RR20130
Spend a week discovering the highlights of Moscow & St Petersburg, with a stop in rural Pskov & Pechory too. In Moscow explore Red Square & opt to go underground into an erstwhile Soviet Bunker, turn up the heat in Pskov with a steamy Russian banya, and in St Petersburg visit impressive cathedrals & the famous Hermitage Museum.
DETAILS
Starting fromR20 130
Package ValiditySet travel dates: 29 AUG 2017 - 14 OCT 2017.  *** Tour departs on SAT only ***Book & pay by 30 MAY 2017 *** South African citizens no longer require visas for travel to Russia ***
Duration7 days
DestinationRussia
Starts inMoscow
Ends inSt. Petersburg

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- Arrival airport/hotel transfer
- 5 nights 3* hotel accommodation
- 1 overnight train from Moscow t Pskov in a 4-berth cabin including bed linen
- Breakfast daily, 2 lunches & a dinner
- A Moscow Metro travel card valid for 6 journeys
- Assistance of an English speaking Russian tour guide
- Guided sightseeing in Mosow, Pechory & St Petersburg
- Guided tour & tasting at the Vodka Museum
- Touring as per itinerary

** Excludes entrance fees of approximately USD40 - USD50 per person

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Moscow

Saturday. Welcome to Russia & the start of your holiday! You will be met at the airport in Moscow upon arrival & transferred to your hotel for check-in. Later tonight you'll be treated to dinner with the rest of your group at the hotel, followed by an informative welcome meeting. Remainder of the evening at leisure - your tour leader can recommend some local bars for you to try out.

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Red Square

First thing this morning we will hop on the Moscow Metro & make our way to legendary Red Square. As the historical, political & social heart of Moscow, this famous square is home to some of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Within the Red Square we will find the iconic domes of St Basil’s Cathedral, the imposing red brick walls of the Kremlin & the glitzy Neo-Russian facade of the GUM shopping mall.

Also in Red Square, housed within a red & black marble building, is Lenin's Mausoleum. If open, we can enter the mausoleum free of charge & pay our respects to the grandfather of Communism whose embalmed body has lain in state here since his death. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore the area. Cultured out? Moscow’s restaurants & clubs are open until very late!

During our stay in Moscow there will be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a night at the the famous Moscow Circus (Oct - May), a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour.

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The Kremlin

Moscow - Pskov. Today we journey back to Red Square via the Moscow Metro to undertake a guided tour inside the grounds of the mighty Kremlin. Highlights include the Assumption Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower & monumental Tsar Bell. The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore on your own or there is the option to join us for a tour inside a Soviet Bunker - book & pay locally.

Heading 65 meters underground, you will be able to explore what was once a Stalinist-era bunker & a top secret symbol of Soviet Power. Cleverly hidden beneath an ordinary apartment building, on a busy street the heart of Moscow, 18 floors below ground level, this mighty 75,000-square-foot facility was constructed in secret in the 1950s, to protect a select few against a US nuclear attack. Join us on an interactive tour of this bunker turned museum. Later this evening, we will head to the train station for our overnight journey to Pskov.

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Pskov & Pechory

Pskov - St Petersburg. Early this morning our train will bound in Pskov, one of the oldest towns in Russia & located just 30 kilometres away from the Estonian border. After a stop for breakfast we will continue on to the town's Kremlin, where the long history of Pskov will come alive.

Later a short drive will bring us to the beautiful 14th century Pechory Monastery, where we will explore the peaceful grounds & if monastic law permits, head underground for a tour of the burial caves of this fascinating & still-working cloister.

Leaving the monastery behind, it's time for a traditional Russian banya (sauna) where we will work up our appetites for a vodka & lunch. Later this afternoon we travel by road to St Petersburg arriving in the late evening.

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St Petersburg

This morning, we will embark on a city tour of St Petersburg. Travelling by mini bus we will drive along Nevsky Prospekt, past the museum & university district & Admiralty End, with stops to view the exterior of magnificent St Isaac's Cathedral & The Bronze Horseman. Later, we will enjoy a guided visit of the Hermitage at the Winter Palace - which houses one of the biggest & best art collections on earth.

During our time in St Petersburg there will be the chance to join one of our optional evening excursions, such as a canal cruise (May to September), a traditional Cossack's performance or a night at the Russian Ballet.

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Church on Spilled Blood

Today’s sightseeing includes the beautiful & iconic Church on Spilled Blood, Peter & Paul Fortress & the SS Peter & Paul Cathedral in Peter & Paul Fortress, which houses the tombs of the Romanov monarchs. We’ll also enjoy a tasty traditional Russian lunch before heading out of the city to the gardens of Peterhof Palace which are famed for their golden statues & fountains (in summer) or Catherine Palace at Tsarkoe Seloe (in winter) with its spectacular Amber Room. Our final stop of the day is a visit to the Vodka Museum. Here we enjoy a tour explaining the history of vodka in Russia, followed by a tasting session in the museum bar!

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St Petersburg

Friday. Our tour comes to an end today after breakfast & hotel check-out.

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