Winter Trans-Siberian tour

19 Days Nature Sights Winter activities Countryside

  A trip on the Trans-Siberian Express is waiting for you this winter. The train passes through borderless snowfields, wonderfully snowy forest scenes and lakes with amazingly transparent ice. 

  Your tour to winter Siberia stars in Moscow, the centre of Russia’s New Year celebration, which is sparkling with Christmas lights and New Year trees. The city also has the biggest artificial skating rink in the World and the country’s main Christmas tree. 

  Then you will visit the capital of the Tatar Republic - one of the most interesting cities in Central Russia. The city is often called a place where Europe meets Asia, as Kazan is an interesting mix of cultures and religions. You will visit the ancient island-city of Sviyazhsk, which was founded by Ivan the Terrible and is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

  You will make a stop in Yekaterinburg, a city in the Urals where you can visit the geographical border of Europe and Asia. After Yekaterinburg, the route lays onwards through boundless Siberia.

  Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia and considered the capital of Siberia. The city was founded at the very end of the 19th century, but already has a population of 1.6 million. The main sight of the city is an Opera Theatre, which is the biggest theatre building in Russia.

  Going deeper to Siberia you will make a stop in Irkutsk to explore the deepest lake in the world - Lake Baikal. Winter lake Baikal is a spectacular sight - turquoise transparent ice,  infinite white space under a massive blue sky. Here you will get to enjoy proper winter activity - dog-sledging with Baikal huskies. The route of the tour also includes a trip to Olkhon Island - the biggest island in Lake Baikal.

  The final point of the trip is Vladivostok - the gates to Asia. From here it is just 2 hours by plane to Seoul in South Korea or Tokyo in Japan and 2.5 hours to Beijing in China. The city has an unusual skyline for which it is often referred to as a Russian San Francisco.

  The best time to travel along this route is from December to Mid March, but you should note that Lake Baikal only freezes over very late in mid-January.

DAY 1 | ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW

Winter Moscow

 Arrival in Moscow. Transfer to your hotel.

A driver with a sign saying   will wait for you in the arrival area of the airport. Free time in the city: although if you arrive in the morning and have energy we can organise an excursion for this day.

DAY 2 | HEADING TO THE EAST

Trains winter

 Breakfast at the hotel.

  Free time in Moscow. You can investigate the city by yourself or book one of our excursions.

 Evening transfer to the railway station.

 Overnight train to Kazan.

DAY 3 | ARRIVAL IN KAZAN | 0km - 793km
Kazan winter

 Morning arrival in Kazan. Transfer to the hotel.

 Tour of Kazan - the highlights of the tour include:

  • Kazan Kremlin - the towers and walls of the present day Kremlin were erected on the orders of Ivan the Terrible, replacing older versions. Inside the fortress you will find a mix of Orthodox and Muslim buildings: the Söyembikä Tower, the Transfiguration Cathedral and the Qol-Şärif Mosque.
  • Qol-Şärif Mosque -  the main Mosque in Tatarstan, it recreates the main mosque of the Kazan Khanate, which was destroyed during the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible and later served as a prototype for St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Standing close to the Annunciation Cathedral, the Qol-Şärif mosque is a symbol of the unity of the two main religions of Kazan - Orthodoxy and Islam, which was recognised as an important argument for including the Kremlin on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Old Tatar Quarter - the historical quarter of Kazan, which has preserved its identity and eastern flavour. It was formed in the middle of the 16th century after Ivan the Terrible’s conquest. There are many mosques, estate houses and historical buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Ulitsa Baumana - the main and the oldest pedestrian street of Kazan.
  • Ss Peter and Paul’s Cathedral - this beautiful, tall and majestic cathedral is distinguished thanks to its unique decoration in the style of the Russian or Naryshkin baroque, common in Russia at the end of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century.

 Master-class on cooking chak-chak - chak-chak is a national Tatar dessert dating back to the times of the Bolgars. The main ingredients of the dish are flour, eggs and honey.

 Duration: 6 hours  | Transportation: by car

 Night in Kazan

DAY 4 | SVIYAZHSK | 793km - 1,668km
Sviyazhsk

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Tour to Sviyzhsk island-city - Sviyazhsk was founded in 1551 as a military fortress to aid in the conquest of the Kazan Khanate. In 1552, after the capture of Kazan, Sviyazhsk began to develop as the spiritual centre of the newly-incorporated territory. By the end of the 16th century, three monasteries and nine churches were functioning here. During the Stalinist repressions, Sviyazhsk became a place of execution, imprisonment and forced labour.

