The Golden Ring of Russia is one of the most popular tourist routes in Russia. Although various cities are often included on the list of Golden Ring cities, the original list only consists of eight cities with Yaroslavl considered the unofficial capital, due to a large number of architectural monuments which still stand here. In fact, the whole historical centre is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many significant events in Russian history also took place in this city.
Rostov Veliky – this city is 60km from Yaroslavl and much more provincial. However, its kremlin is nothing short of magnificent with its white walls and the many domes of its churches, with the tranquil Lake Nero providing the backdrop. It is a view which has inspired many Russian folk stories and will undoubtedly leave an impression on you too.
A weekend tour to Rostov and Yaroslavl is an excellent way to escape the busy metropolis of Moscow and enjoy picturesque views of Russian provincial cities and their special charm.
This trip can be extended to St Petersburg, Vologda or along Trans-Siberian railway to Vladivostok or China.
• 06:30 •
Transfer to Moscow's Yaroslavl Station. Please note that the check-in for Russian trains starts 30 minutes before departure. You must have your passport with you and present it at check-in.
• 07:35 •
The departure of the express train to Rostov Veliky. The duration of the trip is 2h40. This part of the trip lays along the Trans-Siberian railway.
• 10:15 •
Arrival in Rostov. Meeting with a guide.
City tour of Rostov Veliky – on this tour you will visit the main sights of the city:
Rostov Kremlin - this large and beautiful architectural complex, although called a kremlin due to its appearance was originally built as a residence for the archbishop in the 1660s. Archbishop Iona Sysoevich of Rostov ordered the construction to create a centre of Orthodoxy in his parish and in addition to this kremlin he also founded other monasteries in the region.
Dormition Cathedral – the main cathedral in the kremlin is the Dormition Cathedral, one of the masterpieces of Russian church architecture. Today's version is already the fifth incarnation to stand here and dates from the 16th century, before Archbishop Iona's construction project. The cathedral was built using Moscow's Dormition Cathedral as a model. Several Rostov princes and bishops are interred inside, including Archbishop Iona.
Rostov Belfry – this belfry is perhaps the most famous in Russia. It was completed in 1681 and its unique bells each have a name – the oldest and largest is known as Sysoy and weighs 33 tonnes.
Museum of Rostov Finift – many Russian cities have become famous for a traditional form of handicraft created there and in Rostov Veliky's case, it is for its finift. Finift is prepared by creating a picture using glass powder and enamel on a metallic base. The glass coating is long-lasting and does not fade with time, allowing finift products to keep their shine and purity. The technique was invented in France but further developed in Rostov where a new form was created.
Lake Nero – this lake was formed before the last ice age and is believed to be almost 500,000 years old. It is the largest lake in the Yaroslavl Region.
Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery – the most beautiful monastery in Rostov, it is located on the shores of Lake Nero. The oldest structure here is the cathedral which dates from 1686. Its frescos have also survived.
Duration: 3h | Transportation: by a private car
Russian lunch - please let us know if you have any dietary needs.
Transfer to Yaroslavl. Distance: 70km
• 15:00 •
Tour around Yaroslavl - the highlights of this tour include:
- Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery – this ancient 13th-century monastery is considered the main sight in Yaroslavl and often mistaken for a kremlin. It was here that the only surviving example of the ancient Russian literary masterpiece – The Tale of Igor's Campaign - was discovered at the end of the 18th century.
- Transfiguration Cathedral – the oldest surviving building in Yaroslavl. It was built between 1506 and 1516 on the site of an even earlier cathedral by architects from Moscow sent to Yaroslavl by Grand Prince Vasily III. CLOSED FROM 1ST OCTOBER TO 1ST MAY.
- Volga Embankment - is one of the most beautiful places in Yaroslavl. It runs along the embankment and was first laid out in the 19th century. Many historical buildings and unique churches are located along the embankment. Several gazebos are also found here which have become favourite places for taking photographs, especially for newlyweds.
- St Elijah the Prophet’s Church - this is one of the most outstanding monuments of the Yaroslavl school of architecture and fresco painting. Its frescos, depicting various stories and themes, date from the 17th century and have been completely preserved. The church also has five iconostases. Its central one is considered one of the best examples of 17th-century Russian iconostases. CLOSED FROM 1ST OCTOBER TO 1ST MAY.
- Beheading of St John the Baptist Church – this is one of the most striking examples of Yaroslavl’s architecture and its architects broke with several rules of Russian architecture. The church’s two side chapels are at the same height as the main part and all three sections are topped with five decorative domes which give the impression of a 15-domed church. At the turn of the 18th century a six-tier Moscow-baroque bell tower was erected next to the church. At 45 metres high, it stands as tall as the church's central dome. Both the church and the bell tower are the tallest in Yaroslavl. CLOSED FROM 1ST OCTOBER TO 1ST MAY.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: by a private car
After excursion - free time in the city.
• 19:00 •
Transfer to the railway station and express train to Moscow.
Duration: 3½ hours
• 23:00 •
Arrival in Moscow and transfer to the hotel.
- The tour is available the whole year round starting on any day, but please take into account that the museum’s working hours and days-off vary so we reserve the right to change the itinerary while trying to save the excursion programme.
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour.
- Some religious sights such as active monasteries require a specific dress code in order to be allowed to visit - for women a scarf to cover your head and a skirt covering your knees (no trousers); for men no shorts and all headwear must be removed.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
(with respect to the date of the departure)
(with respect to the total price of the tour)
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|
|Excursion to the Tolgsky Convent|
Tolgsky Convent – this convent has buildings dating from the 17th to the 19th century and is located on the left-bank of the River Volga, outside of Yaroslavl. It was founded as a monastery in the 14th century by Bishop Prokhor of Rostov to commemorate the discovery of an icon depicting the Virgin Mary, which has since become known as the Our Lady of Tolga Icon. Over 100 sisters now live at the convent.
The convent’s main cathedral in the Presentation of Virgin Mary Cathedral which was built between 1681 and 1688. Another interesting building is the Saviour Church which dates from the early 18th century and is attached to the convent's medical ward. It is the only example of Moscow baroque in the whole Yaroslavl Region. Another highlight of the convent is the cedar garden which dates back to the second half of the 17th century.
Duration: 3 hours | Transportation: by a private car | Distance: 15km
|Excursion to the village of Vyatskoe|
In 2015 the village of Vyatskoe was officially crowned the most beautiful village in Russia. Although there may be other claimants to this title, it is certainly worth visiting Vyatskoe as, for a village, it has more than its fair share of sights. The village was first mentioned in historical sources in 1502 when it was considered the centre of the Vyatskoe Parish. In the 17th century the village was part of the votchina (patriarchal lands) of Patriarch Filaret.
A century later it had become a trading centre where fairs were often held. In the 19th century it gained fame for the cucumbers grown here. The vegetables were sold at markets in the region and were even transported further afield, including all the way to Arkhangelsk. Many wealthy merchants and artisans of various skills also lived in the village, and at one point the village was a centre for Old-Believers.During the tour you will see beautiful views of a provincial Russian village and also visit the local museums - the Russian Enterprise Museum, the Peasant Trade Museum, the Local Merchants' Rooms and the Museum of the Returned Relic.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: by a private car | Distance: 50km