Russia is impossible to summarize. How does one sum up the world's largest country with a history spanning a thousand years? Its geography encompasses almost every imaginable landscape, its architecture runs from iconic fairy-tale palaces to Soviet concrete monoliths, and its politics have ranged from tsars to revolution. The culture that gave the world countless writers, musicians, artists and thinkers is today a troubled place, still working out its place in a post-Communist era. Travellers will have their work cut out for them, but the effort yields and intense experience and an adventure of a lifetime.
Golden Ring of Russia (ARGR)
Experience the treasures of Russian culture, history and architecture on this 8-day journey—wander picturesque towns older than Moscow and marvel at Orthodox frescoes and golden domes. An expert CEO will lead the way and locals will uncover what was hidden behind the Iron Curtain for years. Visit the Kremlin in Moscow and contemplate European masterpieces in St Petersburg's Hermitage. The graceful cathedrals of St Petersburg coupled with the grandeur of Moscow are just waiting to be discovered in this glimpse of Russia.
Highlights: Admire St Basil's Cathedral and Red Square, gawk at the Kremlin Armoury treasures, visit Golden Ring churches and monasteries, relax at Lake Nero, explore St Petersburg's back streets and ornate buildings
Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)
Decades after the fall of communism, the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia remain a mystery to most travellers. We’re not complaining, though; more mystery means fewer crowds and an easier time getting to know these fantastic countries. Beginning in charming cobblestoned Vilnius and ending in St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, this two-week trip gets to the very heart of the region. Get an up-close glimpse of Riga’s castles and art district, experience rural life in Estonia, and venture into the fortresses and medieval architecture of Tallinn before crossing into Russia by land. Make the Baltics your special travel secret.
Highlights: Explore the charming and enigmatic Baltic countries, ride a bike around the coastal dunes of Lithuania's Curonian Spit, picnic in beautiful Riga, live like a local on a farm in Estonia, wander through back alleys in St Petersburg
Trans Mongolian Express (ACTM)
From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in Mongolian ger tents and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.
Highlights: Explore the courtyards of the Forbidden City and walk along the Great Wall of China, ride the rails through Mongolia's grassy steppe and Siberia's taiga forest, stay in a local village on Lake Baikal, admire the grand structure of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square, marvel at the rich art collection in the Hermitage.