 Duration: 5 hours | Transportation: by a car

 Evening transfer to the railway station.

 Overnight train to Yekaterinburg. Night on the train.

DAY 5 | YEKATERINBURG 
Yekaterinburg winter

 Arrival in Yekaterinburg - the centre of the Urals. Transfer to the hotel.

 City tour of Yekaterinburg - the highlight of the tour include:

  • Cathedral on the Spilt Blood - built on the site of the murder of the family of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II.
  • Sevastianov house (exterior) - a palace dating from the first quarter of the 19th century, built in the architectural styles of pseudo-Gothic, neo-baroque and Moorish tradition. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
  • Ulitsa Vainera - One of the oldest streets in the city, it was laid in the mid-18th century. Along it, there are merchant mansions, city manor houses, former trade shops and administrative buildings, most of which were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Border of Europe and Asia - the border between Europe and Asia passes along the Ural mountain range and watershed. There are lots of signs along the Urals - from north to south. One such point is located near Yekaterinburg. The stones near the monument on the border are taken from the most extreme points of the two ends of Eurasia - Cape Dezhnev in the east and Cape Roca in the west.
  • Ganina Yama monastery - this monastery is built on the site where the bodies of the last imperial family were first disposed of. 

 Duration: 5h |  Transportation: by a private car

 Night in Yekaterinburg

DAY 6 | YEKATERINBURG 

Winter train

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Free time in the city.

 Evening transfer to the railway station.

Train to Novosibirsk. Night on the train.

DAY 7 | NOVOSIBIRSK | 1,668km - 3,193km 

Novosibirsk train

 In the morning you will pass through Omsk - a city where Dostoevsky was imprisoned for four years; the writer included his impressions of the city in his book The House of the Dead.

 Evening arrival in Novosibirsk and transfer to your hotel.

 Night in Novosibirsk.

DAY 8 | NOVOSIBIRSK

Novosibirsk

  Breakfast at the hotel.

 Panoramic tour of Novosibirsk - although the city was originally founded as a village, the city’s population reached 1 million in just 60 years. During the tour, you will see the main sights of the city, including:

  • Opera and Ballet Theatre  - this is the biggest in Russia and outside there is an impressive statue of Lenin.
  • Novosibirsk metro - the easternmost metro in Russia and the only one in Siberia
  • Krasny Prospekt (Red Avenue) - the main street of the city which stretches 7km with an interesting mix of Soviet and modern architecture.

 Duration: 3h |  Transportation: by a private car

 Evening transfer to the railway station.

 Train to Irkutsk. Night on the train.

DAY 9 | ON THE TRAIN | 3,193km - 5,043

Winter train

 This day you will pass central Siberia, Krasnoyarsk - one of the biggest city in Siberia, and Yenisey river.

DAY 10 | LISTVYANKA
Listvyanka

 Morning arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to Listvyanka (75km) - the closest point to Lake Baikal from Irkutsk.

 Tour of Listvyanka - Listvyanka is the main tourist centre in Lake Baikal. The highlights of the tour include:

  • Taltsy Wooden Architecture museum - A unique collection of historical, architectural and ethnography monuments from the 17th to the 20th century. In the museum, four historical and cultural zones have been recreated: Russian, Buryat, Evenk and Tofalar. 
  • Museum of Lake Baikal -  Only at this museum can you learn everything about Baikal. You will see some of Baikal’s fauna living in aquariums,including the giant omul, whitefish, sturgeons and a Baikal seal. You will also see microscopic mussels, which purify Baikal’s water.
  • Chersky Stone viewing platform - the best place to see Lake Baikal from a height of 728 metres.
  • Source of the Angara River - the source is considered one of the largest on Earth with a width of approximately 863 metres. In addition, Angara is the largest tributary of the Yenisey and the only river flowing from Baikal.

 Duration: 4h |  Transportation: by a private car

 Night in Listvyanka.

DAY 11 | OLKHON ISLAND
Listvyanka

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Baikal husky dog sledging - this is real winter fun. Huskies are one of the oldest breeds of dogs and it is believed that dog-sledging around Baikal can be traced back 5,000 years. Depictions of them with humans have been found on ancient rock engravings around Baikal. However, the breed of Baikal huskies only appeared recently and only found in Listvyanka. 

