Road Trip Through Russia’s Heartland

Discover the abundant art, visionary architecture, and inspired culture of Russia’s historic Golden Ring, an elliptical string of medieval towns that once formed the political and economic core of the powerful Kievan Rus. From Moscow, the country’s political and business capital, circle a series of enchanting towns and villages in the countryside, each celebrated for their ancient kremlins, historic wooden churches, fascinating frescoes, and time-honored handicrafts.

8 Day Trip

  • Private Journey
    Minimum of 2 Travelers
  • Travels to:
    Russia, Western Russia
  • Flexible Essential:
    Moscow & around the Golden Ring

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Trace the path of the Romanovs and Ivan the Terrible
    Walk in the footsteps of the Romanovs and Ivan the Terrible as you trace Russian history in the towns and villages of the Golden Ring....
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  • Watch a matrioshka doll take shape
    Tour a Sergiev Posad workshop where nesting matrioshka dolls are painted by hand....
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  • Experience Russian hospitality in a private village home
    Venture inside a private Russian home for a traditional home-cooked meal of Russian specialties....
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  • Admire the lovely Church of the Intercession on the Nerl
    Admire the lovely 12th century Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, considered one of the most perfectly proportioned churches in Russia....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Russia travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Princeton and the Harvard Museum of Natural History have chosen MIR to guide them to Russia
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • MIR affiliate offices in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk and Ulan Ude
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Moscow, Fedoskino, Sergiev Posad, Rostov, Yaroslavl

After a free evening to rest in Moscow, begin the journey around the Golden Ring, a modern name given to the ancient towns that form an elliptical loop to the north and east of Moscow. Visit Fedoskino’s Museum of Lacquer Miniatures to admire the hand-painted snuffboxes. In Sergiev Posad, learn about the art of making the quintessential Russian nesting dolls, matrioshki, and explore the UNESCO-listed Trinity St. Sergius Lavra monastery, its history interwoven with that of Russia.

Depart for Rostov; its greatest contributions to Russian culture are its kremlin and the art of bell ringing, which spread throughout the Golden Ring. Continue to the city of Yaroslavl. In 1010, Kiev’s Grand Duke Yaroslav the Wise founded this town at the confluence of the Volga and one of its tributaries. White and green onion-domed churches, the massive Volga Bastion (built in 1660), and the 17th century former metropolitan’s palace grace the riverbank.

Highlights

  • Moscow, capital of Russia
  • The Museum of Fedoskino Lacquer Miniatures where some of the city’s choicest hand painted lacquer snuffboxes are displayed
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Days 4-5: Kostroma, Plyos

In the 17th century, Kostroma was the third-largest town in Russia after Moscow and Yaroslavl. It enjoyed imperial patronage and was visited by Catherine the Great in 1767. A tour of Kostroma includes a visit to the St. Ipaty Monastery with its 16th century Trinity Cathedral, the Romanov family chambers, and the Museum of Wooden Architecture. Take some time to visit Plyos, known as the “Pearl of the Volga,” which gained renown as an artists’ retreat.

Highlights

  • Kostroma’s St. Ipaty Monastery, associated with the Romanov family
  • Trinity Cathedral, built by Boris Godunov around 1590
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Days 6-8: Suzdal, Vladimir, Moscow

Continue to Suzdal, founded in 1024 and named by Grand Duke Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev, who came to the region to quell a peasant uprising. At the UNESCO-listed ancient heart of Suzdal is its kremlin, which served as the 12th century seat of power for northeastern Russia. Visit the Museum of History and Art (also known as the "Icon Museum") is housed in the Archbishop's Chambers, where Suzdal's spiritual leaders once lived. Explore the Savior Monastery of St. Euthymius, founded in 1352. Its protective brick
walls and towers date from the 17th century. Inside the walls 
stands the five-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the
 Savior, whose interior was frescoed by Gury Nikitin in the late
 17th century.

En route to Vladimir, stop at Bogolubovo to view the lovely little white stone Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. Continue to Vladimir, which was founded in 1108 by the last great Kievan prince, Grand Duke Vladimir Monomakh. Admire the 12th century Cathedral of the Assumption, whose gilded domes were meant to show the exalted place that Vladimir held at that time, and the little Cathedral of St. Demetrius with its sculpted white stone walls. Complete your circular tour of the Golden Ring with a return to Moscow for an independent dinner and an overnight in the capital.

Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site, “White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal”
  • Suzdal’s Savior Monastery of St. Euthymius, founded in the 14th century
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 8 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $4,495
  • Single Supplement $575

2019 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start on a Monday

Recommended months of travel:

  • January,  
  • March,  
  • March,  
  • April,  
  • May,  
  • June,  
  • July,  
  • August,  
  • September,  
  • October,  
  • November,  
  • December,  
  • FROM
  • $4,495
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in three-star hotels. Call for hotel upgrade prices.
  • Breakfast daily and 1 lunch, per the itinerary. Other lunches and dinners are left free to allow independent exploration.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Evening cultural performances per the itinerary.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Russia or to neighboring countries like the Baltics, Poland, and Ukraine. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the planned hotels are very comfortable three star properties, please keep in mind that some aspects of the tourism infrastructure in Russia are not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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