On Day 1, we depart vibrant Moscow. It only takes a little under two hours to travel back in time by express train. Bypassing Moscow’s famous traffic jams, we arrive in Vladimir town, where time stands still.
Amazing stone carvings on the twelfth century snow-white cathedrals (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Andrei Rublev’s stunning frescoes are what we love most about this town, which once was the capital of North-East Russia.
Visit a private family blacksmith to learn about this ancient local master craft and forge your first Russian souvenir. Have lunch in an authentic local restaurant, serving only traditional Russian food. Life goes at a slower pace here, as may the local service too; but your patience will be repaid with delicious flavours on your plate, and local specialties.
After lunch we’ll drive to the peaceful village of Bogolyubovo to visit arguably the most stunning Orthodox church in the world, Pokrov na Nerli. Legend has it that this church became so beautiful thanks to the Russian tradition of ‘letting things be’. The church had been scheduled to be demolished, but the project failed halfway through due to lack of financing. Only the aisles were removed, and, as a result, the main building now looks airy and uncluttered. The location is remote and untouched by civilization and the scenery is so typically Russian that it looks as if time literally has stood still.
Then, we transfer to Suzdal, a comfortable forty-five minute drive away. After your busy day of sightseeing, you’ll be free to spend the evening enjoying the scenery and relaxing. Have dinner in an authentic restaurant with local specialties; including the famous “medovukha”, a local beverage brewed from honey, similar to mead.
“Thank you, Discovery Russia, you're N1! Our trip to the Golden Ring Russia was intense yet flawless. The Guides were excellent, so knowledgeable and passionate about their home country.
Their inspiration and professionalism shines through! We learnt so much about Russia, its history, culture and people. And the entire trip was great fun and perfectly organized. We ate every day in a new cool restaurant and tried interesting Russian food - delicious! We visited so many great museums and did some truly world class sightseeing. Russia is a great country to visit and when you decide to experience it for yourself do it with Discovery Russia. I would Strongly recommend them to anyone wishing to travel to Russia and get the most out of their trip.”
“My family and I visited Moscow and St. Petersburg this last August through Discovery Russia. I communicated (daily it seemed) with travel manager who helped me get the necessary paperwork and travel arrangements together for our trip. There were lots of details to work out, and DR was professional and thorough as we made our plans. We used Discovery Russia for independent car, driver and guide in Moscow and Golden Ring towns. What a great call, it was an additional expense but well worth it. Our guides were excellent, spoke perfect English and very knowledgeable. Tanya, in the Golden Ring, was extremely competent. Oxana, in Moscow, was efficient, knowledgeable (especially in art), and made excellent use of her contacts to short circuit waiting lines and squeeze as much as possible into busy days (eg., adding a visit to Lenin’s mausoleum, which was not on our itinerary). During our time, we walked around Red Square and experienced the long lines for ice cream at the GUM. We went to the underground mall to look for clothes, as my suitcase was delayed in arriving. Eat at MY MY, a reasonably priced self service cafeteria. We walked back to the hotel via Arbat Street. The Marriott Courtyard was lovely. If you start your tour on Sunday, make sure to go down the street a bit and attend an Orthodox Church in the morning, even for a few minutes. It is a cultural experience not to miss”
Sydney, travelled to Moscow/Golden Ring in September 2016