tour@expresstorussia.com

Highlights of the Golden Ring

3 days and 2 nights

  • Schedule
    Tour can be started on any day
  • Route
    Vladimir - Bogolyubovo - Suzdal - Kostroma - Yaroslavl - Rostov Veliky
  • Languages
    English-speaking guide is guaranteed. Other languages are on request.
  • Accommodation
    The following hotel options are available:
    3 stars - 4 stars
  • PRIVATE TOUR
    This is a private tour, there won't be other people in your group
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Itinerary

Day 1

At 8.30 AM, our driver and representative will pick you up to depart for Vladimir by car or mini-van. Vladimir is located about 2-3 hours' drive from Moscow.
Arrival in Vladimir.
Lunch at the local restaurant (included).

Panoramic city tour. During the city tour you will become acquainted with the main highlights of the city. The first stop is the Assumption Cathedral, a unique monument of the white-stone architecture of Vladimir. The cathedral was built in the middle of the XII century by Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky as the main church of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. World-famous frescoes by Andrei Rublev are preserved there. You will then proceed to the small, one-domed cathedral of St. Dmitry, built in the beginning of the XII century by Prince Vsevolod as his palace church. The cathedral´s interior still features frescoes of the XII century.

You will also visit the Golden Gates - considered to be the door to Vladimir built in the early XII century by Prince Andrei Bogolubsky. In ancient times they served as the main military tower of the fortress.

Excursion to Bogolyubovo, the residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky built between 1158 and 1165 at the mouth of the Nerl River. Andrei spent 17 years of his reign here until his murder in 1174. Russian Orthodox Christians believe that Bogolyubovo was founded on the spot where Andrei Bogolyubsky saw a vision of the Virgin Mary who appeared to him in a dream-like vision holding a scroll in Her right hand, and commanded him to build a church and monastery on the place of the vision. On this spot the Church of the Intercession of Neri was constructed. Today the church is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

After the tour, you will be taken to the town of Suzdal, often called the Russian Mecca. It is just 32 km from Vladimir. Suzdal is amazingly tranquil and beautiful with its numerous churches, wooden houses, bird songs and the ringing of bells throughout the day.

Check into hotel.
Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel (included)

Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to Suzdal for a sightseeing tour. It take you to the oldest part of the Kremlin, the heart of Suzdal. Specialists believe the Kremlin dates back to the X century and first appeared in the chronicles in 1024. On its territory you will admire the Cathedral of the Nativity, dating back to the beginning of the XIII century, the largest relic of which is the Golden Gates. The next stop will be to the Archbishops´ Chambers, a large architectural masterpiece that took several centuries to be built. It houses a unique collection of historical and archaeological objects, including the Cross-Vaulted Chamber.

The open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture recreates the life and traditions of the people of Suzdal in the XVIII-XIX century. The ensemble includes churches, log houses and other structures.

* During the low season the museum of Wooden Architecture will be substituted with the Spaso-Yevfimievsky Monastery of Our Savior.

Transfer to Kostroma.

Lunch at the local restaurant (included)
 

Kostroma city tour will take you to the five-domed Epiphany Cathedral that was the first stone edifice in the city. You will then visit the Ipatievsky Monastery and admire the frescoes at the Trinity Cathedral painted by the famous Kostroma master, Guri Nikitin and his team of expert icon-painters.

Kostroma is located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers. It was founded in the 13th century and has played a major role in Russian history. After being destroyed by the Mongols in 1238 it became a small principality under the leadership of Prince Vasily the Drunkard the brother of the Russian hero Alexander Nevsky. In the early 17th century, the young Mikhail Romanov who was living at the time at the Ipatiev Monastery was offered the Russian throne - thus beginning the Romanov Dynasty and ending the Time of Troubles. From that time on, the Romanov's always had a special connection to the city and played an important role in its development. Kostroma was frequently visited by the Romanov family including the last Russian Tsar, Nicolas II. The city's most prominent landmarks are the Ipatiev Monastery, the Trinity Cathedral, the local market and a museum of wooden architecture and monuments.

Transfer to Yaroslavl.

Check into hotel.
Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel (included)

 

Day 3

After breakfast (included) we will go on a Yaroslavl city tour with a visit to the Savior Transfiguration Monastery and the Church of Elijah the Prophet*.

*During the low season the Church of Elijah the Prophet will be substituted with the Icon Museum at the Prior´s chambers.

Yaroslavl: Stretching for 18 miles on both banks of the Volga, Yaroslavl is an important Volga port with a population of 600,000. It was founded in the 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise. It was destroyed by the Tatars in the 13th and 14th centuries but then restored and rebuilt and by the 17th century it had become Russia's second largest city after Moscow and an important cultural and political center. Today, Yaroslavl retains many noteworthy monuments of its colorful past. Of special interest is the magnificent 13th century Spassky(Savior) Monastery ensemble, a group of majestic 17th century cathedrals, an elegant rotunda and remnants of an ancient trading center. The churches of St. Nicholas and Elijah the Prophet have some of the Golden Ring's most impressive frescoes.

Transfer to Rostov Veliky.

Lunch in a local restaurant (included).

