Vladimir, Suzdal and Yaroslavl are the main cities of the Golden Ring, which are not only famed for their beauty but also for the significant roles the cities have played in the history of the Russian state. To make your trip more comfortable, the transfer from Moscow to Vladimir is via the Lastochka express train and all further travel is via private car as there are no railway connections between the cities.
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.
Total distance of the tour: 690km - 450km | 240km
DAY 1 | VLADIMIR - SUZDAL
Morning transfer from your hotel to Moscow’s Kursky Railway Station. The driver will wait for you in the reception of the hotel with a sign saying .
Lastochka express train to Vladimir.
Duration: 2 hours
Arrival in Vladimir and transfer to the starting point of the excursion. The driver will meet you outside your carriage with a sign saying .
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:
- Dormition Cathedral - the main cathedral of the city. For over 200 years this cathedral held the revered Our Lady of Vladimir Icon, which Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky brought from Vyshgorod in Ukraine to Vladimir. The icon was later transferred to Moscow and can now be seen in the Tretyakov Gallery. According to legend, the icon was created by Luke the Evangelist. CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
- Golden Gates - a rare monument of Russian 12th century defensive architecture and all that remains of the walls which once surrounded Vladimir.
- St Demetrius’ Cathedral - one of the most remarkable monuments of mediaeval Rus. It was built in the 1190s as a palace temple of Grand Prince Vsevolod the Big Nest of Vladimir and is decorated on the outside with engravings of plants and animals, while the interior still retains fragments of frescos by Andrey Rublev. CLOSED ON TUESDAYS.
Duration: 2 hours | Transportation: by car
Transfer from Vladimir to your hotel in Suzdal.
Night in Suzdal.
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • VLADIMIR •
|Guided tour of Bogolyubovo|
Duration: 2 hours | Transportation: by a private car
|Russian Banya Experience|
Duration: 2 hours
DAY 2 | SUZDAL - YAROSLAVL
Breakfast in the hotel.
City tour of Suzdal - Suzdal is perhaps the highlight of the Golden Ring, as the whole city is an open-air museum thanks to it being practically unspoiled by modernisation and industrialisation. On this excursion you will visit:
- Suzdal Kremlin - this is the oldest part and historical core of the city. Although the kremlin's walls no longer stand, parts of the earthen mound fortifications do remain. The buildings inside the kremlin are now used as museums. CLOSED ON TUESDAYS.
- Nativity Cathedral (1222) – the kremlin’s cathedral is the Nativity Cathedral and the current version stands on the place of an 11th century version which was built on the orders of Vladimir Monomakh. The interior features stunning frescos as well as a necropolis where the sons of Yury Dolgoruky have been interred along with several members of various noble families from Suzdal.
- Spaso-Yefimiev Monastery (1352) – this is the largest monastery in Suzdal and with its large fortified walls it is often mistaken for being the Suzdal Kremlin. Today it is a museum with various exhibitions including its main cathedral with its amazing frescos. CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
- Museum of the Wooden Architecture and Peasant life – this collection of wooden buildings, including churches and windmills, from various parts of European Russia is one of the best of architectural museums in Russia. It now resembles a village in itself made up of beautiful examples of 17th - 19th century wooden buildings which have been brought here to protect them from fire or from being dismantled.
- Trading Rows (1812) – Suzdal’s set of trading rows are still used for their original purpose and a souvenir market is held outside where you can buy a whole range of souvenirs, including bottles of the mead for which Suzdal is famed.
Duration: 3½ hours | Transportation: by a private car
Free time in Suzdal.
16:00 | Transfer from Suzdal to Yaroslavl.
This is the longest transfer on the route and can take up to three hours, however on the drive you will get a chance to see provincial Russia and its nature through the window. During the transfer you will pass through the territory known as Opolye where the landscape is not at all typical for the north-eastern part of European Russia and characterised by its open fields and wide open spaces.
19:00 | Arrival in Yaroslavl and check-in at the hotel.
DAY 3 | YAROSLAVL - MOSCOW
Breakfast in the hotel.
Walking tour around Yaroslavl – during this tour you will visit the following sights:
- 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 the oldest surviving building in Yaroslavl and was built on the site of an even older church between 1506 and 1516. It 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: 2 hours | Transportation: walking
Free time in the city.
18:30 | Transfer from your hotel to the railway station in Yaroslavl. The driver will wait for you in the reception of the hotel.
19:30 | Express train to Moscow.
Duration: 3½ hours.
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 .
- 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%|