Group members from all over the world will be arriving to Moscow on day one. There are no activities planned apart from the first Group Meeting in the evening - please check the hotel notice board upon arrival for a Welcome Note from your group leader. At 6 pm you will meet your group leader and fellow travel companions in the hotel lobby. The leader will outline the trip itinerary and answer all questions. Before the group meeting you are free to explore the 860 year old capital of Russia - discover the quiet streets and noisy markets of Moscow, the green parks and beautiful metro system. You may find yourself in VDNkH park, the host of the famous USSR Exhibition in soviet times. There are still lots of pavilions built in grand empire style of Stalin's Russia. Or maybe one of the hundreds of Moscow's Museums will attract you - The Second World War museum, Tretyakov Gallery or Pushkin Fine Arts museum to name the few.
On day two we take a guided tour to the Kremlin grounds and Armoury Museum. Built in the middle of the 12th century, Moscow Kremlin is one of the most famous symbols of Russia. For centuries it was a residence of the Tsars, and today is the official residence of the President of Russian Federation. The second part of the tour will visit the Armoury Chamber - a huge treasure house which hosts thousands of items presented to the Russian Tsars and Emperors by Royals from all over the world and Ambassadors - gold goblets, famous Faberge eggs, 18th century embroidery and Royal carriages adorn the chamber. In the afternoon there is time to continue exploring the busy capital of Russia.
The Golden Ring is one of the oldest routes to be found in Russia, dotted with ancient towns each representing a different historic spirit of the Russian people. On the morning of day three, a private transfer will take us to Suzdal - a small town and former capital of European Russia in the 11th century. Staying in Suzdal is a travel in time, back to the old days of Russia with quiet streets, a slow pace of life, white Kremlin walls and highly decorated wooden houses.
On day four we travel from Suzdal to Rostov via Yuriev Polski. Golden Ring towns - buzzing and busy two centuries ago - now resemble open air museums, where life is slow and old traditions are kept. A guided tour of the War of 1812 Museum allows for a better understanding of the rich history of Russia. Overnight will be spent in a traditional Russian guesthouse on the shore of Nero Lake.
On day five we continue to the last city on the Golden Ring route - Yaroslavl - an ancient Russian town, located at the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosl rivers. In the evening of day five we board an overnight train to Saint Petersburg.
The train arrives into St Petersburg early on the morning of day six. We will take a Walking Tour with a local guide, exploring both the main streets and hidden courtyards of the city. Filled with canals and opulent baroque architecture, St Petersburg is often referred to as the Venice of the North. In the morning of day seven we will travel on public transport to one of the most beautiful suburbs of St Petersburg - Pushkin - once the Tsars' Royal Estate. A guided tour of Catherine's Palace will ignite a different Russia - a reminder of the mighty and wealthy empire once ruled by absolute monarchs. One of the main attractions is the Amber Chamber, a complete chamber decoration of amber wall panels, with different colours and levels of transparency. The original wall panels were lost during the Second World War, and what we can see today is almost an exact replica, taking Russian craftsmen more than 20 years to restore it. In the afternoon we will return to Saint-Petersburg for a final night dinner, and there is the option to take a night tour of St Petersburg's beautiful rivers and canals.
You can depart St Petersburg any time on day 8