The biggest country in the world is a nature lover’s paradise and an architect’s dream. Hours and hours are spent in the mists of breathtaking scenery. Perhaps that’s why Russian architecture is so beautiful. Multicolored buildings, wooden century-old structures, opulent palaces and imposing temples seem to be the right answer to such a vast and generous environment.
Wandering about Russia is both a physical and mental journey. This trip takes us through a sea of trees, ocean-like lakes, stunning islands, charming towns and imposing cities. You will experience how old, artistic and resilient Russian culture is. All your senses will be triggered and your mind will fly to different centuries.
This trip is for those of us who like a comfortable adventure, class and privacy. We will take long train journeys and reach faraway places. Thus, we’ve selected hotels to rest, indulge and further the experience. We get to stay in authentic palaces, wooden premier cottages and iconic buildings. Transportation includes plane, first class train tickets and private cars.
I am fluent in Russian and will accompany you through the journey but I wouldn’t call this a guided tour. Being able to interact in Russian saves a lot of time and guarantees a more direct experience. Russians are professional and all smiles when addressed in their own language. So, I promise: no tacky flags to follow, loudspeakers or rushing through places.
Once you contact us, we will work closely with you to personalize your journey. Maybe you are into books, art, theatre, coffee or wine? Russia has it all! That is the best part of planning a trip: details are essential to us.
Russia – A comfortable adventure for the discerning traveler
“It’s a lucky man, a very lucky man, who is committed to what he believes, who has stifled intellectual detachment and can relax in the luxury of his emotions – like a tipsy traveler resting for the night at a wayside inn.”
17 days discovering Saint Petersburg, Solovetsky Islands, Kizhi, Moscow, Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov Veliky and Sergiyev Posad
As Peter the Great wanted, Saint Petersburg is “a window to Europe”. However, the city is 100% Russian. Over 300 years of Russian history can be experienced here. This is where Tsars lived in excess and built the Unesco listed Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments. No wonder that the city was the battleground of the Bolshevik’s October Revolution.
The city that inspired Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Brodsky, Sergey Rachmaninoff and Dmitry Shostakovich is not only about architecture. Nature here is impressive too. Saint Petersburg lies on the Neva River, at the head of the Baltic Sea. There are thousands of canals to walk about, and enjoy splendid sunsets and dawns. It is also known as the “City of White Nights”, due to its super long northern hemisphere summer nights.
Arguably, Saint Petersburg has the best food and nightlife in the whole of Russia. I especially love Georgian Restaurants, their cuisine is outstanding. There are fancy, subdued, traditional and modern coffee houses virtually everywhere to enjoy delicious cakes, prime coffee and great views. Bars and discos complete the feast.
Our hotel is the Renaissance Saint Petersburg, within walking distance to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage Museum, Nevsky Prospekt Street and the Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel has a terrace upstairs offering fantastic views; the perfect place to recover and chill.
Petrodavodsk & Kizhi Island, Karelia
Karelia is taiga territory, the world’s largest biome, apart from the oceans. You will be surrounded by fir-greens, birch-woods, aspen-woods, alder-trees willows, bird cherries, ash berries, junipers and spurge-flaxes undergrowth. One feels the power of this ocean of trees.
Petrozavodsk city boasts a couple of outstanding neoclassical buildings. However, the star here is Kizhi Island in the centre of Lake Onega, Europe’s second largest. To access the island we will take a ferry. The trip lasts just over 40 minutes and provides fantastic views.
Once we reach the island we will rent bicycles and tour this jaw-dropping open air museum. You won’t believe your eyes: over 80 century-old wooden structures against deep blue skies and surrounded by water to admire. UNESCO had to include Kizhi in its World Heritage Site list.
Our Hotel Karelia is a high-rise on the banks of Lake Onega, just a short walk from the ferry pier. A top floor room guarantees breathtaking views.
Getting to Solovetsky Islands is quite an adventure. The overnight train drops us at run down Kem. A short taxi ride takes us to Rabocheostrovsk where boats leave for Big Solovetsky Island, in the mists of the White Sea. Once you see the islands you will forget about the long journey. Isolated and silent, it’s hard to believe these gems have been inhabited for more than 3000 years. Nature here is a soothing attack to the senses. And when you thought it couldn’t get any better, a XIII Century Monastery will blow your mind away.
We will spend our nights at Solovki Hotel, just a short distance from the port. Made of wood and set in beautiful gardens, it has all modern day conveniences. The restaurant offers the best food in town. We can rent bikes to discover the islands, or just walk and relax. Either way, I promise you will never forget the beauty of Solovetsky.
