12 days

Splendours of Russia & Ukraine

Splendours of Russia & Ukraine

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Red Square and the multi-coloured onion domes of St Basil’s Cathedral

The Hermitage and canals of the 'Venice of the North’ - UNESCO World Heritage-listed St Petersburg

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Kyiv rooftops

St Sofia Cathedral in Kyiv

Trip rating
  • This is the perfect tour linking Russia's glorious past and present capitals with Ukraine - former stronghold of the Kievan Rus. Surround yourself with culture, history and breathtaking architecture and get beneath the surface of countries that for so long guarded their treasures from the west. Experience the rural hospitality of the Cossacks as they welcome us to their home.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - St Petersburg

    • You will be collected from the airport on arrival. Your adventure will begin with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm. Please ask at reception for details of the meeting, keep in mind that you will need to have your insurance details with you at this meeting.
    • Your tour leader will arrange dinner at a traditional Russian restaurant after the meeting.
    • If you arrive early, we recommend that you get out and explore beautiful St Petersburg. The city has an abundance of baroque European architecture, interspersed with the incredible opulence of the Russian palace. It is truly a testament to its builder, the Russian tsar, Peter the Great.
    • St Isaac’s Cathedral is a must-do, as is a climb to the colonnade, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city.
    • You can also wander down the bustling Nevsky Prospekt, the main thoroughfare of the city, where you can sample some treats from one of the many bakeries and pancake shops. Those with a penchant for music and literature might enjoy a visit to the cemetery where Russia’s great Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky were laid to rest.
    Domina Prestige Hotel or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 - St Petersburg

    • Your day will begin with a walking tour with a local guide.
    • Having a local show you around offers a much more intimate and real perspective of the city. The tour doesn’t have a fixed itinerary, but will be instead created by the members of the group and the guide as you go.
    • You will uncover everything from the most beautiful rivers, bridges, canals, and charming laneways, to the grandeur of the enduring palaces and quays and busy marketplaces.
    • Your guide will enlighten you with stories about the monarchs, artists, nobles and legends of the city from the time of Peter the Great, right through to Lenin and post-Soviet times.
    • During the summer, you will take a boat ride tour of the canals by night, which offers a beautiful perspective of the illuminated buildings on the banks. In the height of summer, the sun barely sets, so you will still have light as you cruise. During the cooler months, if the weather permits, the cruise will happen during the day.
    Domina Prestige Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - St Petersburg

    • Today you will have a full day free to explore the beautiful sights of St Petersburg on your own. There are a number of optional activities available, and your tour leader will be able to help you with some suggestions.
    • The Peter and Paul Fortress, the colourful Saviour; the Spilt Blood Church and Mariinsky Theatre are among the many places worth exploring.
    Domina Prestige Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - St Petersburg - Petrodvorets - Pushkin

    • You will enjoy a highlight of St Petersburg this morning before departing, the Hermitage Museum. One of the world’s most acclaimed art collections is housed here, within the walls of the former imperial Winter Palace.
    • From the museum, you will walk down to the dock on the Neva River to board a hydrofoil across the Gulf of Finland to Petrodvorets.
    • Petrodvorets is where Peter the Great’s summer residence is located - a magnificent structure, replete with opulent gardens and fountains. You will be taken on a guided tour here, where you can explore the beautiful gardens, once the pleasure grounds of Peter the Great, where he entertained guests from across the Russian Empire.
    • From here you will be transferred by minibus to the nearby imperial suburb, and home to the magnificent Catherine Palace, Pushkin (approximately 30 minutes).
    Natalie Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Pushkin - Moscow

    • You will visit the Ekaterinskiy (Catherine) Palace and Park this morning. The highlight of the palace is seeing the beautifully restored Amber Room. Keep in mind that the palace can be incredibly busy during summer months. You might also enjoy a visit to the Alexander Gardens and Lyceum, where the poet Pushkin once studied. You will return to St Petersburg this afternoon (approximately one hour) for your high speed train to Moscow (approximately four hours). Upon arrival in Moscow you will be met and transferred to your hotel, before visiting the famed Red Square by night.
    Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Moscow

