Russia in Depth

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Russia in Depth

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Description

Peer into Russia’s past on this in-depth tour through some of Russia’s lesser-known cities. Spend 12 days exploring the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg and through Tyumen and Tobolsk. Listen to the fascinating story of a true Siberian through his craft, tackle a section of the trans-Siberian railway and explore the legends of Tolstoy and the Romanov family with visits to their museums and final resting places. It’s the ultimate trip into Russian history for the curious traveller.

Trip Name
Russia in Depth
Last Updated
2019-07-25
Days
12
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Discover the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery and learn about Russia history through the stories of the Russian celebrities rested here.
  • Journey to Leo Tolstoy's estate where he wrote his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina, plus enjoy a traditional lunch with household recipes at his mansion.
  • Visit one of the towns that mark Russia’s transcontinental divide, toasting with a champagne lunch to this vast land.
  • Stop at Yekaterinburg and visit Ganina Yama, learning about the fallen fate of the Romanovs – the last Royal family in Russia.
  • Be wowed by the delicate bone carving done by a true Siberian and listen to his story of life in Russia.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Moscow
Zdrastvutye! Welcome to Russia. The great city of Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and tumult, from the days of the tsars through the communist era to the growing pains of democracy. Beneath its modern veneer – a sign of Russia's recent embrace of capitalism – Moscow is a fascinating, historic city with a wealth of sights to see. You will be collected from the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel if you have booked an airport transfer with us prior to travel. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your group leader. After the meeting, perhaps head with everyone for an optional dinner so you can get acquainted with your fellow travellers and enjoy your first taste of delicious Russian cuisine.
Day 2 - Moscow
This morning, hop on the metro and join your leader on an unconventional tour to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery. The fortress like Convent is a true architectural masterpiece of 16-17th century, representing the Baroque style Moscow at the time. It has also played a crucial part in Russia's political and religious history. Next to it is the peaceful cemetery, where many of the greatest Russian minds rest forever, including Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Constantin Stanislavski and so many others. Learn about their life and stories which also contain some of the most important part of Russian history. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in this magnificent city. Moscow’s metro system is renowned for its beautifully crafted stations, adorned with high ceilings, curved archways, and in some instances, chandeliers. Joseph Stalin’s vision was to create a metro system that would resemble palaces for the people and, moving roughly nine million people each day around Moscow, they are palatial, meticulously clean and an easy way to get around. So why not spend some time hopping on and off the metro to see some of the most beautiful stations? Your leader will be able to help you with more directions. Otherwise, maybe take the time to visit the Red Square and Kremlin Palace if you haven't, or take a cruise on Moskova river. Tonight, you might want to watch one of the renowned ballet performances on offer, so be sure to book in advance so you secure a seat.
Day 3 - Yasnaya Polyana/Tula
This morning, travel from Moscow to Yasnaya Polyana – the birthplace of Tolstoy (approximately 3 hours). Yasnaya Polyana is the former home of writer Leo Tolstoy and has now been preserved in its original state into a museum. Here he wrote the acclaimed War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He is also buried nearby. Lunch will be included here at the writer’s home, where you'll taste traditional specialties. Afterwards, continue on to Kozlova zaseka station museum, commonly known as the last station. This is where Tolstoy set off for his last journey, and the station has kept its 19th century appearance. Today is all about exploring a time gone by and understanding the life of such a famous writer and icon of Russia. In the late afternoon, take a short journey to Tula, which will be your destination for tonight. Take a leader-led orientation walk around town to get your bearings and then relax into the evening.
Day 4 - Moscow/Overnight Sleeper Train
In the morning, travel back to Moscow, taking approximately 4 hours. You’ll have a small amount of time in Moscow to purchase snacks or drinks for tonight’s train journey, and then late in the afternoon, board your train to Yekaterinburg, which will be a full day’s worth of travel (approximately 27 hours).
Day 5 - Yekaterinburg
As most of the day will be spent peering out the train window, and watching the interesting Russian countryside pass you by, there will not be much time to explore Yekaterinburg. Onboard your train, there is a restaurant where you can eat simple Russian specialties, so you will not go hungry. Arrive in the late evening and transfer to your hotel for a restful night.
Day 6 - Yekaterinburg
Named after Peter the Great’s wife, Yekaterina, and known as Sverdlovsk during the Soviet era, Yekaterinburg is Russia’s fourth largest city and is located near the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In the morning, take a guided city tour of Yekaterinburg, strolling along the main streets and learning about its history and development as a major intersection in the Ural Mountains. Walk along the man-made dam Plotinka, catching a glimpse of the Cathedral on Blood. Head to the former KGB headquarters and see the Black Tulip memorial – commemorating victims of the Afghan War. Finish in downtown, where you’ll have the option to purchase some lunch. In the afternoon, head to the monastery complex of Ganina Yama – the location where bodies of the executed Romanov royal family were discovered down a mine shaft.
Day 7 - Pervouralsk/Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is close to the Europe-Asia border in Russia, and so this morning, you will visit one of the many monuments that symbolise the border crossing. The first monument, opened in 1837, is located in the town of Pervouralsk, and was built when the country was preparing for the first visit of Emperor Alexander II to the Ural region. The journey takes around 1 hour, and once arrived, enjoy a picnic lunch with champagne and caviar. You’ll transfer back to Yekaterinburg in the afternoon, with an evening at your leisure.
Day 8 - Tyumen
Take a morning transfer to Tyumen (approximately 5 hours) and enjoy an afternoon to travel at your own pace. Founded in 1586, Tyumen was the first major city in Siberia. Perhaps walk down the Tura Embankment and over Lover’s Bridge, visit the mystical Aleksandrovsky Garden, or head to one of the hot springs in the area. This evening, enjoy an included dinner of northern Siberian cuisine with your group at Chum – it’s a unique institution that feels like you’re in a lodge deep in the Siberian wilderness.
Day 9 - Pokrovskoe/Tobolsk
In the morning, transfer to Pokrovskoye (approximately 1.5 hours). Here, you will visit the House-Museum of Grigory Rasputin – a mysterious man who had great influence over the Romanovs, and who died at the hands of conspirators in St Petersburg. His original house was demolished in 1980, however in 1991, Marina and Vladimir Smirnov reconstructed the house opposite its original position and opened a private museum. After visiting the museum, continue on to Tobolsk for the evening (approximately 2.5 hours).
Day 10 - Tobolsk
Today, take a guided city tour of Tobolsk, visiting their Kremlin, the last Romanov’s house, the Decembrist Wives memorial and the Tobolsk Central Prison, where prisoners including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Tsar Nicholas II served their sentences. Tobolsk is rich with history, and your knowledgeable guide will be able to answer questions you may have. In the afternoon, take a fascinating visit to Minsalim’s workshop – a welcoming artist who does carving in the middle of Tobolsk. Check out his refined work over a cup of tea and listen to his story of getting into the trade and living in Siberia.
Day 11 - Tyumen/Moscow
Today is quite a long travel day where you will transfer back to Moscow. Take private transport back to Tyumen (approximately 4 hours), then head on an afternoon flight to Moscow (approximately 2 hours). Depending on flight schedules, you should be back in Russia’s capital early evening, just in time for dinner with your group. Your group leader will know of some great local restaurants to go to, so that you can share stories and experiences about your Russian adventure.
Day 12 - Moscow
There are no activities included today, so you are free to leave at any time. If you didn’t have time before this tour to explore more of Moscow, we suggest you use the next couple of days to experience more of Russia’s capital. If you would like to spend more time in Moscow, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
11-05-202022-05-2020AUD $ 4,046-
25-05-202005-06-2020AUD $ 4,046-
15-06-202026-06-2020AUD $ 4,046-
22-06-202003-07-2020AUD $ 4,046-
13-07-202024-07-2020AUD $ 4,046-
27-07-202007-08-2020AUD $ 4,046-
03-08-202014-08-2020AUD $ 4,046-
10-08-202021-08-2020AUD $ 4,046-
07-09-202018-09-2020AUD $ 4,046-
21-09-202002-10-2020AUD $ 4,046-

Accommodation

Feature Stay Moscow Hotel (2 nights),Hotel (8 nights),Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

Transport

Private Vehicle,Overnight Sleeper Train,Public bus,Metro,Plane

Map