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Ipatiev Monastery, Kostroma, Russia

Russia – The Golden Ring



7 Days

Prices Start from

£3,530pp (ex. flights)

The Golden Ring is a route which winds its way through ancient cities lying north-west of Moscow and by virtue of its ancient monuments, Kremlins and the wealth of folk art, golden. A journey between each city alongside rivers and through green countryside, providing a glimpse of the simple, rural life of Russia.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Cathedral of Assumption, Yaroslavl, Golden Ring, Russia 1

Aged Russian Towns

Explore the old Russian towns of Sudzal, Yaroslavla and Kostroma, collectively known as the Golden Ring of Russia.

Russian Dolls, Russia 2

Fascinating Traditions

Learn about cultures and artistic traditions that have survived through the ages.

St Petersburg, Angleterre Hotel, Borsalino Restaurant 3

Boutique Hotels

We prefer small private hotels that are beginning to open, away from the main river thoroughfare.

Church of Elijah, Suzdal, Golden Ring, Russia 4

Steppes Travel's Roots

Russia is where we began. As a result, we have a real passion for this vast country and can’t wait to offer new off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Why we like it

The traditional way to visit this region has been by one of the many boats which run between Moscow and St Petersburg (which we can arrange). Inevitably you gain only a snapshot of the area. As new small private hotels begin to open, it makes a private tour of this beautiful and historical area all the more appealing.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Russia on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Days 1-3


  • Day 4

    Moscow - Yaroslavl

  • Day 5

    Yaroslavl - Kostroma - Suzdal

  • Day 6

    Suzdal - Vladimir - Moscow

  • Day 7


Days 1-3


Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow, Russia

Marvel at Russian art in rugged Moscow and European art in classical St Petersburg.

Day 4

Moscow - Yaroslavl

Cathedral of Assumption, Yaroslavl, Golden Ring, Russia

Visit Rostov Velikiy and Yaroslavl, a quiet old town developed as the Volga’s first port in the 16th century.

Day 5

Yaroslavl - Kostroma - Suzdal

The Church of St. Nicholas on the territory of the Suzdal Kremlin

Suzdal, one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, full of churches, wooden houses and the Kremlin.

Day 6

Suzdal - Vladimir - Moscow

Day 7


Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

St Basils Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia
Moscow Kremlin and river in morning, Russia
Moscow, Russia
Christ the Savior Church, Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia


The ancient city of Moscow is the focal point of modern Russia and everything that it has come to represent. It is a city where history unfolds around every corner, whether in the shape of the magnificent golden-domed cathedrals and churches, or the historic and instantly-recognisable Kremlin. With a rich history and an insatiable hunger to embrace global modernity, Moscow is a compelling city.

Enjoy a guided visit to the Red Square, the famous GUM department store, now full of designer shops rather than Russian goods but with stunning architecture, and St Basil’s Cathedral. Also, a must-see is The Tretyakov Gallery, restored in 1996, and housing the cream of Russian art including the famous Virgin of Vladimir.

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Goritsky Monastery, Golden Ring, Russia
Goritsky Monastery, Golden Ring, Russia
Cathedral of Assumption, Yaroslavl, Golden Ring, Russia
Yaroslavl, Russia
Church of Elijah, Suzdal, Golden Ring, Russia
Church of Elijah, Suzdal, Russia
Suzdal, The Golden Ring, Russia
Suzdal, Russia

The Golden Ring

Spend three days exploring the Golden Ring. Stay in private hotels that are relatively new on the scene, allowing avoidance of the larger groups near the river, and gives you real access to traditional Russia. Visit Rostov Velikiy and Yaroslavl, a quiet old town developed as the Volga’s first port in the 16th century. The highlight is the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, founded in the 12th century and one of Russia’s richest monasteries. Also on the Volga is Kostroma the “cradle of the Romanov dynasty” and home to the Ipatyevsky Monastery. A must do is to spend a night in Suzdal, one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, full of churches, wooden houses and the Kremlin.

Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
Catherine Palace in Pushkin is a rococo palace, St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
Interior of Peter and Paul cathedral in Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia

St Petersburg by Train

Why not catch the high-speed train to St Petersburg for a few days extension to your trip. Once the capital of Russia and extolled by many great Russian poets and artists, today the city is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. Cosmopolitan and cultured, St Petersburg boasts an architectural identity and bohemian ambience unique to the city.

Enjoy the art collection at The Hermitage and the beautiful cathedrals of the city, not forgetting some of the finest palaces in the world located a short distance away.

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Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Four Seasons Moscow £££££

  • Russia
  • City

The Four Seasons Hotel Moscow was newly built in the place of the legendary Hotel Moskva, which originally opened its doors in 1935. The front has retained its historic façade but the interior ticks all the boxes one would expect from the celebrated Four Season brand.