    • Moscow has seen years of revolution, political turbulence, and economic growth. From the reign of the tsars, through the years of Soviet leadership, and on to the slow and evolving democracy, Moscow has been the epicentre of change and the scars and wealth of its past are ever present, despite its distinct modernity.
    • You will visit the Kremlin grounds, where you can see the oldest and most significant churches in Russia. A number of tsars and tsarinas were laid to rest here.
    • You will also have the opportunity to enter the famed Kremlin Armoury Museum, home to a rich imperial collection of regalia – items that were once the property of the world’s wealthiest monarchy. The collection includes Faberge eggs and ambassadorial gifts. There is a strict schedule kept for visiting groups in these popular attractions, and guides are limited to 90 minutes. The consequence to the tour guide for running over the allotted time is quite severe (a loss of license to practise), so we ask for your understanding here.
    • You may also have the chance to visit the Diamond Fund.
    • The afternoon will be left free so you can explore Moscow in your own time.
    Marco Polo Presnja Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Sergiev Posad

    • You will have a free morning to spend as you please.
    • A visit to the Izmailovsky Market and walking the famed pedestrian Arbat Street is an excellent way to spend your free time.
    • You will be transferred to the Golden Ring town of Sergiev Posad next, which takes approximately 90 minutes.
    • Sergiev Posad houses one of the most significant active monasteries in the country. A destination frequented by pilgrims, worshippers and travellers alike, the intricate and magestic architecture is something to behold. A local guide will take you on a tour of the monastery.
    • From Sergiev Posad you will travel to Dimino Village, where you will have the chance to enjoy one of Russia's most luxurious traditions, a banya (Russian sauna). You will relax with a steam, soak and traditional birch branch massage. All of the appropriate items required for the sauna (ie bathrobes, slippers and toiletries) will be provided.
    • You will then sit down to a feast of local delicacies including soup, classic potato and meat dishes, pancakes, tea and more authentic drinks like mors (a berry drink) and kvas (a beverage made from fermented black bread). The perfect finish to a fascinating day of travel.
    Imperial Village Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Abramtsevo - Overnight Train

    • Today brings with it the opportunity to explore more of the city’s historic sights.
    • In the morning you will drive to the Trinity Monastery and explore it with a local guide. You will see the Cathedral of the Assumption, the work of medieval painter Andrey Rublyov, and the Vestry. The Vestry is a testament to the rich and powerful contacts of the Orthodox Church, it is literally bursting with donations.
    • You will then drive back to Moscow (approximately two hours) stopping at Abramtsevo on the way. Abramtsevo was once a famed informal colony for writers and artists, located on the sprawling banks of the Voraya River. This place is known to have played a significant part in Russia’s rich artistic and literary history, the writers Gogol and Turgenev and artists Repin and Vrubel all spent time and created some of their most famous work here.
    • You will take an overnight train to Ukraine tonight, travelling in a comfortable first class sleeper cabin, with only two people per compartment. (Approximately ten hours).
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9 - Petrushivka

    • You will arrive in Ukraine in the early hours of the morning. Your early arrival will allow you to visit the unique village of Petrushivka, where you can be immersed in the lifestyle of Cossaks in the Falcon Farmstead Guesthouse.
    • This is a highlight of the region, offering you the opportunity to truly understand the local culture and heritage of Ukraine. The family run guesthouse is one of the most acclaimed eco-tourism retreats in Ukraine.
    • The owner of the guesthouse, Mikola Cherep has Cossak origins and a keen interest in Ukrainian history, culture and politics. Mikola spent many years collecting traditional items from surrounding Ukrainian villages, which he has displayed in a valuable ethnographic museum that you will have the opportunity to visit during your stay. Please note during the stay at the Guesthouse in Petrushivka passengers will need to share bathrooms/showers.
    • As night falls, Mikolo along with his friends and family will put on a show for you, entertaining with their incredible horseback riding acrobatic skills.
    • A visit to the park and palace in Tarnovskys Kachanivka and Gustynskogo Monastery is a highlight of your time here.
    • You will also have the chance to enjoy some relaxed time swimming, boating, fishing and steaming in a banyo while you are here, as well as learning the tricks of cooking local delicacies.
    Sokolniy Khutir Farmstead
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10 - Kyiv

