Trans-Sib – four cities
Duration: 14 Days/ 13 Nights
Destination : Moscow – Yekaterinburg – Irkutsk – Vladivostok
Destination : Moscow – Yekaterinburg – Irkutsk – Vladivostok
Day 1 MoscowMoscow, the capital of Russian Federation, is the starting point of your great Trans Siberian journey. On arrival in Moscow you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. On the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of this truly unique city.
Moscow is the capital and the largest city in Russia as well as the largest metropolitan area in Europe with a population well over 10 million. This amazing city has served as the capital of the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Moscow has had a tumultuous history dating back to medieval times when it was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki (Yuri of the Long Arms, known for the length of his arms!) in the early 12th century. It has seen numerous invasions and sieges from the Mongols to the Poles and Lithuanians to the Crimean Tatars to Napoleon and finally the Nazi’s but it has persevered and today is a thriving metropolis. The city is filled with unique architecture from the Kremlin and Red Square to giant Stalin skyscrapers to new office blocks built during the economic boom of recent years and it contains a strikingly beautiful metro system. The city is the center of political as well as economic power in Russia and visitors can feel the energy in the streets. There is always something going on in Moscow and there is so much to see.
Day 2After breakfast you will be taken on a city tour.
Panoramic City Tour. This tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with many of the city´s major highlights. Our professional guide will escort you on a route that includes Vorobyevi Hills where you will get an incredible view of the city from an observation point, you will proceed to Moscow State University which is an example of architecture from the time of Stalin and one of Russia’s leading schools of higher education, then on to Novodevichiy Convent, the Diplomatic Village, Victory Park, the Triumphal Arch, Kutuzovsky Prospect, the Arbat and much more. Finally, you will go to the Red Square and visit the beautiful Cathedral of the Intercession (also known as the Church of St Basil the Blessed)
Return to the hotel.
Day 3Breakfast and free time. Check out from the hotel till 12:00.
You will be transferred to the railway station to begin the journey of a lifetime.
Departure to Yekaterinburg in the afternoon.
It takes 26 hours to get to the city of Yekaterinburg in the heart of the Ural Mountains and the beginning of Siberia, about 1600 km from Moscow. Almost all the cities along the way date back to 11-13th centuries. The first city where the train will stop is Vladimir, one of the cities comprising the Golden Ring, famous for its history and beautiful gold-domed churches. The next city is Nizhny Novgorod with its stunning Kremlin settled on the bank of the majestic Volga river.
Day 4During the night you will cross the Vyatka River, the town Kotelnich, Vyatka (made immortal by the famous Vyatka washing machine!!!), Balyezino and arrive at the foot of the Ural Mountains. In the morning, the train will stop in the city of Perm, an old Russian city known as a city of ballet and literature. After another 6 hours you will arrive in Yekaterinburg. On arrival in the night in Yekaterinburg our representatives will meet you at the train station and bring you by car or mini bus to your hotel.
Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 and named after Saint Catherine, the namesake of Tsar Peter the Great’s wife Empress Catherine I (Yekaterina). Soon after the Russian Revolution, on 17 July, 1918, Tsar Nicolas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Tsarevich Alexei were executed by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House where they were being held prisoner. Yekaterinburg is also famous for being located directly on the border between the Europe and Asia. It is also the city of Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin.
Day 5 YekaterinburgAfter a good breakfast, you will start your first excursion which explores the Last days of the Romanovs and is combined with a city tour. The excursion will acquaint you with the history of the Romanov family in Yekaterinburg and detail their tragic death. You will visit the Monastery dedicated to the family of the last Tsar. The Monastery is located on the spot where the Bolsheviks tried to hide the Romanov’s corpses in a secret grave. Today, this area is a well-known Russian Orthodox pilgrimage site.
After viewing the Monastery and the neighboring wooden churches, you will go on to see the main historical sites of Yekaterinburg: The Historical skver (park), the wooden dam of the city’s first plant, the old city embankment and a monument of Lenin, leader of Soviet Russia. The tour will also take you to places connected to the first President of Russia – Boris Yeltsin who originates from Yekaterinburg. After the excursion, you will be taken back to the hotel and have free time to walk around the city.
In the afternoon you will be taken to the railway station to continue your journey through Russia.
Departure to Irkutsk.
Day 6The day you will spend in train enjoining surroundings.
On this leg of the journey, you will see Siberia with its mighty taiga and rivers. The route to Novosibirsk will pass through many small and large towns including Tyumen, the oil capital of Russia and Omsk. You will cross the Irtysh river and continue on through the great forest. Having crossed the bridge across the Ob river, you will pass Novosibirsk. The train will cross over many rivers including the Kam, Chuna, Lya, Oka, Yenisey and Angara.
Day 7Your train arrives at night in Irkutsk where our representatives will meet at the train station and take you to hotel. Finally you will feel the ground!
Day 8 IrkutskAfter breakfast you will be taken on a city tour. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Sign (Znamensky Cathedral). Apart from ornate and rich iconostasis, the cathedral is famous for its graveyard where you will see the graves of the Decembrists Mukhanov, Beschasnov, Trubetskaya and the Russian Columbus Shelekhov. We will then proceed to the Museum of the Decembrists. The museum is housed in a mansion belonging to one of the leaders of Decembrist Revolt. The Decembrists were Russian aristocracy who were banished to Siberia after their ill-fated attempt in December 1825 to overthrow the Russian Tsar in favor of a Constitutional regime. The museum evokes the period of 18th century Russia.
Irkutsk began as a small settlement in the mid 17th century for gold-trading and for the collection of the fur tax from the Buryats. The settlement officially became a town in 1686 and the first road between Moscow and the new city was built in 1760. With the road construction, many new products, often imported from China, were widely available in Irkutsk for the first time including gold, diamonds, furs, wood, silk and tea. In 1821, Irkutsk became the seat of the Governor-General of East Siberia. In the early 19th century, many Russian officers and nobles were sent into exile in Irkutsk for their part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Due to this influx of individuals from St. Petersburg, Irkutsk became the Siberian center of intellectual and cultural life. By 1900, the city had earned the nickname “The Paris of Siberia.” Today Irkutsk has become a college town with many young people studying at the university and other institutes of higher education in the city.
Day 9After breakfast and hotel check out our representatives will meet and take you to Lake Baikal, the largest body of fresh water in the world. On the way from Irkutsk, we will make a stop at the Ethnographical museum “Taltsy” consisting of examples of Siberian wooden houses from the past centuries.
We will also make a stop to see the lake from the “Cherskiy Peak” observation point. On arrival to a hotel we will have lunch (optional). This is not the end of the day; we will also visit the Limnological museum, where exhibits of the unique fauna and flora that surround the lake are displayed. There is also an aquarium where you can see different species of local fish and the Baikal nerpa – the earth’s only fresh water seal. And we will visit the functioning St. Nicolas the Miracle-Worker Orthodox Church.
Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world with an average depth of 744.4 m (2,442 ft) and contains roughly 20 percent of the world´s surface fresh water. The body of water is also known as the “Baikal Sea” and the "Pearl of Siberia". At 1,642 meters (5,390 ft) Lake Baikal is the deepest, and among the clearest lakes in the world. At more than 25 million years old, Baikal is also the world´s oldest lake. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to the Buryat people who follow the Tibetan Buddhist religion and reside on the eastern side of the lake rearing goat, camel, cattle and sheep.
Day 10-12Breakfast and check out. You will be transferred to the train station. Morning departure by train to Vladivostok. The train journey from Irkutsk to Vladivostok will be longer than the other stretches of rail that you have traveled up until now – 3 days. But the comfortable compartment will make you feel at home. The landscape along the way is typically Siberian, the endless taiga and rivers and lakes. The intenseness of the nature will surprise you and you will definitely feel that you have left civilization far behind. During the 20-25 minute stops, you can walk near your wagon and replenish your provisions.
Day 13 VladivostokOn arrival in Vladivostok in morning, you will be met at the railway station by our representative. Your expedition to discover the "Lord of the East" now begins. First, you will be taken by car or mini bus to your hotel. After settling in, you can have breakfast (optional), and/or a short rest after the train and get ready for the city tour. After the breakfast, get ready for the city tour. During the panoramic tour of Vladivostok, you will see all the main attractions and highlights of the city: the Vladivostok Railway Station – terminus of the Trans-Siberian railroad, the S-56 submarine on the harbor embankment and the area on which the city was founded 142 years ago. You will also visit the highly regarded Arseniev Museum to view exhibits of the region’s rich treasures of flora and fauna as well as the culture and history of the Vladivostok area (3 hours).
After the city tour you will enjoy the Golden Horn Bay cruise (by public boat). This excursion will give you the opportunity to have a close up view of the world renowned and beautiful harbor of the Golden Horn, Russia’s largest seaport on the Pacific Ocean. You actually get three harbors in one tour; the fishing harbor, the naval base and the commercial harbor. You will see numerous ships waiting to unload their cargo and then you will travel out into Amursky Bay for panoramic views of the city.
In the evening you will have free time to walk along the city streets and to dine at a restaurant of your choice. If you would like recommendations on good places to eat, rest, tickets to the theater, just ask our representatives.
Vladivostok is Russia’s largest port city on the Pacific Ocean situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay and near the border of China and North Korea. The city is home to the Russian Pacific Fleet. The territory on which modern Vladivostok is located had been part of many nations, including the Mongol Empire and China and in the past was populated by many Chinese, Manchu and Koreans. Russia acquired the region in 1858 at the end of China’s Opium War with Britain. The naval outpost was founded in 1859 by Count Nikolay Muravyov Amursky who named it Vladivostok which is translated as “Lord of the East.” An elaborate system of fortifications was erected between the 1870s and 1890s and a telegraph line from Vladivostok to Shanghai and Nagasaki was opened in 1871. The city´s economy was given a boost in 1903, with the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city was fiercely fought over during the Russian Civil War but finally taken by the Red Army in October of 1922. This battle marked the end of the Russian Civil War and consolidation of power by the Soviets. Since that time, Vladivostok has been Russia’s main cultural, trade and militarily important city on the Pacific Coast.
Day 14After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport. This ends your Trans-Siberian journey. We hope that you had a wonderful time and we look forward to welcoming you back to Russia sometime in the future!
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