Russia holiday, a taste of Russia
Description of Russia holiday, a taste of Russia
It is hard to imagine taking in Russia’s highlights in a week, but this Russia holiday follows a carefully crafted itinerary that brings you through old and new Russia, traditional and state of the art. This is an intriguing country to visit and this holiday is a great starter on what we hope is a fine taste of Russia menu.
Starting in the grand capital of Moscow, there is really so much to see and take in here, from Red Square and the Kremlin, to Lenin’s mausoleum and the Armoury Museum. This is an iconic and thought provoking city for sure. In contrast, we travel east to Suzdal for a couple of days, which is like a living museum of stunning ancient architecture, Russian Orthodoxy, traditional crafts and one of several cities on Russia’s traditional Golden Ring, a circle of ancient culture around the capital.
Taking a sleeper train from Moscow to Novgorod is another journey back in time, to the ancient capital of Russia and its oldest city. We take a trip with a local guide, the main highlight being the city’s Kremlin, which is located on the Volkhov River. This is also the perfect place to enjoy a traditional ‘banya’ or public bath.
Our last stop is the great St Petersburg where, as well as seeing the sites of this Venice of the North, we also experience real life, enjoying the hospitality of a local family at a tea party. Russian style. Many of our guests say farewell to Russia with a trip to the world famous Hermitage Museum or Kunstkamera Museums, both with a wealth of artistic treasures.
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5 Reviews of Russia holiday, a taste of Russia
Reviewed on 10 Sep 2018 by Trish StandaloftThe most memorable parts of the holiday were...The stunning scenery, fascinating history, dinner at Helen's house and tea and pancakes with Svetlana and Sasha in their communal flat. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Aug 2018 by Gerrie LeendersI had a great holiday. I was surprised how beautiful and friendly Moscow was. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 May 2018 by Mairead HayesThe quality of the local guides & the experience of visiting the homes of ordinary Russians. Great guide who provided interesting insights & worked very hard to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Aug 2017 by Tina SalvidgeIt is hard to pick out a highlight as it was all highly enjoyable. The overnight train from Moscow to St Petersburg was memorable as was seeing Lenin in his mausoleum lying in state. Local guides were very good and informative about Russian history and contemporary Russia. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Jun 2012 by Esther HornerThe most memorable parts were the sights, local families and banya. Read full review
PlanetThis trip may only be short (8 days) but definitely manages to fit in as many local experiences as possible as you travel some of the highlights of the North West of this extensive country. While we are travelling, we’ll always try to make a positive impact and minimize our negative impact on the environment and community that we come into contact with.
We provide all travellers with reusable bags in order to avoid waste and encourage use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles.
Getting from place to place is done mainly by utilising public transport. In Moscow this means the ornate, bustling but superbly efficient metro system. To get to Novgorod you'll get a taste of Russian train travel on an overnight sleeper where the dining car is definitely the hub for chatting and drinking with local travellers. This is one of the best ways to explore the country and its life, also helps minimize our carbon footprint as well.
PeopleWe include informal local language lessons to give our travellers a head start into understanding the culture and communicating with the people we meet along the way.
When taking trains we travel 2nd or 3rd class (kupe or platzkart) which is the way the majority of locals travel - this gives us maximum chance to meet and share stories, food, games and the journey with local travellers.
You are accompanied by a leader for the duration of the tour who will be able to help you understand more about the realities of living and travelling in Russia and help to facilitate your interaction with locals along the way. The local guides who take you on excursions and walking tours in each of the places we visit are passionate about their country and allow you to get a real insight into places significant to the history, culture and development of the nation.
During the journey there are numerous opportunities for local interaction and getting to know people. Wandering the back streets of Suzdal you'll no doubt encounter local residents tending their gardens, chickens and livestock or perhaps even come across monks, nuns and priests on their way to the many monasteries and churches in the town. In Novgorod in the summer months you can relax with locals as they soak up the sun along the river bank beaches or in winter join them for a steam at the public banya (sauna/bathhouse).
Along the way you'll have the opportunity to support local industries by shopping for food at local farmers markets, buying direct from the babushka's who sell their home produce on the streets or visiting local handicraft stalls.
At the completion of your journey travellers are encouraged to donate any unwanted clothing and toiletries, which are distributed to a St Petersburg local charity (Nochlezhka) supported by us which provides support for the city's homeless.