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(Suzdal, Vladimir, Sergiev Posad, Kostroma, Yaroslavl)
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Deluxe private tours in Russia, all highlights of the Golden Ring of Russia

The Golden Ring refers to a 700km long route around architectural and artistic riches of old Russian towns which is the most enchanting way of learning more about Russia. It forms a circle of big and small old towns preserved their great historical and architectural wonders. This is the ancient heart of Russia as it was many centuries ago. The fortress walls made of white stone, golden onions of the domes, bell rings of the monasteries, frescoes and icons — the Golden Ring give a chance to catch the spirit of the medieval Rus. Due to immense restoration work done, genuine masterpieces of Russian art are revealed for public.

Each town along the way has an individual charm, giving the visitors the feeling of Russian provincial life: more slow, calm and peaceful than overcrowded and busy Moscow. In Golden Ring towns the way life is more traditional and less westernized. It’s a good chance to take a brake from the noise of the capital and experience the hospitality of local people.

1 day trip 2 day trip 3 day trip 4 day trip
Vladimir Suzdal Sergiyev Posad Yaroslavl Bogolyubovo Rostov Velikiy Pereslavl-Zalesskiy Kostroma Plyos

For Sample prices please click here

ITINERARY for 1 full day trip
Option 1:
Sergiyev Posad + Suzdal

Departure from Moscow.

Sergiyev Posad. Cathedral of the Trinity, Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky sobor), Vestry (Ritznitsa), Bell Tower or Chapel-at-the-Well, The Tsar's Chambers, The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, Toy Museum.

Suzdal. Kremlin (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers, Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church), Trading Square, the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life.

Return to Moscow.

Option 2:
Suzdal + Vladimir

Departure from Moscow.

Suzdal. Kremlin (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers, Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church), Trading Square, the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life.

Vladimir. Assumption Cathedral, Golden Gate, Cathedral of St. Demetrius, History Museum, the Church of St. Nicolas at the Galleys, the Trinity Church, Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniatures and Embroidery.

Return to Moscow.

ITINERARY for 2 day trip

Sergiyev Posad + Suzdal + Vladimir

DAY 1:
Departure from Moscow. Sergiyev Posad. Cathedral of the Trinity, Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky sobor), Vestry (Ritznitsa), Bell Tower or Chapel-at-the-Well, The Tsar's Chambers, The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, Toy Museum. Suzdal. Kremlin (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers, Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church). Night in the local hotel.

DAY 2:
Suzdal. Trading Square, the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life. Vladimir. Assumption Cathedral, Golden Gate, Cathedral of St. Demetrius, History Museum, the Church of St. Nicolas at the Galleys, the Trinity Church, Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniatures and Embroidery. Return to Moscow.

ITINERARY for 3 day trip
Vladimir + Bogolyubovo + Suzdal + Yaroslavl + Rostov Velikiy + Pereslavl-Zalesskiy + Sergiyev Posad

DAY 1:
Departure from Moscow. Vladimir. Assumption Cathedral, Golden Gate, Cathedral of St. Demetrius, History Museum, the Church of St. Nicolas at the Galleys, the Trinity Church, Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniatures and Embroidery. Bogolyubovo. Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, Bogolyubovo sightseeing tour. Suzdal. Kremlin (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers, Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church). Night in the local hotel.

DAY 2:
Suzdal. Trading Square, the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life. Yaroslavl. Spaso-Preobrazhenski Monastery, Volkov theater, Kirova Street, Karabikha, Yaroslavl Zoo (optional), Yaroslavl Children’s Railway (optional). Rostov Velikiy. St. Avraamy’s Monastery, the Kremlin, Uspensky Cathedral, Rostov sightseeing tour. Night in the local hotel.

DAY 3:
Pereslavl-Zalesskiy. Church of Metropolitan Peter, St Vladimir Cathedral, Goritsky monastery, Trinity Monastery of St. Daniel, Botik Estate of Peter the Great, open air Pereslavl Railway Mueseum-Preserve, House of Artist, the local Kettle and Iron museums. Sergiyev Posad. Cathedral of the Trinity, Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky sobor), Vestry (Ritznitsa), Bell Tower or Chapel-at-the-Well, The Tsar's Chambers, The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, Toy Museum. Return to Moscow.



