The Years of Peril and Glory

 (St.Petersburg /Volgograd/ The cities of the Golden Ring / Moscow /)

12 Days / 11 .Nights






The program of the tour aims to broaden a traveller’s knowledge of Russia through visiting the cities where most dramatic and glorious events of the Russian history took place.  Along with two Russian capitals, it includes Volgograd (also formerly known as Stalingrad) and the major tourist centres of the Golden Ring in the ancient past Russia’s most important historic cities.

Volgograd Founded on the right bank of the lower Volga, the settlement under the name of Tsaritsin (originates from the name of the nearby river Tsaritsa) was firstly mentioned in 1589. It was built to protect the Volga trade route against steppe nomads and gangs of thieves. Owing to its location, the city was the centre of many military and rebel conflicts. Renamed Stalingrad (1925), it stayed in the world history after the great battle, that was to become one of the major turning points in the World War II took place there. As a result of the battle, Stalingrad was razed to the ground. Rebuilt after the war, the city was renamed Volgograd (1961). Presently with the population of over 1 million citizens, it is one of Russia’s largest industrial, scientific and cultural centers.

Sergiev Posad The history of the city (founded in 1742) is closely connected with the history of the Troitse-Sergiev Monastery (The Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius), which was founded in the 14th century by St. Sergius Radonezhsky, one of the most revered saints of the Russian Orthodox Church. For many centuries the monastery was Russia’s largest religious and cultural centre. The main sacred place of the monastery is the Trinity Cathedral (1422), the burial ground of St. Sergius. The Cathedral is also known for unique frescoes painted by the genius Russian icon painter Andrew Rublev and his teacher Daniil Cherny. The icon of Holy Trinity by Andrew Rublev, one of the most inspired masterpieces ever created by a human being, is kept now in the Tretyakov State Art Gallery in Moscow.

Kostroma It is considered that this Volga city was founded in 1152 by Prince of Rostov and Suzdal Yuri Dolgoruky, who is also known as the founder of Moscow. After a short period of rapid growth (16-17th centuries) Kostroma lost its commercial significance, but stayed the city that played noticeable role in the national history. Enough to say, that the noble family of the Romanovs, the royal dynasty, ruling Russia from 1613, originated from Kostroma. Among the main city’s attractions is the Ipatiev Monastery complex (13th century) with its famous Trinity Cathedral and Chamber of the the Romanov boyars.

Yaroslavl Founded on the Volga river in 1010, this is a city of great history and rich cultural traditions. For a few centuries it had been one of the most prosperous and developed cities of imperial Russia. Known as a tourist center of many outstanding architectural monuments, Yaroslavl was included in 2005 in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The local Museum of Fine Arts keeps one of Russia’s largest collections of the icons. The city is also known as the birthplace of many Russian celebrities.

Vladimir Founded in 1108, the city is a part of the popular Golden Ring travel itinerary, known for many masterpieces of the ancient Russian architecture. Until the mid of 14th century (when Moscow overshadowed it) Vladimir was de facto the political and cultural capital of the old Russia and the residence of the Russian metropolitans. The best architectural masterpieces of pre-Mongolian Russia, including splendid golden-domed cathedrals build of carved white stone and the magnificent Golden Gates, can still be seen inside and around the city.

Suzdal With its population of only 12 thousand citizens, this town nevertheless is one of the country’s most popular tourist centers, a real pearl of the Golden Ring travel itinerary. It was the capital of its own principality in the first half of the 14th century, but later lost independence and became a part of the Moscow Tzardom (1392). Nowadays this charming little town, frozen in time looks right like a picture from a Russian fairytale, untouched by the modern development, with many brightly-colored domes of the churches and monasteries razing to the sky. There are more than 200 historical monuments preserved in the city.


The program of the tour:


Arrival in St.Petersburg. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the city including visit to the memorial Piskaryovskoye Cemetery, the common grave for nearly 600 000 residents who died because of starvation and shelling during the Siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944. Lunch in a city restaurant. Tour of the Hermitage museum. Dinner. 


Day 3

Breakfast. Trip to Pushkin, formerly known as “village of the tsars” (Tsarskoje Selo), the former summer residence of the tsars. The tour of the Catherine’s Palace. The palace with its famous Amber Room, is an impressive post-WWII reconstruction. Lunch (in St.Petersburg or in Pushkin). Afternoon at leisure. Dinner. 


Day 4

Breakfast. Tour of the Peter & Paul Fortress and St.Isaac’s Cathedral. Lunch in a city restaurant. Transfer to the airport. Flight to Volgograd. Arrival in Volgograd. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel. 


Day 5

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the city including the enormous war memorial on the Mamayev Kurgan (burial mound) and the Battle of Stalingrad Museum-Panorama. Lunch. Visit to the Planetarium. Dinner. 


Day 6

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Moscow. Transfer from the airport to Vladimir (170 km away from). Arrival in Vladimir. Lunch in a city restaurant. Sightseeing tour of the city. Trip to Bogolyubovo for visiting the Church of the Intercession on the river Nerl. Though rather small and modestly decorated, it is one of the most beautiful Russian churches, possibly due to its fantastic location. Departure to Suzdal.
Check-in and dinner at the local hotel. 


Day 7

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of Suzdal (the Kremlin, the Transfiguration Cathedral, Spaso-Yevfimiev monastery of the Saviour, the monastery of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God). Lunch. Visit to the Cathedral of Nativity of the Mother of God. Dinner at the hotel. 


Day 8

Breakfast. Departure by bus to Kostroma. Arrival in Kostroma. Check-in. Lunch. Sightseeing tour of the city including the Ipatiev Monastery. Dinner. 


Breakfast. Departure by bus to Yaroslavl. Sightseeing tour of Yaroslavl including  the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Saviour. Lunch. Departure by bus to Moscow. Stop on the way in Sergiev Possad for the tour of the Troitse-Sergiev (St.Sergius) Monastery. Dinner. Proceed to Moscow. Arrival in Moscow. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel. 


Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the city including the War Memorial on Poklonnaya Hill. Lunch in a city restaurant. Tour of the Tretyakov State Art Gallery. Dinner.


Breakfast. Trip to Kolomenskoye, an ancient royal summer retreat. Lunch in a city restaurant. Tour of the Kremlin including one of its Cathedrals. Dinner.


 Breakfast. Check-out. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

 The price of the tour is quoted by request.