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11 DAYS RUSSIA GOLDEN RING TOUR : MOSCOW – SERGIEV POSAD – YAROSLAVL – KOSTROMA – SUZDAL - ST PETERSBURG

DAY 1

HOME – MOSCOW

Welcome to moscow! Our guide will meet you upon your arrival to moscow and transfer you to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day in moscow to explore the beauties of the capital on your own. We would suggest that you start exploring the city that never sleeps. Overnight in moscow.

DAY 2

MOSCOW

Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide will pick you up at the lobby to take you on a wonderful journey exploring the main highlights of the city. Our city tour will take you through red square, alexander garden, the bolshoi theatre, christ the savior cathedral, novodevichy convent, sparrow hills observation deck, moscow state university, poklonnaya hill + victory park, stalin skyscrapers, main streets and squares. Then you will have the walking tour to the heart of russia, red square and moscow kremlin to explore the gems hidden behind the kremlin walls such as the cathedral square and the assumption and annunciation cathedrals. Lying directly to the east of the kremlin, red square is surrounded by some of the country’s most distinctive and important landmarks such as st. Basil’s, the mausoleum, state historical museum and the famous chime-tower, the spasskaya tower. Over the centuries, red square had a function of the central marketplace as well as the meeting place for the muscovites and city-guests. Nowadays red square is a place for such events as parades, concerts, christmas fares, etc. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Overnight in moscow.

DAY 3

MOSCOW

Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide will pick you up from your hotel. You will start with the metro tour: a wonderful cascade of underground palaces, decorated with mosaics and sculptures, made by the greatest artists of all time. Semiprecious stones generously scattered on the surfaces of walls, paleontological curiosities and other unusual pieces turn the moscow metro stations into the living objects of art. Make sure you have a lot of free space for photos on your devices! After the metro tour, you will visit the magnificent tretyakov gallery, which today is one of the main national treasuries of arts, sculptures and graphics. You won’t be able to explore it all within a day but you will surely see the most notable masterpieces of the museum collection. Your day continues with the guided walk down the main pedestrian street of moscow: the old arbat. This is one of the oldest streets of the capital with the most interesting history imaginable. Every single building here can tell its own wonderful story. Our guide will talk about the most outstanding people who used to live here, their remarkable legacy and cultural contribution. Return to the hotel by metro (included) or enjoy your free time in the city centre for the rest of the day. Alternatively, you can choose to go on the following optional tour (not included): radisson royal boat cruise: on the cruise passengers will enjoy the most remarkable sights of moscow: the kremlin, novodevichy convent, the monument of peter I, st. Basil's cathedral, university and other symbolic monuments. Moreover, you will be offered high-quality catering service with delicious food prepared straight on board. Available all year round. Departs from the pier «ukraina» hotel» at 8 p. M. A ’la carte menu is not included in the ticket cost. Every guest can get an mp3-audio guide, which is available in several languages. In 2.5 hours, you will be able to enjoy famous russian circus artist’s performances, clowning, juggling, acrobatics, contortion and animal acts. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in moscow.

DAY 4

MOSCOW – SERGIEV POSAD – ROSTOV – YAROSLAVL

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. Our guide will pick you up at the lobby of your hotel and will accompany you on your transfer to sergievposad. On the way to the city, our guide will give you all the important information about the city, all legends and interesting facts. The tour will take you to the fascinating sites of ancient eight towns of the golden ring, starting from sergievposad. Get to see a calm, slow, peaceful life in rural russia and enjoy its architectural gems, culture and history. Upon arrival, you will start with the visit to trinity lavra of st. Sergius in sergievposad, a unique monastery complex and the spiritual centre of russian orthodox christianity that was founded in 1337 by st. Sergius of radonezh. After free time for lunch (own expense) you’ll be transferred to rostov, the oldest city of the golden ring. The most famous city landmark is the rostov kremlin of 17-th century, which remains mostly unchanged through the centuries. The whole ensemble of the kremlin including the marvellous assumption cathedral used to serve as bishopric yard, the bishops’ residence belonging to the rostov-yaroslavl diocese. Then you will visit the enamel museum, the oldest decorative and artistic craft of russia, one of the most interesting and vivid types of miniature painting. In the evening you will be transferred to yaroslavl to the hotel for check-in. You may take some rest in the hotel and explore the city on your own. Overnight in yaroslavl. 