ITINERARY for 4 day trip



Vladimir + Bogolyubovo + Suzdal + Yaroslavl + Kostroma + Plyos + Rostov Velikiy + Pereslavl-Zalesskiy + Sergiyev Posad

DAY 1:
Departure from Moscow. Vladimir. Assumption Cathedral, Golden Gate, Cathedral of St. Demetrius, History Museum, the Church of St. Nicolas at the Galleys, the Trinity Church, Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniatures and Embroidery. Bogolyubovo. Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, Bogolyubovo sightseeing tour. Suzdal. Kremlin (Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers, Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church). Night in the local hotel.

DAY 2:
Suzdal. Trading Square, the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius, Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life. Yaroslavl. Spaso-Preobrazhenski Monastery, Volkov theater, Kirova Street, Karabikha, Yaroslavl Zoo (optional), Yaroslavl Children’s Railway (optional). Kostroma. Epiphany Cathedral, the Ipatyevsky monastery, Kostroma sightseeing tour. Night in the local hotel.

DAY 3:
Plyos. Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Wooden Resurrection Church, Trinity Church, Vvedenskaya Church, Assumption Cathedral, Church of Holy Varvara, Levitan's museum, historical museum of Plyos, landscape museum. Rostov Velikiy. St. Avraamy’s Monastery, the Kremlin, Uspensky Cathedral, Rostov sightseeing tour. Pereslavl-Zalesskiy. Church of Metropolitan Peter, St Vladimir Cathedral, Goritsky monastery, Trinity Monastery of St. Daniel. Night in the local hotel.

DAY 4:
Pereslavl-Zalesskiy. Botik Estate of Peter the Great, open air Pereslavl Railway Mueseum-Preserve, House of Artist, the local Kettle and Iron museums. Sergiyev Posad. Cathedral of the Trinity, Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky sobor), Vestry (Ritznitsa), Bell Tower or Chapel-at-the-Well, The Tsar's Chambers, The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, Toy Museum. Return to Moscow.

Cities of the Golden Ring

More information on Vladimir

Once Vladimir was the capital of Russia, in the early 14th centuries. The city is one of the most visited destinations within the popular Golden Ring circuit, as it preserves several of the finest monuments of white-stone medieval architecture in Russia, along with a number of later buildings from the 16th–20th centuries.

The magnificent Assumption Cathedral build in 1158 is what you see first when you enter Cathedral Square. It had been the principal church where princes of ancient Russia were crowned. The Cathedral retained its privileges for a long time after Vladimir lost its power and influence to rulers of Moscow, who took the title of grand-prince. Assumption Cathedral is today a functioning church. Apart from admiring the beauty of the Cathedral, you can take part in its services. Such an experience you will never forget.

Also in Vladimir you can visit the once formidable fortress the Golden Gate erected in 1164 - one of the most outstanding symbols of the ancient city, the Cathedral of St. Demetrius - one of the most graceful and beautiful churches in Vladimir, an exhibition of the history of the Vladimir area in History Museum, the Church of St. Nicolas at the Galleys, the Trinity Church, Museum of Crystal, Lacquered Miniatures and Embroidery.

More information on Suzdal

Suzdal is a calm old Russian town situated 220 km north-east of Moscow, 38 kilometers north from the city Vladimir, on the Kamenka river. Population of the town is about 12 thousand people. Suzdal is one of Russia's oldest cities, dating back to 1024. It was once the capital of several Russian principalities and has many examples of early Russian architecture. It is probably the one of the most interesting cities of Golden ring with 200 monuments of history and architecture, 20 ponds, 27 belltowers and 4 pearls of Russian culture taken in UNESCO World Heritage list. Today Suzdal operates as an important tourist center with nearly 1 mln tourists visiting the town annually. Suzdal is officially protected from the industries, so the old monasteries and beautiful churches standing on picturesque green hills are kept well.

There are 4 main parts of Suzdal connected by 1 main street called Ulitsa Lenina (Lenin's street). Southmost is the Kremlin with a several notable sights: Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, Archbishop’s Chambers (houses Suzdal's history exhibition), Kremlin bell tower and St Nicholas's Church. Right in the middle lies the Trading Square full of traditional Russian souvenirs. Northmost is the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius. You can also visit the Monastery of the Deposition of the Holy Robe and the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life showing the life of a Russian peasant and the wooden houses.

