While the famous Golden Ring of Russia Tour takes you through cities to the north-east of Moscow that once made up the Vladimir Principality, this Silver Ring of Russia Tour will show you a region of Russia to the north-west of Russia, surrounding St Petersburg, that was once under the influence of the Novgorod Republic. On this tour to Russia, you will travel to Moscow and St Petersburg and visit two of the most ancient and beautiful cities in the country - Novgorod Veliky and Pskov.
Pskov - this ancient city is just a little younger than Novgorod Veliky. The city is scattered with old churches and cathedrals and in the morning you can hear the bells toll. The heart of the city is the Pskov Kremlin, which is also known as the Krom. Its centrepiece is the magnificent Trinity Cathedral which in turn is famous for its 42-metre iconostasis consisting of nine tiers. During this tour of Pskov, you will also visit the nearby settlement of Izborsk, which is famous in Russian history as the place where the Viking Truvor, the brother of the semi-legendary founder of Russia, settled.
Novgorod Veliky - despite meaning ‘new city’ Novgorod is, in fact, one of the oldest in Russia and it was here that the history of the Russian state begins and such famous historical figures as Yaroslav the Wise and Aleksandr Nevsky were once prince here. Novgorod was once located on one of Europe’s most important trade routes and it became rich from the furs and other luxuries provided by the forests of the Russian North. The city also has the oldest cathedral in Russia - St Sophia’s Cathedral. It is also one of only a few Russian cities that survived the destruction of the Mongol-Tatar invasion. The main site here is the Kremlin, which is also known as the Detinets. It is the oldest surviving structure in this historical city.
Of course, this trip to Russia would not be complete without visiting the two major cities of 21st century Russia: Moscow and St Petersburg. During the excursions of Moscow and St Petersburg, you will see the main sights - several of which even have a historical link with Novgorod and the Silver Ring.
1 DAY / ARRIVAL IN ST PETERSBURG
Arrival in St Petersburg and transfer to your hotel. Free time in the city.
Night in St Petersburg.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Panoramic city tour of St Petersburg including an excursion to the Peter and Paul fortress. The highlights of the tour are:
- Nevsky Prospekt – St Petersburg’s main thoroughfare.
- Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral – Russia’s equivalent of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome complete with a large colonnade.
- The Field of Mars – a memorial established after the Russian Revolution.
- Saviour on the Spilled Blood Cathedral (exterior) – a beautiful cathedral somewhat reminiscent of Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral, built on the site of the assassination of Emperor Alexander II.
- St Michael’s Castle (exterior) – a residence built for Emperor Paul, where he was subsequently assassinated.
- Anichkov Bridge – one of St Petersburg’s most beautiful bridges decorated with four statues of youths taming wild horses.
- Bronze Horseman – an equestrian statue of Peter the Great which has become a symbol of the city.
- St Isaac’s Cathedral – the largest cathedral in St Petersburg, the current version dates from 1818 and features a huge dome.
The city tour also includes:
- Guided tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress – the original point of foundation of St Petersburg which later served as a prison for political prisoners. Its cathedral is the resting place for almost all Russian monarchs after Peter the Great.
Tour of the State Hermitage (Winter Palace) - a private tour around the world-famous art gallery, which is located in the Winter Palace - the former residence of the Russian imperial family. Although the gallery houses an outstanding collection of European Art, often the interiors of the palace itself attract the most attention. Your guide will show you the highlights which may otherwise be missed if you are looking around the massive complex yourself.
Duration: 8h | Transportation: By private car and metro
Night in St Petersburg.
3 DAY / CATHERINE PALACE
Guided tour of the Catherine Palace – one of the architectural masterpieces of the style known as Russian baroque which was popular in the mid-18th century. It is one of the most stunning imperial palaces located outside St Petersburg (over 100kg of gold were used to decorate it). It is widely known for its Amber Room which is decorated entirely with amber, although the current version is a replica, since the original was lost in the Second World War.
After the tour, you will visit another masterpiece of St Petersburg architecture - the Cathedral on the Spilled Blood. This cathedral is one of the most striking in the city, it gets its unusual name from the fact that Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded on the spot where the cathedral was later built in commemoration. Inside the church boasts a rich collection of mosaics created by famous Russian artists including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel. Even the iconostasis is made out of mosaics.
Duration: 8h | Transportation: By private car and by metro
Night in St Petersburg.
4 DAY / PSKOV
Morning transfer to the railway station.
High-speed train to Pskov.
Duration: 3 hours
Upon arrival in Pskov a transfer to the hotel.
Afternoon tour of Pskov:
- Trinity Cathedral - this 17th century cathedral is the holiest place in Pskov and served as the burial vault for the city’s princes and religious leaders. The cathedral’s iconostasis is amazing in terms of its style and scale.
- Pskov Krom and Fortress Walls - the Pskov Kremlin is often called the Krom. It dates from the 11th century and, including the surrounding fortified walls, the whole complex makes up one of the largest and most formidable fortresses in Europe. Over the centuries it has been subjected to at least 26 sieges. Unlike the red brick Moscow Kremlin, the Pskov Krom is made out of white stone.
- Dovmont’s City - this is the name given to the foundations of buildings which arose in the 13th century just outside the Krom, when the prince of Pskov was a baptised Lithuanian prince called Daumantas - known as Dovmont in Russian.
- Great (Velikaya) Tower - this 16th century structure is the largest in the whole kremlin with a perimeter of more than 90 metres. It is also known as the Trinity (Troitskaya) Tower.
- Pogankin Chambers - this building is a marvel of 17th century architecture and once belonged the Pskov merchant Sergey Pogankin. The enormous building consists of three parts - a three-storey structure, a two-storey one and finally a single-storey section.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: By a private car
Night in Pskov.
5 DAY / IZBORSK AND PECHYORY MONASTERY
Breakfast in the hotel.
Excursion to Izborsk - the oldest settlement in the Pskov Region.
- Izborsk Fortress - this fortress dates from the 14th century and is considered one of the oldest in Russia. Although partly ruined, it retains its original planning, having never been reconstructed since its foundation to protect the western borders of Rus.
- Lukovka Tower - this is the oldest structure of the fortress, dating from the 13th century.
- Slovensky Springs - this group of 12 natural springs flows into Lake Gorodischenskoe. Following the Baptism of Rus, the springs were called the 12 Apostles.
- Truvor’s Gorodische - this is the name given to an ancient settlement where the original Izborsk fortifications once stood until they were rebuilt over a kilometre away in the present-day location.
Transfer to Pechory.
Tour of Pechory’s Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery - this is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and one of the best-preserved. In includes a cave complex and its name Pechersky means cave - which in turn led to the name of the city that developed around the monastery.
- Dormition Church - this is the main and oldest church in the monastery and dates from the 15th century. Found here is the entrance to the monastery’s cave complex which runs for almost 200 metres and has seven passages and three necropolises.
- The “Bloody Path” - this path from the Holy Gates to the cave is where, according to legend, Ivan the Terrible carried the body of the monastery’s Abbot Kornily, who was killed by the tsar in a fit of rage.
Duration: 6-7h | Transportation: By a private car
Night in Pskov.
6 DAY / PSKOV - VELIKY NOVGOROD
Transfer from Pskov to Veliky Novgorod.
Night in Veliky Novgorod.
7 DAY / VELIKY NOVGOROD
Breakfast in the hotel.
City tour of Novgorod Veliky - this is undoubtedly the main city on the Silver Ring of Russia Tourist Route.
- Novgorod Kremlin - this is the oldest set of fortifications in Russia. Nine of the original 13 towers have survived to this day, as well as segments of wall. The towers protect the Lord’s Court (“Vladychny Dvor”) - the residence of the archbishops.
- St Sophia’s Cathedral - this 11th-century structure is the oldest surviving religious building in Russia. Its construction was started in 1045 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, whose son Vladimir was then the prince of Novgorod. The white stone building became the main cathedral of Rus and a symbol of Novgorod. Fragments of the original 12th and 13th-century frescos have survived.
- Vitosavitsy Open-Air Architectural Museum - this is one of the best of such museums in Russia and many old wooden buildings from all over the Novgorod Region have been transferred here for preservation. Many of them date from the 16th century and include residential buildings, churches and workshops.
- Yuriev Monastery - this monastery is located on the River Volkhov and during its glory years it was the largest in the Novgorod lands. During the Second World War it was used to hold German and Spanish prisoners of war. It is now once again a functioning monastery, although with very few monks.
Transfer to the railway station.
High-speed train to Moscow.
Duration: 3 hours.
Upon arrival a transfer to your hotel. Night in Moscow.
8 DAY / TOUR OF MOSCOW
Breakfast in the hotel.
Walking city tour of central Moscow. The highlights of the tour are:
- Aleksandrovsky Gardens – city gardens located next to the kremlin which have several interesting statues.
- Red Square – Russia’s most famous and most beautiful square where you will find St Basil’s Cathedral.
- GUM - the Russian equivalent of Paris’s Galeries Lafayette or London’s Harrods with a Soviet atmosphere and an interesting history.
- Lenin’s Mausoleum – the resting place of the founder of the USSR.
- Bolshoi Theatre – one of the most famous theatres in the world.
- Christ the Saviour Cathedral – the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church.
- Lubyanka Building – once the headquarters of the KGB, now home to the FSB.
- Zaryadye Park - thanks to the creation of this wonderful new park in the very centre of Moscow, the beautiful churches of Ulitsa Varvarka are no longer hidden away and new views of the Kremlin and river have been opened up.
Guided tour of the Moscow Kremlin – the biggest fortress in Russia and Moscow’s main tourist sight. Today it also serves as the official residence of the Russian president. Located inside are the Tsar Bell and Tsar Canon and several cathedrals and churches which act as the resting place for 47 pre-Peter the Great Russian rulers (including Ivan the Terrible and Dmitry Donskoy).
Guided tour of St Basil’s Cathedral - the most recognisable church in Russia, which, with its nine colourful domes, is often compared to something out of a fairy tale or a wedding cake. It is one of the most important examples of 16th-century Russian architecture, yet Stalin still had plans to demolish it. Luckily this never happened.
Duration: 7-8h | Transportation: walking and by metro
Night in Moscow.
9 DAY / TRETIAKOV GALLERY AND MOSCOW METRO
Breakfast in the hotel.
Guided tour around the Zamoskvorechye District – situated south of the River Moskva opposite the Kremlin, this district is considered one of the most atmospheric in Moscow, where over six centuries of history have been preserved. There are many picturesque lanes, small squares with fountains and old mansion houses and churches built in various styles.
Guided tour of Moscow metro - the most beautiful metro system in the World. You will see the best examples of the Soviet Metro System and learn about its secrets.
10 DAY / DEPARTURE MOSCOW
Transfer from the hotel to the airport.
- 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.
- Transportation in Moscow, where travel by metro is designated, can be changed to a car upon request, but please note that the transport situation in Moscow is not very good, so you could get stuck in a traffic jam.
- Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
- During state holidays and celebrations, Red Square may be closed (either partially blocked off or completely closed).
- The price of the tour may be increased during the period of the White Nights (11JUN-10JUL) and when the International Economic Forum (end of May or beggining of June) is being held in St Petersburg. Please check the price when booking.
- 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%|