Arrive in Moscow, meet and greet at the airport and private transfer to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel.
Your day will start with a Moscow city tour and will include a visit to the Kremlin (residence of Tsars and Patriarchs), Armory Museum (collection of gold, silver and jewelry), Diamond Fund, Red Square, Alexandrovsky Garden and Novodevichy convent (charming place, rich in the spirit of the past and hidden behind a wall in the 20th century inner city).
In the morning you will visit Kolomenskoye Estate (summer residence of tsars since the time of Ivan the Terrible) and its church, built in 1530, once called the 8th wonder of the world. The rest of your day is free with many optional excursions available. On the way you will make a short stop at Vorobyovy Hills to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Morning departure from hotel by coach to the town of Vladimir (approx. 4 hours en route). Arrive in Vladimir, one of Russia’s oldest towns, named after its founder Prince Vladimir Monomach. Built in 1108, the town became the capital of North-Eastern Russia in the 12th century. A city tour of Vladimir will include visits to Uspensky and Dmitrievsky Cathedrals (12th century), as well as the museum of folk art in Troitskaya Church. Enjoy a traditional Russian lunch at the local restaurant and continue your journey by coach to Suzdal. Arrive in Suzdal and accommodation at the hotel.
Today you will take a city tour of Suzdal, a town founded in 1024 and considered to be one of the best preserved historical places, with examples of Russian architecture from different epochs. You will visit the Suzdal Kremlin with sublime Cathedral of the Nativity of our Lady (13th-16th century), the Bishop Palace (the former residence of the local clerical sovereigns) and Spaso-Efimievsky Monastery (including a bell concert). After lunch, transfer by coach to the town of Kostroma. Arrive in Kostroma and accommodation at the hotel.
Enjoy a city tour of Kostroma, the birthplace of the Romanov Dynasty. You will visit Ipatievsky Monastery (where in 1613 the boyars blessed young Mikhail Romanov to become the Tsar of Russia), Voskresenia na Debre Church (17th century) and the Epiphany-Anastasian Convent that contains the holy “Fedorovskaya” icon of the Virgin believed to perform miracles. An afternoon free will give you time to relax and enjoy shopping at local souvenir stores.
Morning departure from the hotel by coach to Yaroslavl, the city famous for its craftsmen and stonemasons, potters and blacksmiths, painters and sculptors. Arrive in Yaroslavl in the afternoon and accommodation at the hotel. Your day will be completed with a city tour, a visit to Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery (built in the 12th century and housing an extensive collection of early Russian icons, paintings and crafts) and Elija the Prophet’s Church.
This morning’s drive takes you to Rostov Veliky, located on the shore of Nero Lake and built in the 9th century. In 1474 Rostov Veliky became a religious center for the Moscow principality and the Metropolitan’s residence. A short drive brings you to Pereslavl-Zalessky, established in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky on the shores of Pleshcheev Lake. Explore the town with its embankments by the Kremlin wall built by Yuri Dolgoruky and the white-stoned Savior Resurrection Cathedral, which reminds you of ancient times. Continue to Sergiev Posad, the town named after Saint Sergius, and visit the most famous and largest Russian monastery, the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra. You return to Moscow and check into a hotel. Tonight your tour ends on a festive note as you enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions.
Your journey comes to an end as you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.
The Golden Ring:
Ancient Russian Towns