More information on Sergiyev Posad

Sergiyev Posad grew in the 15th century around one of the greatest of Russian monasteries, the Trinity Lavra established by St. Sergius of Radonezh, which continues to be one of the largest monasteries in Russia. Town status was granted to Sergiyev Posad in 1742. The town's name, alluding to St. Sergius, has strong religious connotations. Soviet authorities changed it first to just Sergiyev in 1919, and then to Zagorsk in 1930, in memory of the revolutionary Vladimir Zagorsky. The original name was restored in 1991. For centuries, Sergiev Posad has been the biggest religious and cultural center of the Russian state. In 1993, Sergiev Posad was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The main structural sights in Sergiev Posad lies within the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius. The main point of interest is Cathedral of the Trinity (Troitsky sobor, built in 1420s) distinguished by its gleaming-white exterior topped with gold domes. It contains the revered holy relics of St. Sergius in its southeast corner. Also it's worth to visit austere and monumental Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky sobor), Vestry (Ritznitsa) containing monastery's rich treasury, Bell Tower or Chapel-at-the-Well (Nadkladeznaya chasoynya), The Tsar's Chambers, The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve.

Sergiev Posad is often called the capital of the toy kingdom. Arts and crafts were flourishing in the towns and villages nearby the monastery. Wooden toys, which were known as «Trinity» toys, became particularly popular. According to the legend the first «Trinity» wooden toy was made by the Prior of the Monastery, St Sergius of Radonezh. Many wonderful and authentic examples of russian toy-making can be seen in the Toy Museum.

More information on Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl is situated on the north-eastern side of the 'Ring' and is the largest city in its chain. Whilst the city is best known for its architectural merits, it also has a relatively large repertoire of cultural attractions.

The city was founded by Yaroslav in 1010, although it was not mentioned in the chronicles until 1071. In 1218 it became the capital of the independent Yaroslavl principality, which was absorbed by Moscow in 1463. The city flourished during the 16th and 17th century as a commercial center on the Moscow-Arkhangelsk route from the White Sea to the Middle East. During the "Time of Troubles" in 1612, Yaroslavl served briefly as Russia's capital. Until the construction of the Moscow-Volga Canal in 1937, the city served as Moscow's Volga port.

Yaroslavl's landmarks include the 12th-century Spaso-Preobrazhenski Monastery, several 17th-century churches, and the Volkov theater (1911). The city has its own Arbat (pedestrian street) which is Kirova Street housing numerous shops and cafés. Kirova Street leads towards the Volga River embankment which is another place of interest of Yaroslavl. It is in the city centre where the majority of the museums, entertainment clubs, and music cafés are concentrated. If you are fond of serious music you should visit the Yaroslavl Philharmonia or Jazz Centre and enjoy yourself. There are some beautiful places located in the city suburbs; for example Karabikha, the home of poet Nikolay Nekrasov. His memorial estate hosts an annual poetry festival. The Yaroslavl Zoo and Yaroslavl Children’s Railway situated in Zavolzhsky raion (city district beyond the Volga River) attract many adults and children every year.

More information on Bogolyubovo

Bogolyubovo was founded by prince Andrey Bogolyubsky in 1158 on the high bank of river Nerl, several kilometers away from its confluence with the Klyazma. According to a legend, the prince spent the night on this spot and saw Theotokos (Saint Mary) who ordered him to found the settlement and to build the monastery. During a short period (1158–1165), the palace, fortifications, and the nearby Church of the Intercession on the Nerl were constructed. Bogolyubsky also commissioned the icon of the apparition of the Theotokos. This icon has been known as the Bogolubskaya Icon of the Theotokos. All the buildings were made of stone, a very unusual material for ancient Rus'. In few years, the settlement grew up to a town known as Bogolyubov. However, the decay was as fast as the rise. After Andrey Bogolyubsky was murdered in 1174, the town diminished. In 1177, it was ravaged by Gleb, the prince of Ryazan, while in 1238 Batu Khan destroyed the town completely. The remains of the palace were used by the monastery. Since 13th century, Bogolyubovo is only a small village near the monastery.

The Church of the Intercession on the Nerl has been on UNESCO World Heritage List since 1992.