Rostov Veliky (Rostov the Great) is located on the shores of Lake Nero and is one of the oldest towns in Russia, dating back to 862 AD. You will go on a city tour with visit to the Kremlin and the Museum of Finift (enamel painting).

A little information on Rostov Veliky. It is speculated that Rostov was an important Viking trade settlement along the Volga trade route. First mentioned in 862 Rostov was already quite important and by the 13th century, Rostov became capital city of one of the most prominent Russian principalities. However in 1474 it was incorporated into Muscovy. Rostov has always been an extremely important ecclesiastic center for the Orthodox Church. From 988 it was the see of one of Russia’s first bishoprics. In the 14th century, the bishops of Rostov became archbishops and in the 16th century metropolitans. Rostov was sacked by the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries and invaded by the Poles in 1608. The city also saw fierce combat during WWII.

At around 5:00 PM, you will head back to Moscow. At this point we will say goodbye to the Golden Ring one of the most beautiful and interesting areas in Russia and Eastern Europe full of history, art, culture and legend. We hope to welcome you back to Russia sometime in the future. Do Svidaniya or until we meet again!

Included Sightseeing

These sights are included into the standard package:

Yaroslavl
Church of Elijah the Prophet
Church of Elijah the Prophet

The church was built 1647-1650 by brothers Anikey and Nifantey Skripin who were merchants trading in in Siberian furs. Brick on the outside, the church has very ornate and unusual interior. The real gem are frescoed murals that were painted by a team of 15 people headed by Guriy Nikitin and Sila Savin and that depict not only the life of Elijah the Prophet but also show domestic life in 17th century Russia with scenes from everyday life showing birds, animals, weddings, hunting and everyday work.

Rostov
Rostov Kremlin
Rostov Kremlin

Rostov Kremlin is located on the territory of Archbishop's Yard, unique architectural ensemble of the XVII century. Five churches, three of which are decorated with wonderful frescoes of the XVII century and several exhibition buildings are surrounded with high walls and towers. Founded in 1883, today the museum numbers 92000 exhibits. The collection includes icons, oil paintings, wooden house-hold utensils, porcelain, archeological findings. The museum's pride is the collection of enamels.

Museum of Finift
Museum of Finift

Finift' is a traditional Russian craft which came from the ancient Byzantine. It is a painting over metal surface with a specially prepared enamel. The museum posesses an excellent collection of finift jewelry, icons and boxes.

Kostroma
Ipatievsky Monastery
Ipatievsky Monastery

The Monastery was founded by Prince Chet around 1330 and it was dedicated to St. Hypatios of Gangara. It was here that a promiment Russian historian Nikolay Karamzin discovered a set of three 14th-century chronicles. Most of the monastery buildings date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The Trinity Cathedral is famous for its elaborate frescoes.

Suzdal
Suzdal Kremlin
Suzdal Kremlin

The heart of Suzdal. Specialists believe the Kremlin dates back to the X century and first appeared in the chronicles in 1024.

Vladimir
Vladimir Golden Gates
Vladimir Golden Gates

Considered to be the door to Vladimir built in the early XII century by Prince Andrei Bogolubsky. In ancient times they served as the main military tower of the fortress.

Cathedral of St. Dmitry
Cathedral of St. Dmitry

Built in the beginning of the XII century by Prince Vsevolod as his palace church. The cathedral´s interior still features frescoes of the XII century.

Bogolyubovo
Bogolyubovo

The residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky built between 1158 and 1165 at the mouth of the Nerl River. Andrei spent 17 years of his reign here until his murder in 1174. Russian Orthodox Christians believe that Bogolyubovo was founded on the spot where Andrei Bogolyubsky saw a vision of the Virgin Mary who appeared to him in a dream-like vision holding a scroll in Her right hand, and commanded him to build a church and monastery on the place of the vision. On this spot the Church of the Intercession of Neri was constructed. Today the church is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Assumption Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral

A unique monument of the white-stone architecture of Vladimir. The cathedral was built in the middle of the XII century by Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky as the main church of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. World-famous frescoes by Andrei Rublev are preserved there.

Prices and Terms

All seasons
  hotel 3 stars hotel 4 stars
1 $2225 $2410
2 $1169 $1261
3 - 4 $858 $932
5 - 6 $663 $724
single supplement $80 $120

*Prices are per person based on double occupancy in a specific hotel. You should add single supplement to the price in case you travel in a group but you stay at a single room. 

Prices include

  • Tickets to all museums
  • Transportation to museums and for excursions
  • Guide service
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Meals according to the program

Prices do not include

  • Visa processing costs. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you. 
  • International airfare. Our Russian tours are offered as land only where you arrange your own airfare and we meet you at the airport and handle everything else. 
  • Optional services as well as theater tickets
  • Travel insurance

To inquire about group rates, please contact us.

Tour dates are flexible. Tours can be customized to your taste. We can include additional excursions or performances on your request.

Payment policy:
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 31 days before departure.

Cancellation policy:
61 or more days before departure - a fee equal to 15% of the entire package will be charged.
60-15 days before departure - a fee equal to 30% of the entire package will be charged.
14 days or less before departure or no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.

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