Tailor-Made Holiday

Russia - The Golden Ring

Explore the old russian towns of suzdal, yaroslavl and kostroma

7 days

from £2,215pp (excluding flights)

Amid plains, lakes and marshes are scattered these old Russian towns. Known collectively as the Golden Ring of Russia, forming a rough circle which extends from Moscow towards the north-east.

  • Explore the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour in Yaroslavl, founded in the 12th century and one of Russia's most fortified monasteries
  • Visit Kostroma, known as the "cradle of the Romanov dynasty"
  • Spend time exploring Suzdal with its wooden houses, the Kremlin - with former homes, churches and the beautiful Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, with its blue and gold domes and sumptuous frescoes
  • Learn old artistic traditions in particular the painting of beautiful lacquer boxes for which Russia is so famous

The Golden Ring is the name given to a route which winds its way through a number of ancient cities lying north-west of Moscow and by virtue of its ancient monuments, Kremlins and the wealth of folk art, golden. Many of the buildings date from the 12th century and the journey between each city is alongside rivers and through green countryside, providing a glimpse of the simple rural life of Russia.

Although 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 one only sees a snapshot of the area is in conjunction with a large group of fellow passengers. As new small private hotels begin to open, it makes a private tour of this beautiful and historical area all the more appealing.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2215 £ 415
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Moscow

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.

You will be staying at Golden Apple Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

City Tour
Visits will include Red Square, the Kremlin territory with cathedrals and Armoury museum, the famous GUM department store, now full of designer shops rather than Russian goods but with stunning architecture and St Basil's Cathedral. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the banks of the Moskva River is also a must see with its gold domes and painted ceilings.

You will be staying at Golden Apple Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Tretyakov Gallery
Visit the Tretyakov Gallery, restored in 1996, which houses the cream of Russian art and is famous for having what is considered to be one of the finest collections of Russian icons including the famous Virgin of Vladimir. Also next door is the New Tretyakov Gallery with a wonderful collection of Russian modern art.

Spend some time at leisure to explore independently

You will be staying at Golden Apple Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Travel from Moscow to Yaroslavl via Rostov

Travel to Yaroslavl via Rostov Velikiy. Rostov is one of the oldest and most beautiful towns of Russia and was first chronicled in about 862. (It was called Rostov the Great in 12th-17th centuries). In the 13th century the town was one of the main centres of the new Russian state formed in the north west part of ancient Russia and by the end of the 18th century Rostov had become one of the biggest and the richest towns of Russia. Visit the Finifti Museum and Kremlin.

Yaroslavl is a large, quiet town, more metropolitan than the other cities on the Golden Ring. Legend has it that Yaroslavl the Wise, a Kievian prince, was interested in a trading post here; the locals responded by setting a bear on him, which Yaroslavl killed and then founded a town on the spot, the symbol of the bear was then included on his coat of arms. The Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour was founded in the 12th century, and was one of Russia's richest and most fortified monasteries.

You will be staying at Ring Premier Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Explore the Golden Ring - Yaroslavl
250km north-east of Moscow, Yaroslavl is a quiet old town that was founded in 1010. Legend has it that Yaroslavl the Wise, a Kievian prince, was interested in a establishing a trading post here but the locals responded by setting a bear on him. Yaroslavl killed the bear, founded a town on the spot and incorporated a bear into his coat of arms. In the 16th and 17th centuries the town developed as Volga’s first port and became Russia’s second biggest. Walk along the river embankments from the Church of Elijah the Prophet back to the Monastery of the Saviour. The highlight is the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, founded in the 12th century and one of Russia’s richest and best fortified monasteries.

Travel from Yaroslavl to Kostroma

Explore the Golden Ring - Kostroma
Sightseeing tour in Kostroma will include a city tour, visiting Ipatyevsky Monastery, Epiphany Monastery, Trinity Cathedral, and the Museum of Wooden Architecture. The real gem of the town is the Ipatyevsky Monastery, founded in the 14th century by the Zernov Boyars, ancestors of the Godunovs. This large structure is enclosed by a white brick kremlin and topped by tent shaped domes. In 1613, Mikhail Romonov left the monastery to be crowned in the Moscow Kremlin.

Kostroma is situated on the left bank of the river Volga and is known by some as the "cradle of the Romanov dynasty". In 1613 an All Russia Council met in Moscow to elect a new Tsar and headed to Ipatiyevsky Monastery in Kostroma, where the young Mikhail Romanov had come from his family estate to hide. After talks with his mother, who was against the idea of her son ruling the country, Mikhail finally consented to take the crown and thus became the first Tsar of the Romanov dynasty.

Travel from Kostroma to Suzdal

A journey of approximately 3.5hrs.

Suzdal is one of the most beautiful cities of the Golden Ring, possessing more than 50 examples of churches and secular architecture dating from the mid-12th to the mid-18th century, whose main features are the numerous domes of medieval churches and wooden houses of local people.

A highlight is the Kremlin, which contains several houses, some churches and the beautiful Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, with its blue, gold domes and sumptuous frescoes. The Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius - Suzdal's biggest monastery was founded in 1352 and by order of Catherine II a prison was built inside holding prisoners who had committed crimes against the church. More recently the German Field marshal von Paulus was held here for some time after his capture in Stalingrad in 1943. The prison is a museum now.

You will be staying at Nikolaevsky Posad, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Explore the Golden Ring - Suzdal
Suzdal is a beautiful Russian town, about 35km North of Vladimir, and famous for its lovely old monasteries, churches and museum of wooden architecture.
First mentioned in 1024, Suzdal was made capital of the Rostov - Suzdal principality by Yuri Dolgoruky in the first half of the 12th century. Later, under Muscovite rule, Suzdal became a wealthy monastic centre with big building projects funded by Tsars Vasily III and Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, wealthy merchants paid for 30 beautiful little churches, which still adorn the town.
The highlight of a visit here is the Kremlin which contains several streets of houses, some churches, the main Cathedral group on Kremlovskaya street and the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, with its blue/gold domes and sumptuous frescoes.
Other highlights of the town are the Monastery of the Deposition and the Saviour Moanastery of St Euthymius - Suzdal’s biggest Monastery, founded to protect the towns Northern entry in the 14th Century.
Just outside the city is the Museum of Wooden Architeture and Peasant life - a wooden ’model village’, which illustrates peasant life in this reigion with ancient churches - notably the 1756 Transfiguration Church, the simpler 1776 Ressurection Church from Patakino and the wooden church of St Nicholas, which represents one of the oldest types of old Russian architecture, and is built from logs on a square frame with a long sloping roof.

Assumption Cathedral
The Assumption Cathedral is a white stone version of Kiev’s Byzantine style churchs. The Cathedral was built in 1158, after Andrey Bogolyubov announced Vladimir’s succession to Kiev as the Russian capital. It was then extended greatly on all five sides after a terrible fire in 1180s. It also was adorned with four outer domes at this time.

Vladimir was founded by Vladimir Monomakh, Grand prince of Kiev, in 1108 as a fort in the Rostov-Suzdal principality. The city witnessed its heyday in the 12th century during the reign of Prince Andrey Bogolubsky, who strengthened its defences and welcomed architects, icon-painters and jewellers. The most significant building constructed during his reign is the Assumption cathedral whose oldest murals date from 1161. In 1408 new frescoes were painted by the greatest of old Russian painters -Andrei Rubliov.

Travel from Vladimir to Moscow

A journey time of around 4.5 hours

You will be staying at Golden Apple Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Fly Moscow to London

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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