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Golden Ring Tour from Moscow

Explore Russia’s Golden Ring on a 4-day tour of the region from Moscow! Visiting seven of the old fortified Golden Ring towns, this exciting experience combines sightseeing tours with plenty of free time. See onion-domed cathedrals, whitewashed city walls and pretty wooden architecture, as well as UNESCO-listed sites like Trinity Lavra Monastery of St Sergius in Sergiev Posad. Enjoy overnight accommodation in Vladimir, Kostroma and Rostov-Veliky, and embrace the time-honored allure of the Golden Ring.

Why Choose This Tour

If you want to see traditional architecture and buildings that were once in the most influential part of Russia, then this is the way to do it!

What You Can Expect

Leave Moscow and travel by luxury coach around the Golden Ring – a collection of historical towns and cities just northeast of the capital. Often called the ancient heart of Russia, the enchanting ring of old fortified cities is a land where time has seemingly stood still for centuries. Hear the history of the region and admire wooden houses, UNESCO-listed monasteries and onion-domed cathedrals on coach tours of seven Golden Ring towns: Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov-Veliky, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad. 

Overnight stays are scheduled in the most vibrant Golden Ring towns – Vladimir, Kostroma and Rostov-Veliky – and hotels are centrally located, allowing you to easily explore the towns independently between excursions and transfers

Duration: 4 days

Itinerary Hide all details

Day 1: Moscow – Vladimir
Start your trip with a hotel pickup and travel for roughly three hours to your first Golden Ring town: the historical settlement of Vladimir. See the sights on a coach tour, hearing the history of the town once known as the capital of Rus, and then head inside the magnificent Assumption Cathedral (once Russia’s main cathedral). Admire treasures like Rublyov’s The Last Judgement frescoes, and then board your coach to travel to the Cathedral of St Dmitry, marveling at its incredible stone carvings from the outside. Your coach tour also includes Vladimir’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites like the Golden Gates and the Museum of Crystal, Lacquer Miniature Painting and Embroidery.
Stop for lunch and a drink in a traditional Russian restaurant, enjoying a bowl of hearty Russian borscht (beetroot soup) with dumplings (own expense), and then check in to your hotel. Spend the rest of your afternoon and evening at leisure. 

Overnight: 4-star Park Hotel Voznesenskaya Sloboda in Vladimir

Day 2: Vladimir – Suzdal – Kostroma (B)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and then leave your hotel by coach, traveling the short distance north to the 11th-century fortress town of Suzdal. Explore the town by coach, seeing the ramparts of Suzdal’s Kremlin and learning about the town. As you sit back and relax, your guide will talk to you about the town’s history, explaining how it was once a favorite town of the Soviet government, who strived to retain its original architecture and charm.

Pass through the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life to see traditional old izbas (wooden houses) and churches – all built without using a single nail. Then, continue your tour back into town to see Suzdal’s monasteries and churches.

After a break for lunch, travel north to Kostroma, a town sat on the banks of its namesake river. See its highlights on a city tour, marveling at its star attraction – the 14th-century Monastery of St Ipaty. Hear tales of the Godunov family who founded the place of worship, and learn about the rivalries between them and the Romanov dynasty – another powerful Kostroma family. Check in to your hotel and enjoy free time in town. 

Overnight: 3-star Ostrovsky Prichal in Kostroma

Day 3: Kostroma – Yaroslavl – Rostov-Veliky (B)
Leave Kostroma after breakfast and travel west to the ancient town of Yaroslavl that was once a major political and economic hub. As the second largest city in Russia, Yaroslavl holds a collection of sites to rival the country’s capital. See the best sites on your city tour, admiring the onion-domed St John the Baptist Church and Strelka Park where the town’s founder (Yaroslavl the Wise) fought a sacred bear to save his people. Stop to visit the Monastery of Transfiguration of the Saviour – one of Russia’s richest monasteries – and then head inside the Church of Elijah the Prophet to see some of the brightest frescoes in the Golden Ring. 
Enjoy lunch in town, and then travel south to Rostov-Veliky, a town that’s often considered the prettiest in the Golden Ring with its silver-domed Kremlin. See the highlights on your city tour, stopping outside the Kremlin and the fairytale-esque Monastery of St Jacob. Check in to your hotel, and then spend your night at leisure. 
Overnight: 3-star Usadba Pleshanova in Rostov-Veliky

Day 4: Rostov-Veliky – Pereyaslavl-Zalessky – Sergiev Posad – Moscow (B)
Say your goodbyes to Rostov-Veliky after breakfast, and then head to Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, a small town popular with vacationing Muscovites. Sat on the shores of Lake Pleshcheevo, the pretty town is best known for its two main attractions: Red Square and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration (one of Russia’s oldest buildings). See them both on a city tour by coach, and then travel further south to your final Golden Ring town of your tour, Sergiev Posad. 
The town’s undisputed highlight is the Trinity Lavra Monastery of St Sergius, an active monastery that sprawls around the town. Taking a well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the colossal monastery comprises onion-domed churches and countless buildings with eye-catching architecture. See the best bits, such as the Cathedral of the Assumption, on your coach tour and hear stories of St Sergius, after whom the monastery is named. 

