Golden Ring to Vladimir, Bogolyubovo, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov, Sergiev Posad from Moscow
Itinerary Hide all details
You will meet our driver and company representative at approximately at 8.30 a.m. Then you will be driven by car or mini-van to Vladimir, one of the oldest Russian cities that used to be the capital of Russia. It is about 2-3 hours’ drive from Moscow.
In Vladimir you will have lunch in one of the city’s top restaurants.
Continuing your travel you will have the sightseeing tour of Vladimir. You will have a chance to see the masterpieces of Russian architecture of XII century - the Assumption Cathedral, the Golden Gates. You will be able to see the best works of the prominent icon artist Andrei Rublev.
The Cathedral of the Assumption was the religious center of all Russia. The cathedral was constructed in 1158–1160, and painted by the great Andrei Rublev. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. You will then proceed to the cathedral of St. Dmitry. This one-domed cathedral with fabulous frescoes was built in the beginning of the XII century.
Built in 1163, the Golden Gates are one of Vladimir's most prominent landmarks. They are an integral part of the City's heritage, having witnessed its history over many centuries. The Gates were built as an impregnable fortress with massive oak doors bound with gilded copper. Ancient Vladimir had several other gates, but the Golden Gates were the main entrance to the City. Among others, they saw Alexander Nevskii and Dmitri Donskoi enter Vladimir when they were crowned grand princes of ancient Rus.
You will also visit the fabulous Museum of Crystal. Some of the crystal and glass on display was produced more than 250 years ago. There are also examples of contemporary experimental work. The examples of lacquer painting include icons from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as contemporary icons. Traditional Vladimir-style embroidery is also showcased.
Then you will be taken to Bogolubovo, a former residence of Prince Andrei Bogolubov which is situated on the high bank of the former river of Klyazma. It's 14 km from Vladimir. There you will be able to have a look at the Church Pokrov-on-Nerl (also called Church of the Intercession on the Nerl). It is a true gem of Medieval Russian architecture - its understated forms wonderfully complement the natural beauty of its location. The church was built in 1165 by Andrey Bogolyubskiy, the grand prince of Vladimir and Suzdal, in memory of his favorite son. The church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the site White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.
After the tour, you will be taken to the fabulous old Russian town of Suzdal, situated 38 kilometers north from the city Vladimir, on the Kamenka river.
Check into hotel.
Dinner at the restaurant is included.
Some information about the city. The City of Vladimir is one of the oldest Russian communities. The city was founded in either 990 or 1108, depending on which historians you consult. For the better part of two centuries (from 1157 to the mid-1300s) it was the capital of ancient Rus. Vladimir is now considered one of the major members of the Golden Ring of communities which have played a significant role in Russian history. Among many other attractions, the City boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is also home to several award winning museums, art galleries and theaters; a number of world-class performing groups, artists, and artisans, and several first rate institutions of higher learning. Tourists from all over the world travel to Vladimir to enjoy its vibrant culture and its rich religious and secular historic architecture. The city is one of the most visited destinations within the popular Golden Ring circuit, as it preserves several of the finest monuments of white-stone medieval architecture in Russia, along with a number of later buildings from the 16th–20th centuries.
Suzdal is one of the most striking and unique cities in Russia that has preserved its ancient monuments. Suzdal is an old centre a few kilometers from Vladimir and nerve site of religious tourism for the excellence of the golden ring, is UNESCO World Heritage Site with its countless monasteries, churches and historical monuments. The history of the city, built as a fortress on the river Kljaz'ma, dates back to the twelfth century, when it became the capital of the Rostov-Suzdal principality, was progressively enlarged and embellished with splendid monuments, palaces and monasteries. At that time Suzdal is already among most important Russian cities. It has also emerged as a central tourist destination to exemplify fine and ornate Russian architecture. Suzdal is one of Russia’s major religious centers with housing monasteries, churches, and cathedrals.
After breakfast at the hotel you will have a sightseeing tour around Suzdal, one of the fabulous ancient Russian cities that preserved their unique historical and cultural monuments.
