On Day 1, we depart vibrant Moscow. It only takes a little less than two hours to travel back in time by express train. Bypassing Moscow’s famous traffic jams, we arrive in Vladimir town, where time stands still. What distinguishes our Golden Ring tours from so many others is our no-rush approach and our careful selection of highlights; you’ll get so much more from each of the locations you visit with Discovery Russia. UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Suzdal, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, traditional wooden architecture and Romanov dynastic heritage in Kostroma, the Mother Volga River, the iconic landscapes of Plyos, as depicted by many acclaimed Russian painters now exhibited in the State Tretyakov Gallery •, the old Kremlin of Rostov, manorial estates of famous poets and noble Russian families and art and crafts master classes, great local museums, Local food and drinks, including Suzdal’s famous “medovukha” - there is so much to explore during your Golden Ring tours of Russia! Discover the best of tours to Russia with Russian destination experts.
Amazing stone carvings on the twelfth century snow-white cathedrals (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Andrei Rublev’s stunning frescoes are what we love most about this town, which was the capital of North-East Russia a few hundred years ago.
Visit a private family blacksmith to learn about this ancient local master craft and forge your first Russian souvenir. Have lunch in an authentic local restaurant, serving only traditional Russian food. Life goes at a slower pace here, as may the local service too; but your patience will be repaid with delicious flavours on your plate, and local specialities.
After lunch, we’ll drive to the peaceful village of Bogolyubovo to visit arguably the most stunning Orthodox church in the world, the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River. Legend has it that this church became so beautiful thanks to the Russian tradition of ‘letting things be’. The church had been scheduled to be demolished, but the project failed halfway through due to lack of financing. Only the aisles were removed, and, as a result, the main building now looks airy and uncluttered. The location is remote and untouched by civilization and the scenery is so typically Russian that it looks as if time literally has stood still.
Then, we transfer to Suzdal, a comfortable forty-five-minute drive away. After your busy day of sightseeing, you’ll be free to spend the evening enjoying the scenery and relaxing. Have dinner in an authentic restaurant with local specialities; including the famous “medovukha”, a local beverage brewed from honey, similar to mead.
“My family and I visited Moscow and St. Petersburg this last August through Discovery Russia. I communicated (daily it seemed) with travel manager who helped me get the necessary paperwork and travel arrangements together for our trip. There were lots of details to work out, and DR was professional and thorough as we made our plans. We used Discovery Russia for independent car, driver and guide in Moscow and Golden Ring towns. What a great call, it was an additional expense but well worth it. Our guides were excellent, spoke perfect English and very knowledgeable. Tanya, in the Golden Ring, was extremely competent. Oxana, in Moscow, was efficient, knowledgeable (especially in art), and made excellent use of her contacts to short circuit waiting lines and squeeze as much as possible into busy days (eg., adding a visit to Lenin’s mausoleum, which was not on our itinerary). During our time, we walked around Red Square and experienced the long lines for ice cream at the GUM. We went to the underground mall to look for clothes, as my suitcase was delayed in arriving. Eat at MY MY, a reasonably priced self service cafeteria. We walked back to the hotel via Arbat Street. The Marriott Courtyard was lovely. If you start your tour on Sunday, make sure to go down the street a bit and attend an Orthodox Church in the morning, even for a few minutes. It is a cultural experience not to miss”
Sydney, travelled to Moscow/Golden Ring in September 2016
“Thank you, Discovery Russia, you're N1! Our trip to the Golden Ring Russia was intense yet flawless. The Guides were excellent, so knowledgeable and passionate about their home country.
Their inspiration and professionalism shines through! We learnt so much about Russia, its history, culture and people. And the entire trip was great fun and perfectly organized. We ate every day in a new cool restaurant and tried interesting Russian food - delicious! We visited so many great museums and did some truly world class sightseeing. Russia is a great country to visit and when you decide to experience it for yourself do it with Discovery Russia. I would Strongly recommend them to anyone wishing to travel to Russia and get the most out of their trip.”