Proposal of services
Moscow & Saint Petersburg
7 nights/8 days

Itineray in brief

Day 1
• PM: Arrive Moscow. Transfer to the hotel

Day 2
• AM: Kremlin, Cathedrals, Armoury
• Lunch: City restaurant
• PM: City tour, Red Square, Novodevichy convent and graveyard, Leo Tolstoy house.

Day 3
• AM: Drive to Melikhovo , tour of the Tchekhov’s house - museum
• Lunch: Picnic from the hotel
• PM: Pasternak Dacha (country house-museum)
Optional: Tea at the Pasternak’ Dacha

Day 4
• AM: Gorky house-museum. Tretiakov Gallery.
Optional: private choir at the Tretiakov gallery
• Lunch: City restaurant
• PM: Transfer to railway station for a fast train to StPetersburg
• EVE On arrival transfer to the hotel

Day 5
• AM: City tour, including addresses and sites (from outside) connected with Pushkin. Pushkin Apartment Museum at Moika 12. Peter and Paul Fortress.
• Lunch: City restaurant
• PM: Rivers and canals boat tour. St.Isaac’s Cathedral.

Day 6
• AM: Drive to Pushkin (Tzar Village). Memorial Pushkin Museum (Kitayeva Dacha). Catherine Palace and park
• Lunch: “Old Tower”
• PM: Lyceum, drive back to the city

Day 7
• AM: Hermitage
Option: Jewellery room
• Lunch: Lucky Shot restaurant
• PM: Nabokov house –museum

• AM: Drive to Pavlovsk. Troika ride.
• Lunch: Podvorye Russian restaurant with unlimited vodka/wine with folklore performance
transfer to the airport

Detailed itinerary

Arrive Moscow, meet the guide , private transfer to the hotel

Start your day with the sightseeing at the heart of Moscow - the Kremlin You might be surprised how many ancient and magnificent structures one can see within its walls: 15th century cathedrals (the coronation, wedding and bury place of Russian rulers), bell-tower, Patriach’s Palace, Grand Kremlin Palace and of course the richest museum - Armoury. The Armoury has a fantastic collection of insignia of Imperial power, precious clothes, ceremonial harness and unique collection of imperial carriages. The 17th century throne of Alexey Romanov covered with a mosaic of turquoises and 900 diamonds, a pheloneon of Metropolitan Platon decorated with 150,000 pearls (it took the embroiderer 2 years to work on the pattern!), the famous Faberge eggs – one help admiring the priceless and luxurious items.. Visit the 15th century cathedrals with fantastic interiors afterwards.

Lunch at the city restaurant.
In the afternoon enjoy the city tour.

Moscow originated as a wooden fort built on a hill at the confluence of the Neglinnaya and Moscva rivers in about 1147. During the Soviet era it was of course the showpiece of Russia which has resulted in a complex city with 15th century churches sitting next to modern office blocks, narrow crooked lanes and long broad avenues, rich museums and modern department stores and a population of 12 million people. It has an indefinable buzz which permeates through the city 24 hours a day making it both fascinating and exciting. There are innumerable restaurants, a wide range of hotels and a wealth of historically important monuments including of course the magnificent Red Square, the glamorous Kremlin, festive St Basils Cathedral, refined New Maiden (Novodevichy) Convent, variety of art galleries and medieval churches

Novodevichy Convent
One of the most beautiful Moscow convents, founded at the beginning of 16th century, for 400 years the Novodevichy Convent was the witness and the participant of important historical events, connected with the names of Ivan the Terrible, Boris Godunov, Sofia and Peter I. The architectural ensemble of the convent was formed by the end of 17th century and till now remains one of the best in Russia. In the main, Smolensk Cathedral, there is a valuable wall fresco of 16th century and a magnificent carved iconostasis with icons of famous imperial masters of that time. Representatives of noble families and tsar relatives, the hero of the Patriotic war of 1812 D.V.Davydov, the writer I.I.Lazhechnikov, the historian S.M. Solovyev and others are buried on the convent territory.
Continue to a tiny house – museum of Lev Tolstoy
Some 6000 authentic belongings of the Tolstoys, interiors revive the spirit and atmosphere of the family that lived here. The museum was opened in 1921 and is housed in the building where Tolstoy and his family spent the winter months between 1882 and 1901. The writer purchased the two-story house at Khamovniki in 1882 to placate his wife, who was tired of provincial life and feared that their children's education was suffering.
The house features numerous portraits of the family, including one of Tolstoy's lively and artistic daughter Tatyana by the famous Russian painter Ilya Repin, and one of the writer's wife Sofia Andreevna by Valentin Serov. Visitors can wander round the various bedrooms of the author's children, have a look at the servants' quarters and browse round the upstairs family salon, where Tolstoy regularly received the composers Scriabin, Rakhmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov and read his latest works to the writers Chekhov and Gorky. Tolstoy's study features a heavy desk and dark leather furniture, which seem appropriate to the author's gloomy literary output during the 1880s. Here he wrote "Resurrection" and his famous novella "The Death of Ivan Ilyich".

Today enjoy the whole day trip outside Moscow, visiting estates of world wide known writers – Anton Tcheckov and Boris Pasternak.
The Melikhovo memorial estate of the great Russian story writer Anton Chekhov is among this country's foremost museums. For seven years, from 1892 to 1899, Chekhov lived there together with his next of kin. It is here, at Melikhovo, that he created over forty world-famous masterpieces of his, such as the long and short stories Ward Six, Rothschild's Violin, The Women's Kingdom, The Student, The Black Monk, The Muzhiks, lonych, About Love, Anna on the Neck, Three Years, The House with a Mezzanine as well as the plays The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. The Chekhov memorial museum, dedicated back in the 1940s, has over 25 thousand items in its stock. Our guests can see for themselves what Melikhovo looked like when its host was there and, what is most important, what Anton Chekhov was like in those years
"I am awfully fond of what we in Russia call an imenie (country estate). This word has not lost its poetic flavor yet," Anton Chekhov wrote in October 1885. Seven years after that he purchased a small estate at Melikhovo, twelve versts (about 8 miles) away from the railway station Lopasnya south of Moscow. So it did not happen by chance—the writer had a longtime dream of moving out of town, over to the countryside. Besides, he needed a bit of fresh air to recover after a long journey to Sakhalin in the Far East that harmed his health. Upon his return from that journey, Chekhov said in one of his letters, "If I am a physician, I want patients and a hospital; if I am a man of letters, I must live amongst people, but not on Malaya Dmitrovka [a street in inner Moscow], together with a mongoose... I need just a bit of public and political life, while life indoors within four walls without nature, without people, without homeland, without health and good appetite, this is no life at all."
This event opened a new page in the family chronicle. For Anton Chekhov in particular. As tenants of sundry Moscow flats, often uncomfortable and dreary, his next of kin (Pavel Yegorovich, the father, Yevgenia Yakovlevna, the mother, sister Maria) found a safe refuge at long last after their longtime wanderings.

The village of Peredelkino was originally a part of the pre-Revolutionary Kolychev family estate. After the Revolution the Soviet Writers Union took it over and converted it into a writers refuge.
Twenty kilometers southwest of Moscow, Peredelkino today attracts many tourists who wish to see Boris Pasternak's dacha. Now called the Pasternak House Museum, the wooden dacha has been kept as it was in Pastenak's days. Built by his father Leonid in 1937, the Pasternak dacha was opened as a memorial museum for the poet in 1990. The dacha's dining room features numerous sketches and portraits by the writer's father as well as Pasternak's own collection of fine Georgian ceramics. Visitors can wander through the glassed-in veranda where the poet used to entertain guests or have a peek at Pasternak's study-bedroom, whose shelves are filled with Russian encyclopedias and English novels and where he wrote "Dr. Zhivago". One can see the iron bed where he died of lung cancer in 1960. The poet was buried in the local village cemetery beside four other members of his family. The graveyard is a short walk from the dacha.

In the morning drive to the Maxim Gorky Museum
Alexey Gorky's house-museum is located in S. P. Ryabushinsky's mansion. The mansion, built in 1900-1903, is a classic example of what we call Art Nouveau. F. O. Shekhtel, an academician of architecture, erected the asymmetric two-storied building with a massive porch for a wealthy industrialist Stephan Pavlovitch Ryabushinsky. The latter was a banker and a manufacturer and held a high position among businessmen of the capital. He also possessed one of the best icon collections in Russia. Between the flat roof and the yellow glazed brick walls is an exotic floral mosaic frieze. The irrationality of the facade combines perfectly well with the rationality of the interiors. The paneled interior rooms are grouped around the splendid carved-stone staircase. This building was the home of famous Soviet writer Maxim Gorky from 1931 until his death in 1936. This is one of a few places where you can still see an original luxurious interior. The museum exhibitions illustrate Gorky's family history and his life and work under the Soviet rule. One of the exhibitions presents more than 200 Japanese ivory and wooden miniatures collected by Gorky. In 1965 the writer's museum was opened in the mansion.

In the afternoon drive to the Tretyakov gallery, a museum where one can have a perfect chance to get acquainted with the best samples of the Russian art. The founders of it, brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov used their family fortune to become important collectors of art. Pavel opened his house to the public in 1856 and later built a new gallery for his paintings, and in 1892, both brothers bequeathed their collections to the city. The Tretyakov gallery reopened in 1995 after a nine-year renovation, and houses the world’s best collection of Russian icons, as well as a fantastic collection of other pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Enjoy a tour in the halls devoted to Russian icon painting, where you will learn the painting techniques of old masters and admire medieval masterpieces and listen to fascinating stories about them.

In the evening take the fast train to StPetersburg

On arrival you will be met but the guide and privately transferred to the hotel

In the morning the guests will have a chance to get acquainted with one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg remains one of the most romantic cities in Russia. Among the many poetical names applied to St. Petersburg the most common are “Northern Venice” and “Northern Palmyra”. The fascinating palaces and cathedrals, beautiful bridges over Venice-like canals, spacious squares and wide streets decorated with edifices of flourished baroque and impressive classical styles, monumental sculpture and lacy iron grilles and, of course, the special spirituality of this city infects everyone who visits it. In 1991 the city was placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. With numerous palaces and the world famous Hermitage on the banks of the Neva river, the city is Russia’s most popular destination, drawing visitors from all over the world throughout the year.

During the tour you will also see where Pushkin stayed in different time of his living in St.Petersburg, where he had a duel which led to his death. The tour includes Solyanoy 14 and Pestel street 5 (from outside), where from Pushkin used to go to Summer Graden, Summer garden itself, Panthelemon church which Pushkin visited quite often. You will pass different houses on Fontanka and Moika embankments which the poet visited a lot to see his friends, corner of Kirpichny and Bolshaya Moskaya street where the hotel “Paris” used to be – the poet lived there for a while, house at the corner of Nevsky and Moika where Wolf- Beranzhe confectionary used to be – the place wherefrom Pushkin started for duel as well as the place of the duel itself on Black river.
The tour will be finished in the last apartment of Pushkin where he died / Now it’s one of the most visited museums in Russia.

Pushkin Appartment Museum at Moika 12
This is one of the most reven sites of St. Petersburg and one of the most popular museums in the country. It was in this apartment that the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin spent his last four months from 12 October 1836 to his death on 29 January (New Style: February 10) 1837. A museum opened here in 1925.
The house on the Moika was built in the 1720s and later underwent repeated reconstructions. It is associated with such well-known figures of Russian history as Ernst-Johann Biron, Duke of Courland, the favourite of the Empress Anna loannovna, who lived here in the 18th century, and Princess Maria Nikolayevna Volkonskaya, wife of the famous general Sergei Volkonsky and owner of this house in the first quarter of the 19th century.
In 1987 the entire building was turned over to the museum. The apartment has been restored to look exactly as it did in Pushkin's last days and even hours. The interiors of the apartment the lobby, pantry, dining-room, drawing-room, bedroom, nursery and the poet's study - were reconstructed with the aid of sketches made by the poet Vasily Zhukovsky at the time of Pushkin's death. Here one can see pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac typical of a traditional Petersburg interior of the 1830s. Each room also houses authentic objects that belonged to the poet's family.
Pushkin's study is of particular interest. It contains the poet's library, totalling 4,000 volumes in European and oriental languages, his writing desk, his favourite chair, a little bureau beside the couch, an inkstand with the bronze figure of an Ethiopian boy, walking sticks and a portrait of Zhukovsky, bearing the inscription: To the victorious pupil from the vanquished master... The walls are hung with portraits of the poet's intimate friends, his wife Natalia Nikolayevna, their children and the last portrait of Pushkin to be painted during his lifetime. Among the relics is the waistcoat which Pushkin was wearing when he was shot in his duel with D'Anthes, his death mask and a medallion with a lock of his hair.

Lunch will be in “Austeria” restaurant located in Peter & Paul’s fortress.

Visit to Peter and Paul’s fortress in the afternoon.
Standing on a small island at the centre of the Neva delta, the fortress was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and is the oldest building in St Petersburg. Up to 1917, the fortress was mainly used for holding political prisoners, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin’s brother Alexander and Peter the Great’s own son Alexei. At the heart of the fortress is the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, with its landmark gold spire, where all of Russia’s pre-Revolutionary leaders were buried, apart from Peter, Ivan IV and Nicholas II.

Continue for a canal boat ride (public)
The city of St Petersburg looks completely different from the water, and a canal ride will show the visitor several parts of the city which are missed during a city tour by coach. The city is situated on 42 islands, being washed by more than 90 rivers, Neva’s arms and channels. The granite embankments with the slopes and piers have become peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces: Winter, Marble, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (Neva), Mikhailov, Mariinsky, Stroganof, Yusupov (Moyka), Anichkov, Sheremetyev, Dukes Beloselski-Belozerski (Fontanka).

In the morning drive to visit the sumptuous Tsar Village (Pushkin) – summer residence of Russian Emperors. It is located not far from the city – 27 km In the direction of international airport). Situated in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg The Tsar Village is a unique ensemble comprising several pavilions, beautiful lakes and gardens and a wonderful Catherine Palace.

The summer palace was originally given by Peter the Great to his wife Catherine, and was rebuilt by Italian architect Rastrelli in 1756. The palace is a huge, elegant building with white and hold Baroque mouldings set against a blue background, set in a beautiful park with elaborate gardens, canals and pavilions. Catherine the Great loved living here. Some of the more beautiful rooms include the Great Hall, the State Dining Room, the Amber Room, the Blue Drawing Room, the bedroom of Alexander I’s wife Elisabeth and the Palace Church. And the famous Amber Room (mysteriously disappeared during the WWII) and restored in 2003.

The other name of this place – town of Pushkin as Pushkin spent his adolescent years in Tsars Village studying in Lyceum. Later on when he was marrried to Natalia Goncharova, they spent honeymoon in the dacha of their friend. Now both – Luceum and Dacha of Kitayeva are museums.

Dacha of Kitayeva was open in 1858. The unique wooden house belonged to the widow of Court valet – Kitayeva. Here from may till October 1831 Pushkin spent his best days of marriage, spent a lot of time with friends and relatives visiting the house. The interiors of the rooms and items of the museum collection recreate the atmosphere of this time and tell us about the works of the poet.

