The Golden Ring, Russia

Tour: The Golden Ring, Russia, Request

Cities: Sergiev Posad, Pereslavl Zalessky, Rostov Veliky (Rostov the Great), Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Plyos, Ivanovo, Suzdal, Palekh, Vladimir, Bogolyubovo, Yuriev Polsky

Duration: 6 Days

Tour Summary:

Day 1: Sergiev Posad – Pereslavl Zalessky

Meeting in the hotel. Transfer to Sergiev Posad. Walking Tour. Lunch. Transfer to Pereslavl Zalessky. Walking tour. Transfer to NeroLake. Pic-nic near the lake. Transfer to Rostov Velikii. Overnight in Rostov Velikii.

Sergiev Posad
The first settlement arose in this place in the 14th century. The town of Sergiev Posad was named in honor of St. Sergius of Radonezh who was born in the neighboring town of Radonezh and who was the founder of the Trinity Monastery that is now known as the Trinity-Sergius Lavra of the town is the place of the greatest attraction for tourists. The Trinity Cathedral of this ensemble has a unique iconostasis of Andrey Rublev. The ancient Russian architectural ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra reflects all the steps of the Russian architecture development. Sergiev Posad is a spiritual center of Russian orthodoxy. The Assumption Cathedral of this ensemble is a sepulcher of the Russian Patriarchs. Craft and production shops operate in the town where one can buy famous Matryoshkas (Russian nested dolls).

Pereslavl Zalessky
Pereslavl-Zalessky is one of the ancient cities of central Russia. The town was founded in 1152 by prince Yury Dolgoruky. It is located halfway between Moscow and Yaroslavl, about 130 km North-East of Moscow on the bank of Pleshcheevo Lake. Here, in 1693, young Peter the Great constructed a "funny fleet" which became a prototype of the first Russian fleet on the Baltic sea.

Day 2: Rostov Veliky (Rostov the Great) – Uglich

Breakfast. City Tour of Rostov Veliky. Lunch. Transfer to Uglich. City Tour of Uglish. Dinner. Transfer to Yaroslavl. Overnight in Yaroslavl.

Rostov Veliky (Rostov the Great)
Rostov Veliky is one of the oldest Russian cities. According to the chronicles Rostov Veliky was founded in the 9th century. In the mid 15th century it became a religious center of Moscow’s principality. The city is famous for its well-preserved ensemble of the Kremlin built in 17th century that was built as the residence of the Rostov Metropolitanate. While visiting the town you have a chance to enjoy the bell ringing of the unique bells of the Assumption Cathedral belfry. This town is also famous for its enamelwork that won lots of prizes on the international exhibitions.

Town’s landmarks: Dmitry on the Blood Church, Transfiguration Cathedral. Uglich is an old town in the region of Yaroslavl and belongs to the Russian Golden Ring. It’s famous for its watchmakers. It is also well known for its splendid cheeses and other dairy products. Town’s population numbers at 39,000. The town has a museum of art and history. The name of Uglich is a derivative of “ugol” (“a corner”). The Volga makes a sharp bend at this place, forming a corner, or “ugol”, hence the name. Founded as early as 937, it was first mentioned in chronicles only in 1148. A local legend says that the town existed in the days of Holy Princess Olga. The town served as the capital of the Uglich principality from 1218 till 1238 when it was ruined by the Mongols who killed most of its population. However by the 15th century the town prospered and even had its own money. After Ivan the Terrible’s death, his son Prince (Tsarevich) Dimitry, the last in the Rurik dynasty, was sent to Uglich with his mother and was killed here at the age of eight in 1591 under uncertain circumstances. The church of Dmitry is one of the landmarks of the town. A team of restorers has been working on the town’s historical center since 1952. According to the planning for Uglich’s development and construction, recently approved by the local authorities, its historical center is under permanent conservation.

Day 3: Yaroslavl

Breakfast. City Tour of Yaroslavl. Lunch. Transfer to port. Cruise to Kostroma (6 hours). Transfer to Hotel. Dinner. Overnight in Kostroma.

In 1010, Yaroslav, son of the Kiev Prince Vladimir (later Yaroslav the Wise) founded a fortress at the place where the Kotorosl River enters Volga. He named the fortress after himself. The story goes that a settlement of pagans was located in this place called Medvezhy Ugol (Bears Corner). Its inhabitants were engaged in hunting and fishing. Prince Yaroslav killed their sacred animal a Bear and subjugated the pagans. The legend about this event found its representing in symbol of the city «On a silver shield a bear is represented standing and holding a gold pole-axe in the left paw». Yaroslavl is a town of trades and crafts, of numerous churches striking your imagination with its original beauty.

Day 4: Kostroma – Plyos

Breakfast. City Tour of Kostroma. Lunch. Transfer to port. Cruise to Plyos (3 hours). City Tour of Plyos. Dinner. Transfer to Ivanovo. Overnight in Ivanovo.

Kostroma is as old as Moscow. Located on the left bank of the River Volga, its surrounded by magnificent monuments of old architecture. Its picturesque suburbs have long been a source of inspiration for many Russian artists Two most significant monuments are the Ipatiev Monastery and Trinity Cathedral. The Monastery was founded in the last half of the XIII century to protect the town from the direction of the Upper Volga. In 1958, a unique open-air museum of wooden architecture was set up within the walls of the Ipatiev Monastery. Churches, old houses, barns, water- and windmills, and small bathhouses were brought from various villages of the Kostroma Region. Among the exhibits are the Church of the Synaxis of the Virgin (1552) from the village of Kholm and the Church of the Transfiguration (1713).

