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Russia Highlights - New Year Itinerary
Days 1-2 Moscow
Learn why the city of Moscow is one of the greatest capitals in the world - a place where old-world orthodoxy meets audacious free enterprise. Explore the Kremlin and witness its huge collection of imperial treasures, including exquisite Faberge eggs and ceremonial regalia. Walk among the cathedrals and museums within the Kremlin walls and get a glimpse of Lenin in his eternal resting state. While here, be sure to visit Moscow's metro stations - these lavishly decorated 'Palaces of the People' are unlike any others in the world.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2
Day 3 Kostroma
As well as being a very attractive town in its own right, Kostroma is revered as the official birthplace of Snegurochka – companion of and assistant to the Russian Santa Claus. Tonight's accommodation is in a guesthouse themed around her legend. Located on the Volga River, the town features some classic examples of traditional architecture, the beautiful St Ipaty Monastery and an impressive array of museums.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1
Days 4-5 Suzdal
Farewell Kostroma and travel to ancient Suzdal. Marvel at this glittering former capital, which forms part of Russia’s legendary Golden Ring. Wander past decorative wooden cottages and peek inside the crumbling churches that line the narrow streets and alleys of this magical spot. In the evening, help your homestay hosts put together a traditional Russian feast and see out the New Year with a celebratory vodka. With some free time before the overnight train to Veliky Ustyug on day 5, why not visit the Kremlin, explore the local market or stave off the cold with some tea and mead in a cafe.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 6-8 Veliky Ustyug
Arrive in the small provincial town of Veliky Ustyug, the official hometown of Ded Moroz (Russia’s Santa Claus). Enjoy a tour of the town with a local guide, taking in its sights from the back of a troika (horse drawn sleigh). Be on your best behavior for a tour of the Ded Moroz residence, and perhaps do some gift buying yourself from the local handicrafts workshop.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1
Days 9-11 St Petersburg
Complete the final leg of the journey to St Petersburg. Get to know the ins and outs of this magnificent city on a guided walking tour that will includes some of its lesser-known attractions as well as the mainstays. Drop into a local family’s home for a traditional tea party and perhaps attend an Orthodox Russian church service – it is Christmas Eve after all. In the free hours before this trip concludes, why not visit the Hermitage Museum and see incredible art collection or, for a final dose of mystery and intrigue, see the ghoulish oddities on display in the Kunstkamera.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2
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