View Property

Golden Eagle Train £££££

  • Russia

The Golden Eagle Train embarks on the world’s longest train journey from Moscow. This rail adventure is a must-do for any train aficionados. The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian chugs past Lake Baikal before reaching Vladivostok via Ulaanbatar (Mongolia). Alternatively, board the Trans-Mongolian journey arriving into Ulaanbaatar in time to celebrate the Naadam Festival. The Golden Eagle plays host to many interesting Guest Speakers who travel on board delivering a series of informed lectures.

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Volga Dream River Cruise £££££

  • Russia

One of the smallest ships cruising the Volga River, the Volga Dream was rebuilt in 2007 and converted from a 200 to a 100 berth ship. As a result, the cabins on board are spacious and comfortable. The 56 cabins are spread over 4 decks and include standard cabins through to deluxe staterooms all of which have either a window or a porthole to the outside as well as all modern comforts. The 60 crew members are attentive and friendly and with fewer passengers on board this also means that the on shore excursions are based on small groups with a maximum of 25 people.

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Hotel Savoy, Moscow £££££

  • Russia
  • City

The Savoy is one of the oldest luxury hotels in Moscow. This Victorian-style hotel was built in 1913 and restored to its original appearance in 1989. Today, it blends the grandeur and elegance of the past with all the modern amenities of this vibrant capital. The hotel is in the city centre just a few minutes from Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.

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Belmond Grand Hotel Europe £££££

  • Russia
  • City

The Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is arguably one of the most luxurious hotels in St. Petersburg. All rooms are exquisitely furnished and the hotel’s restaurants, from the authentic ‘Chopsticks’ to the lively ‘Sadko’s’, offer some of the best cuisines in the city. All the cities major attractions are only a short walk away. Positioned adjacent to the Arts Square, the hotel has strong associations with the worlds of theatre, music and ballet.

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Hotel Astoria £££££

  • Russia
  • City

Part of the Rocco Forte portfolio, the Hotel Astoria is a glorious five-star hotel. The hotel is an icon of stylish design and St Petersburg elegance. Located in the heart of the city overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral, the main shopping street, Nevsky Prospekt is just a five-minute walk away. Facilities include a top-class spa and gym. Guests of the hotel can also use the facilities of the adjacent Angleterre hotel, which includes an indoor swimming pool. The signature restaurant, Davidoff is one of the finest places to dine in the city serving traditional Russian haute cuisine.

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Sue let me know that Steppes had been arranging voyages to the Russian Arctic since the 1980’s, and their experience was evident. What a trip!

Destination: Russian Arctic
Travel Expert: Sue

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,530 Per person

When to travel

Russia in January

Russia experiences particularly cold winters, with minus temperatures not uncommon for many regions. The continuing cold winters will see many cities including St Petersburg and Moscow transformed into a winter wonderland as the snow settles on these cities.

Russia in February

Due to the predictability of Russia’s extreme winters, public transport systems are well prepared for snowy conditions meaning travelling through winter is not uncommon, particularly as temperatures slowly start to warm up in February.

Russia in March

Spring begins in Russia in March however not as you would typically expect, with snow still on the ground. We recommendation travelling during the winter months or from May, as you will be greeted with melting, dirtier snow in March and the beginning of April.

Russia in April

Throughout April, Russia will experience relatively cold temperatures and cloudy days, however, temperatures can range from -25°C in some regions and reach 25.C in others due to the sheer size of the country.

Russia in May

A perfect time to avoid the crowns prior to Russia’s peak season whilst still experiencing a pleasant climate.

Russia in June

Depending on your exact location, June can be the perfect time to travel to Russia, with temperatures starting to rise throughout the country ad summer begins.

Russia in July

As summer begins in Russia, many locals travel to the countryside and so cities will be much quieter with long, sunny days and very little humidity.

Russia in August

During the peak of summer, cities such as Moscow can experience high temperatures of up to 37°C with other regions generally still warm but with more comfortable conditions.

Russia in September

As summer draws to a close, temperatures will drop and due to this milder climate, sightseeing can become more comfortable yet not be as cold as visiting during winter.

Russia in October

Autumn and spring are typically short in Russia as the country experiences the two extremes – summer and winter. October can be an unpredictable month to travel to the country in terms of climate.

Russia in November

Prior to the beginning of winter, days can be unpredictable with temperatures averaging as low as 2°C, with November experiencing more rainfall depending on your exact destination.

Russia in December

Throughout Russia, December brings harsh winter conditions but can also be the ideal time to see Russia’s spectacular, iconic winter wonderlands.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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