The Best of Russia (A 14-Day Tour)
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, gather with your traveling companions for a Welcome Dinner
Moscow, one of the largest cities in the world, is the symbolic heart and soul of the country. Your sight seeing tour begins at Red Square, dominated by colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral and by massive red walls of the Kremlin. Visit the Armory Museum, with its impressive collection of Tsarist, Russian and foreign jewelry, armor, and other artifacts. Then walk to Moscow University. Continue with a drive along wide boulevards and a stroll through GUM, Russia’s largest department store. Continue, on the north bank of the River Moskva, passing by baroque Novodevinchy convent: ending the tour at the popular Arbat shopping district. The rest of the day at leisure.
Today, we travel 75km North of Moscow, to a small town of Sergiev Posad, former Zagorsk – founded in the 14th century and re owned as a center of ancient Russian art and architect. For centuries it served as aplace of pilgrimage and the religious capital of Russia. Within the old walled city admire the fairy-tale golden and blue domes of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, one of the most beautiful of all ,monasteries. After lunch, return to Moscow, the rest of the day at leisure. This evening take an Optional tour Moscow by night and Subway, to see the metro stations which Stalin called “Palaces for the People”
Day 04 – Moscow to St. Petersburg
Time to leisure in Moscow, before transfer to railway station for our four hour high speed Sapsan train ride to St. Petersburg. Upon arrival at the St. Petersburg train station, transfer to your hotel. Dinner at hotel. Join for an optional Russian Folklore evening
There are not so many cities in the world that can match the grace of St. Petersburg. When Peter the Great founded the city in 1703, he hired Europe’s best architect, craftsmen, and artist to build and decorate it. Spread over 100 island and linked by over 600 bridges, it is often to as the “Venice of North”. Today the main sites to be visited on the tour are Palace Square with the Winter Palace, Senate Square with the monument to Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the founder of of the city, St. Isaac Square with St Isaac Cathedral, Smolny Cathedral, Cruiser Aurora, Field of Mars and Nevsky Prospect. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, built in 1703 to protect the city from enemy attacks. Visit Peter and Paul Cathedral, which towers in the center of the fortress served as the burial place for Russian Emperors from Peter I. Your evening is free or join an optional Evening Canal Cruise
This morning you’ll make a highlight visit to the world-famous Hermitage, housing more than four million works of art. It ranks among one of the largest and oldest museums of the world, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. Admire the world-famous masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Titian, Rembrandt, El Greco, Velasquez, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, and French Impressionists. The Hermitage occupies five buildings, the largest is the Winter Palace, the former residence of Russian Emperors. Spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the city on your own.
Day 07 – Tallinn
Today journey will take us to Estonia, where your first stop is Narva, set just across the border with Russia. Continue to Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, situated on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Day 08 – Tallinn to Riga
On a walking tour of Tallinn’s Upper and Lower Old Town, visit the 14th Century Gothic Town Hall. This afternoon, travel to Riga, the capital of Latvia
On a morning sightseeing tour, see Riga Castle, the magnificent Dome Cathedral, St. Jacobs cathedral, St. Peter’s church, the Parliament building, Liberty Monument, and the district of Art Nouveau houses. Your afternoon and evening are free
Day 10 – Vilnius
Depart this morning for Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin exploring the city with its interesting architecture
The city of Vilnius is located on the influence or Neris and Velnele Rivers. In Old Vilnius, visit St Peter and St. Paul’s Church and St. Anne’s Church. View Vilnius University, dating back to 1570, Gdimina’s Tower in Upper Town, and Vilnius Castle. The afternoon is free or you may join an optional excursion to Trakai, beautifully set on three lakes
Day 12 – Warsaw
Drive through the landscape of Lithuania on your way to cross the border into Poland. Then take in the Polish countryside, cities, and towns as you head to Warsaw, arriving at the day’s end
Day 13 – Moscow to St. Petersburg
Warsaw, the 700-year old capital of Poland. A sightseeing tour here includes a drive along the famous Royal Route from magnificent Castle Square to Lazienki Park and Palace, summer residence of the last king of Poland. Pass by the Palace of Science and Culture (known as a “wedding cake”, Saxon Garden, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Monument to the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Barvican. Then on walking tour, see the Old Town, Old Market Square and St. John’s Cathedral. The rest of the day is free for a stroll through the city, shopping, relaxing, or perhaps attend an optional late afternoon Chopin concert
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight