Moscow and St Petersburg via the Arctic Circle / 12D

12 Days Activities Winter tour Northern Lights Nov-Apr

  This winter tour of Russia includes Moscow and St Petersburg but also takes you above the Arctic Circle to Murmansk to give you a real taste of a Russian winter.

  The tour starts in the Russian capital and you will have guided tours of some of the most iconic sites in Moscow, including of course Red Square, the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral, but also the wonderful Moscow Metro and its beautiful stations reminiscent of museums. From Moscow, you will also have a day tour to Sergiev Posad - a city of the Golden Ring tourist route - where you will visit the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, one of the holiest places in the whole of Russia and an architectural masterpiece.

  You will then go on a real adventure to the largest city north of the Arctic Circle: Murmansk, which is a two-hour flight from the Russian capital. You will explore the city and learn about its military past, before heading even further north to the very coast of the Arctic Ocean in the fishing settlement of Teriberka. If you are lucky enough you might even get a glimpse of the Northern Lights, but this, of course, all depends on solar activity and cloud cover. 

  While in the Far North you will also go on a sleigh ride pulled by huskies to further explore the local tundra landscapes - a real highlight of winter Murmansk - and learn about the Sami people who live across the northern extremities of European Russia and Scandinavia. 

Northern Lights

  Finally, you will visit the Northern Capital of Russia: St Petersburg. Whereas Moscow is the political, financial and business capital of Russia, St Petersburg is undeniably the cultural capital, and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe often called the Venice of the North due to its canals. Although only 700km apart (a small distance for Russia), Moscow and St Petersburg completely differ in terms of architecture, people and attitude. Moscow is quick-paced and hectic with many buildings from the Soviet period which are striking in their size and scale. St Petersburg is a little calmer and more elegant, famous for its museums and palaces. In terms of style, it is the most European city in Russia and the country’s biggest tourist destination.

  While in St Petersburg you will have a guided tour of the Winter Palace, which was once the residence of the tsars and now home to the State Hermitage Museum, one of the best art galleries in the world. In addition, you will also have a day trip to Pushkin, historically known as Tsarkoe Selo, and a guided tour to the Catherine Palace located here. One of the benefits of visiting in winter is that there are fewer tourists, allowing you to enjoy the famous Amber Rooms in more peace.



Arrival in Moscow and transfer to your hotel. Free time in the city.

Night in Moscow.



  Breakfast in the hotel.

 Today you will explore the capital of Russia and its main sights such as:

 Guided tour of the Moscow Kremlin and its Cathedrals - the Moscow Kremlin is one of the largest fortresses in Europe and today still functions as the residence of the Russian head of state, although today instead of a grand prince or tsar there is now a president. The central square inside the Kremlin is called Cathedral Square as it is surrounded by beautiful cathedrals, where Russian royalty were once baptised, coronated and buried.

 Guided tour of St Basil’s Cathedral  - with its unusual decorated domes, this cathedral is perhaps the main symbol of Russia and you can’t help but be in awe when you first see it. The cathedral consists of 11 separate churches inside its 10 domes all connected with narrow passages ways and staircases.

 Guided tour around the Moscow Metro - the stations of the Moscow Metro are truly underground palaces decorated with beautiful sculptures, mosaics, frescos and stuccos worthy of display in a museum.  During this tour you will visit the very best stations. 

 Duration: 8 hours |  Transportation: by car and by foot

Night in Moscow.


Sergiev posad

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Excursion to the Troitse-Segieva Lavra in Sergiev Posad - this is the main monastery complex in Russia, its name translates from the Russian as St Sergius’ Monastery of the Trinity, named in honour of the Holy Trinity and its founder - St Sergius of Radonezh.  It is located 75km from Moscow and for centuries tsars, nobles and peasants have travelled here on pilgrimage from Moscow to pray at the shrine of St Sergius, who is interred in the 15th century Trinity Cathedral - itself considered an architectural masterpiece. You will also see the 16th century Dormition cathedral, which was built on the orders of Ivan the Terrible, using the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral as an example. 

After the excursion, you will have time for lunch and buying some souvenirs.

 Duration: 5-6 hours |  Transportation: by car

Night in Moscow.



 Breakfast at the hotel.

Free day in Moscow

Night in Moscow


Murmansk winter

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Morning transfer to the airport. Murmansk is 1500km from Moscow and it takes about two hours to fly there. On the flight you will fly over the Vologda and Arkhangelsk regions, the White Sea and of course the Arctic Circle.

Upon arrival in Murmansk, you will have a transfer to your hotel.

 City tour around Murmansk - Murmansk is the world’s largest city north of the Arctic Circle. During this tour you will see the main sights of the city:

Duration: 2-3 hour | Transportation: by car 

Night in Murmansk.



 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Day tour to Teriberka - this is like a trip to the end of the earth as it is not possible to travel north from here by land. Teriberka is located 120km from Murmansk, but the journey itself is part of the adventure as you will see how the landscape changes from forest to until you get above the tree line and there are no trees at all, just frozen tundra until you reach Teriberka, a settlement of 1000 people, on the coast of the Barents Sea of the Arctic Ocean.

