The Golden Ring is the name given a popular tourist route that connects a network of ancient towns north-east of Moscow. This 2-day Golden Ring tour will take you on a quest for unique architectural constructions dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries. During this short detour from Moscow, you will discover the age-old allure of Mother Russia from generations past. Travel from the capital to the countryside, where golden spires and the onion-shaped domes of colourful monasteries dot the horizon. Explore enchanting towns and fairy tale villages, set against the picturesque backdrop of rural Russia as you learn about the war and peacetime history, religion, and culture of a part of Russia that still holds fast to time-honoured traditions and a leisurely, provincial way of life.
- The village of Suzdal appears like a scene from a Russian storybook and has inspired artists and writers for centuries. Wander wide-eyed through quiet laneways and cobblestone plazas, passing horse-drawn buggies and medieval churches
- Vladimir is a former medieval Russian capital whose main historic monuments are UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, including the Cathedral of the Assumption, which features murals by 15th century Russian masters, and the Golden Gate, part of the city’s 12th century defenses against the invading Mongol armies
- Sergiev Posad is one of the most important spiritual centres of the Orthodox Church, sometimes referred to as the ‘Russian Vatican’ for its magnificent white churches with their signature blue and gold cupolas.
Karelia is situated to the north of St.Petersburg: it stretches along the border with Finland up to the Arctic Circle and is abundant with forests, lakes and rivers, including the Ladoga and the Onega – the two largest lakes in Europe. This singular place in the Russian North is truly a land of primordial nature. The Karelia tour will take you on scenic boat rides to some of the region’s many lakes or rivers, trekking with huskies on trails in the beautiful pine forests and picking berries in the woods. Take your time. Wander around. Enjoy the scenery.
Gems of Karelia Trip Highlights
- The Kizhi Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture is one of the most unmissable greatest cultural attractions in Russia. The island contains some 83 relocated wooden buildings from the 17th to the 19th centuries, with the crown jewel being the elaborate 1714 Church of the Transfiguration
- The Valaam Archipelago is a group of 50 islands in Lake Lagoda, the largest lake in Europe. The heart of Valaam is its magnificent monastery complex, which is somewhere between 1000 and 600 years old and was at the centre of the 16th-century power struggle between the Russians and Swedes