Rostov Veliky on Lake Nero was first mentioned in 862 which makes it among the first cities to appear in Russian chronicles. This city is always included in the main route of the Golden Ring as its kremlin is a unique and impressive architectural monument. Many tourists who come here also take the opportunity to buy real Rostov ‘finift’ – an ancient handicraft of painting on enamel for which the city is famed.
Uglich is one of the oldest cities on the Volga. It is famous for being the site of the murder of Ivan the Terrible’s youngest son Dmitry, an act which is still unsolved to this day, although most people suspect Boris Godunov ordered the killing to clear his way to the Russian throne. The locals at the time thought as much as a mob gathered and killed government officials to avenge the young tsarevich’s murder. The government in turn responded by punishing many from the city, even going so far as removing the tongue from the bell that rang to spur the townsfolk into rebellion and exiling it to Siberia. With Dmitry’s death the Ryurikid line of princes that had ruled Russia since the 9th century came to an end.
Yaroslavl is considered the unofficial capital of the Golden Ring and is one of the largest cities on the route. It is believed to have been founded in 1071 and has retained a certain Russian provincial charm and many historical monuments, despite also becoming a large city and an important centre for industry and trade. The main sight in the city is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery which can be considered as the birthplace of Russian literature as an ancient copy of 'The Tale of Igor's Campaign’ was found here which is one of the earliest masterpieces of mediaeval Russian literature.
On your trip you will see the main cathedrals, historical buildings and other sights of all three cities and find out a lot about the history of mediaeval Rus. You will not be accompanied with a guide when travelling on the route, but local guides will take you on excursions in the cities themselves. At your request, and for an additional fee, we can add a guide to accompany you on the whole route. The tour begins and ends in Moscow, but it is also possible to continue this tour further around the Golden Ring or along the Trans-Siberian Railway or with a visit to St Petersburg.
Total distance of the tour: 719km - 506km | 213km
1 DAY / ROSTOV VELIKY
Morning transfer from your hotel to Yaroslavsky Railway Station.
High-Speed train to Rostov Veliky.
Arrival at the railway station in Rostov. The guide will meet you outside your carriage with a sign saying . Transfer to the hotel to leave your luggage and breakfast in a cafe (not included).
City tour of Rostov Veliky - On this excursion you will visit:
- Rostov Kremlin – the former residence of the metropolitan of the Rostov Eparchy which is called a kremlin due to its large, fortified walls which were built more to look impressive rather than to provide a defensive function. The white stone kremlin is a monument of pre-Petrine Russian architecture.
- Dormition Cathedral – the main cathedral in the kremlin which dates from the 16th century and was modelled of the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. It is 60 metres in height. Next to the cathedral is a belfry containing 15 unique bells, whose sound is widely celebrated across Russia.
- Museum of Rostov Finift – Rostov finift enamel painting has been a famous local handicraft since the 18th century. This museum has over 3000 examples on display.
- Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery – Rostov’s Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery was founded in approximately 1390 by Bishop Jacob (Yakov) of Rostov, after whom it is now named. After the Kremlin it is the most beautiful sight in the city with its eclectic Conception of Anna Church and St Jacob of Rostov's Church.
Duration: 3 hours. Transportation: by car
Boat trip along Nero Lake (from June to October)
Duration: 45 minutes
Transfer from Rostov to Uglich. On the way, you will see a magnificent fortified monastery in Borisoglebsky which has practically remained unchanged over the centuries. It was founded in 1363 by the monks Fyodor and Pavel with the blessing of St Sergius of Radonezh and was dedicated to Russia's first native saints.
Night in Uglich.
2 DAY | UGLICH - YAROSLAVL
Breakfast in the hotel.
Tour of Uglich. The highlights of the tour are:
St Dmitry’s Church on the Blood - this red-and-white church was erected on the site of the murder of the tsarevich replacing an earlier wooden version. Inside there are frescoes depicting the death of Tsarevich Dmitry and the bell that was exiled to Siberia.
Tsarevich Chambers - these chambers were built in the 1480s and were part of the Palace of Tsarevich Dmitry. Only the throne chamber, which is considered one of the best-preserved samples of ancient architecture in Russia, survives today.
Ulitsa Spasskaya - this is the main street in the city, where beautiful merchant houses are located. Once it was home to Uglich’s high society.
Transfiguration of the Savior Cathedral - the most prominent structure of the Kremlin ensemble. It was built in 1713 on the site of an ancient church that had fallen into disrepair. It embodies the features typical for early XVIII century architecture, a feature of which was the combination of traditions of ancient Russian architecture and new techniques.
Duration: 3 hours.
Evening transfer to Yaroslavl.
Arrival to Yaroslavl and check-in at the hotel. Night in Yaroslavl.
3 DAY / YAROSLAVL - MOSCOW
Breakfast in the hotel.
City tour around Yaroslavl – the highlights of the tour:
- Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery – one of the largest, richest and best fortified monasteries of the 16th century. It is closely associated with the volunteer army of Minin and Pozharsky which was based here while it prepared to liberate Moscow from the Poles in the early 17th century. Inside the monastery is the Transfiguration Cathedral which is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Yaroslavl and was built on the site of an even older church between 1506 and 1516. Its interior is decorated with spectacular frescos. To protect these unique frescos it can only be visited between May and October.
- Volga Embankment - this embankment running along the River Volga is one of the prettiest places in Yaroslavl and several historical churches and other buildings are located here. From here you can enjoy great views of the largest river in Europe.
- St Elijah the Prophet’s Church (17th Century) - this church is a masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture which is stunningly beautiful on the outside and on the inside thanks to its detailed frescos and amazing iconostasis. To protect these unique frescos it can only be visited between May and October.
Duration: 3 hours. Transportation: walking
Evening transfer from the hotel to Yaroslavl railway station.
Express train to Moscow.
Duration: 3½ h.
Arrival at Yaroslavsky Railway station in Moscow and transfer to your 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 to schedule the itinerary.
- Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
- In cities of the Golden Ring where there are no 4 star hotels, the calculation includes hotels of 3 star.
- All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
- Best time to travel on this route: from the end of April to mid-October and from December to mid-March.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
|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%|