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Treasures of Russia

RUS13: 16 Days St. Petersburg - Moscow - Vladimir - Suzdal - Ekaterinburg - Novosibirsk - Irkutsk - Lake Baikal

Tour Type: Private Tour, flexible and customized
Guide & Driver: English-speaking guide, experienced driver & air-conditioned car
Accommodation: 3 to 4-star well selected hotels, also be open to your own choice
Meals: A mix choice of local cuisines and western-style food

Itinerary Details
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Day 1: Arrival in St. Petersburg, Airport pick-up
Welcome to join the Russia vacation packages! Your guide and the driver will pick you up after your arrival at the airport of St. Petersburg and escort you to check in the hotel at downtown. Then the rest of the day is at your own disposal.

Accommodation: Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky or similar (4 stars)

Day 2: St Petersburg city tour with Hermitage State Museum
This morning, your Russia vacation in the Venice-like city will start with a series of visits to the main street − Nevsky Prospect, the semi-circular colonnaded Kazan Cathedral built in the early 1800s, Vasilievsky Island, St. Isaac Cathedral − the fourth largest cathedral in the world with a recognizable gilded dome which could been seen from all directions of the city as well as Peter and Paul Fortress, the original citadel of the city built by Peter the Great in 1703. We will visit the Kazan Cathedral, St. Isaac Cathedral and Peter and Paul Fortress from a distance.

In the afternoon, we will pay a visit to the Hermitage Museum and its Winter Palace. It is the second largest art museum in the world holding over 3 millions of sculptures, crafts, paintings, jewelry ranging from prehistoric, Ancient Egypt art to Impressionist and Modern art.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky or similar (4 stars)

Day 3: Visit the Petrodvorets, Enjoy a free afternoon
Today we will go to visit Petrodvorets, located among a forest 30 km (19 mi) away from St. Petersburg, an enthralling palace and garden complex founded as early as 1714 by Peter the Great and highlighted by a remarkable array of fountains. In the afternoon, we will go back to St. Petersburg and leave the rest of the day for your private activities.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky or similar (4 stars)

Day 4: St. Petersburg to Moscow by 4 hours bullet train
Enjoy a free morning at leisure. Then we will transfer you to board a 4-hour Sapsan bullet train to Moscow. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to the hotel. After a good rest, you could go for a walk around nearby places.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Series or similar (4 stars)

Day 5: Moscow city highlights tour
Today we will go to see symbolic attractions including Red Square, the magnificent Bolshoi Theatre and the historic social life center Tverskaya Street, tour around the prestigious business quarter Kitai-Gorod, admire the Baroque-style Novodevichy Convent and Victory Park, and climb to the top of the Sparrow Hill to overlook the cityscape of Moscow.

Then the guide will accompany you to Kremlin, long being associated with the most significant historical and political events of the country since the 13th century. After that, we will lead you to visit the most beautiful metro station of Moscow and take the metro to Arbat Street. There you could explore traditional handicraft shops, bookstores, chic cafes and boutiques and encounter with the street artists.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Series or similar (4 stars)

Day 6: Moscow to Vladimir by 3 hours train, Half day tour in Vladimir
Today we will send you to board a 3-hour train to the city Vladimir, used to be one of the medieval capitals of Russia. Our guide in Vladimir will pick you up and lead you to appreciate the Holy Assumption Cathedral atop a hill, the symbol of the historic city with a beautiful frescos and icons decorated interior. Then tour the 12th-century Cathedral of Saint Dimitry and Golden Gates before driving to Bogolyubovo, a mesmerizing village located 13 km (8 mi) away from Vladimir. When arrival, we will tour around the white-stone Church of the Intercession on the bank of Nerl River, built around 1165 by Italian stone masters, and Bogolyubovo Convent, a masterpiece of Russian Orthodox Church art. After that, we will depart for the town of Suzdal to stay an overnight.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Pushkarskaya Sloboda (4 stars)

Day 7: Morning visit in Suzdal, Back to Moscow by 3 hours train
Today, we will follow the Russia vacation packages to visit Suzdal Kremlin, a fortress dating from the 10th century, used to be the religious and political center of the region. Then explore the Museum of Wooden Architecture and get an insight into Russia's rural life. In the end, we will enjoy a leisurely stroll around the Spaso-Ephimovskiy Monastery, admiring its murals by famous XVII-century masters and listening to the concert of bells. Afterwards, we will send you to take the train back to Moscow.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Series or similar (4 stars)

Day 8: Moscow to Ekaterinburg by flight
Today the guide in Moscow will send you to catch the 2.5-hour flight to the city of Ekaterinburg, east of the Ural Mountains. The local guide and driver there will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. Enjoy the remaining day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Demidov Plaza Hotel (4 stars)

