By train across Siberia
Russia, Mongolia and China by rail | 17 days
The Trans-Siberian is one of the world’s great train journeys, an epic 8,045km ride crossing three countries and 11 time zones. From Moscow you traverse the vast forest tundra to Irkutsk, the capital of Siberia and setting-off point for Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. Re-join the train bound for Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, where you can break your journey or continue the last 31 hours to Beijing. Alternatively you can continue eastwards, ending at Vladivostok on Russia’s eastern seaboard, close to the border with China and North Korea.
Sightseeing will be arranged in each city and length of stay according to preference. The train can be taken in either direction.
Day 1:Fly to Moscow
Day 2:Moscow sightseeing – highlights include Kremlin Territory and Cathedrals, Armoury Museum, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, St Basil’s Cathedral
Day 3:Further sightseeing in Moscow and take overnight train to Irkutsk across the Siberian plain
Days 4-6:On train
Day 7:Arrive Irkutsk and tour Siberia's capital city
Day 8:Day visit to the Limnological Research centre at Listvianka, return to Irkutsk
Day 9: Join the Trans Mongolia Train to Ulaanbaatar
Day 10:Arrive at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city
Days 11&12:Explore Ulaanbaatar's Bogd Khan Winter Palace and Gandan Monastery and take a day visit to Terelj National Park to visit local nomadic families.
Day 13:Train to Beijing, China's fascinating capital
Day 14:Arrive at Beijing
Days 15&16:Explore Beijing - visit Tiananmen Square, the 15th century Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, a former Imperial garden. and the huge imposing Great Wall of China
Day 17:Fly to London
guide price £3,150 per person
Fiona’s travel tips
DON’T MISS: Our exceptional English-speaking Russian guides — they are so good we have to give them a special mention!
READ: Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Stalin: The Court of the Red Tzar — for a fascinating insight into the deadly but informal power games played out behind the closed doors of Black Sea villas and Kremlin apartments.
INTERESTING FACTS: St. Basil’s Cathedral has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg began life in 1764 with the purchase of a collection of Western European paintings by Empress Catherine II.
BEST TIME TO GO: Spring and Autumn are generally mild and dry but I particularly like winter when the golden domes sparkle against a backdrop of blue skies and majestic buildings are blanketed in snow.
JOURNEY TIME: 3½ hours (direct)
My Russian contacts are unsurpassed – why not have the Hermitage open just for you?
Clients’ comments“A first class effort to get the booking arranged in the time frame. We really liked the mixture of self-booking and Far Frontiers Travel-organised trip. Having a private guide in St. Petersburg was essential for a detailed insight, avoiding the queues and getting to outlying places — it was much better than being in a group.”
Mr and Mrs Keith Vanner, Russia and the Baltic States