Officialy history of this city starts at 1410 when Moscovy prince Vasilii 1 ordered to build a customs-military outpost on Volga river to protect his territories from Tartar khan. Volga river goes straight here and offers great overview of the region.

Day 5: Ivanovo – Suzdal – Palekh

Breakfast. City Tour of Ivanovo. Lunch. Transfer to Palekh. City Tour of Palekh. Transfer to Suzdal. City Tour of Suzdal. Dinner. Transfer to Vladimir. Overnight in Vladimir.

Ivanovo is a city and the administrative center of Ivanovo Oblast, Russia. Population: 406,465 (2008). Ivanovo has traditionally been called the textile capital of Russia. Since most textile workers are women, it has also been known as the "City of Brides". Probably the most famous of the city's female natives was the postmodern French writer Nathalie Sarraute. Ivanovo was created by merging the old flax-processing village Ivanovo (first documented in 1561) with the industrial Voznesensky Posad in 1871. Until 1932, its official name was Ivanovo-Voznesensk.

Suzdal, first mentioned in chronicles in 1024, is one of the oldest and the best-preserved Russian towns. The town has lots of splendid architectural monuments of different epochs which preserved its original character and appearance: the Suzdal Kremlin with the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, the Bishop's Palace (the former residence of the local clerical sovereigns built on the border of the 17th and 18th centuries), Spaso-Yevfimievsky Monastery, the Convent of the Intercession and many others, «The Golden Apple» that is the honorary prize of the International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers was awarded to Suzdal in 1983 for preservation of its architectural ensemble and for active development of tourism.

Palekh is a village in the Ivanovo Oblast, defined as an urban-type settlement i.e. one whose economy does not depend upon agriculture. Population is about 6,000 people. Palekh has a very long history of Russian iconography, the art of painting Russian Orthodox icons for individuals homes and churches. The village emerged as a leading centre of the Russian icon- and mural-painting in the 19th century. A good example of the Palekh school are the murals and icons from the local Church of the Exaltation of the Cross (built in 1762–1774). Today, Palekh is known primarily for its miniatures. Following the October Revolution with its outspoken Atheist ideology, about 1923 the Palekh masters of iconography began to paint papier-mache boxes applying the same principles they have learned from painting icons.

Day 6: Vladimir – Bogolyubovo – Yuriev Polsky

Breakfast. City Tour of Vladimir. Lunch. Transfer to Yurlev Posky via Bogolyubovo. City Tour of Yuriev Polsky. Transfer to Pleshcheevo lake. Picnic at the lake. Transfer to Moscow.

The ancient great town Vladimir is situated 45 km to the south from Suzdal. It was founded by Prince Vladimir Monomakh in 1108. In 1157 Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky moved the capital of Vladimir-Suzdal Principality to Vladimir. The capital was moved there, because the sacred icon of Our Lady, which once had been brought from Constantinople, was also moved to Vladimir. The icon got the name of «Our Lady of Vladimir». In the year of 1299 the town also became the residence of the Russian Metropolitan. By the middle of the 14th century Vladimir had lost its political importance and Moscow had become the main political centre of the Russian state. The ancient monuments dated by the 12th century remain in town and its suburbs. The great Cathedral of Dormition stands in the town centre. It was built in 1158-1160 by the order of Andrei Bogolyubsky. The Church of St. Demetrius stands close to the Cathedral. The Golden Gates (1158-1164) are located close to the town centre. There is also a white-stoned Arc of Triumph with half-encompassed ceiling and the Church over the Gates.

The seat of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky was located in a small town Bogolyubovo, which is located close to Vladimir. The remains of Prince Palace, dated by the 12th century are still there. There is a church not so far from Bogolyubovo, which is considered a real masterpiece of the ancient Russian architecture. This is the Church of Intercession on Nerly built in 1165 by the order of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky. Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky was one of those, who admired the cult of Our Lady and introduced it actively in Russia. He was the first one, who introduced the Holiday of Intercession of Our Lady (October 14) and in the honour of this holiday the Church was built.

Yuriev Polsky
Yuryev-Polsky is an old town and the administrative center of Yuryev-Polsky District of Vladimir Oblast, located in the upper reaches of the Koloksha River, 68 km northwest of Vladimir. Population is about 19,000. Yuryev-Polsky was founded by Yuri Dolgoruky in 1152. First part of its name derives from Yuri's patron saint, St. George. The second part is derived from the word polsky meaning "in the fields". This specification was needed in order to distinguish the town from the earlier established fortress of Yuryev (nowadays Tartu), at the time located in the woods in what is now Estonia and then the biggest Russian settlement in the territory of the Chuds.

Price includes:

  1. All transfers by car or ship where applicable;
  2. Accommodation based on double room sharing, breakfasts included;
  3. Sightseeing tour program in each city with local guides;
  4. Main Entrance tickets to the sights, museums, mausoleums;
  5. Visa support;
  6. Full board.

Price does not include:

  1. Charges in hotels for additional services;
  2. Consular fees;
  3. Personal insurance;
  4. Picture taking fees charged by museums and sights;
  5. Entrance fees to additional rooms, sections and areas of museums, sights and mausoleums.