DAY 5

YAROSLAVL – KOSTROMA

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, check-out from the hotel. The guide will pick you up at the lobby to start the city tour of yaroslavl. Many fine churches survive in yaroslavl, including the transfiguration cathedral (1505) of the saviour monastery. The churches of ilya the prophet, nikola nadein, and st. John the baptist all date from the 17th century. You will discover the history of yaroslavl and admire the gorgeous view over the point of the split between the rivers of volga and kotorosl, examine the local assumption cathedral, walk down the newly renovated volga embankment, and explore the unique architectural ensemble of the central part of yaroslavl, included in the unesco world heritage list. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to kostroma. After free time for lunch (own expense) you will start observing tour of kostroma, the moscow’s age-mate and the oldest jewellerycentre as well as the biggest port on the river volga. Kostroma is the cradle of romanov’s dynasty. Magnificent ipatievsky monastery is the main landmark of kostroma. In addition, you will see the epiphany-anastasia convent, keeping the miraculous icon of the theodore icon of our lady, painted around 1239 and glorified by great miracles and healings. The church of the resurrection on the debra attracts tourists with a festive view: rich tiles, bright colours, expressive carvings, wonderful figures of mythological animals and plants, among which the symbols of resurrection: a lion, a siren, an eagle, a tawny owl and a unicorn. After the excursion, the guide will accompany you to the hotel for check-in. Overnight in kostroma.

DAY 6

KOSTROMA – PLYOS – IVANOVO – SUZDAL

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, check-out from the hotel. Our guide will pick you up at the lobby to take you to plyos. Despite its distance from moscow, it also happens to be one of the top destinations for weekend trips in russia. Textile merchants built a whole row of expensive houses along the embankment, which stretches down the volga for nearly 2 km. It's a pleasant walk, and you can marvel at the volga on one side and architectural gems on the other. Full of merchants' grand houses, it had no lack of lodging for painters, writers and other bohemian types. The most famous of them was isaak levitan, russia’s most celebrated landscape painter. In the afternoon, the guide will transfer you to suzdal. On the way to suzdal, there will be a short stop in ivanovo. You will be able to look around the city and take photos. Arrival to hotel in suzdal and check-in. You may take some rest in the hotel and explore the city on your own. Overnight in suzdal.

DAY 7

SUZDAL – VLADIMIR – ST. PETERSBURG

Breakfast at the hotel. Just like the day before after breakfast you check-out from the hotel and the guide pick you up at the lobby. This day you will get acquainted with suzdal. This ancient town reminds an open-air museum embracing nearly as many as 200 historical monuments including numerous constructions with the status of unesco world heritage site. The town can boast with quite an eventful history that left its glorious traces across today's suzdal: over an area of 3.5 square miles, there are five monasteries, some 30 churches and chapels and 14 bell towers: more cultural artefacts per square foot than anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of old jerusalem. You will see the cross chamber and visit suzdal’s monastery of st. Euthymius, included on unesco’s list of world heritage sites and walk up to the top of its gorgeous bell tower. We will as well explore the suzdal museum of wooden architecture. Transfer to vladimir. City tour upon arrival in vladimir which includes the assumption cathedral and its marvellous interior, the dmitrievsky cathedrals, the golden gates. After the excursions, you will have some free time to explore the town on your own and get acquainted with the local's lifestyle. Later in the evening, we will catch the night train heading on to the cultural capital of russia: the city of saint petersburg. At around 08:30 pm the guide will transfer you to the train station, the train will depart at 09:58 pm to st. Petersburg. Spend the night on board. Overnight onboard a train.

