Golden Ring History and Art Tour from Moscow10 Days | Moscow, Ivanovo, Plyos, Volgorechensk, Palekh, Shuya, Suzdal, Vladimir

Golden Ring History and Art Tour from Moscow

In addition to the main historical and religious monuments of Moscow and the Golden Ring cities of Ivanovo, Suzdal, and Vladimir, this tour visits several smaller towns and showcases unique art and craft traditions. Explore museums about Ivanovo chintz making and Palekh lacquer miniature painting, and choose from a wide range of optional activities such as pottery and painting master classes on 10-day Golden Ring tour.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Moscow – Arrival
 
Arrive in Moscow, meet your driver, and transfer to the hotel (check in is possible from 14:00). Free time. Overnight at the hotel.

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Armoury in the Kremlin (except Thursdays);
Night city tour, ‘Evening lights of Moscow’;
River cruise on the motor ship ‘Flotilla Radisson Royal’;
Tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre, concerts, the circus, or other performances.

Day 2: Moscow
 
After breakfast, take a guided tour of Russia’s capital city, Moscow. Like Rome, this is a city on seven hills. Your tour of the metropolis starts at Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in the south-west of the city. Elevated 78m above the river, these hills are Moscow’s main panoramic viewpoint and offer excellent views of most of the city’s attractions: the Kremlin, Stalin’s famous “Seven Sisters” skyscrapers (such as the main building of Moscow State University), the modern Moscow City skyscrapers, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences, Russia’s “White House”, Shukhov Tower, Luzhniki Stadium, and the Ostankino TV Tower. After visiting Vorobyovy Gory, descend to the Memorial Complex on Poklonnaya Gora (Victory Park) to see the Church of St. George the Victorious, the Triumphal Arch, and Kutuzovsky Prospekt. Then, visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world. The original cathedral was destroyed in the 1930s by order of Stalin and only rebuilt in the 1990s. The cathedral has a 69m-high dome, on the inside of which are beautiful images from the New Testament. Continue the tour at the famed Red Square, walking past St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, the famous GUM, the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden. The day ends at the impressive Kremlin and its cathedrals (closed on Thursdays and replaced with an alternative sight). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 8-9 hours
Day 3: Moscow – Ivanovo
 
Breakfast followed by free time. Check out of the hotel by 12:00 and transfer to the station to take the train to Ivanovo (4 hours). Upon arrival in Ivanovo, meet your driver and transfer to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4: Ivanovo
 
After breakfast, meet your guide for a sightseeing tour of the city of Ivanovo, one of the principal Golden Ring cities. Visit the Sviato-Vvedensky Monastery, at the heart of which is the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This church hosts the relics of 168 Orthodox martyrs and a highly revered shrine, the cassock of John of Kronstadt. Continue to the Museum of Ivanovo Chintz to learn how Ivanovo’s famous textile industry developed between ancient and modern times, see unique fabric samples and hand-made costumes, and view an exhibition of the work of the famous modern fashion designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours

During your free time, for an additional fee, we offer visits to:
Nikolay Dementiev’s Garden;
Burilin Ivanovo Museum of Local History;
Museum of the Soviet Car Industry.

Day 5: Ivanovo – Plyos – Volgorechensk – Ivanovo
 
After breakfast, transfer to Plyos (70 km, 1 hour), a small town that has retained its unique heritage. During the Plyos sightseeing tour, climb up the famous Cathedral Hill, visit the Assumption Cathedral, see the onion domes of the ancient churches, and admire the beautiful views of the Volga River. Then visit the Memorial House-Museum of Isaac Levitan, where you’ll have the opportunity to see many of the famous landscape artist’s original works (23 paintings and about 200 sketches). After the tour of Plyos, transfer to Volgorechensk (30 km) and visit a fish farm that breeds some of the most expensive fish in the world, Russian sturgeon and sterlet. Learn about the technology used on the farm and taste the prized fish. Return to Ivanovo (61 km). Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 7 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Krasnaya Presnya jewellery factory;
River boat cruise (May to September);
Caviar tasting at the fish farm.

