Guided Group Tours -
|Arrive Beijing. You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Beijing.|
|Beijing. Full day city sightseeing to soak up the atmosphere of Beijing. We begin at the Temple of Heaven, an architectural masterpiece, then moving on to Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square covering 100 acres. Walk through the square to the Forbidden City, an imperial palace for 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties, constructed over 14 years from 1407. We finish the day's sightseeing with a visit to the few remaining hutong neighbourhoods. Hutongs are small laneways surrounding the Forbidden City in the old section of Beijing that are hundreds of years old. They provide a fascinating insight into life in ancient Beijing and a glimpse of modern Beijing’s traditional life. Overnight Beijing|
|Beijing. Today we drive out to the Mutianyu, one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall. You can either walk up, or take the funicular. There will be plenty of time for walking along the wall to enjoy the Ming Dynasty guard towers and the breathtaking scenery! Overnight Beijing.|
||Today your great journey begins as you are transferred from your accommodation to the railway station thus beginning one of the greatest rail journeys available today. As you settle in to your allotted cabin you can view the great variety of people moving through one of the busiest railway stations. Your overnight journey takes you out of China and on to the Mongolian plains. The border crossing involves the visual, and auditory, experience of having the wheels changed to a different gauge. Note you can add one of our Beijing extension programmes before this tour. Info about the Train|
||Arrive Ulaan Baatar at approx 1310 where you are met and transferred to your ger camp accommodation at Teralji National Park outside Ulaan Bataar. Dinner at camp.|
||Spend the exploring the area with your guide, including visits to local nomad families. Overnight in the ger camp.|
||Drive to Ulaan Baatar and your hotel. Nadaam Festival activities.|
||Spend the day in Ulaan Baatar enjoying the Nadaam Festival activities.|
||Ulaan Baatar. Morning visit to the Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhism in Mongolia, followed by the eccentric Winter Palace! Rest of day at leisure. Evening transfer to the station for train to Irkutsk.|
||Day on the train – time to start that large novel, or get out the chess set.|
Arrive Irkutsk at about 0828 and transfer directly to the lake side village of Listvyanka (70km from Irkutsk) at Lake Baikal for two nights. Lake Baikal is frozen over from late January to early May. The thickness of ice near Listvyanka can be 70-80 cm. An area of the lake near the source of the Angara River is the only fresh water area in Siberia, which never freezes over. The highway from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal goes through ‘taiga-forested’ rolling hills. About an hour later you reach the viewpoint for the ‘Shaman Rock’, near the source of the Angara River..
Free day. The small village of Listvyanka is located on the shore of Lake Baikal - 70 km from Irkutsk. This old-style Siberian village is famous for its trade history. From the 18th century a ferry took merchants across the lake for further travel to Mongolia, China and the Far East. In the village there is a variety of hot and cold smoked/salted fish called ‘omul’. Several private cafes, and restaurants, offer traditional Siberian or European meals for you. You can taste pelmeny (stuffed dumplings), pirozhki (with cabbage, or meat, or berries) and sandwiches of caviar to feel the spirit of Siberia! Add a shot, or two of the local vodka, (is this the real spirit of Siberia?) some time in a ‘banya’ (sauna), and you will soon hear balalaika music in the background!.
Transfer back to Irkutsk. Departing Listvyankayour first stop is to visit the Taltsy open-air ethnographic museum which houses more than 40 examples of traditional East Siberian wooden architecture. Continue to Irkutsk for half day city tour including the Volkonsky House Museum, Znamensky Russian Orthodox Church, and Karl Marx Street.
Irkutsk, founded in 1661 when the Russian Cossack troops established a fortress on the right bank of Angara River. From the late 17th century, it was a political, economical and cultural centre for Siberia. The city's classical architecture dates from the period of the 1880s when the city boomed after gold was discovered in the area. Most of the brick mansions and grand public buildings, varying in architectural styles, were constructed in the late 19th to early 20th century. The Russian Orthodox churches and a Polish Cathedral (the only Siberian Gothic-style building) are located in the city centre. You will see many small, one and two-storied wooden houses, or cabins that are decorated with "wooden lattice work" (handmade carving), as well as modern buildings from the 20th century. Our trips visit either the Irkutsk Museum of Regional Studies, or the Decembrists' House. The tour of central Irkutsk is a walking tour. Sights and museums visited could vary due to a variation in local conditions. Overnight Irkutsk. More information on Irkutsk including temperature guide.
