Baikal. Wonder of the world.
Day 1 Irkutsk
Arrival to Irkutsk and transfer to the hotel for accommodation.
Day 2 Irkutsk一Baikal
Because of many wooden mansions and gorgeous woodcarving embossed buildings built in the past, Irkutsk enjoys the reputation of “Siberian Paris”. Today we are going to visit Irkutsk city. The wooden buildings, combined with modern architecture, show the different styles of the city.
Today city tour of Irkutsk: visit Church of the Savior and the Polish Cathedral, which is the only Gothic architecture in Siberia , War Memorial, Angara river embankment, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, Monument to the Emperor Alexander III on the embankment.
After lunch depart to lake Baikal, Listvyanka settlement (67 km, 1 hour drive)
On the way to Listvyanka we will stop at the Museum of Wooden Architecture Taltsy. On its territory there are 13 architectural complexes with 36 wooden buildings. Some of them have exhibits which can help you understand the agricultural and cultural peculiarities of Transbaikal people of XIX-XX centuries
Lunch at the restaurant
Listvyanka city-tour includes the visit to Baikal Museum with the aquarium with Baikal fish and freshwater seals – Nerpas, Shaman Rock, St. Nicholas church and a Fish Market.
Day 3 Irkutsk— CIRCUMBAIKAL RAILROAD —Irkutsk
The famous Circum Baikal Railroad going along the south-western shore of Lake Baikal is one of the most complicated railways in the world. The total length of its 39 tunnels is 7 km.
In the morning, start a day by visiting Lake Baikal. The Baikal Lake Railway, which is part of the Siberian Railway Line, is 86 kilometers long. It takes about 2.5 hours to arrive at “Black Valley” station from which tourists walk for 1 hour downhill the deep valley to the shore of Lake Baikal, where they spend some time on the beach or walk to the nearest tunnel and have lunch. In the afternoon they take the ORR local train. The train goes very slowly, about 25-30 km/hour. With its long stops you travel for about 4 hours on this train. It runs along the Baikal shore, 5-20 meters from the Lake and through the tunnels. You can open the doors while the train is moving and take photos, leaving you with the most beautiful memories of your trip.
The latest measurement of Lake Baikal is as deep as 1940 meters and the average depth is 748 meters. If Lake Baikal suddenly dried up and refilled the lake, the amount of water needed would equal the total flow of all the rivers in the world for a whole year. If the world’s fresh water disappears, the amount of lake Baikal is enough to support the earth’s living for 42 years. Now, there are 336 rivers and streams flowing into Lake Baikal, and only one Angara River flows out of Lake Baikal, which flows into the Yenisei River and then flows to the Arctic Sea. There are 22 islands in the lake, and the largest island is Olkhon, which is 72 kilometers long. The lake begins to freeze from the end of September every year, and is completely frozen in the next January of the next year. The ice-sealing period is from January to March. Surrounded by wild animals and plants, the lake is home to the world’s most endangered species of flora and fauna. Lake Baikal is home to more than 2,000 species of animals, three-quarters of which are not found anywhere in the world. One of the attractions – the only place on the planet that has freshwater seals – Ringed seal. In 1996, Lake Baikal was listed as a World Heritage by
Day 4 Irkutsk – MOSCOW – Cable car – Sparrow Hills – Lomonosov Moscow State University
Transfer to the airport and fly to the capital of Russia, Moscow.
After arriving in Moscow, drive to the city to take the cable car. The cable car flies over the Moscow River to the Sparrow Hills where we can catch a nice view of Moscow. Lomonosov Moscow State University, with a height of 240 meters, stands behind. Lomonosov Moscow State University was founded in 1755 by Elizabeth II.
Day 5 MOSCOW – Red Square – Kremlin – Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts – Circus
Visit Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, GUM, Lenin’s mausoleum
Visit Kremlin, Tsar’s Canon and Ivan the Great Bell Tower on the Church Square, visit Uspensky sobor where the tsars held the coronation ceremony, the royal family’s private chapel, Cathedral of the Annunciation and the royal burial church.