Day 6: Ivanovo – Shuya – Palekh – Ivanovo
 
After breakfast, meet your guide and transfer to Shuya (33 km, 45 min). Take a walking tour of this historical city, which is famous for many things including its merchant families, holy icons, accordions, calico textiles, embroidery, and lacquer art. Stroll along the main pedestrian street, Shuisky Arbat, to see the stone mansions. On the main square, see the 17th-century Resurrection Cathedral, which boasts the surviving miraculous icon of the Shuya-Smolensk Mother of God with the infant Christ in her arms. Climb the five-tiered, 106-metre-high “candle” bell tower (weather permitting) to enjoy a stunning view of the city. Afterwards, visit the Pavlov Mansion to learn about the lifestyle of a rich merchant in old times. Then transfer to Palekh (34 km), an old village famous as a centre of lacquer miniature painting. Visit the Museum of Palekh Art and the house-museum of Ivan Golikov, founder of the lacquer miniatures art form. Return to Ivanovo (71 km, 1 h 15 min). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 7: Ivanovo – Suzdal
 
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Golden Ring city of Suzdal (79 km, 1 h 15 min). Visit the Museum of Wooden Architecture, a large open-air complex with examples of 18th-19th century wooden buildings. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 8: Suzdal
 
After breakfast, take a guided tour of Suzdal, a UNESCO World Heritage city that boasts unique examples of ancient stone architecture. See the Suzdal Kremlin with the Nativity Cathedral (1222), the famous Bishops’ Chambers, and the wooden St. Nicholas Church. Other highlights of the tour include Orthodox architectural monuments such as the Spaso-Yevfimiev Monastery (where you may get to hear the famous bells ring), the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, and several churches. End the day at the Pokrovsky Monastery. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing: 3-4 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Carriage ride around Suzdal;
Mead tasting;
Master class on painting matryoshka (traditional Russian nested dolls);
Visit to the “Suzdal Ceramics” workshop with a pottery master class;
Visit to a Russian banya;
Visit to a bee farm to taste honey.

Day 9: Suzdal – Vladimir – Suzdal
 
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Golden Ring city of Vladimir (38 km). This city boasts several monuments that are part of the “White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal” UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your sightseeing tour encompasses Cathedral Square, the heart of the city; the Golden Gate, the famous triumphal arch that became the historical symbol of the city and the entire Golden Ring; and the Assumption and Dmitrievsky Cathedrals, beautiful examples of 12th century Russian white stone carved architecture. You’ll also visit two museums: the Museum of Crystal, Miniature Lacquer Painting, and Embroidery and the “Old Vladimir” Museum, with its displays on the city’s history and impressive views from its observation deck. Return to Suzdal. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to a working blacksmith’s forge with master class;
Visit to the Spoon Museum;
Master classes on making patchwork or amulet dolls.

Day 10: Vladimir – Moscow – departure
 
Breakfast followed by hotel check-out. Transfer to the station to take the train from Vladimir to Moscow (2 h 30 min). Upon arrival, meet your driver and transfer to Moscow International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.
  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan type car, 3-7 pax by minivan, 8-13 pax by 30 seat bus, 14+ pax by 40-50 seat bus);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour programme in each city with local, English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Tickets for trains from Moscow – Ivanovo and Vladimir – Moscow;
  • Visa support for Russian tourist visa;
  • In groups of 11 or more travellers, 1 person travels free of charge and is accommodated in a single room.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Consular fees for Russia tourist visa;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips/gratuities for guides and drivers (although these would be appreciated).

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Moscow - 2 nights
Veliy Hotel Mokhovaya Moscow, Sverchkov 8 Hotel, Starosadskiy Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel Moscow - BaumanskayaGodunov Hotel, Arbat House Hotel, Pushkin Hotel, Brick Design Hotel
Ivanovo - 4 nights
Ivanovo Hotel, hotel Soyuz, AMAKS Tourist hotelSpa-hotel Best Western, Russian Manchester, Sheddok Hotel
Suzdal - 3 nights
Sokol Hotel, Eco-Hotel Suzdal Inn, Kremlin HotelPushkarskaya Sloboda Hotel, Art-Hotel Nikolaevsky Posad

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