Day 1: ST. PETERSBURG
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.Welcome to Europe!!!. Transfer to hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon, or you can check the informative panels in the hotel reception area.
Day 2: ST. PETERSBURG
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Panoramic visit of St. Petersburg. Catherine Palace. With a local guide, we begin the panoramic visit of this beautiful city crossed by the Neva River and built on 40 islands. Saint Petersburg is the second most important city of Russia and capital of the Russian Empire. This imperial city reveals the history of the Russian tsars through its museums, palaces, and architectural wealth. The visit includes the Peter and Paul Fortress, origin of the city (entrance included). The city is surrounded by numerous palaces, in the afternoon we include the excursion (tour with guide and tickets) to the CATHERINE PALACE located 25 km from St. Petersburg, it was the Tzars summer rococo residence.
Day 3: ST. PETERSBURG – MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Hermitage Museum. High-speed train to Moscow. Today we have included the Hermitage Museum, a fantastic art museum located in the building that was the Tsars’ Winter Palace (visit with guide and tickets).In the afternoon we take the “Sapsan”, the modern high- speed train, and in four hours we cover the nearly 800 km separating the two cities. Arrival in Moscow and transfer to our hotel.
Day 4: MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: city tour of Moscow. We will start our day with an exciting visit to Russia’s huge capital city. This city unites past, present and future in a very unique way. We will go along their immense avenues, their elegant shopping areas, the Red Square where Lenin’s Mausoleum is, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour… We include a ticket to the Kremlin with a visit to two of its main cathedrals. We will try (not guaranteed) to coincide with the ceremonial military parade in Sobornaya Square. Free afternoon.
Day 5: MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Viewpoint over Moscow. Great Patriotic War Museum. We will learn more about the history of Russia and its capital. We will pass by the university viewpoint, with its fantastic view over the city where newly married couples leave flowers (we could go to the viewpoint after Saturday’s visit instead of Sunday) and we will get to know (including entry) the Great Patriotic War Museum (World War II) that also shows us many aspects of the Soviet period. Free afternoon.
Day 6: MOSCOW – VLADIMIR – NIZHNY NOVGOROD
We leave Moscow early and travel towards VLADIMIR where we visit the majestic Cathedral of the Assumption that forms part of UNESCO’s World Heritage. Lunch included. We go on our way eastwards, stopping in the small town of GOROJOVETS, its walled Kremlin, its great views, its 17th-century monastery, surroundings that seem to divert from time. We go on to NIZHNI NOVGOROD, the capital of the federal district of the Volga, the fifth most populated city in Russia and the place where Maximo Gorki was born. We will stroll along the banks of the Volga; we will see the monumental staircase going up to the Kremlin and the monument that tells the story of the victims of the Second World War. Dinner included and accommodation.
Day 7: NIZHNY NOVGOROD – MAKARIEVO – CHEBOKSARY
We leave the busiest roads and divert to take a look at the world, large plains, fir forests, lakes en route, and villages of wooden houses. MAKARIEVO shows us its great 15th-century monastery on the banks of the Volga, a beautiful place virtually inaccessible to tourism. We cross the river Volga by ferry (a crossing of around 20 minutes, cargo ferries to cross the river, in very limited conditions), lunch included. We continue to CHEBOKSARY, the capital of the Republic of Chuvashia, a beautiful and tidy city on the banks of the Volga. Its population speaks Chuvashian, a language of Turkish origin. The city will receive us with a small folkloric show (if the group is under 12 people, this show is not given). Dinner included.
Day 8: CHEBOKSARY – YOSHKAR-OLA – KAZAN
We leave for YOSKHAR – OLA, the capital of the Republic of Mari – El. Here the inhabitants, who lived for centuries in the forests, speak a very ancient language derived from Hungarian and Finnish. Its urban centre has been completely transformed in recent years and is now one of incredible beauty. Lunch included. We go on to SVIJASCHK, an island on the Volga declared UNESCO World Heritage, inhabited in the times of Ivan the Terrible, and we will take a walk among its churches and its ancient wooden dwellings. Continuation of KAZAN, arrival and accommodation.
Day 9: KAZAN
Full day in KAZAN, the Tartar capital and a city with just over a million inhabitants. We will visit the city centre in which the mosques rub shoulders with the Orthodox churches. We will also see the house of Lenin (only on the outside, as it is closed on Mondays), a pleasant early 20th-century traditional dacha. Afternoon free.
Day 10: KAZAN
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.