The Golden Ring of Russia
5 days / 4 nights
Known as the Golden Ring of Russia, several old Russian towns form a circle which starts in Moscow. A classical route starts from Moscow and goes through Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Velikiy, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Sergiev Posad. These towns had an important role in Russian history dating back to when the Russian principalities were being united. Life here is completely different from the big cities, this is an opportunity to see true Russia and the Russian countryside. Besides chronicling the country's history it is also an area which has preserved many old artistic traditions particularly the painting of the beautiful lacquer boxes for which Russia is so famous.
“The whole of Russia is our orchard ... we shall plant a
new orchard that will be more splendid than this one.”
~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Russian writer. (1860 - 1904).
Golden Ring tours can vary in length, visiting some or all of the Golden Ring towns, from 2 days to 5-6 days.
Day 1 Departing Moscow trransfer by car to visit Sergiev Posad, one of the most famous Russian monasteries. The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra is the Vatican of the Russian Orthodox Church. It contains the Theological Seminary, the largest library of religious literature, famous icons, and historical and artistic treasures. The beautiful blue and gold star-spangled domes of St. Sergius monastery dominate the town and the Trinity Monastery remained the center of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Communist rule. Continue to a small town on the Golden Ring route Bogolyubovo, a former residence of Andrey Bogolyubsky. Visit to Svyato-Bogolyubsky Monastery and Pokrova-na-Nerli Church - a real masterpiece of the old Russian architecture built in 1164. Continue to Vladimir for overnight
Day 2 Morning tour of Vladimir founded in 990s by Prince Vladimir on the bank of the River Klyasma. The rise of Vladimir began under Andrey Bogolubsky, the son of Yuri Dolgoruky who founded Moscow. The Assumption Cathedral, a unique monument of white stone architecture, the main Cathedral of Suzdal-Vladimir Principality. The Golden Gates, considered as a door to Vladimir city and the main entrance to the Golden Ring. Museum of Crystal which has an amazing collection of traditional Russian handicrafts and folk art, lacquer miniature papier-mâché boxes, embroidery, rock crystal and glass pieces. Transfer to Suzdal. Ancient and wonderfully adorned, Suzdal occupies a special place among the other Russian towns. The entire town is a museum which has hardly changed for the past two and a half centuries. Over one hundred monuments, dating from different periods of the past millennium are concentrated here. Visit Suzdal Kremlin, the heart of Suzdal, built in the 10th century. A Wooden Architecture museum recreates the life and traditions of the people of Suzdal in the 18-19th centuries including churches, log houses and other structures. Overnight Suzdal
Day 3 Transfer to Kostroma on the left bank of the Volga is known as the "cradle of the Romanov dynasty". Visit Ipatiev Troitsky Monastery, Where Mikhail Romanov at the age of sixteen became the first of the Romanov dynasty. Visit the Epiphany Cathedral.Transfer to Yaroslavl for overnight.
Day 4 Yaroslavl is a large, quiet old town, and much more metropolitan than the rest of the cities on the Golden Ring. The town was founded in 1010. Visit the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, founded in the 12th century, and was one of Russia's richest and most fortified monasteries by the 1500's. Transfer to Rostov Velikiy for overnight.
Day 5 Rostov Veliky (Rostov the Great) was first mentioned in 862. It is a sleepy old town with some magnificent buildings next to a lake. The focal point of the town is Kremlin. Its churches are good examples of Russian 17th century architecture. The 4-domed belfry (1620) of Assumption cathedral is 32 m long and 17 m high. It has four arched openings and its 15 bells, audible 15 km away, and it plays four tunes. Many famous composers such as Stasov, Mussorgski and Berlioz came to listen to the chimes. Visit Rostov Kremlin, one of the oldest Kremlins in Russia and the Finift Museum with its famous ancient Russia enamel painting. Transfer to Pereslavl Zaleskiy, visit the Red Square, center of Pereslavl Zaleskiy and the Transfiguration Cathedral. Return to Moscow.