Saturday - Moscow
Arrival Transfer to the Hotel
After your flight touches down in Moscow, you'll meet a representative holding a Go Russia sign who will drive you to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Sunday - Moscow
Exploring Moscow. Red Square, St. Basil’s, Lenin Mausoleum
On the agenda today is a tour of the Russian capital. Accompanied by a guide, you'll begin in Lubyanka Square, which in Soviet times was the centre of operations for the KGB. Nearby is Teatralnaya Square, where you'll find the Bolshoi Theatre. Walking the back lanes and side streets of Moscow, your guide will fill you in on some of the area's rich history and stories. Together you'll stroll along Tverskaya Street, Moscow's equivalent of London's Oxford Street, with plenty of shops and restaurants to distract you. Finally, we will end up in Red Square in front of the colourful domes of St Basil's Cathedral. Nearby is Lenin's Mausoleum, a fascinating (if perhaps a little creepy) chance to see the former Russian leader in his embalmed state. You'll also have the opportunity to shop in GUM department store.
Monday - Moscow
Kremlin & Armoury. Departure to Yekaterinburg
The Kremlin awaits this morning, once home to the Imperial family and now the base of the Russian president. Within its thick walls, you'll find Cathedral Square with its gleaming domes. We’ve arranged a tour of the Armoury Museum, which houses an extensive collection of treasures including Faberge eggs, ancient weaponry and the chalice of Yuri Dolgorukiy. Before you leave, we'll squeeze in a trip on the Moscow Underground. Its stations are ornately embellished with mosaics, sculptures and stained glass - you'll agree they are almost palatial in their opulence. Return to your hotel and connect with our driver who'll deliver you to the train station in good time to catch your overnight service to Yekaterinburg. First and second class accommodation options are available.
Tuesday - Yekaterinburg
Transfer to the Hotel
The train pulls into Yekaterinburg station late this evening. A driver will be waiting to collect you from the platform and transfer you to the hotel where you can rest.
Wednesday - Yekaterinburg
Ganina Yama & Cathedral on the Blood. Europe-Asia Border. Departure to Siberia
Yekaterinburg is infamous as the place of execution of the last Russian Tsar and his family. You'll make a pilgrimage to the Memorial Cathedral on the Blood in the name of all Saints. It was built on the site of the execution and a visit is a moving experience. Our next stop is at the Ganina Pit. Here, in the orthodox monastery, the remains of the Imperial family were interred for a time. This ancient pine forest contains seven wooden churches. Pausing at the memorial to victims of Stalin's oppression, we'll continue on to the obelisk that marks the boundary between Europe and Asia. It's customary to toast the spot with a glass of champagne and we will come prepared. Then it's back to the hotel to gather up our luggage before catching a train to Siberia.
Day 6 - 7
Thursday - Friday
On board the train
Saturday - Irkutsk - Listvyanka
Lake Baikal. Free Time
Home has been a long distance train for several days but it's time to alight and stretch our legs. Irkutsk is a characterful city in the heart of Siberia. But it's tantalisingly close to Lake Baikal and the delightful village of Listvyanka. After a short journey of 70km by road, you'll reach the shores of this great lake and have free time to explore. We'd recommend the interesting Baikal Lake Museum, the impressive St Nicolas Russian Orthodox Church and the bustle of the village's busy market where you can try omul, the local smoked fish. Whichever you choose, make time for a boat trip on the lake itself.
Sunday - Listvyanka - Irkutsk
Wooden Architecture Museum in Taltsy. Exploring Irkutsk
Today, we will backtrack to Irkutsk, stopping en route to visit the wooden architecture museum at Taltsy. Its picturesque location on the banks of the Angara River, surrounded by coniferous forest, is as captivating as the exhibits. Explore the inside of a Russian fort, step inside a shaman yurt and learn about the lifestyle of the local Buryat and Evenk people. Take in the view from the 15th century watchtower before returning to Irkutsk, dubbed the Paris of Siberia. The city has a curious mix of Parisian style stone buildings and rustic wooden cottages adorned with fretwork shutters and trims. Overnight in a hotel in Irkutsk.
Monday - Irkutsk
Departure to Mongolia
It’s time to take a detour south to the welcoming nation of Mongolia. Early in the morning you’ll board your comfortable train in Irkutsk and after completing border formalities, continue on to Mongolia, your destination Ulan Bator railway station.
Tuesday - Ulan Bator - Terelj
Arrival in Mongolia. Enjoy Terelj National Park. Visit Chinggis Khaan Statue
Your guide will be waiting for you as your train pulls into Ulan Bator station. Hop in the car and set off for one of Mongolia’s most famous sights: a 40 metre high gleaming statue of Chinggis Khaan (also known as Genghis Khan). The great warrior sits on horseback in the countryside a short drive from the capital and is currently the largest equestrian statue anywhere in the world. It’s possible to climb to the horse’s head – the reward is a breathtaking panoramic view. From there you’ll travel to Terelj National Park, famous for its Alpine scenery littered with granite outcrops. You’ll visit Turtle Rock, one of the park’s most recognisable landforms and also hike up to Aryabal Monastery. This area is populated with nomads and you’ll find out a little about their way of life as you milk a cow and help the family make dairy products. Overnight accommodation in summer will be a traditional felt tent called a ger and a wooden lodge affording more protection from the cold in winter.
