This tour offers a perfect mix of cycling and cultural adventures… Do you want to see “Real Russia” and discover the mysterious Russian soul? Then we invite you to take an exciting cycling tour in the picturesque provinces to see authentic villages with babushkas living in wooden houses like centuries ago, learn about the glorious history of the Novgorod Land, the birthplace of Russia, visit ancient monasteries and Russia’s oldest Kremlin, located not in Moscow as you might have expected! Fun and excitement are guaranteed while cycling in UNESCO Heritage sites – Valdaysky National Park and Lake Seliger – the kingdom of hills, pine forests and crystal clear rivers and lakes.
And of course any acquaintance with Russia would not be complete without seeing the two Russian capitals and their “must see” sights – the cultural capital St. Petersburg and Moscow with its splendid Red Square and the world-famous Kremlin.
Highlights: St. Petersburg
Upon arrival you will have a panoramic tour of the cultural capital of Russia. For three centuries St Petersburg has been impressing visitors from all over the world and it doesn’t take much time to fall in love with this splendid city. On the way to your hotel you will admire views of magnificent palaces, cathedrals, canals and world-renown theaters.
Join a welcome dinner to start your introduction with some outstanding dishes of Russian cuisine and get to know other group members and the guide.
Overnight: St. Petersburg
Highlights: Hermitage museum
Morning visit to one of the world’s greatest art museums – the Hermitage, located within the Winter Palace, baroque masterpiece and residence of the Russian tsars. It boasts a collection of art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The Hermitage is so large that according to expert’s it would take you 9 years to look at each item of the museum collection for one minute! So, don’t get frustrated if you cant see it all, but take away some special memories from this visit, because the Hermitage is definitely a “must see” museum for any art lover.
Exploring St. Petersburg on your own is a chance to see some of its main highlights including the fairy-tale like cathedral “Our saviour on the Blood”, a founding point of the city – Peter and Paul Fortress or other significant monuments. St. Petersburg has numerous ways to surprise its visitors and you will find your own way to enjoy it in your free time.
Overnight: St. Petersburg
Highlights: Lake Ilmen, authentic Russian villages, Veliky Novgorod
Today it’s time to leave the cultural capital of Russia and start exploring its provinces by bike. You will be transferred to the historical Lake Ilmen, once vital part of the Byzantine trade route, connecting Europe of the Dark Ages with the prosperous Arab cities. The lake is a favourite place for swimming and you can find some nice spots for a relaxing swim in its warm waters. Continue cycling through historical Russian villages from the 18th-20th centuries to discover rural Russia with its rich cultural and historical heritage.
Finish the day in Veliky Novgorod, a city called “the birthplace of Russia” that was a capital of Novgorod Republic and the biggest partner of the Hanseatic League in 12th-17th centuries, the link between medieval Europe and ancient Rus. Veliky Novgorod is called a city-museum of Old Russia, because no other place has preserved the same number of great monuments of architecture and monumental painting. Explore its outstanding architecture and frescos preserved in the medieval churches, monasteries and fortifications whose history is full of amazing as well as tragic pages.
Cycling distance: 45 km
Overnight: Veliky Novgorod
Today will be an intensive day full of remarkable sights. Immerse yourself in the history of Russia by discovering the ancient Novgorod lands by bike: start the day in Veliky Novgorodby visiting the oldest Russia’s Kremlin till nowadays astonishing its visitors with its thoroughly planned strength and defensibility.
Continue cycle through authentic villages where you have a feeling of travelling in a time machine to see how babushkas are still living in wooden village houses.
Go back in time by visiting the 12th century Church of St. George and Yuriev monastery, cited as Russia’s oldest monastery and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit the open-air museum of Wooden Architecture recreating the atmosphere of an ancient Russian village with amazing wooden churches and rural houses built in 16th – 19th cent.
Finish the day in Valdaysky National Park, one of most popular tourist destinations in Central Russia and a place for inspiration of famous Russian artists and authors since the 19th century.
Cycling distance: 38 km
Overnight: Valdaysky National Park
Highlights: Valdaysky National Park, Valday Iversky Monastery, Valday town, Museum of Bells.
Spend the day cycling in Valdaysky National Park, a wonderful land of rivers, hills and lakes with a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status. It’s glacial landscape was formed during the ice age creating the Valdai Hills and 76 lakes of various origins. Enjoy this amazing natural scenery and the historical sights by visiting Valday Iversky monastery, located on the beautiful Selevetsky island in Valday lake. Since the 17th century the monastery has been one of the most important centres of Orthodox religion in Russia; nowadays it’s a unique architectural monument and a centre of crafts – enamel, wood and stone carving arts. Don’t miss a chance to buy some authentic souvenirs from this special place.
Finish the day in Valday town, an ancient town famous for it’s bells. For many centuries, they served as a clock for the citizens, telling them the time for labor or rest, grief or happiness. Here visit the Museum of Bells presenting various bells from all over the world.
Cycling distance: 50 km
Overnight: Valday town
Highlights: Seliger Lake, Nilov Monastery
This morning you will leave Valday and be transferred to Seliger lake – nature’s gem with crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, groves of birches and pine forests filled with the smell of resin. Cycle in this god-blessed environment through charming lakeside villages along to the Nilov Monastery located on an island in the middle of the lake.
Visit to the monastery, which was one of the largest monasteries in the Russian Empire. Today the monastery complex remains one of the most impressive ensembles of Neoclassical architecture in Eastern Europe and a popular pilgrimage destination for Orthodox believers.
Spend a night at a charming countryside hotel nearby Seliger lake.
Cycling distance: 30 km
Overnight: Seliger lake
This morning you will say good-bye to the laid-back Russian provinces and head to the “mother of Russian cities” and its glorious capital – Moscow. The dramatic changes over the last decade have made the city one of the most dynamic metropolises in the world.
Enjoy a free evening in the city by visiting one of the many fancy restaurants, bars or simply having a stroll on its streets while admiring the lights and bright facades of its impressive buildings by night.
Highlights: Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basils Cathedral
Start today with a tour to the heart of Russia – the world-famous Red Square, Moscow’s Kremlin and the stunning St. Basil’s Cathedral. Once you see this incredible ensemble, you will never forget it! Visit the Kremlin and learn about its history, tightly connected to the dramatic history of the country, listen about traditions of Moscow, which left their mark in the names of ancient towers.
Farewell dinner at a traditional Russian restaurant: it’s an excellent chance to spend the last evening with your new friends, share your impressions and memories while tasting caviar, borsch or Russian vodka.
Meals: B + D
Your tour ends today, but we invite you to book an extra night to continue exploring Moscow and experience more of what this amazing city has to offer.
We will be happy to assist you with many options like a visit to a world-class ballet, circus with a long-standing tradition of incredible performers; a river cruise to enjoy amazing views of the Kremlin from water… in this incredible city such simple things like taking a metro can become an unforgettable experience, because many of its stations look more like a luxury palace decorated with dazzling mosaics, chandeliers and ornate columns.
Please send us a request to receive the tour price for your group or FIT clients.