Stop for lunch in town and then return to Moscow, where your tour finishes.

What's included

  • Transport by coach
  • 3 nights of hotel accommodation
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • City tours in Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov-Veliky, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad
  • Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Not included in the price
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drink, unless specified
Additional expenses
Additional info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Visa

Russian visa support (Russian visa invitation letter) is included.

Sights included in program

Moscow : Golden Ring
One of the most fascinating regions in Russia is the famous 'Golden Ring' of cities to the northeast of Moscow. This ancient heart of Russia with its old whitewashed city walls and venerable onion-domed churches created the world's definition of medieval Rus. In this enchanted region - which has remained relatively untouched by tourist crowds - time stands still. The main currents of history ignored these cities, leaving towns such as Vladimir, S... Read more
Golden Ring : Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl makes a lasting impression on people from all parts of the world. Yaroslavl is possibly one of the most ancient settlements of Russians on the Volga River. An ancient legend says that construction began on the city's fortress on the site where Yaroslav the Wise slew a bear. The fortress quickly became a vibrant city on the crossroads of trade routes. Today, Yaroslavl is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and the unofficial c... Read more
Golden Ring : Kostroma
Kostroma is a major tourist centre, and part of the "Golden Ring of Russia", and one of the prettiest towns on the Volga. Kostroma has more than a two-century history. The city was founded in 1152 by prince Jury Dolgoruki. It was a centre of the events of national importance, a birthplace of the Romanov Dynasty, as in 1613, Mikhail Romanov became the Tzar of Russia in Ipatiev monastery in Kostroma. Kostroma city is not only famous for its ar... Read more
Golden Ring : Suzdal
Suzdal is a unique compilation of numerous monuments of material culture, architecture and history. Standing along the banks of the Kamenka River, Suzdal used to be the capital of several Russian principalities. It is a religious hub with numerous monasteries churches making it now an important tourist center, featuring many fine examples of old Russian architecture. The town has almost 300 architectural monuments of the last millennium and a ple... Read more
Golden Ring : Rostov the Great
Known since the 9th century Rostov the Great is one of the oldest city of Russia and one of most interesting stops of the Golden Ring tour. 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. The exceptional role of this town in the development of Russian culture and its u... Read more
Golden Ring : Pereslavl-Zalessky
Pereslavl-Zalessky has great attraction as an ancient cultural and architectural monument: it is coeval of Moscow (was founded in 1152), and now is one of the most interesting centers of Yaroslavl region. Not only architectural masterpieces give grounds to include Pereslavl in the Golden Ring of ancient Russian towns. Many events of Russian history took place within the precincts of and on the land of this old town. Among the silent witnesses of ... Read more
Golden Ring : Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad is obviously a town that deserves a special visit. Despite incredible number of old towns in Moscow Region, Sergiev Posad is the only one of them that is always included in the famous Golden Ring excursions. The major point of attraction here is Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, the largest orthodox men's monastery in Russia. Read more
Golden Ring : Vladimir
The City of Vladimir is one of the oldest Russian communities. It is 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. Read more
Church of Elijah the Prophet, standing on Sovetskaya Square in the center of Yaroslavl, is an outstanding architectural monument of Yaroslavl school of architecture of the 17th century. This church almost completely preserved its original appearance. Read more
Church of St. John the Baptist is one of the most famous monuments of the Yaroslavl architecture. It is a monument of history and culture of world importance included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Read more
Yaroslavl starts from the Spassky monastery (Saviour monastery), that was founded in the 12th century at the place where Kotorosl river meets Volga river. The main entrance to the monastery were the Saint gates (Svyatye vorota), that were built in 1516, but were changed since then (the decorations and the small church on top were added in 1621). Read more
Yaroslavl : Strelka Park
Yaroslavl is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Russia, the brightest pearl of the Golden Ring. Every year thousands of tourists roam the streets, admiring the sights, the main part of which are churches. But the city is ready to offer its guests something special - a place where you can not only enjoy beautiful views, but also relax. This "Arrow" - a wonderful park, quickly won the hearts of local residents and those who decided to g... Read more
