Sergiev Posad is often considered a Russian Holy Land as thousands of pilgrims (and tourists) come here from all over the country to pray at the relics of St Sergius of Radonezh, arguably Russia’s most revered saint. The Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, which St Sergius founded, is an outstanding architectural monument which is well worth visiting when in Moscow.
From here on this tour you will then head north-east to one of the most charming provincial cities of the Golden Ring – Pereslavl-Zalessky. It was here that the mediaeval Russian saint, prince and hero, Aleksandr Nevsky, was born. In addition, in the 14th century, before founding his own monastery, St Sergius of Radonezh became a monk at the city’s Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery. The city is located among picturesque forests on the shore of the large and circular Lake Plescheevo.
Rostov Veliky has one of the most beautiful kremlins in the whole of Russia and looks like something out of a Russian fairy tale with its multitude of traditional onion domes and large thick white stone walls decorated with frescos. Like Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov is also located on an ancient lake – Lake Nero.
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: 412km - 207km | 205km
DAY 1 | SERGIEV POSAD - PERESLAVL
Morning transfer from your hotel to Sergiev Posad. The driver will wait for you in the reception of the hotel with a sign saying . The journey can take up to 2 hours depending on traffic.
Guided tour around the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra – this includes a visit to three of its churches:
- Trinity Cathedral (1422) – a masterpiece of Russian architecture and the oldest surviving building inside the monastery. It is here that the relics of St Sergius are held. The cathedral’s ancient iconostasis also holds icons with were painted by Andrey Rublev and his pupils.
- Dormition Cathedral (1559-1585) – built on the orders and using the donations of Ivan the Terrible taking the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral as an example.
- St Sergius’ Church and Refectory (1686-1692) - here you will see the stunning Moscow-baroque style interior which is considered to have one of the most beautiful carved iconostases in Russia.
Free time in the city. It is possible to visit the local market and buy souvenirs or eat in a restaurant, including restaurants serving Russian cuisine.
Transfer from Sergiev Posad to Pereslavl-Zalessky.
Arrival in Pereslavl-Zalessky, check-in at the hotel and free time in the city. Night in Pereslavl.
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • PERESLAVL •
|Horse Riding and fishing.|
Duration: 3 hours | Transportation: by a private car
|Russian Banya Experience|
Duration: 2 hours
|Boat Trip around Lake Plescheevo (from May till October)|
Duration: 2 hours
DAY 2 | PERESLAVL - ROSTOV
Breakfast in the hotel.
City tour around Pereslavl-Zalessky - on this tour you will see:
- Uspensky Goritsky Monastery – the most beautiful monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky which stands on a hill overlooking the city. Today it is the main museum-reserve in Pereslavl.
- Earthen Mounds – these 12th century mounds were once the base for defensive kremlin walls which marked the boundaries of the city. Located inside the mounds is Red Square which has several ancient cathedrals.
- Transfiguration Cathedral - this 12th century cathedral is one of the main sights of Pereslavl-Zalessky and the oldest surviving building in the city and indeed the oldest surviving example of ancient Vladimir-Suzdal architecture. It is one of the first stone monuments to be constructed in the mid-12th century after a long break in construction work following the death of Vladimir Monomakh. (CLOSED FROM OCTOBER TO MAY)
- Nikitsky Monastery – this is the oldest monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky and is believed to have been founded in the 12th century and named in honour of St Nicetas (Nikita) of Pereslavl. St Nicetas was a stylite, which meant he enclosed himself at the top of a pillar, and his reputation as a healer bought fame to the monastery. In the 15th century the monastery came under the patronage of Ivan the Terrible, who believed that prayers held at the monastery helped cure his son.
- Peter the Great’s Boat Museum-Estate – in 1692 a young Peter the Great came to Pereslavl to test out his toy flotilla which became the first naval flotilla in Russia. The boat Fortuna is the only surviving vessel from this toy flotilla which you can see preserved at this museum.
Duration: 3½ hours | Transportation: by a private car
17:00 | Transfer from Pereslavl to Rostov.
18:30 | Arrival in Rostov and check-in at the hotel. Night in Rostov.
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • PERESLAVL •
|Guided Tour of the Lokomotiv Museum|
Duration: 1h | Transportation: by a private car
DAY 3 | ROSTOV - MOSCOW
Breakfast in the hotel.
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.
- 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
Free time in the city.
19:30 | Transfer from your hotel to Rostov railway station. The driver will wait for you in the reception of the hotel.
20:15 | Express train to Moscow.
Duration: 2¼ h.
23:00 | Arrival at Yaroslavsky Railway station in Moscow and transfer to your hotel. The driver will meet you outside your carriage with a sign saying .
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • ROSTOV •
|Guided Tour of the Rostov Finift Factory|
|Boat Trip around Lake Nero (from May to October only)|
|Excursion to the Borisoglebsky Monastery|
Duration: 2h. | Transportation: by a private car
- 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 or 5 star hotels, the calculation includes hotels of 3 or 4 stars.
- 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%|