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Byzantine Legacy of Russia

Majestic Russia – from medieval to modern times. The journey reveals the history of early Christianity in Russia. Shrines and treasuries, historical legacy and wonderful stories of Russia – this journey will take you through the ancient times of the state formation.

Route: Moscow-Vladimir-Suzdal-Kostroma-Yaroslavl-Rostov the Great-Sergiev Posad-Yaroslavl-Valdai-Tver-Velikiy Novgorod-Pushkin-Saint Petersburg
Duration: 10 days/9 nights
Tour type: Group
Physical difficulty level: Easy
Age: No limits
Meal plan: Full board
Languages: English/ French/ Spanish/ German
Starts from: 951 EUR

Day 1 – Moscow
Arrival, transfer to the hotel

Day 2 – Moscow
Breakfast at the hotel
Excursion to the Kremlin
Historical center walking tour
Lunch
Moscow Metro tour
* Optional activity/ The Moscow State Circus

Day 3 – Moscow
Breakfast at the hotel
Sightseeing city-tour:
The Tretyakov’s Gallery
Lunch
Christ the Savior Cathedral
A boat cruise
Old Arbat (pedestrian street)
Dinner

Day 4 – Moscow-Vladimir-Suzdal
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Vladimir
Observation tour of Vladimir
Lunch
Transfer to Suzdal
Observation tour of Suzdal
Dinner

Day 5 – Suzdal-Kostroma-Yaroslavl
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Kostroma
Observation tour of Kostroma
Lunch
Transfer to Yaroslavl
Observation tour of Yaroslavl
Dinner

Day 6 – Yaroslavl – Rostov The Great – Sergiev Posad – Tver
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Rostov Velikiy
Observation tour of Rostov Velikiy
Lunch
Transfer to Sergiev Posad (foto stop in Pereeslavl Zalesskiy)
Excurion to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius
Transfer to Tver
Dinner

Day 7 – Tver – Valdai – Velikiy Novgorod
Breakfast at the hotel
Observation tour of Tver
Transfer to Valdai
Lunch
Observation tour of Valdai
Transfer to Velikiy Novgorod
Dinner

Day 8 – Velikiy Novgorod -Pushkin (Tsarskoe selo)– Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel
Observation city-tour of Velikiy Novgorod
Transfer to Pushkin
Lunch
Excursion to the Catherine palace and the Amber Room
Transfer to Saint Petersburg
Dinner

Day 9 – Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel
Sightseeing city-tour
Saint Isaac’s cathedral
Lunch
Peter and Paul Fortress
The State Hermitage Museum

Day 10 – Saint Petersburg
Breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to the airport, departure

HOTELS 4*
Moscow (3 nights) –Novotel Moscow Centre or similar 4*
Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Tver, Velikiy Novgorod (1 night in each town) – hotel 4*
St. Petersburg (2 nights) – Hotel Azimut or similar 4*

included:
  • Accommodation in a 4* hotel for all the program
  • Transfers and excursions according to the program
  • English speaking local guide services during excursions and transfers
  • All board meal plan (9 breakfasts at the hotel, 8 lunches, 7 dinner)
  • Admission tickets
  • Transportation services except for the days not mentioning any transfers, bus-tours, etc.
  • Guide assistance
not included:
  • Unmentioned excursions
  • Tips to guides and drivers
  • Porterage service at hotels and train stations
  • Personal expenses

Book tour

Description of sights, excursions and activities

Historical tour of Moscow

The inner territory of Kremlin
The Kremlin tour – most of the inner Kremlin territory is open for visitors. It’s home to an ancient ensemble of architecture comprising of temples and cathedrals, palaces and picturesque squares. The territory of the Moscow Kremlin is a town inside a city, growing and developing through centuries, it carefully preserves the memorable objects of traditional Russian architecture of XIV—XX centuries. Our Kremlin tour includes an excursion to one of the cathedrals.

Red Square
Red Square – the very heart of Moscow! You will see all the fascinating landmarks, surrounding this central square of our capital: St. Basils, the Mausoleum, GUM, the Spasskaya Tower, the Bolshoi etc. And of course, you will stroll down the famous paving stones of Red Square.

The City Center
It’s time to explore the city-center. Admire the gorgeous GUM – the central department store of Russia. Then our guide will take you down the beautiful historical Nikolskaya stree, walking you straight to Lyubyanka square, famous for the former KGM (current FSB) building and the biggest department kids’ store in the world called Detskiy Mir. It’s holds one of the key positions among the finest examples if Soviet architecture and represents a moment of shift from Stalinist retrospective architecture towards international style of 60-80ss

Moscow Metro tour
Moscow Metro is rightfully considered to be a unique system of urban infrastructure being the most beautiful, the deepest and the largest of all the similar existent networks of transportation. Our tour reveals the answers to many questions arising in curious minds in regard to this “Underground Palace”: you will learn a lot of impressive and fascinating facts about our gorgeous Metro system.