    • You will continue on to Kyiv today (approximately two hours).
    • Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and also the largest city in the country and the cultural capital. Located on the banks of the Dnipro River, Kyiv is a beautiful city defined by its beautiful parks, gardens and landscapes.
    • Once a powerful state in its own right, and the centre of popular trading routes from the Mediterranean and Baltic regions, Kyiv has since suffered under the reign of a number of occupying forces and invasions. It has recently re-established its independence and is one of the lesser known gems for adventurous travellers.
    • You will explore the city with a guided tour on arrival. Starting with the UNESCO World Heritage Listed hallowed St Sofia Cathedral, home to some of the most beautifully preserved and oldest frescos in the former Soviet Union. You will be able to climb to the top of the bell tower to enjoy some beautiful views of the city.
    • You will also stop at the Motherland Monument today, a 62-metre-tall statue that was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was built 30 years ago. It is part of the Museum of the Patriotic War.
    Vozdvyzhensky Boutique Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 11 - Kyiv

    • Today will be free, giving you the chance to explore Kyiv at your leisure.
    • Some possible outings for the day are a walk to the famed Museum of One Street, or a slightly more sombre visit to the Chernobyl Museum, where you will learn more about the chilling reality of this tragic event.
    • In the evening we highly recommend visiting one of Ukraine’s grand theatres to enjoy a performance of ballet, opera or classical music.
    • You will celebrate the last night of your tour with a dinner at a traditional Ukrainian restaurant.
    Vozdvyzhensky Boutique Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 12 - Kyiv

    • The tour will come to an end after breakfast. An airport transfer is not included, however your tour guide will be hand to help should you require assistance.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • An experienced, English-speaking Peregrine leader and specialist local guides at some sites
    • Authentic Accommodation: 9 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night village guesthouse, 1 night sleeper train
    • Meals: 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
    • Arrival transfer
    • Visit a Cossack family in their guesthouse and enjoy local hospitality
    • Overnight train from Moscow to Ukraine comfortable 1st class two-berth compartment
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Hermitage Museum, Kremlin and Armoury Museums, Sergiev Posad Monastery
    • Guided city walking tours in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kyiv
    • Travel by boat through St Petersburg's canals and by hydrofoil to Peterhof Palace
    • Explore the quaint former writers and artists colony of Abramtsevo
    • Russian visa support

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip
    • Daily budget

    Safety Information

    Most visits to Russia are trouble-free, but petty crime does happen in cities. Be alert to the possibility of mugging, pick pocketing and theft from vehicles or hotel rooms. Be wary of groups of women and children who beg. In St Petersburg there have been reports of street crime where tourists have been specifically targeted. These crimes are carried out by well-organised gangs. Be aware of pickpockets in the main tourist areas and around the main railway concourses. A common scam is to drop a wallet or bundle of money in front of a tourist. The criminal then “finds” the money and asks if it is the tourist’s or offers to share the money with them. If you are approached in this way, you should walk away without engaging in conversation. Bogus police officers have harassed and robbed tourists. If you are stopped always insist on seeing identification. Avoid openly carrying expensive items, or anything that might easily identify you as a tourist. Avoid walking about late at night alone. If you are travelling by overnight train in a sleeping compartment, store valuables in the container under the bed or seat.  Incidents of violence in major cities are usually linked to criminal/business activities and are not usually directed against foreign visitors. Political rallies may occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia. The situation in Ukraine has led to a recent increase in the number of political rallies in major cities. Check media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations.

  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PCRU
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: St Petersburg, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
End City: Kyiv, Ukraine

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