During this sightseeing tour you will see architectural monuments and other sights, which are now protected by UNESCO world heritage. The architectural ensemble of the Kremlin, which consists of the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers and St. Nicholas Church, is worth seeing. The ancient Kremlin dates back to the X century. It is the most famous landmark of Suzdal, the place that gave rise to the city. The main building in the Kremlin is the Nativity Cathedral, which stands right in the middle. It was originally built in the 12th century under Vladimir Monomakh. The Cathedral became the first Christian church in Suzdal. Its glory spread all over Russia. Majestic and solemn, it was decorated by the best Byzantine masters. The next stop will be to the 16th century Archbishops´ Chambers, the oldest civic building of the town. It has a unique collection of historical and archaeological objects.
The Museum of Wooden Architecture* contains fabulous log houses, ancient wooden churches and unique windmills brought there from all over the region. This open-air museum, illustrating old peasant life in this region of Russia, is a short walk across the river, south of the Kremlin. It accumulates everything that has preserved from the 18th and 19th centuries until our times.
* During the low season the Wooden Architecture museum is substituted with the Spaso-Yevfimievsky Monastery of Our Savior.
After lunch at the local restaurant (included), you will be taken to the town of to Yaroslavl.
Check into hotel. Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel is included.
After breakfast our driver and guide picks you up from the hotel to leave for Kostroma. During the city tour you will visit the five-domed Epiphany Cathedral, which is the first building made of stone in Kostroma. Inside you can see the holy icon of Fedorovsky Bogomater (around 800 years old). Then you will take you to the Ipatiev Monastery, once the shelter of Mikhail Romanov, the first tsar of the Romanov Dynasty. He was offered the Russian throne in 1613 thus ending the Time of Troubles and Polish Intervention in Russian. You will also see the Trinity Cathedral, known for its frescos as well as walk through the central part of Kostroma to admire 18th century architecture of provincial town.
Kostroma, a beautiful city on the great Russian Volga River, was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky (he was the one who founded Moscow also) on a famous trade route "from the Variags to the Greeks" in the middle of the 12th century. The location was so good that the new settlement soon turned into one of the largest trade and handicrafts centers in Russia. By the end of the 17th century Kostroma became the third biggest town in Russia, after Moscow and Yaroslavl. It became an important cultural and commercial center. Now Kostroma is a nice and calm provincial town, with historical center kept intact. It is one of the best places in Russia to see old wood buildings richly decorated with carved wood: in the open - air museum of the 16th - 18th centuries visitors can see, among other wooden objects, wind mills, peasant's izby (huts), Russian bath houses, and wood churches.
Transfer to Yaroslavl. As the city lies on a high, steep bank of the Volga river, it offers myriads of photo opportunities of the mighty Volga river.
Lunch at the local restaurant is included. During the city tour of Kostroma, you will visit Saviour Transfiguration Monastery, one of Russia’s richest and best-fortified monasteries by the 16th century,and Church of Elijah the Prophet* with its impressive frescoes.
* The Church of Elijah the Prophet will be substituted with the Icon Museum at the Prior´s chambersin low season.
Dinner at the hotel is included.
Yaroslavl: The treasure of Russia – Yaroslavl – is an ancient Russian city with a 1000 - year history, located on the Upper Volga, in which there are a lot of unique monuments of architecture and art that have been preserved. It is the biggest city of the Golden Ring. Yaroslavl was founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise who gave his own name to the new stronghold on the Volga. By the XVII century Yaroslavl prospered, it became Russia’s second largest city and even performed the functions of a capital, while Moscow was occupied by the invaders. Modern Yaroslavl is a constantly developing industrial and cultural centre that keeps its traditions. Historic centre of the city has been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Yaroslavl is also famous for its romantic embankment of the Volga River decorated with elegant pavilions. Furthermore the city is considered to be the birthplace of the first Russian theatre, founded here by Fyodor Volkov in the middle of the XVIII century.
After breakfast at the hotel our driver and guide picks you up to leave for Rostov the Great.
Rostov the Great has been known since the 9th century. It is famous for the 17th century Kremlin with numerous churches and gorgeous views from the Kremlin walls. (Unlike in Moscow Kremlin, here you might walk along the fortified wall).
During the city tour of Rostov the Great, you will visit Rostov Kremlin, a pearl of Russian architecture, and fabulous museum of Finift (Rostov enamel). Enamel came to Old Rus from Byzantium (together with Christianity, in the 10th century). It is used for creating jewelry, icons, miniature portraits, coats of arms, and other luxury.