The Moscow State Circus / Optional
The Moscow State Circus is a magical experience for people of all ages coming together to see some fantastically unbelievable acts. Its impressive auditorium is an enormous 36 meters tall and can seat up to 3,400 people. The circus building contains all the necessary technology and equipment to make its daring and varied range of acts possible.

Sightseeing city-tour
We will drive around the city-center, admiring its spacious prospects, old boulevards and picturesque embankments. We’ll make a few photo-stops and take a stroll around the most remarkable sights and places.

Christ the Savior Cathedral
– Christ the Savior – a shiny beacon for the Russian Orthodox Church at home and a close replica of the original 19th century cathedral built in honour of the victory over Napoleon. This is currently the largest Orthodox Cathedral in the world. The sprawling cathedral houses a museum on the history of the site where you can see pictures of the giant swimming pool the Soviets built here and the huge Lenin topped skyscraper they had originally planned for. During excursions you can see the cathedral, museum and the view from the colonnade.

The Tretyakov’s State Gallery
The Tretyakov’s Gallery is one of the biggest and most famous Russia’s art-galleries. It’s gorgeous collection represents more than 1300 Russian art masterpieces of XI – XX centuries from pre-Mongolian icons and mosaics to landscapes, portraits and historical paintings – all giving complete overview of Russian fine art.

Old Arbat Street
Old Arbat – the place where a lot great writers, poets and artists used to live in the past. Arbat is not just a street: this is a live and ongoing performance with sculptures and monuments, street artists and musicians, souvenir shops, museums and concert halls. Old Arbat is an integral part of the Russian culture.

River Cruise
Enjoy the most remarkable sights of Moscow: Kremlin, Novodevichy Convent, monument to Peter I, St. Basil’s Cathedral, University and other symbolic monuments.

The Golden Ring towns: Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Velikiy, Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk), Tver, Valdai, Velikiy Novgorod

Observation tour of Vladimir
The ancient capital of North-Western Rus and one of the most popular Golden Ring towns, carefully preserving a number of amazing monuments of traditional medieval white-stone architecture of Russia. First of all it comes to the tree of the main sights of the place, included into UNESCO World Heritage Objects list: the Golden Gates, the Cathedral of St. Dimitriy and the Assumption cathedral.

Observation tour of 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 programme includes:
• External tour to the Kremlin of Suzdal and its ensemble of architecture. Archeological evidence suggests that the Suzdal Kremlin was settled as early as the 10th century, and all of its main constructions are well-preserved except for maybe some fortification walls and towers.
• The Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius and a church-bell mini-concert. Excursion to the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior. The monastery land serves as a burial place of the noble duke Dimitry Pozharskiy – the outstanding Russian commander.
• The Wooden Architecture Museum – exhibiting unique wooden constructions of XVII – XIX centuries. The Museum setup represents a rural street with churches, mills, residential buildings, storehouses, sheds and other constructions, moved here from various settlements and villages of Vladimir lands.

Observation tour of Kostroma
• Kostroma is the Moscow’s age-mate and the oldest jewelry center as well as the biggest port on the river Volga. Kostroma is the cradle of Romanovs dynasty. It was in the Ipatievsky monastery of
• Kostroma that Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov hid from Godunov’s disfavor. Magnificent Ipatievsky monastery (the Trinity Cathedral and the Romanov boyars chambers) is the main landmark of Kostroma. Our tour also includes:
• Excursion to Epiphany-Anastasia convent, keeping the miraculous icon of the Theodore Icon of Our Lady (XIII century), painted around 1239 and glorified by great miracles and healings. This is the oldest work of iconography of Kostroma and it has long been revered as the defender of the town and the guardian of the Romanovs family.
• The Church of the Resurrection on the Debra. Built between 1645-1651, this church was built as Kostroma gained prominence as a town and saw its population increase. With eight domes of various complexity topping the structure. It takes a walk through the Saint Gates to enter the grounds.

Observation tour of Yaroslavl
• You will discover the history of Yaroslavl and admire the gorgeous view over the point of split between the rivers of Volga and Kotorosl, examine the local Assumption Cathedral, walk down the newly renovated (in honor of 1000th city anniversary) Volga embankment, and explore the unique architectural ensemble of the Central part of Yaroslavl, included in the UNESCO world heritage List.
• Excursion to Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery – it is also called a kremlin due to its fortifications. The main cathedral of the monastery still has original wall-paintings, an d this is the oldest cathedral of Yaroslavl, existing nowadays.
• St. Ilyah the Prophet church is another bucket list item. It is an outstanding example of regional architecture, traditional for Yaroslavl area.