More information on Rostov Velikiy

Rostov Veliky or Rostov the Great is the oldest town in the North-East of Russia, located on the shores of Nero Lake 202 km far from Moscow and 53 km far from Yaroslavl. The town was first mentioned in chronicles in 862 as the city, which had existed on the shores of The Lake for a long time before. The name Veliky is used to distinguish it from Rostov on Don, which is however a much larger city now and even a center of Rostov region. Rostov Veliky is much smaller town with 33 thousand inhabitants, but it is a real tourist attraction. Rostov is a sacred center of Russia as it is a birthplace of Saint Sergiy Radonezhsky and a place for St. Avraamy’s Monastery, one of the oldest in the North-East Russia. The majority of architectural monuments were built in the XVI-XVII centuries and preserved till nowadays: the Kremlin, Uspensky Cathedral and a variety of old monuments and churches attract thousands of visitors from all over the world.

People used to visit Rostov to listen to the polyphony of the chimes on the famous Rostov Kremlin bell tower. The Rostov Kremlin stands on the shore of the Nero Lake and its white-stoned walls and towers are reflected in the lake’s water.

Rostov Kremlin is easily recognizable among Russians as it was filmed in popular Russian comedy Ivan Vasilievich Changes His Profession (1973) by famous film-director Leonid Gaidai.

More information on Pereslavl-Zalesskiy

Pereslavl-Zalessky is one of the ancient cities of central Russia. The city was founded in 1152 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky 5 years later than Moscow. It is located halfway between Moscow and Yaroslavl, about 130 km North-East of Moscow on the bank of Pleshcheevo Lake. In 1688–1693 Peter the Great built his famous "fun flotilla" on Lake Pleshcheyevo for his own amusement, including the so-called Peter's little boat, which would be considered the forefather of the Russian fleet. The Botik (small boat) museum chronicles the history of the first Russian fleet and keeps one of the original model boats.

Pereslavl-Zalesskiy is a town of churches and monasteries: the most famous of them are the Church of Metropolitan Peter, St Vladimir Cathedral, Goritsky monastery, Trinity Monastery of St. Daniel. For those who've seen enough of icons, churches and the other holy exhibits Pereslavl-Zalesskiy offers Botik Estate of Peter the Great, open air Pereslavl Railway Mueseum-Preserve, House of Artist, the local Kettle and Iron museums. This provincial town doesn't tolerate a hurry, disposes the meditation and contemplation, leisurely walks.

More information on Kostroma

Kostroma was first recorded in the chronicles for the year 1213, but historians believe it could have been founded by Yury Dolgoruky more than half a century earlier, in 1152.

Five-domed Epiphany Cathedral built in 1559-1565 was the first stone edifice in the city; its medieval frescoes perished during a fire several years ago. The minster houses the city's most precious relic, a 10th-century Byzantine icon called Our Lady of St. Theodore. It was with this icon that Mikhail Romanov was blessed by his mother when he left for Moscow to claim the Russian throne. It is said that just before the Revolution of 1917, the icon blackened so badly that the image was hardly visible; it was interpreted as a bad sign for the Romanov dynasty.

The Ipatyevsky monastery survives mostly intact, with its 16th-century walls, towers, belfry, and the 17th-century cathedral.

Apart from the monasteries, most of the city churches were either rebuilt or demolished during the Soviet years. The only city church that survives from the 17th-century "golden age" is the of gold instead. He resolved that the unearned gold was the devil's gift and decided to spend it on building a church, beautiful within and without. Two other 17th-century temples, of rather conventional architecture, may be seen on the opposite side of the Volga.

More information on Plyos

Plyos was founded in 1410 when the Moscow Prince Vasily I, son of Dmitry Donskoy, ordered to build a fortified outpost on the borders of the Moscow. The course of Volga river lets you see the approaching enemy from a distance.

Plyos ia a paradise of the upper Volga river. The landscape is picture perfect, as if crafted by an artist's brush and taken straight out of a fairy tale. For centuries the quintessential Russian provincial town of Plyos has inspired painters to create masterpieces of art. The charming city of Plyos is situated on the right bank of river Volga with a good beach resort area. It is also closely related to the well-known artist, Levitan, who lived there and created more that 40 masterpieces of art.

There are plenty of attractions and architectural monuments in Plyos city preserved till today. Among them are such well-known masterpieces of architecture as Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Wooden Resurrection Church, Trinity Church, Vvedenskaya Church, Assumption Cathedral, Church of Holy Varvara, stalls of the XIX century.

In 1982 were built the State and historical as well as art museum which combined three other museums: Levitan's museum, historical museum of Plyos and landscape museum.