Visit Monastery of st Ipaty to see red Romanov chambers that house a historical exhibit and a refectory featuring religious items and old icons. Watch the footage of Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family visiting Kostroma in 1913 on a large screen at the entrance. The focal point of the monastery is the Trinity Cathedral, which was built by Tsar Boris Godunov in 1590. It features more than 80 frescoes by a school of 17th-century Kostroma painte... Read more
The Museum of Wooden Architecture keeps numerous examples of old wooden architecture and is considered to be a little corner of classical ancient Russia. Read more
Founded in the 14th century to protect the town’s northern entrance, Suzdal’s biggest monastery grew mighty in the 16th and 17th centuries after Vasily III, Ivan the Terrible and the noble Pozharsky family funded impressive new stone buildings and made large land and property acquisitions. It was girded with its great brick walls and towers in the 17th century. Read more
The ancient Kremlin of Suzdal is the place that gave rise to the city. The central street of the city leads there. Even from afar you can see its white-stone walls with bright-green roofs of the buildings. Bright white in the backdrop of the green meadows are the slender silhouettes of churches and the golden domes of ancient monasteries. Read more
At The Convent of the Intercession (Pokrovsky Monastery), time seems to stand still. Established in the 14th century, the monastery was the place where the influential men of Moscow would banish their unwanted wives and daughters. Today nuns inhabit the convent (and they're there of their own free will), but everyday life in the monastery remains as it was back in the early days. Soak in the atmosphere, walk the maintained gro... Read more
Rostov the Great : Rostov-Veliky Kremlin
Rostov-Veliky’s main attraction is unashamedly photogenic. Though founded in the 12th century, most of the buildings date to the 1670s and 1680s. Read more
Rostov the Great : Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery
Spaso-Yakovlevsky (Savior monastery of St. Jacob) monastery is the second most important sight of Rostov after the Rostov Kremlin. When coming to the city you must have a tour of the monastery and ascend on the corner tower of the monastery overlooking Lake Nero. From the tower you can have a very beautiful view on all cathedrals of the monastery, as well as Lake Nero. Read more
Pereslavl-Zalessky : Red Square
The Red Square is the heart of the ancient Pereslavl. Here one can see several ancient churches: Savior Transfiguration Cathedral, Vladimirsky Cathedral, Church of Alexander Nevsky, and the Church of Peter the Metropolitan. Read more
Pereslavl-Zalessky : The Transfiguration cathedral
This most ancient Pereslavl temple decorates the historical centre of the town – Red square. It is built in Byzantine style from white limestone and is situated in complex with artificial mound of XII century. Pereslavl Transfiguration cathedral was founded in 1152 by the founder of the town Jury Dolgoruky. It is one of the main sights not only of Pereslavl, but of the whole north-eastern part of Russia. Read more
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery is situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow by the road leading to Yaroslavl, and currently is home to over 300 monks. Read more
At the time of the reign of Grand Prince of Vladimir Vsevolod the Big Nest, Vladimir-Suzdal Princedom was in the zenith of its glory. “Suzdal Region back in the beginning of XII century was a forsaken north-eastern corner of Russian Land, but in XIII century was already a Princedom that decisively headed up the rest of Russ,” V. Klyuchevsky wrote. And Dmitrievsky Cathedral built by Vsevolod was purposed to signify this rise of Vladimi... Read more
The Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir (sometimes translated Assumption Cathedral) was a mother church of Medieval Russia in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is part of a World Heritage Site, the White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. Read more
Vladimir : Golden Gates
Golden Gate in Vladimir is a unique example of Russian military architecture of the 12th century. It was erected in 1164 as a part of the defensive wall encircling the ancient Vladimir. The gate was crowned with the tiny Church of the Deposition of the Robe. Along with the Golden Gate there was several other gates, but the Golden Gates were the main entrance to the city. Read more
In Vladimir city there is a unique Museum of the Crystal, placed in the building of the Trinity church, not far from The Golden Gate. In its exposition represented about 1000 samples of the crystal glass and about 100 of the finest works from the porcelain. All of them were made perfectly by the best craftsmen, you cannot avert your eyes from some of them. Read more

Reviews

Chicca
USA
26 May 2015
It was a pleasure dealing with the uVisitRussia Organization. You are all very professional and warm and made such a long-distance communication very easy, especially in another language for you.

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