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 accommodation. Afternoon city tour includes the Sukhbaatar Square, Zaisan Hill War Memorial and the Bogd Khaan Palace Museum. Evening folk show and dinner. Overnight Ulaan Baatar. Massive ‘Soviet Inspired’ architecture is very evident, but this can contrast with a cow wandering the street.|
||Ulaan Baatar. Drive north to the Amarbayasgalant Monastery, located 350km from the capital. One of the most beautiful monasteries in Mongolia, built 1727 – 1736. Spend two days exploring the area, including visits to local nomad families. Two nights in ger camp.|
||Continued exploration of this remarkable area.|
||Amarbayasgalant. Drive to Ulaan Bataar and hotel for overnight|
||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. On train until 12 June|
||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 in Listvyanka at Lake Baikal for two nights. En route you will be given a guided tour of the Baikal Ecology Museum. The Museum of Lake Baikal (Limnological Museum) provides information about the origin, and wild life, of the lake. A video film gives you the opportunity to see the deepest point of the lake (1.637 m) taken from a submarine. 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 where you will be taken on a three hour guided tour of the main city attractions.
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. Day at leisure. Late afternoon transfer to station for 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. Transfer to hotel for overnight.|
||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.|
||Ekaterinburg. Transfer to station for train to Vladimir.|
||Arrive Vladimir. Drive to Suzdal and hotel. Half day sightseeing including the Kremlin, Monastery of St Euthymius, and Torgovaya Plashchad. Overnight Suzdal.|
||Depart Suzdal to Moscow KATERINA PARK hotel or similar . Balance of day free to relax and wander around your local environs.|
||Breakfast at hotel. 10.00am meet with your English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and take a metro to the city centre to start your walking sightseeing tour. Time for a lunch break and then proceed to the famous trendy street, Stary Arbat street - walking tour. 17.00 return to your hotel by metro. Optional activity at night - Moscow by night guided tour.|
|| Breakfast at hotel. 10.00am meet with your English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and take a metro to the city centre to start your tour of the internal grounds of the Kremlin. Your visit will include the Tsar Cannon and Bell, as well as the unique cathedrals within the precinct.
The tour will be continued to Red Square (right next door) with such famous sights as Lenins Mausoleum and St Basils Church. 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 Manezh square and the Alexander Gardens. 15.00pm On the return journey to the hotel more stops will be made at the stunning Moscow underground/metro stations. Many of these are decorated with marble, sculptures and paintings.
||Breakfast at hotel. At 11.00am you will be transferred from the hotel to the railway station for the new high speed SAPSAN train to St. Petersburg. Departing 13.30pm (economy class tickets included). 17.15pm sees you arriving at St. Petersburg - the so called "Northern Venice". You are met and transferred to your hotel PARK INN PULKOVSKAYA by RADISSON 4* (or similar). Check in and overnight.|
Breakfast at hotel. 10.00am Meet with your English speaking guide in the hotel lobby and transfer to the city centre for your city sightseeing tour, including an excursion to Hermitage Palace and gallery. Afternoon tour to the Peter and Paul fortress 17.00pm Transfer back to your hotel.
||Breakfast at hotel. This day is free for optional activities.|
||Breakfast at hotel. 10.00am Today your private guide and driver will take you outside St Petersburg on a full day tour to Pushkin – Ekaterina Palace (Catherines Palace). This tour include the Amber room and parks. 15.00pm Transfer back to your hotel.|
||Breakfast at hotel. The tour ends today and you will be transferred to either the airport or railway station. You can extend your stay.|
|Per person Twin Share||Single Surcharge||Upgrade Train Cabin from 4 berth to 2 berth|
|Note: There are no single cabins on the trains.
This cost is for stopover accommodation.
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:||• Set Date Independent||• Weekly Independent|
As detailed in itinerary. Beijing 4 star. Ulan Bataar 3 star. Mongolian tourist ger camp. Lake Baikal village - Homestay chalet. Irkutsk 3 star hotel. Ekaterinburg 3 star 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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