Observation tour of Rostov the Great
• Excursion to the Rostov Kremlin of 17-th century still remaining mostly unchanged through the centuries. The whole ensemble of the Kremlin including the marvelous Assumption Cathedral used to serve as Bishopric Yard, the bishops’ residence belonging to the Rostov-Yaroslavl diocese. At the same time its outlook with all those towers and fortifications indeed reminds a Kremlin.
• The local Assumption Cathedral (XVI century) with its unique belfry having a fully preserved set of 15 bells is the true gem among the Kremlin’s constructions. Here, we’ll also admire the Bishopric Yard itself as well the Cathedral square.

Excursion to Enamel (finift) Museum of Rostov the Great
Finift is the oldest decorative and artistic craft of Russia, one of the most interesting and vivid types of miniature painting, which has always belonged to the elite art forms. The exclusive nature of enamel miniatures is due to the artist’s high artistic skill and extremely difficult, labor-intensive process of their manufacture.

Pereslavl Zalesskiy
Another ancient lakeside town, Pereslavl-Zalessky is a popular getaway for Muscovites. Its attractions are scattered around a large area. The town’s main claim to fame is as the birthplace of 13th-century prince (and later Russian saint) Alexander Nevsky. Its earthen walls and the little Cathedral of the Transfiguration are as old as the town itself, founded in 1152 by Prince Yury Dolguruky. Lake Pleshcheyevo is al so famous as the cradle of the Russian navy.

The Holy Trinity of St. Sergius Lavra
Excurion to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism counting a number of centuries of age. This UNESCO-protected complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions.

Observation tour of Tver
On the Volga, 150km northwest of Moscow, Tver dates back to the 12th century. After a fire levelled most of the town in 1763, the architect Pyotr Nikitin replanned Tver’s centre on a three-ray system and built his patron, Catherine the Great, a ‘road palace’ to rest in on journeys between the then-Russian capital of St Petersburg and Moscow.

Observation tour of Valdai
The town of Valdai is located in the middle of the Valdaysky National Park, in the northern part of the Valdai Hills. The place is also well known to host Valdai Discussion Club a Moscow-based think tank and discussion forum, established in 2004.Valday boasts forty-three cultural heritage monuments of federal significance and additionally seventy-four objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance. We are going to visit Iversky monastery – a Russian Orthodox monastery founded by Patriarch Nikon in 1653 and the local Museum bell center representing the whole history of the bell business. Here you can as well easily try yourself in the role of a bell ringer.

Observation city-tour of Velikiy Novgorod
It is the very first capital of Ancient Rus. Velikiy Novgorod — is one of the first towns of Russia, located at the riverhead of the Volkhov river and lake Ilmen. Novgorod is rightfully called the city of a museum of Ancient Rus. It preserves a lot of architectural monuments and monumental art of XI-XVII centuries.

Sightseeing city-tour
Discover our beautiful “Northern Capital” and its bright and glorious history!
• You will admire panoramic views over the Neva and beautiful central squares as we drive down the central prospects and city-streets. You will see all the worldwide famous landmarks of the city: the Spit of Basil (Vasilievsky) Island, Saint Isaac’s cathedral (one of the most widely-known landmarks) the Bronze Horseman – an equestrian statue of Peter the Great on Senate Square, the Field of Mars, the cruiser Aurora and, of course, the picturesque Palace embankment and jaw-dropping Palace Square – the heart of the city that witnessed so many dramatic events, the Winter Palace, Mikhailovsky castle and many others.

Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo)
Excursion to the Catherine palace and the Amber Room
Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) is the former residence of The Russian imperial family and visiting nobility. Tsarskoye Selo forms one of the World Heritage site. You will walk around the majestic Catherine palace (once the summer residence of the Russian tsars and now a museum) and will see the Amber Room – a reconstructed chamber, decorated in amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors, located in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo. Constructed in the 18th century in Prussia, the original Amber Room was dismantled and eventually disappeared during WW II

Peter and Paul fortress
Peter and Paul Fortress is the first settlement and the cradle of the city. Nowadays its home to a significant complex offering a bizarre selection of attractions to explore: the famous Cathedral of the Saint Apostles Peter and Paul, Commandant’s House museum representing the history of the city, the Engineer’s House, Museum of Space Exploration, the Mint and the Printing Workshops,Trubetskoy Bastion Prison the Neva Curtain Wall archway and etc.

Excursion to the State Hermitage Museum
The Hermitage, Russia’s most famous palace and museum, is located within a complex of several buildings along the riverbanks right in the city-center.
The general exhibition contains millions of art works: paintings, sculptures, archaeological pieces, numismatics objects and other artefacts.

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