Distance: 4.5km

 Transfer to Olkhon.

Distance: 360km

 Upon arrival in Khuzhir village on Olkhon, check-in at the hotel. Night in Khuzhir.

DAY 12 | OLKHON ISLAND | THE NORTH
Olkhon

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Tour to Cape Khoboy - The northernmost edge of Olkhon. From the Buryat it translates as "fang". Cape Khoboy is located near the widest section of Lake Baikal (79.5 km), and in good weather it is possible to see the eastern shore - the mountainous contour of the peninsula of the Svyatoy Nos (Holy Nose). Only in winter, can you see grottos fabulously decorated with icicles. There are grottos up to 22 metres long, which can only be accessed in winter from the ice.

 Duration: 5 hours |  Transportation: by car

 Night in Khuzhir.

DAY 13 | IRKUTSK
Irkutsk

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Free time on the island.

 Transfer to Irkutsk. Distance: 295km. Check-in at the hotel in Irkutsk

 Night in Irkutsk.

DAY 14 | TRAIN TO VLADIVOSTOK | 5,043km - 6,152km

Winter train

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Transfer to the railway station.

 Train to Vladivostok.

 Night on the train.

DAY 15 | ON THE TRAIN | 6,152km - 7,418km

Trains winter

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Free morning in the city.

 Afternoon transfer to the railway station.

 Train to Irkutsk.

 Day and night on the train.

DAY 16 | ON THE TRAIN | 7,418km - 9,149km

Train winter

 Day and night on the train.

DAY 17 | VLADIVOSTOK
Vladivostok winter

 

 Arrival in Vladivostok - the capital of the Russian Far East and the final point of your Trans-Siberian journey. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

 Night in Vladivostok. 

DAY 18 | VLADIVOSTOK
Vladivostok

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 City tour of Vladivostok - the highlights of the tour:

  • Svetlanskaya Ulitsa - the main street of the city.
  • Monument to the Fighters for Soviet Power - a calling card of the city, it symbolises the overthrow of the autocracy in 1917. And the liberation of Vladivostok from Japanese interventionists in 1922.
  • Russky Bridge - a bridge connecting Russky Island with mainland Vladivostok. It is 324 metres high and at 1,104 metres long, it is the largest cable-stayed  bridge in the world. It was opened in 2012.
  • Vladivostok Fortress - The fortress was built on the territory of Vladivostok at the end of the 19th century. It includes  buildings with a complex system of labyrinths, underground passages and deep tunnels.
  • Russky Island - In Soviet times, the island was a closed territory and only the military and residents of the island could get there. Now everything has changed and after the 2012 APEC summit held in Vladivostok the island became a centre for business and tourism.

 Duration: 4 hours |  Transportation: by car

 Night in Vladivostok. 

DAY 19 | DEPARTING VLADIVOSTOK

Winter sun

 Breakfast at the hotel.

 Transfer to to the airport.

notes winter

  • Part of the tour takes place in the open air, therefore you should follow advice in terms of required clothing and provisions for winter tours on Baikal.
  • The tour is not an extreme tour and does not require any special physical preparation.
  • Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.
  • The tour is suitable for travellers with children
  • The tour is available in  English, French and German languages. Other languages upon request.
  • 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 November to April.
  • The prices given below are for guidance only. The actual final cost of the tour will depend on availability. Hotel prices and train tickets may increase or decrease in cost depending on how much in advance you book them. 

• CANCELLATION POLICY 

DATE OF CANCELLATION

CANCELLATION CHARGES

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%

Date of the tour

Language

Number of travellers

Adults:
Children (6-16):

Accommodation:

Cost of the tour in

Adds-ons

Included
  • Private transport service according to the programme
  • Private guide service according to the programme
  • Entrance tickets to museums
  • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast
  • Train tickets according the itinerary- 2nd class (4-berths compartment)
  • Russian sim-card with unlimited internet data
  • 24h emergency support during the tour
  • Visa support documents
Not included
  • Plane tickets to/from Russia
  • Tips for a guide or driver (optional)
  • Meals (except for breakfast where stated)
  • Evening performances such as the ballet at the Bolshoi.
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