Moscow and St Petersburg
Cultural tour of Russia’s art treasures and palaces | 7 days
Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg’s unparalleled collection of historical art and architecture includes the Peter and Paul Fortress, burial place of the Tsars; the Hermitage, formerly the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great (fabled for its more than two million exhibits) and Catherine Palace, the gilded Rastrelli masterpiece at Tsarskoye Selo. It’s only three and a half hours flying time from London and combines well with Moscow by comfortable overnight sleeper-train. Moscow, with its austere yellow-walled Kremlin, the colourful onion-domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the murderous legends of Ivan the Terrible, offers a fascinating contrast.
Day 1: Fly to Moscow
Day 2: Visit Kremlin Territory and Cathedrals, Armoury Museum, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, and St Basil’s Cathedral
Day 3:Day trip to Sergiev Posad, pilgrimage destination and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church, overnight sleeper train to St Petersburg
Day 4:City tour, Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral, and Russian Museum
Day 5: Peterhof, Lomonosov
Day 6:Hermitage, Yussipov Palace
Day 7:See the gilded Rastrelli masterpiece of Catherine Palace, fly to London
guide price £2,095 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.
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