DAY 8

ST PETERSBURG

Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide will pick you up at the lobby to take you on a wonderful journey exploring the main highlights of the city. The hermitage museum is the core of today’s program. The second-largest art museum in the world, founded in 1764 is housed in the winter palace and contains over 2.7 million exhibits. In the afternoon, you will visit the city gem: the isaaс cathedral, the fourth largest cathedral in the world. You will have some free time to go up the endless stairs right to the top of its colonnade and be rewarded by a spectacular panorama view of the city. Return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can choose to go on one of the following optional tours (not included): night city-tour “the drawbridges” (private): available during summer season (may – september) the tour is dedicated to the incredible spectacle right in the city centre - drawbridges pulling up at night. The city holds the first place in russia and one of the leading places in the world by the number of bridges. Our guide will show the most beautiful and famous ones and share with you their stories. The city boasts the three famous drawbridges: the palace bridge, the trinity bridge and the liteinyi bridge. Your guide will pick you up at midnight and take you on a tour that suggests moving from one bridge to another as they pull up one by one. You will return to your hotel approximately at 2:00 am. An evening city-tour “mysterious city” (private): petersburg is at times uncanny - it is indeed one of the most mysterious cities in the world and even its appearance on the world map is associated with myths and legends that have accompanied the history of the city for over 300 years. Even historians sometimes have troubles distinguishing myths from the real historical facts. During this two-hour tour, our guide will tell you a lot of mystical stories about such places as griffin’s tower in the vasilyevsky island, michael’s castle, narrow and dark streets with unexpected turns and dead ends, legendary palaces, creepy parks and wells inhabited by ghosts, along with many other spooky venues and places. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in st petersburg.

DAY 9

ST. PETERSBURG

Breakfast at the hotel. Our guide will pick you up at the lobby to take you on a wonderful journey exploring the main highlights of the city. The hermitage museum is the core of today’s program. The second-largest art museum in the world, founded in 1764 is housed in the winter palace and contains over 2.7 million exhibits. In the afternoon, you will visit the city gem: the isaaс cathedral, the fourth largest cathedral in the world. You will have some free time to go up the endless stairs right to the top of its colonnade and be rewarded by a spectacular panorama view of the city. Return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can choose to go on one of the following optional tours (not included): night city-tour “the drawbridges” (private): available during summer season (may – september) the tour is dedicated to the incredible spectacle right in the city centre - drawbridges pulling up at night. The city holds the first place in russia and one of the leading places in the world by the number of bridges. Our guide will show the most beautiful and famous ones and share with you their stories. The city boasts the three famous drawbridges: the palace bridge, the trinity bridge and the liteinyi bridge. Your guide will pick you up at midnight and take you on a tour that suggests moving from one bridge to another as they pull up one by one. You will return to your hotel approximately at 2:00 am. An evening city-tour “mysterious city” (private): petersburg is at times uncanny - it is indeed one of the most mysterious cities in the world and even its appearance on the world map is associated with myths and legends that have accompanied the history of the city for over 300 years. Even historians sometimes have troubles distinguishing myths from the real historical facts. During this two-hour tour, our guide will tell you a lot of mystical stories about such places as griffin’s tower in the vasilyevsky island, michael’s castle, narrow and dark streets with unexpected turns and dead ends, legendary palaces, creepy parks and wells inhabited by ghosts, along with many other spooky venues and places. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in st petersburg.

DAY 10

ST. PETERSBURG

Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, our guide will pick you up in the lobby to take you to an exciting excursion to the suburb of st. Petersburg, pushkin also known as tsarskoye selo, a splendid example of russian baroque. You will walk around its gorgeous park ensemble that represents the art of garden-and-park design of xvii-xx centuries. Following is the visit to catherine palace and its world-famous “amber room”. Return to the hotel. Alternatively, you can choose to go on one of the following optional tours (not included): night city-tour “the drawbridges” (private): available during summer season (may – september) the tour is dedicated to the incredible spectacle right in the city centre - drawbridges pulling up at night. The city holds the first place in russia and one of the leading places in the world by the number of bridges. Our guide will show the most beautiful and famous ones and share with you their stories. The city boasts the three famous drawbridges: the palace bridge, the trinity bridge and the liteinyi bridge. Your guide will pick you up at midnight and take you on a tour that suggests moving from one bridge to another as they pull up one by one. You will return to your hotel approximately at 2:00 am. An evening city-tour “mysterious city” (private): available from october until april: petersburg is at times uncanny - it is indeed one of the most mysterious cities in the world and even its appearance on the world map is associated with myths and legends that have accompanied the history of the city for over 300 years. Even historians sometimes have troubles distinguishing myths from the real historical facts. During this two-hour tour, our guide will tell you a lot of mystical stories about such places as griffin’s tower in the vasilyevsky island, michael’s castle, narrow and dark streets with unexpected turns and dead ends, legendary palaces, creepy parks and wells inhabited by ghosts, along with many other spooky venues and places. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in st petersburg.

DAY 11

ST. PETERSBURG - HOME

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