The coastline creates an unforgettable impression whatever the weather, but it is especially striking in winter when the rocks are covered in a layer of ice and the white of the snow is contrasted by the dark grey sky and dark blue sea continuing up to the horizon. 

Duration: 8 hours | Transportation: by car

Night in Murmansk.


dog sledding

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Visit to a husky kennel - this is the largest breeding centre for Alaskan huskies in the Kola Peninsula. The dogs bred here are real athletes and take part in many sporting events. They are also very affectionate towards humans and like being stroked and posing for photos with tourists. During the visit, you will have an excursion around the centre and the opportunity to go on a dog sleigh ride around the local tundra.

 Visit to a Sami family - the Sami, who were historically known as the Lapps or Laplanders, are one of the least populous ethnic groups living in Russia. They have never had a state of their own and today live in the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. In total there are an estimated 80,000 Sami with around half of them living in Norway, while approximately 1,800 live in Russia. During the visit you will learn about Sami society and ‘sieidi’ sacred rocks. You will see traditional Sami rituals and dances in the winter tent made of poles and reindeer skins, which is called a ‘lavvu’ or ‘vezha’ in Russian. You will also be able to feed reindeer their favourite food of moss and have your photo taken with them, before warming up with a cup of herbal tea and pies made using local berries. Over tea, your host will tell you about Sami traditions and culture and you can even try on traditional Sami costumes. You will also have the opportunity to have a short trip around the local area in a snowmobile trailer.

Duration: 8 hours | Transportation: by car

Night in Murmansk.


St Petersburg winter

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Transfer to the airport.

Flight to St Petersburg. The flight takes about two hours. Upon arrival, you will be met by our driver who will transfer you to your hotel.

Night in St Petersburg.


St Petersburg

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 City tour of St Petersburg – this tour will take you to the main sights of St Petersburg including:

  Guided tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress - the place where St Petersburg was founded. Most Russian monarchs after Peter the Great are buried inside the fortress’ cathedral. 

 Guided tour of the Cathedral on the Spilled Blood - this cathedral was built as a memorial on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally injured by a terrorist’s bomb - this is the spilt blood referred to in its name. It's Russia gothic style is more fitting for Moscow and stands out among the predominantly classical style preferred in St Petersburg. The cathedral’s interiors are one massive mosaic, with over 6500 square metres of mosaics depicting scenes from the bible, the lives of saints and Russian history.

Duration: about 5-6 hours.   | Transportation: by car

Night in St Petersburg.



 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Guided tour of the State Hermitage - this is one of the world’s most famous museums and holds masterpieces by various celebrated Western artists, such as Rembrandt, De Vinci and Raphael, as well as statues and monuments of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. In addition, the museum is housed in the Winter Palace, which served as the official residence of the Romanovs from 1762 up to the Revolution. They often just spent winter here in the city, preferring their suburban palaces in the summer months. The palace’s luxuriously decorated interiors sometimes even eclipse the stunning pieces of work exhibited here. In total there are 1084 rooms with 1945 windows, and it will take you more than a lifetime to look at everything here in detail.

 Guided tour of St Isaac’s Cathedral -  another of St Petersburg’s famous cathedrals and one of the largest in the world. It is a striking example of Russian classical architecture. The whole scale of the construction project is impressive:  it has one of the most iconic domes in the world, is 101.5 metres tall and it can hold up to 12,000 people. 

Transportation: walking tour | Duration: about 5-6 hours

Night in St Petersburg.


Catherine palace

 Breakfast at the hotel. A day outside St Petersburg.

 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 was used to decorate its interiors). 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.

 Duration: 5-6 hours  | Transportation: by car

Night in St Petersburg. 


St Petersburg winter

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Transfer to the airport.

If you are leaving Russia via a return flight from Moscow, we can also organise for you your transport from St Petersburg to Moscow (either on a high-speed express train or a night train) and a transfer to the airport in Moscow.

  • The best time to travel along the route is from the end of November to April. 
  • The road to Teriberka can get blocked by snow in the winter and in this cases, cars can only travel there behind the snowplough which clears the roads. We don’t recommend travelling to Teriberka on the last day of your trip to Murmansk as you might get delayed if the weather is bad.
  • From autumn to spring, layers are the key to keeping warm in the Russian North. You should wear a good coat with a hood that protects you from the wind and also have a raincoat, good hiking boots, warm trousers, thermal underwear, hats, gloves, scarves, thick warm socks (you might even need to wear two pairs at once).  You should also bring a spare warm sweater and spare socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet. 



(with respect to the date of the departure)


(with respect to the total price of the tour)


northern lights

Date of the tour


Number of travellers

Children (6-16):


Cost of the tour in
  • Individual excursions according to the programme.
  • Entrance tickets to the museums
  • Transfers in a private car according to the programme.
  • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, central location, standard DBL/TWIN rooms with breakfast.
  • Plane tickets Moscow - Murmansk - St Petersburg
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Local sim card with unlimited data
  • 24h emergency support during the tour
  • Visa support documents
Not included
  • Meals (except for breakfast where stated).
  • Tips for the guides and drivers.
Country of residence
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