Wednesday - Terelj - Ulan Bator
Ulan Bator City Tour. National History Museum
Heading back to the capital by car, you’ll enjoy a city tour of Ulan Bator this morning. Highlights include the Gandan Hiid Monastery – Mongolia’s largest – Sukhebaatar Square and the Museum of Natural History, which exhibits dinosaur remains found in the Gobi Desert and archaeological finds from the Mesozoic Era. Learn about Mongolia's rich cultural heritage from your guide before enjoying an evening at leisure.
Thursday - Ulan Bator - Ulan Ude
Back to Russia
Today, you’ll say farewell to Mongolia and transfer to the train station in Ulan Bator. The train will take you north to the Russian city of Ulan-Ude.
Friday – Ulan Ude
Arrival in Ulan-Ude. Free Time. Departure to Vladivostok
You’ll have free time to explore Ulan-Ude a little before you need to catch your train to Vladivostok. Check out the statue of Lenin’s head in the main square, Ploshchad Sovetov, for a selfie. Alternatively, the gilded stupas of Datsan Rinpoche Bagsha, a Buddhist temple a half hour walk north of the station, are another memorable sight. Make your way back to the train station in good time to catch the long distance sleeper to Vladivostok.
Day 15 - 16
Saturday – Sunday
On board the train.
Monday - Vladivostok
The eastern port city of Vladivostok is journey’s end. Our driver will be waiting for you at the platform; look out for a Go Russia sign. Freshen up at your hotel and head out for a city tour. Key sights include the City Fortress, the Intercession Church and the Catholic Church. But this is a maritime city, so the highlight will be a visit to the Korabelnaya Naberezhnaya (Warship Embankment). There, you’ll learn a little about the history of the Soviet fleet and how it was used during the Second World War. Also on the cards is a fascinating visit to a Soviet C-56 submarine.
Tour Dates & Prices
Tuesday - Vladivostok
Departure for the Airport
Your tour draws to a close this morning and our driver will ensure you reach the airport in good time for your flight home.
Moscow Ibis Centre Bakhrushina Hotel 3*
Part of the Ibis collection, the Moscow Centre Bakhrushina Hotel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a value hotel with facilities you can trust. Situated within the meander of the Moskva River, it’s centrally located a half hour stroll from Red Square or the Kremlin and within easy reach of the Paveletskaya metro station.Learn more
Hotel Novotel Yekaterinburg Center 4*
The Novotel Yekaterinburg Centre is one of the best hotels in the city. It is conveniently located right in the heart of the capital of the Urals, within walking distance of the city's main attractions and the business and shopping centres of Yekaterinburg. All rooms feature climate control and free WIFI, combining modern decor, ergonomics and high-tech equipment. The hotel is fully equipped with new-generation Novotel rooms meaning MediaHub panel allowing to charge Mac, iPhone and plug laptop to TV, watch movies and make video-calls. Standard rooms have air conditioning, rain shower, satellite TV, tea/coffee amenities, laptop safe, minibar.Learn more
Mayak Hotel Listvyanka 4*
The Hotel Mayak in Listvyanka occupies an enviable waterfront position giving its guests panoramic views over Lake Baikal. Many of the rooms have large windows from which you can watch boats come and go at the boat dock. The hotel itself is well equipped with the facilities you would expect from a property of its class, with a pool, sauna and Russian banya for guests. There’s free WiFi throughout the hotel, room service and assistance with document registration.
Hotel Angara 3*
The Angara Hotel was named after the great Siberian River and is situated right in the heart of business and financial life of Irkutsk - on the Kirov Square. There are 285 comfortable standard rooms, semi-deluxe and deluxe rooms equipped with a private bathroom, safe, colour TV, mini-bar, hairdryer, air-conditioner and Internet access. The hotel has two restaurants, post office, currency exchange office, massage room, sauna with a pool, gym, casino and billiards.Learn more
Terelj Lodge Ger Camp
Ger camps we use on our tours are slightly modified for Western travellers, however they do offer a genuinely authentic experience and most of them are situated in picturesque areas. The gers are made of a wooden frame that is covered with felt. Inside they are generally brightly painted and feature two or four single beds, a small table, chairs, a lamp, electricity sockets and a stove for heating. Learn more
Hotel Platinum Ulan-Bator 4*
Located in the Sukhbaatar district of central Ulan Bator, the Platinum Hotel is a comfortable 4* hotel which has proved popular with guests. Its proximity to Sukhbaatar Square ensures guests are based at the very heart of the Mongolian capital, and premier attraction such as the National Museum of Mongolian History, the Mongolian Theatre Museum, Presidential Palace and the Chinggis Khan Gardens are just a short stroll away.
Hotel Azimut Vladivostok 4*
Azimut Hotel Vladivostok complex consists of two separate blocks: Vladivostok and Amur Bay and is conveniently located close to the city centre with all its attractions within easy reach. The hotel is an ideal place for business and leisure travelers. There are 624 comfortable rooms at the hotel. All rooms are equipped with modern furniture, satellite TV and phone, free internet access. The hotel restaurant for up to 200 persons offers fabulous panoramic views of the city. There are also Azimut Café - a neat cozy café at the fourth floor of the Vladivostok building, and Azimut Bar offering soft and alcoholic drinks, light snacks, both open 24 hours.Learn more