Day 9: Ekaterinburg highlights tour
We'll first sightsee the Ural Craftsman Lane where you could buy some traditional hand-made souvenirs and see the grand Neoclassical Rastorguev - Haritonov's House. Then wander at the 1905 Square where a statue of Vladimir Lenin and the building of the Administration of Ekaterinburg stand. Then we will proceed to Europe-Asia Monument, the border of two continents of the world. Then we will visit the Church on the Blood built on the original site of Ipatiev House where the last tsar of Russia and his family were killed and Ganina Yama Monastery, also a memorial to the Romanovs with seven wooden chapels built for each member of the royal family.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Demidov Plaza Hotel (4 stars)

Day 10: Ekaterinburg to Novosibirsk by flight
Today we will send you to take a 2 hours' flight to Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia. After the airport pick-up and hotel check-in, you could enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Novosibirsk (4 stars)

Day 11: Novosibirsk city highlights tour
Today we will go to visit the graceful Novosibirsk Railway Station, the largest train station along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Then we will observe the Ascension Cathedral from outside and stroll down the Krasny Prospect Street as well as the central Lenin Square. Then choose one of the specialty museums to visit: Trans-Siberian Railroad History Museum, Siberian Birch Bark Museum with elaborate birch wood art pieces, Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History and Nature, USSR Museum with living items showing how people's life was in Soviet times, Roerich Museum with paintings by famous Russian artist Nicholas Roerich, and Novosibirsk State Art Museum.

Then we will tour the landmark Monument of Glory devoted to heroic deeds of Siberians against Nazi during the Great Patriotic War, sightsee the historic wooden houses on the Gorkogo Street and St. Nicolas Chapel – the symbol of the city which has also marked the geographical center of Russia, appreciate the stunning scenery along the bank of Ob River and finally explore a Siberian farmers market.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Novosibirsk (4 stars)

Day 12: Fly to Irkutsk for 2.5 hours
After breakfast, we will take a 30 minute drive to visit Akademgorodok, internationally known as the Scientific Vatican, the only one in the world which has developed all the branches of sciences. After that, we will drive back to the downtown city and en route sightsee the River Ob Reservoir. Then we will transfer you to board the flight to the industrial city of Irkutsk. Upon arrival, the local guide and the driver will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel for check-in.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel (3 stars)

Day 13: Drive to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal with sightseeing stops
This morning, we will set off to Olkhon Island, the third largest lake island in the world at 9 am and stop by the Buryat Village of Ust Orda. Buryat are ingenious dwellers along the Baikal. We will tour their Museum of Local History to learn about their way of life, traditions and religion. Also, we will enjoy some traditional Buryat dishes for lunch. After arrival at about 5pm, we will check in the guest house on the island and later go for a walking tour to the holy Shaman Cape.

Note: The guest house we booked for you is simple but comfortable. The rooms are basic with no frills, but clean with shower and toilet. Meals are all homemade.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Guest House Nabaimar

Day 14: Day tour to Cape Khoboi with a group of 8 persons
Today at 10 am, we will take a Russian off-road bus on a group tour organized by UAZ to visit the Cape Khoboi, located on the northern tip of Olkhon and featuring vertically directed marble rock plate. On the way stop by several sites to admire the beautiful landscape and enjoy a pleasant picnic lunch with green salad, fish soup, sweets and Siberian tea on local herbs. We'll go back to the guest house at about 4 pm.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch-picnic, Dinner

Accommodation: Guest House Nabaimar

Day 15: Drive back to Irkutsk and have a city tour
Today we will drive back to Irkutsk in 6.5 hours. When arrive, we will go to visit the Kirov Park, Square of Three Churches consisting of Church of Our Savior, Epiphany Cathedral and Polish Roman Catholic Church, War Memorial, Bridge of Love and Triumphal Arch, Sign of the Cross Convent, Karl Marx Street, Drama Theater, Monument to Alexander III, and 130 Kvartal, a quarter packed with traditional wooden houses, cafes and souvenir shops. When the sightseeing ends, send you to the hotel for a good rest.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel (3 stars)

Day 16: Departure from Irkutsk, Airport see-off
Today we will send you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Thanks for booking the 16 days Russia vacation tour with us. Wish you all the best!

Meals: Breakfast

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What's Included
  • Economy class airfare of Moscow - Ekaterinburg - Novosibirsk - Irkutsk.
  • Train ticket fare of St. Petersburg - Moscow - Vladimir - Moscow.
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
  • Personal assistance by our representative on airport arrival.
  • Service of English speaking guides per the itinerary.
  • All transfers in private A/C vehicle with experienced driver.
  • Monuments Entrance fees per the itinerary.
What's Excluded
  • International flight into and out from Russia.
  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses (insurance, drinks, camera fee etc.).
  • Tips for guides and drivers.
  • Russia visa fee.
5-Day Weather Forecast of Major Cities
Moscow
Irkutsk
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