Rostov the Great is located on the bank of Nero lake, this lake is one of the oldest lakes in the European part of Russia. The city was first mentioned in the ancient chronicles in the year 862. The exceptional role of this town in the development of Russian culture and its unique architectural ensemble secured for it a place of prominence among the museum cities of European and world significance. In Rostov the first Episcopal faculty, the first Uspenski cathedral (991) was based. Rostov was the constant participant of all political events connected to activity of Grand dukes, Tsar Ivan Grozny, Romanov House. This fascinating town, whose very stones embody the inexhaustible genius of Russian masters, has retained for us a heritage which arouses deep emotions and enriches everyone who appreciates artistic accomplishments of past ages.
Lunch at the local restaurant is included.Transfer to Pereslavl Zalessky.
You will have the short tour to the old Russian town – Pereslavl-Zalessky, located on the southeastern shore of the Lake Pleshcheyevo. You will visit The Red (Cathedral) Square, the heart of the ancient Pereslavl. Here, in 1152, Yuriy Dolgorukiylaid down «...the stone church of the Holy Savior...».
Pereslavl Zalessky: Pereslavl was founded in 1152 by Yury Dolgoruky in Zalesye region, which had got its name due to the forests and fields covering the area. The history of the city is full of the events which were quite bright and important for entire Russia. For example, it was the place where Alexander Nevsky, an outstanding Russian commander, was born in 1220. In 1276-1294 Pereslavl had been an actual capital of the North-Eastern Russia, and in 1688 here, on Lake Pleshcheyevo, Peter the Great started to build so-called Poteshny (fun) Flotilla which is considered to be the forefather of the Russian Fleet. The center of the Pereslavl Kremlin is the Red square. In the 12th-13th centuries there were oak columns with a bell which informed people about Veche (public gathering). In the end of the 20th century the square was reconstructed: shabby wooden houses were demolished and the overall territory was furnished well. As a result one can have a better look of the outstanding architectural monuments of the Red square: besides Savior's Cathedral there are also Vladimir-Sretensky Cathedral and Churches of Alexander Nevsky and Metropolitan Peter.
Transfer to Sergiev Posad where you visit the famous pilgrimage sight, the Holy-Trinity St. Sergius Monastery, quite often referred as Russian Vatican. The Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius was founded in the early 14th century by one of the most venerated saints of Russia St. Sergius. For centuries, Russian czars and common people set out on pilgrimage to the monastery. It remains one of the most sacred places in Russia today. In 1993 the monastery was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Sergiev Posad: The ancient town of Sergiyev Posad on the River Konchura was founded and grew up around the monastery, which has made Sergiyev Posad a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians from all over the world, as well as for tourists entranced by the spectacular architecture. The monastery's magnificent domed churches have seen generations of Russian rulers baptized there, while Peter the Great sought sanctuary from a bloody revolt inside the monastery's walls. The tsar Boris Godunov is buried within its confines, and it was here that Russia's most revered icon painter, Andrei Rublyov, created his renowned Trinity icon. Sergiyev Posad is also famed for its rich tradition in the carving of wooden toys and crafts, including Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshkas. Nowadays, the town's streets are populated by a mix of pilgrims, monks and tourists.
You will return to Moscow at around 5:00 PM. At this point we are saying goodbye to Russian history and architecture, famous old towns, yet, we hope to see you again soon in Russia. Each town along your way has an individual charm, giving the visitors the feeling of Russian provincial life. For many this is where the true soul of the country lies. Hope you had a great time!
- Tickets to all museums
- Transportation to museums and for excursions
- Guide service
- Hotel accommodation
- Meals according to the program
- Visa processing costs. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. To learn more about this option, please visit the Full Visa Support page
- International airfare (we can assist you in booking discount airfare, contact us to find out more or book the discount tickets yourself through our internet ticket office)
- Optional services as well as theater tickets
- Travel insurance
|Price per person
Low. Jan 9 - Apr 30, Oct 1 - Dec 29. 3 stars
High. Dec 30 - Jan 8, May 1 - Sep 30. 3 stars
Low. Jan 9 - Apr 30, Oct 1 - Dec 29. 4 stars
High. Dec 30 - Jan 8, May 1 - Sep 30. 4 stars
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Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.
Sights included in program
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