in Moscow, built in 1901. As well as being an active station it also houses the Moscow Railway Museum. Departure by train from Rizhsky station to Bologoye in the Tver Oblast which is a region of lakes, such as Seliger and Brosno. Much of the remaining area is occupied by the Valdai Hills, where the Volga, the Western Dvina, and the Dnieper have their source. Departure by overnight train to St. Petersburg.

Day 7 Friday 3 August (B)  Morning arrival into St. Petersburg with breakfast at a café close to our hotel.

Panoramic city tour (approx. 3 hours) of St. Petersburg which was also called the “Venice of the North”, including the famous Nevsky Prospekt (the main street of the City), the Kazan Cathedral and the Admiralty with its gilded top. We continue to the largest Church in St. Petersburg – the Blood Church – and stop to view the fabulous ensemble of the Palace Square dominated by the Winter Palace. No visit would be complete without entering St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest Church in Russia and capable of accommodating about 10,000 people. The afternoon is free for your own exploration. Overnight at a central hotel in St. Petersburg.

Day 8 Saturday 4 August (B, L, D) After breakfast we have an excursion to Tsarskoye Selo in the city of Pushkin, named after the famous poet, and visit the St Catherine Palace with the legendary Amber Room. Tsarskoye Selo is Rastrelli’s masterpiece and one of the best examples of Russian baroque architecture.  Lunch will be at a traditional Russian restaurant, and in the afternoon we will visit the world famous Hermitage (approx. 3 hours), one of the largest and most important art museums in the world. Its art collections include more than 3,000,000 works of art and represent the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th Century. Dinner at a restaurant in St. Petersburg

Day 9 Sunday 5 August (B, L, D) After breakfast we visit Peterhof for a tour of the famous gardens. The so-called Lower Gardens (Nizhny Sad) cover a square kilometre and comprise the better part of Peterhof’s land area, stretching east and west for roughly 200 metres. The majority of Peterhof’s fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th century Gothic Revival structures such as the Kapella. Atop the cliff, near the middle of the Lower Gardens, stands the Grand Palace (Bolshoi Dvorets). On the bluff’s face below the Palace is the Grand Cascade (Bolshoi Kaskad) and at its foot begins the Sea Channel (Morskoi Kanal), one of the most extensive waterworks of the Baroque period, which bisects the Lower Gardens. In the afternoon, we return to St Petersburg for a leisure boat trip on the canals. At 8pm we meet back at the hotel for our farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant with a folk show.

Day 10 Monday 6 August (B) Free morning before we transfer to the airport for our 15.30 flight back to London Heathrow.

Flights

BA0233 08.45 Heathrow T5 to Moscow (arr 14.35)
BA0879 15.30 St Petersburg to Heathrow T5 (arr 17.05)

Hotels

Moscow – Godunov Hotel (3 nights + 1 night)
Yaroslavl – Park inn Yaroslavl (1 night)
Overnight train – 6-berth couchette or upgrade to 2-berth sleeper cabin (1 night)
St Petersburg – Dostoevsky Hotel (3 nights)

 

Place(s) available

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • Full 10 day holiday including BA flight from London Heathrow: £1,899
  • Own flight arrangements: £1,499

Options

  • Single room supplement: £290

Deposit

  • Travelling by air: £700
  • Own travel: £300

Price includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary; B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Services of our local tour manager.

Flights

  • BA direct flights from Heathrow. Indirect flights from various UK airports with Lufthansa or Finnair.
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