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Jewels of Russia

8 days from £2390 per person

Russia is a land of forest and endless steppes, magnificent fortresses and opulent palaces. No more is this typified than in the fabulous medieval and baroque buildings of Moscow and St Petersburg, whilst a taste of Russia's landscape can be glimpsed from the window of the high-speed train that links the two cities. Spending three nights in Moscow, visit Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral, Kremlin and excellent Tretyakov Gallery, then head to St Petersburg to explore the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum, the palace complex at Tsarskoe Selo and the extravagant palace at Peterhof.

Route: Moscow – St Petersburg

Itinerary Highlights

Explore Moscow’s cultural core as you spend time at the iconic Kremlin, visit the Red Square and marvel at the completely unique, colourful domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.

Admire impressive architecture, spot golden spires and listen out for the sweet chime of church bells as you amble along through the ancient streets of Moscow.

Arguably the grandest city in Russia and brimming with culture, St Petersburg is an opulent blend of canals, palaces, bridges and cathedrals.

Itinerary: Jewels of Russia

This morning depart the UK on a British Airways flight to Moscow arriving mid-afternoon. One of Europe’s great cities, Moscow has been at the forefront of history for centuries, growing under the patronage of Ivan the Terrible, repelling Napoleon’s siege of 1812 and cementing its position as the steadfast capital of the Soviet Union. Please note that this itinerary is based on a Friday departure from the UK. (N)
Accommodation in Moscow: Marriott Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Ritz-Carlton Moscow (or similar)
Start today in iconic Red Square. Located in the heart of the city, the square is framed by the high walls of the Kremlin and the colourful domes of the celebrated St Basil's Cathedral. Passing Lenin's Mausoleum, approach the onion-domes of St Basil’s – a fairytale, traditionally Russian, building commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1552. Leaving Red Square, explore the streets of Medieval Moscow then view the city on high from the Sparrow Hills. End the day at the exceptional Tretyakov Gallery which houses, amongst others, one of the finest collections of 20th century Russian art. (B)
Accommodation in Moscow: Marriott Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Ritz-Carlton Moscow (or similar)
The Kremlin remains the apex of political power in the Russian Federation and today explore this fabulous complex which is home to over 800 years of Russian history. A fortified stronghold, construction of Moscow’s kremlin started during the 1100s with it increasing in size and importance over the centuries. Highlights of the complex include the 15th century Assumption Cathedral and Archangel Cathedral, resting place of the tsars, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Great Kremlin Palace and the treasures housed in the Armoury. Afterwards, take a ride on Moscow's famous and opulent metro. (B)
Accommodation in Moscow: Marriott Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Ritz-Carlton Moscow (or similar)
After a morning at leisure, take the fast train to St Petersburg arriving late in the afternoon. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, beautiful St Petersburg is Russia’s grandest city. With its canals, bridges, opulent palaces, world-class galleries and museums much of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. At vanguard of Russian history since its inception, St Petersburg is the jewel in the country’s crown. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
Forming part of the spectacular Winter Palace, today visit the Hermitage Museum. Here one of the most magnificent collections of Western European art in the world is housed in 365 rooms in a vast complex of palaces. Leaving the Hermitage continue towards the gold dome of the lavish St Isaac’s Cathedral and, after visiting, wander the grand streets and picturesque canals. End the day at the Peter and Paul Fortress. The oldest structure in the city, the fortress is best known for the gilded spire of its cathedral and for holding political prisoners including Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s sibling Alexander and Trotsky. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
This morning drive south from the city to the town of Pushkin, site of the grand imperial estate of Tsarskoe Selo, or ‘Tsar’s Village’. A vast complex of palaces, parks and lakes, the highlight is the Catherine Palace – a vast baroque home designed by Rastrelli and given by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine in the mid-18th century. Returning to St Petersburg, spend the afternoon at the Yusupov Palace – one of the city’s finest. Built during the 1740s, this opulent palace even has its own theatre. It was also in a cellar here that the murder of Rasputin was planned. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
Today travel west to the palace at Peterhof. Overlooking the Gulf of Finland, Peterhof was the former summer residence of the tsars and is comparable in scale and grandeur to the Palace of Versailles. Famed for its stunning gravity-powered fountains, explore the sumptuous Grand Palace, Peter the Great’s retreat ‘Monplaisir’, and the Marly Palace. Returning to St Petersburg, the remainder of your afternoon is free to further explore the city. (B)
Accommodation in St Petersburg: Angleterre Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (or similar)
After a morning at leisure, you will be met and transferred to St Petersburg Airport for the afternoon British Airways flight to the UK. A boat ride on the city’s canals can also be arranged prior to your homeward flight. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Russia Holiday Review

Everything went splendidly many thanks. The three guides - Natalia, Natasha Petrovna and Amelia -  and drivers - Mischa, Nikita and Dmitri - were beyond excellent and the local guides ditto. Both hotels were first class in their different ways and ideally located.

IC - Russia - September 2016

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