Moscow is bold, huge, opulent, Asian, Soviet, European and 100% Russian. Few cities in the world are as distinct and fascinating as Moscow. The largest city in Europe, Moscow attracts people from all over Russia and the world, making it very cosmopolitan and diverse.
Architecture in Moscow is a feast to the eye. Layer upon layer of different styles and influences can be seen all around the city. From the one and only Kremlin, through a plethora of neoclassical beauties, grand palaces, monasteries, the iconic Seven Sisters, soviet blocks and Europe’s highest skyscrapers, Moscow dazzles and pleases.
The city is the powerhouse of modern Russia, and, as such, it boasts premier shopping, dining and night life. Moscow is the perfect place to indulge in whatever kicks your fancy. Just let me know, I’m sure we’ll be able to arrange it. We will stay in two different hotels. First in the Petroff Palace Hotel, originally built in the late 18th century for Empress Catherine the Great and used as a resting place for travelling noblemen on their journeys from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. We will then move to the Hilton Leningradskaya, housed in one of the so called Seven Sisters.
Golden Ring: Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov Veliky and Sergiyev Posad
If you love fairy tales and have a serious case of wanderlust, the so called Golden Ring towns of Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov Veliky and Sergiyev Posad were made for you. These ancient towns, are a testament of the most important and significant events in Russian history. Set within gorgeous nature the towns are all “open-air museums” featuring monuments of the 12th to 18th centuries.
We will rent bicycles and wander about Kremlins, monasteries, wooden houses, cathedrals and churches. Staying overnight guarantees that we will have each town to ourselves avoiding the masses of tourists coming on daily tours from Moscow. These towns are pretty atmospheric and relaxed and deserved to be visited alone.
We will be staying at very comfortable authentic hotels with great personalized service. As I mentioned, the Golden Ring is a real life fairy tale.
Price: 3000eur* including:
• Airport pick up in Saint Petersburg
• All transfers inside Russia
• Transfer to Moscow airport
• Personal guidance with detailed information and useful advice
*Based on double occupancy. Air transfer from your hometown to Saint Petersburg and from Moscow to your hometown is not included. Please contact us before booking.
The price does not include
• Entrance tickets to museums and churches
• Travel insurance
21.07. – 06.08. 2017.
11.08. – 27.08. 2017.
01.09. – 17.09. 2017.
The following is a flexible itinerary. For those of you who have less time we can arrange fewer days in the Golden Ring area or skip Solovetsky Islands. If you have more leisure time we can spend extra days in every place. This is a trip of a lifetime so it must fit your needs. Contact us and let’s begin planning your journey through Russia.
Day 1 Saint Petersburg
Transfer from the airport to our hotel. We will visit Nevsky Prospekt including Comedy Theatre and Singer House of Books.
Day 2 Saint Petersburg
We will visit the Hermitage Museum and three temples: Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Savior on the Spilled Blood Church and Kazan Cathedral.
Day 3 Saint Petersburg
Excursion to Peterhof or Pushkin.
Day 4 Petrozavodsk
Visit to Mariinsky Theatre and both the Peter and Paul and the Nicholas-Epiphany Naval Cathedrals. Evening train to Petrozavodsk.
Day 5 Kizhi
Speed boat to Kizhi Island. Return to Petrozavodsk. Night train to Kem.
Day 6 Solovetsky Islands
Taxi to Rabocheostrovsk and boat trip to Big Solovetsky Island. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 7 Solovetsky Islands
Walking and biking around the coast and through the forest.
Day 8 Moscow
Direct flight from the island, arriving to Moscow in the afternoon. Transfer to our hotel.
Day 9 Moscow
A day around the city centre: Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Red Square Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Day 10 Moscow
Visit to Novodevichy monastery and cemetery. Afternoon around Gorky Park.
Day 11 Vladimir
Private transportation to Vladimir. Visit to the Dormition and Saint Demetrius’ Cathedrals. Private transportation in the evening to Suzdal.
Day 12 Suzdal
A day in Suzdal: bike ride around the Kremlin and three monasteries.
Day 13 Rostov Veliky
Private transportation to Rostov Veliky, arriving in the afternoon.
Day 14 Rostov Veliky
Visit to the Citadel and two monasteries. Boat ride on the lake.
Day 15 Sergiyev Posad
Private transportation to Sergiyev Posad, arriving by noon. Visit to the Trinity Sergius Lavra Monastery. Evening mass in the monastery.
Day 16 Moscow
Private transportation to Moscow, arriving by noon. We will tour several metro stations and visit the All Russian Exhibition Centre.
Day 17 Moscow
Visit to Kolomenskoye and Tsaritsino parks and churches. Afternoon flight home.