TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Reception. Transfer to hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon, or you can check the informative panels in the hotel reception area.
IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.
NB: The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Panoramic visit of St. Petersburg. Catherine Palace.
09.00.- With a local guide we begin the panoramic visit of this beautiful city crossed by the Neva River and built on 40 islands. Saint Petersburg is the second most important city of Russia and capital of the Russian Empire. This imperial city reveals the history of the Russian tsars through its museums, palaces, and architectural wealth. The visit includes the Peter and Paul Fortress, origin of the city (entrance included).
The former capital of Tsar Russia is surrounded by numerous impressive palaces, baroque or rococo, with magnificent fountains and gardens that today are World Heritage Site in what is called "St. Petersburg Historic Centre and annexed monumental ensembles". Today, due to access restrictions and depending on the availability of the palaces, we include an excursion (guided visit and entrance fees included) to one of them, Catherine in Pushkin or Peterhof in Peterhof, of similar characteristics. Return to St. Petersburg at the end of the afternoon. Free time.
09.00hrs.- Today, we include in the heart of St. Petersburg the Hermitage Museum, a fantastic museum with more than 2.5 million works of art from Europe and the Orient, located in which was the main residence of the Czars, the Palace of winter. Guided tour and tickets included.
After the visit, free afternoon or return to the hotel.
St. Petersburg- Novgorod- Valday- Tver.-
Total distance: 590 km. Russian plain, woodlands and lakes.
Note: At Valday Monastery visitors should wear formal attire; women must not wear trousers or shorts and their shoulders must be covered. Plan your attire before leaving. During this stage, there may be delays due to heavy traffic on some stretches.
08:00 h. – St. Petersburg –Departure-
11:00 h. - Novgorod –Arrival-. Guided tour and admission included. This is an exciting city which was one of the most important cultural and political centres in Russia. During the Middle Ages it was one of the most important cities in Eastern Europe. Its monuments have led it to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will visit the Kremlin, the old market quarter and Yaroslav’s court. Lunch included after the visit.
14:00 h. - Novgorod –Departure-
16:00 h. - Valday –Arrival in this pretty area with rivers and woodlands. Visit to an old monastery on the island in the lake.
17:00 h. - Valday –Departure-
20:00 h. - Tver –Arrival-. This city, on the banks of the VOLGA, was the centre of a small state which was Moscow’s main rival. We will make a brief visit to the city (on the same day or the next day, depending on the light). Then we will go to the hotel. Accommodation and supper are included.
Tver- Sergei Posad-Suzdal.-
Total distance: 415 km.
We travel along tiny roads that allow us to see the rural areas of Russia, passing many pretty villages on our way.
08:30 h. - Tver –Departure-. On the way we will cross several lakes. Do you remember the music from the magical Swan Lake? We will go there and make a short stop at KLIN where Tchaikowsky’shouse is. Then we continue our route through the interior, to the Golden Ring.
12:30 h. - Sergiev Posad- Arrival-. In this city we will visit the Holy Trinity Monastery, considered the most important spiritural centre of Russia. After this exciting visit, we have lunch (included).
14:00 h. - Sergiev Posad –Departure-. We continue along tiny roads that pass through famous Golden Ring cities: ALEXANDROV (with its Kremlin of Ivan the Terrible) and YURYEV POLSKIY, a small provincial city with its historical Kremlin. Then we will make some short stops to take photos of these cities.
17.45 h. - SUZDAL. Arrival- We include admission to the Museum of Wooden Architecture which shows how peasants used to live, in their wooden huts and mills, and we will also visit the Church of the Transfiguration. We sill also learn how the famous “Matryoshka” nesting dolls are made and painted, and we will learn to paint them! (this activity can be done on Friday before leaving to Vladimir).
Supper included and accommodation.- During supper a folklore group will liven up the evening with their balalaikas (not included if there are fewer than 15 people in the group).
Suzdal- Vladimir- Moscow.-
Total distance: 220 km.
In the morning, at about 08.30 h. we visit SUZDAL, which many consider the most attractive of the Golden Ring cities. With its domes standing out against the horizon, it looks like a fairy tale city. Visit to the city, including a local guide and admission to the Kremlin and the cathedral. At the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius we listen to a bells concert.
13.00 h. - Suzdal –Departure-
13.45 h. - Vladimir –Arrival-. Lunch included in a typical restaurant with traditional architecture located on the outskirts of the city. In this interesting Golden Ring city we will visit the majestic Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption.
15.30 h. - Vladimir –Departure-. We then enter the huge capital of Russia.
18.45 h. - Moscow –Arrival-.
Comprehensive tour of Moscow.
Note: Visitors must wear formal attire in the cathedral. Please bear this in mind before the visit.
09:00 h. We start out on an exciting tour of the Russian capital lasting approximately three and a half hours. This city has a past, present and future like no other. We will see its enormous avenues, elegant shopping districts, the Red Square and the Lenin Mausoleum, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (open for worship, visitors wearing shorts are not allowed to enter). Visit to the Kremlin and to the two main cathedrals included. We will try to make our visit coincide with the military parade held in Sobornaya Square, but we cannot guarantee it. At the end of the visit, visitors can stay in the city centre or return to the hotel.
Free afternoon.-Our guide will offer you the following optional outings: visit to Moscow Metro, the "Kostroma" Folklore Shore or Moscow Circus.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Viewpoint over Moscow. Great Patriotic War Museum.
09.00 hrs.- We will learn more about the history of Russia and its capital. We will pass by the university viewpoint, with its fantastic view over the city where newly married couples leave flowers (we could go to the viewpoint after Saturday’s visit instead of Sunday) and we will get to know (including entry) the Great Patriotic War Museum (World War II) that also shows us many aspects of the Soviet period. Free afternoon.
After breakfast, end of our services.
Note: Remember that check-out time is usually at 10.00 hrs. In most cases, you can leave your luggage at the hotel reception at check-out time so you can enjoy the city and pick it up at the time you require that same day. If you need more time to use your room, please consider booking an additional night at the end of your tour.
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