Visit Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. There you can see the oil paintings of foreign artists (paintings by Sandro Botticelli, Rubens, Lin Brown, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, etc.). This is the largest collection of foreign art in Moscow.
Enjoy the brilliant performance at Moscow Circus in the evening.
Day 6 MOSCOW – St. Petersburg
Visit the Moscow metro, worldly known as the underground palace. There are more than one hundred stations in the entire underground railway system. The stations have their own unique features. Each station is different.
Visit the Victory Park built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War, Arc de Triumph.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the church was built after the Napoleonic Wars on December 25, 1812 by Tsar Alexander I, to thank the Christ the Savior for “Saving Russia from failure” and commemorate the Russian people who died in the war. The church was demolished after the October Revolution. The reconstruction of the church was completed on August 19, 2000.
Take your flight / train to St. Petersburg
Arrival to St. Petersburg and transfer for accommodation.
Day 7 St. Petersburg – Peterhof Grand Palace and Lower gardens -Yusupov Palace
Visit Peterhof, known as Russian Versailles”. Versailles was, however, the inspiration for Peter the Great’s desire to build an imperial palace in the suburbs of his new city and, after an aborted attempt at Strelna, Peterhof – which means “Peter’s Court” in German – became the site for the Tsar’s Monplaisir Palace, and then of the original Grand Palace. The estate was equally popular with Peter’s daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who ordered the expansion of the Grand Palace and greatly extended the park and the famous system of fountains, including the truly spectacular Grand Cascade.
Visit the Yusupov Palace on the Moika River.
This Palace Ensemble, widely known in Europe and bearing the status of a “building of federal significance” in Russia, once belonged to a princely family. Later, it housed a Museum of the Nobility Lifestyle, Regional Teacher’s House and St. Petersburg Palace of Culture for Educators. During the two and a half centuries, the purpose and status of this classic mansion and urban estate on the Moika River have repeatedly changed.
Today, this grandeur building (one of the most prominent architectural gems of the Russian “Northern capital”) hosts government and diplomatic meetings, international conferences and symposia. The names of many Russian public officials, leaders of St. Petersburg and heads of foreign states are recorded in the Yusupov Palace Guest Book.
Day 8 St. Petersburg – Peter and Paul Fortress – Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Visit Peter and Paul Fortress. The fortress was laid by Peter the Great on Rabbit Island in 1703. The steeple on the church in the fortress is also the tallest building in the city of Petersburg.
Visit Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. It is a traditional Russian architectural style and one of the landmarks of St. Petersburg.
Visit one of the four major museums in the world Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace), which is same as the Louvre Museum in France, the British Museum in the United Kingdom, and the Metropolitan Museum in the United States. The museum was originally the private museum of Catherine II. In 1764, Catherine II purchased 250 paintings from famous artists such as Rembrandt. There are as many as 3 million world famous paintings and precious collections, and many well-known masters such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Rodin, Da Vinci, Michelangelo.
Alexander Triumphal Column, on the Palace Square, the memorial of the former Russians defeating Napoleon. Go to Peter the Great bronze knight statue on the Neva River. The pedestal of the knight statue is made of a whole piece of rock, with a long sword and a headband with a laurel facing the west, symbolizing the conquest of Sweden.
Day 9 St. Petersburg – Walking on Nevsky street – Airport
Visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral – built to mimic the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, was originally a memorial church celebrating the birthday of Peter the Great with the saints’ festival.
Neva River Cruise, cruise along large and small canals, feel the beauty of different angles of the city of Petersburg. After that, you can go to the liveliest and prosperous street in Petersburg Nevsky Street for a walk. Slowly visit the beauty of the classical European style buildings on the street and the modern business district, and slowly experience the unique fun of roaming northern Venice.
You can visit the Kazan Cathedral by yourself. It is one of the earliest works of Russian classicism and is currently the cathedral of the city of Petersburg.
Transfer to the airport.