||Irkutsk. Early morning transfer to the station for your train to Ekaterinburg.|
||On board the famous Trans Siberian Express! Remember to get off at the short stops and wander around the station. All manner of local vendors will try to extract some Rubles for their goods.|
||Arrive Ekaterinburg. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel for early check in (3 nights/breakfast daily). Afternoon orientation tour of the city.|
||Ekaterinburg. Full day city tour including a visit to the monastery that marks the site of the Romanov family’s execution in 1918 and Ganina Yama - a beautiful monastic complex built on the site where their bodies were discarded and later found. The tour also takes you to the Europe/Asia border where you can stand with a foot in each continent! Overnight Ekaterinburg.|
||Excursion with private guide to Nevyansk in the Urals and beautiful old villages nearby. After visiting famous local tourist attractions: Old Demidov's leaning tower, Nevyansk icon craft shop, enjoy a good lunch in a local restaurant and then a nice walk around the nearby villages & forest. Return to Ekaterinburg for overnight.|
||Transfer to the station for your Train to Moscow.|
||Arrive Moscow. You are met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon city orientation tour.|
||Moscow. Full day sightseeing including Red Square with such famous sights as Lenin’s Mausoleum and St Basils Cathedral. You will be taken to the GUM department store (don't miss the possibility to have a coffee here enjoying the wonderful Kremlin view), then to the Alexander Gardens. Lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to Christ the Saviour Cathedral and Bridge. Dinner at the hotel plus traditional Russian show. Optional City by Night Tour.|
Full day sightseeing including the Moscow Metro where stops will be made at the stunning underground stations. Many of these are decorated with marble, sculptures and paintings. Then to Manezh Square, followed by lunch. Afternoon visit to the Kremlin. Your visit will include the Tsar Cannon and Bell, as well as the unique cathedrals within the precinct. Continue on to the Eliseev Food Hall. Dinner at the hotel.
||Full day sightseeing outside of Moscow to Sergiev Posad. The town was founded in the 14th century by St Sergey Radonezhsky who was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is now a centre of pilgrimage. Here you will visit what used to be the central monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church: Trinity-Serviev Lavra. Marvel at its unique blend of architectural styles from several epochs and its remarkable frescoes by Andrey Rublev, Russia's most famous icon master. Lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to the Sergiev Posad Flea Market. Return to Moscow and the hotel for dinner and overnight. Optional visit to the Moscow Circus.|
Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to St Petersburg. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Afternoon sightseeing including city orientation and St Isaacs Cathedral. Climb the colonnade stairway to the roof for a magnificent view over the city! Dinner at the hotel.
||Full day sightseeing commencing with the Catherine Palace at Pushkin. See the ornately gilded, mirrored Grand Hall, and the famous Amber Room. Lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to the Peter & Paul Fortress. Dinner at the hotel. Optional St Petersburg By Night Tour.|
||Half day sightseeing including the Hermitage Palace & Gallery, followed by St Andrews Church. Lunch in a local restaurant. Dinner at the hotel. Optional Cruise by Canals Tour.|
||Breakfast at hotel. Optional tour to Peterhof, Peter the 1st’s Great palace and gardens. 170 fountains (including trick ones), and the Grand Cascade, one of the largest in the world, running down to the Gulf of Finland. Tour ends. Transfer to the airport/station for onward travel, or continue with extension nights in St Petersburg.|
|Per person Twin Share||Single Surcharge||Train Cabin|
|AU$7100||Au$POA||2 Berth cabin upgrade POA|
|Where 2 berth is not available at time of booking a surcharge to secure all 4 beds in a 4 berth will apply.|
Prices were correct at the time of publishing, but can change. We will then adjust this web site. If you have booked and deposited your trip there will be no surcharge. Upgrade train cabin means changing from a share 4 berth cabin to a share 2 berth cabin.
There are no single cabins. There are no 2 berth cabins on the rail section between Ulaan Bataar and Irkutsk (both directions). The surcharge includes the cost of the vacant berths to ensure only two occupy the cabin. Train departure days were correct at time of publishing the above itinerary. Naturally these can change and therefore we have to adjust the overall programme.
|Other Options:||• Weekly Independent||• Private Train|
Prices were correct at the time of publishing, but can change. If you have booked and deposited your trip there will be no surcharge.
There are no single cabins. There are no 2 berth cabins on the rail section between Ulaan Bataar and Irkutsk (both directions). The cost of the vacant berths to ensure only two occupy the cabin is included in the main price. Train departure days were correct at time of publishing the above itinerary. Naturally these can change and therefore we may have to adjust the overall programme
As detailed in itinerary. Beijing 4 star. Ulan Bataar 3 star. Mongolian tourist ger camps. Lake Baikal village - Homestay chalet. Irkutsk 4 star hotel. Ekaterinburg 3 star boutique hotel. Suzdal 3 star hotel. Moscow and St Petersburg 4 star hotel.
You may want to add some touring in China, or Beijing prior to your train departure. the following links will show you how.
|Classics of China|
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