Day 1: Arrive St. Petersburg
You will be greeted on arrival into St. Petersburg and transferred to your hotel for a two night stay. After check in the rest of the day is free to explore this fascinating city.
Day 2: St. Petersburg
After breakfast you will met at the hotel and taken on a three hour walking tour around the highlights of the city, your experienced local guide can show you the local sights or if there is something in particular you are interested in they will they will take you wherever you wish to go. You will even get the chance to travel on local transport to get a taste of the real Russia. After the three hours your guide will leave you and the rest of the day is yours to explore.
Day 3: St. Petersburg to Moscow
After check-out the day is free until the evening departure to Moscow.
Why not go and explore St. Isaacs Cathedral? Dominating the St. Petersburg skyline, this cathedral is open as a museum and its obscenely lavish interior truly has to be seen to be believed! There are still services held here on major religious holidays. Most people bypass the museum and climb the 262 steps up to the kolonnada around the drum of the dome where the views across the city truly are superb.
Tonight you will take the train overnight to Moscow.
Day 4: Arrive Moscow
You will arrive early into Moscow and be met at the station before being transferred to your hotel. You will be met at the hotel by a local guide who will take you on a walking tour of the city, after visiting some of the highlights of Moscow you will be left in town to continue your sight-seeing.
Why not head over to Izmaylovsky Market to check out local art, handmade crafts, antiques and much more! You’ll find many of Moscow’s traditional woodworking crafts as well as rugs, pottery, fur hats, chess sets and plenty of other souvenirs to take home. The market is open every day but weekends are the best times to see the best selection of vendors.
Day 5: Moscow
This morning why not visit the Lenin Mausoleum early and miss the crowds. This tomb located in Red Square serves as the current resting place of Vladmir Lenin and is only open in the mornings.
This afternoon check out the Moscow Kremlin, this fortified complex in the heart of Moscow includes five palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall. The Kremlin is the official residence of the president and is the heart of political power, not only of Moscow but the whole of Russia. It’s from here that Tsars, communist dictators and modern day presidents have controlled the best, and worst of times for Russia.
Try these evening to get tickets to the opera or ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre, a truly magical evening!
Day 6: Moscow to Irkutsk
You have a free morning until 11:30am when you will board your train to Irkutsk. There is a restaurant car on board however you may wish to stock up on snacks and fresh fruit for your journey.
Day 7-9: On Board
The next two days will be spent on the train travelling to Irkutsk. Sit back, relax in your cabin and take in the astonishing Siberian scenery you will pass along the way including crossing the great rivers; River Ob at Novosibirsk and the gigantic Enisei River.
Spend some time in the dining car, the social hub of the train this is where people gather to share stories and get to know their fellow passengers. Get to know other travellers as well as the locals and bond over some Russian vodka and smoked salmon!
Day 10: Arrive Irkutsk
You will arrive early this morning into Irkutsk and be met on the platform by a driver who will then escort you to your hotel located in Listvyanka Village, 70km away travelling by road through the forest.
Once you have arrived at the hotel you can store your luggage, and have breakfast before heading out on a walking tour of the village. You will visit the Limnological Museum where you will learn about Baikal Lake, which holds 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water; it is thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25 million years old! After visiting the village’s Russian Orthodox Church dating back to the 18th Century.
This afternoon you have time to relax and enjoy the lakeside surroundings, why not try the real Siberian ‘banya’ (sauna), this is available for a small fee at the hotel.
Day 11: Listvyanka Village
Today you will get given a choice of activity – included in the cost.
- Siberian Trek (May-Oct)
- Baikal Picnic (Jun-Sep)
- Taltsy Wooden Museum
- Snow Mobile Trip (Dec-Apr)
- Dog Sledding (Dec-Mar)
After you have finished the rest of the day is yours, why not check out some of the bars and meet some of the locals.
Day 12: Irkutsk
After breakfast you will be taken back to Irkutsk where you will check into your hotel on Kirov Square for one night. This hotel is a great base for your time in Irkutsk, you will be given a map and some recommendations on places to visit while you are here. Top suggestions include Decembrist Museum, Volkonsky House and The Epiphany Cathedral.
Day 13: Depart Irkutsk
An early start today, you will be collected from the hotel and taken to train station to board the train for your onward journey to Ulaanbaatar.
At midnight tonight you will cross the border into Mongolia.
Day 14: Arrive Ulaanbaatar
Welcome to Mongolia! You will arrive into Ulaanbaatar early in the morning and be greeted at the station before being transferred to your hotel. After freshening up you will depart on your city tour. This will include visits to the Gandan Buddhist Lamasery and several other temples located there.
This afternoon you will transferred to Elstei Ger Lodge approximately 70km away. On the way you will stop at the enormous monument to Genghis Khan, an important part of Mongolian history this stainless steel statue is quite a sight, a must-see for those visiting the region! You can ride up to the top of the ten metre high monument for panoramic views across the surrounding scenery.
Day 15: Elstei Ger Lodge
Today is a free day to relax and enjoy your surroundings. There is an option to go horse-riding with local nomad horseman for a small payment made locally. Alternatively you can chill out, read or go walking.
This evening there will be a relaxed night in the bar, after supper you will enjoy live Mongolian music performances throughout the evening.
Day 16: Ulaanbaatar
At around 10am you will make your way back to Ulaanbaatar and check into your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city.
Visit the Choijin Monastery Museum, go souvenir shopping in the Central Department Store and in the evening why not try out one of the many eateries serving both traditional and modern style Mongolian cuisine or there is a selection of European style places, Irish pubs and German beer halls to explore!
Day 17: Depart Ulaanbaatar
You will be transferred to the station this morning for your departure train to Beijing. Today’s train journey meanders through the amazing scenery of the Southern Gobi Desert. After passing through Chinese visa formalities you can catch up on some well-deserved sleep!
Day 18: Arrive Beijing
Make sure you don’t oversleep this morning as you are going to experience some of the most spectacular scenery of the whole trip! You will leave the desert behind and pass mountains and paddy fields before arriving into Beijing Station this afternoon.
If you wish to travel further in China take a look at some of our tailor-made China itineraries or speak to your consultant for further ideas.