9 days 8 nights
Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first domestic tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not including Crimea, the country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO’s tentative lists.
Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers including the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Diverse regions and ethnic cultures of Russia offer many different foods and souvenirs, and show a great variety of traditions, including Russian Maslenitsa, Tatar Sabantuy, or Siberian shamanist rituals. In 2013, Russia was visited by 33 million tourists, making it the ninth-most visited country in the world and the seventh-most visited in Europe.[
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17 million square kilometres, and encompassing more than one-eighth of Earth's inhabited land area.
Assemble the Delhi airport late evening/night to board your flight to Moscow.
Overnight on transit.
Reach Moscow very early in the morning and transfer to the railway station to board the Sapsan bullet train to St Petersburg. The train covers the 700 km journey in less than 4 hours with a lovely on board experience. Upon reaching St Petersburg, transfer to the hotel (standard check in time is 1400 hrs.- Early check in will be subject to availability & at extra supplement). Later in the evening, you can explore the Nevsky Prospect which is the city's central shopping street and the hub of the city's entertainment and nightlife.
Overnight at St Petersburg. (D)
The day is reserved for an extensive tour of St Petersburg. To many, St Petersburg is the most beautiful and romantic city in Russia. It resembles Paris, Amsterdam and Vienna, but adds a typical Russian flavor. After today you will be able to judge yourself, as we will tour around the whole city and see many of its highlights: Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral, Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood and Kazan Cathedral, to name a few. Probably you will visit more churches than on an average day. But they are all worth your time- for sure. In the afternoon, visit the Hermitage museum (entry fee is self-paid). From the 1760s onwards the Winter Palace was the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Magnificently located on the bank of the Neva River, this Baroque-style palace is perhaps St. Petersburg's most impressive attraction. Many visitors also know it as the main building of the Hermitage Museum. The green-and-white three-storey palace is a marvel of Baroque architecture and boasts 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms, many of which are open to the public.
Overnight at St Petersburg. (B, D)
Today we will start our lifetime journey in search for the illusive Aurora Borealis. A fascinating adventure in pursuit of an exceptional natural phenomenon! The best time for hunting is from mid-September till April, a pleasant forecast: cloudless sky increases the chances of high level of viewing activity. We will stay at Murmansk for 3 nights and will go for northern lights hunting on any one of the night depending on the forecast. Transfer to the Saint Petersburg airport according to your flight timing to take your flight to Murmansk. Reach Murmansk later in the day/afternoon and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure as we may have a chance to go for Northern Lights hunting later at night. The search for the Lights is carried out far away from the city lights in total darkness. The driving to the observation spot takes approximately an hour or two. Once we reach the best destination we have to wait for the Aurora to appear. Sometimes the colorful Northern lights appear in the blink of an eye and vanishes after a few moments later, sometimes we have to wait even several hours, but it is worth it – it may last hours as well. And on the rare occasion of bad luck you may see low glittering or no lights at all – it’s just a matter of chance – hence it is called hunting.
Overnight at Murmansk. (B, D)
After breakfast, we visit the Sami Village settlement to learn about the life of the Sami people. For a long time, the Saami, a local ethnic group belonging to the Ural race — intermediate between Caucasoid and Mongoloid, lived in this territory. The Saami in Russian Lapland live a way of life which almost has not changed over the last century. The primary occupation of the Saami is reindeer farming, but they are also very skilled fishermen and hunters and they know the Russian tundra intimately. Saami possess a rich, unique folklore and many still wear the distinctive and colourful traditional Lappish clothing. The traditional belief of the Sami was the worship to various spirits of nature. Take part in traditional games, meet reindeer and go quad biking in summer and banana snowmobile in winter (weather permitting). Visit the alley of sacred idols and make a wish (for this, prepare 6 yellow coins). You’ll also get a taste of the local Sami cuisine when you’ll be served traditional soup and tea for lunch.
Overnight at Murmansk. (B, L)
Today, we will visit the village of Teriberka – the place in Russia from where you can admire and greet the Arctic Ocean. A drive of around 130 km will take you deeper into the Kola Peninsula to feel the real Arctic through the snowy landscape of Tundra. After the release of the Oscar-nominated film, Leviathan by Alexei Zvyagintsev, the forgotten northern settlement of Teriberka has become a mecca for tourists. The ocean around Teriberka never freezes due to the effects of the Gulf Stream, which provides a great contrast for photos with the deep blue sea and snowy hills. Later in the evening, return to Murmansk for your last night stay at Murmansk.
Overnight at Murmansk. (B, D)
Depending on your flight timing, transfer to the Murmansk airport to board flight for Moscow. Reach Moscow as per your flight timing and transfer to your hotel (early check in will be subject to availability and upon extra supplement). The day is free for you to select any from our host of optional tours on offer. You can choose for a day trip to Sergiev Posad which is a 6 hours tour at the outskirt of Moscow. You can even opt to spend the afternoon by visiting VDNKH Russian Exhibition Center and the space museum. You will also have the option to visit the Russian Countryside and meet the locals and spend the day with them while having lunch and enjoy life as the Russian people do the summer. Or you can simply opt for a much leisurely Vodka museum tour along with some afternoon Vodka tasting session. Another exciting experience is to try your hand at shooting real life bullets using AK47 Rifle at the Russian Army Training Society. You will get training, and then will shoot 10 bullets. Bring a target back home as a souvenir! Whichever tour you choose from, we can assure you that you’ll have an experience of a lifetime (All the activities/tours on this day is optional and self-paid and is not included in the tour cost). Rest of the evening is free at leisure. We can take a metro ride to visit the walking street of Nikolskaya Ulitsa which is the central shopping district of Moscow. Many stores and restaurants are located here. Get entertained by a lot of street performers playing music or performing their traits. The street is most beautiful at nights when the hanging decorated lights are on.
Overnight at Moscow. (B, D)
After breakfast proceed for a day tour of Moscow. Touring the city by car is an opportunity to see some of the most interesting places in Moscow. Over the course of three hours, we will visit the Lover's Bridge, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Victory Park, and have a stop near the magnificent Novodevichy convent. The highlight of the tour is Moscow State University, a stunning example of Stalinist architecture, and Sparrow Hills, the highest point in the city for a panoramic view of Moscow. In the afternoon, we will visit the Moscow Kremlin - the former residence of Russian tsars and Soviet rulers is still used today. You will have a chance to visit the three unique cathedrals built in the 15th and 16th centuries as well as the Patriarch Palace famous for its great collection of 17th-century clothing, tableware, jewelry, and other wonders of the past. You'll see the famous Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell and take a look at the President's helicopter pad (Entry fee to Kremlin is self-paid). Later in the evening, we can visit the Old Arabat Street one of Moscow’s oldest walking street where you can enjoy the beautiful artworks, handmade items and also meet people who represent a variety of cultures of the ex USSR republics.
Overnight at Moscow. (B,D)
The day is free for you to select any from our host of optional tours on offer. You can simply plan to just relax at the hotel in case you partied till late the previous night. Later at night, transfer to the airport to board a return flight to Delhi for the next day. (B)