On this winter tour to Vladimir and Suzdal, you will experience real Russian winter in two of the most beautiful cities on the Golden Ring route. A winter forest covered in snow, wooden houses resembling gingerbread houses of fairy tales with smoke emitting from their chimneys and golden domes of numerous churches glimmering under the winter sun.
As two former capitals of North-Eastern Rus, Vladimir and Suzdal have many architectural monuments fitting for their former significance, some of which are now protected by UNESCO. Vladimir has two magnificent cathedrals, plus the Golden Gates, which once served as the ceremonial entrance into the city, while Suzdal has dozens of churches and the grand cathedrals of the Suzdal Kremlin and the city’s monasteries.
From Vladimir, you will also travel to visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Intercession Church on the Nerl in the former royal residence of Bogolyubovo. And visiting this masterpiece of mediaeval Russian architecture will be made even more special by travelling across the meadow to the church on a horse-drawn sleigh.
Vladimir and Suzdal are located in a stretch of Russia historically known as Opolye from the Russian word for meadow. As a territory of forest-steppe in an otherwise land of dense forest, it is no surprise that it became the first centre of Slavic settlement in North-Eastern Rus. It makes a great place for dog-sledging and you will have a chance to try out this fun activity on this trip.
You will also get to try a tasty traditional home-made Russian lunch at the home of a local in Suzdal.
So in just one day you will see the highlights of the two main cities of the Golden Ring, try Russian food, go on a dog sleigh ride across a typical Oploye landscape and ride on a horse-drawn sleigh to one of the most beautiful churches in Russia!
• 08:30 •
Transfer from your hotel to the railway station. A driver with a sign saying will wait for you at the lobby of your hotel or place where you stayed. OPTIONAL.
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.
• 09:30 •
Departure from Moscow by High-Speed train to Vladimir. Check-in for the train normally starts 30 minutes before departure. It takes about 1¾ hours to get to Vladimir.
• 11:14 •
Arrival in Vladimir.
A driver with a sign saying will wait for you next to your carriage. Breakfast in a cafe (not included in the price) - our driver will show you a nice place to eat.
• 11:30 •
City tour of Vladimir – Vladimir was once the mediaeval capital of the Russian state and so is an important city in terms of Russian history. The highlights of this tour include:
City tour of Vladimir - the ancient capital of Rus:
Golden Gates - this monument of mediaeval Rus architecture was built in 1164 on the orders to Andrey Bogolyubsky to decorate his new capital.
St Demetrius’ Cathedral - this cathedral is unique due to its stone carvings - in total over 1000 of them depicting various animals and plants.
Dormition Cathedral (interior) - this is an outstanding monument of 12th century white stone architecture and was used as the model for later cathedrals. It once served as the venue of the coronation of grand princes of Rus. Inside some original 15th century frescos of Andrey Rublev have been preserved. CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
Georgievskaya Ulitsa - this pedestrian street in the historical centre is home to several old houses, sculptures, museums, blacksmiths, viewing platforms and art installations, plus St George’s Church after which it is named.
After the tour - transfer to the Intercession Church on the Nerl - one of the most beautiful churches in Russia. To get to the church from the road you will travel 2km across a meadow on a sleigh pulled by horses.
Duration: 2 hours | Transportation: by car
Transfer from Vladimir to Suzdal.
• ~15:00 •
Transfer to a husky farm
Excursion around the husky farm - on this excursion you will learn about huskies and dog-sledging and of course, also get a chance to go dog-sledging across the interesting forest-steppe landscapes of Opolye. An important historical region of Russia which saw early Slavic settlement, thanks to the region’s fertile soil and open lands free from dense forests.
Transfer to Suzdal.
Lunch in a real izba (a traditional wooden Russian house) with a local who will prepare some tasty dishes so you can try Russian cuisine.
City tour around Suzdal - the city is often called an open-air museum due to the high concentration of architectural wonders that have been preserved here.
Suzdal Kremlin - this complex is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The kremlin was founded around the turn of the 12th century as the residence of the local prince and bishop. Although its walls no longer stand, several of its original buildings do, including the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Cathedral.
Trading Rows - this structure was built in the classical empire style at the beginning of the 19th century on what was then known as Bread Square. It housed market stalls and today it is still used for its original purpose as a place of trading.
Pokrovsky Convent - founded in 1364 under Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich of Suzdal, today the convent looks as it did in the 16th century when it was renovated to be used to house the wife of Basil II, who was forcibly exiled here. Later Peter the Great also sent his first wife her.
Dmitry Pozharsky Gardens - these small gardens are dedicated to Russian hero Dmitry Pozharsky, who helped raise an army to expel the Poles from Moscow during the Times of Troubles. He is buried in the neighbouring Spaso-Yevfimoev Monastery.
After the excursion, you will have free time to explore the city by yourselves and to have dinner in a local restaurant.
Duration: 3 hours | Transportation: by a private car
Free time in Suzdal after the excursion.
• 19:00 •
Transfer back to Vladimir.
• 20:14 •
High-Speed train to Moscow.
• 22:10 •
Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to your hotel. A driver will wait for you next to your wagon. OPTIONAL.
- The tour is available from Mid-December to March
- Depending on weather condition dog-sledging activity might be replaced with visiting a local farm, horse-ride and ice-skating.
- 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; for men, 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%|
Book a tour 1 month in advance and get a discount of 5%.
Book a tour 2 or more months in advance and get a discount of 10%.