Lunch will be in the local restaurant

In the afternoon visit Lyceum
A lycee for sons of the nobility was founded in Tsarskoye Selo in 1811. Its pupils were educated at the expense of the State. Once a wing (1789-92, architect Ilya Neyelov) of the Catherine Palace, the building was reconstructed in 1811 by Vasily Stasov to accommodate the lycee.
Many outstanding statesmen, public figures, writers and scientists graduated from the lycee, including the diplomat and later chancellor, Alexander Gorchakov, Admiral Fedor Matiushkin, the Decembrists, Ivan Pushchin and Wilhelm Kuchelbecker, and the poet Anton Delvig. One of its first pupils, the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin studied in the lycee from 1811 to 1817, and wrote his first poetic works in Tsarskoye Selo, largely inspired by the local scenery. In 1900, in the garden nearby the lycee, a statue of Pushkin was erected by Roman Bach.
A memorial museum was opened in the lycee in 1949, on the 150th anniversary of Pushkin's birth. Following the reconstruction of the lycee from 1966-74, the building regained the appearance it had had in Pushkin's time. The main staircase, Great Hall, library, classrooms, studies and dormitories have all been restored. The materials on display focus on Pushkin's lycee years, his teachers and fellow pupils. The museum contains two permanent exhibitions: "The Tsarskoye Selo Lycee - Masters and Pupils" and "I exist", devoted to the life and work of the poet Gavrila Derzhavin.

The museum holds lectures and concerts. Every year, on 19 October, Lycee Day is celebrated

Return to the city in late afternoon.

Admire the wonderful collection of the world’s biggest museum – Hermitage. Today, the museum has over 2 million exhibits within its four buildings and attracts around 3 million visitors a year. The exhibitions are diverse with works by Da Vinchy, Raphael, Rembrandt, an impressive collection of impressionists and largest collection of Titians in existence.
Visit also one of the Chambers of the Museum – Jewellery Treasury Room

In the afternoon visit Nabokov museum. A permanent exhibition is to be seen in the house that once belonged to the eminent public figure and lawyer, Vladimir Nabokov (1869-1922). Here the world-famous writer, Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), spent his childhood and youth.
The exhibition is situated on the ground floor in the former pantry. It traces the history of the building on Bolshaya Morskaya Street (from the 1740s), touching on the Nabokov family and the writer's life and work abroad. The display includes family albums and part of Nabokov's collection of butterflies, presented to the museum by Harvard University. Visitors can explore the interiors of the building, which is one of the first examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the city.
Nabokov translated Pushkin’s novel-poem “Eugine Onegine”

Time permitting Visit then the magnificent Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, that occupies the 4th place in the world among domed cathedrals. The massive granite columns had to be transported from Finland on purpose built ships and rail, and the dome is covered in nearly 100 kg of gold; inside, there are 10 malachite columns and a beautiful iconastasis.

Check in the hotel
Enjoy the countryside of the city driving to Pavlovsk.
Situated about 26 km from St Petersburg, Pavlovsk Great Palace was a present from Catherine the Great for her son Paul. Originally designed by Charles Cameron, it was partly redesigned at Paul’s request by several famous European architects including Quarenghi and Rossi. It was severely damaged in World War II, but has been beautifully and lavishly restored, and is set amidst delightful parkland which, when created, was the largest landscaped area in the world.

Continue for Lunch to “Podvorie” restaurant, located nearby.
Have lunch in the restaurant “Podvorye” with traditional wooden Russian décor and national cuisine. The restaurant is known to have been visited by top level officials – Vladimir Putin, Jaques Chirac, etc. It is a very cosy restaurant, the interior resembles traditional Russian terem (wooden palace), a lot of woodcarving. Meal is accompanied by folklore group singing. Russian vodka, wine – no limit

Departure for the inetrnational airport
End of program