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RUSSIA GROUP BIKE TOUR “ANCIENT TOWNS OF CENTRAL RUSSIA 

Moscow - Staritsa - Sergiev Posad-Moscow

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHT TOUR

 

Our tour starts in Moscow, but our first ride along the Upper Volga will begin in the ancient town called Staritsa, where the river is still not so deep and full flowing. The famous French author Alexandre Dumas once wrote "Every country has its national river and Russia has the Volga - the longest river in Europe, the Queen of rivers ". This tour will give you a chance to bike along the Volga and explore many ancient towns and villages of central Russia. This bike tour will offer you an amazing and picturesque Russian countryside, an emotion not to be found in the bigger cities of Russia. Our bike route will end in a very important place for the Russian Orthodox religion, in the town of Sergiev Posad, the «pearl» of the Golden Ring. The tour program will be full of activities and sightseeing: we ride past many authentic villages, visit various ancient monasteries and churches that are still in use or half-destroyed. We will attend some museums, manor houses, make stops in beautiful ancient Russian towns, have some cooking & painting classes, and we will rest on the Volga River bank. For a great part of the route, we will cycle along rural roads and dirt-tracks in the Tver and Moscow regions. Only two times we will cycle along asphalted roads. The group will always be escorted by a Van for technical problems. We will spend the first night in a hotel in the historical centre of Moscow. During dinner we will meet the other group members. At the end of the tour we will go back come to Moscow from Sergiev Posad. Those who wish to continue visiting the Russian capital can book an extra night.

 

 

 

 

Highlights:  

  • Moscow:Kremlin, Red Square and the cathedral of San Basil

  • Wolga and the Moscow Canal    

  • Tver, the town of Catherine the Great  

  • The Russian Ortodox churches and monasteries.

  • The typical Russian dishes

  • The town of Staritsa

 

Programme

Day 1

Individual arrival at Moscow

Arrival to the first hotel of the tour situated in the centre of Moscow. After or before dinner, you will meet the other group members and an explanation about the tour program will be given. After dinner, you we will make a stroll through Moscow by night: we walk along the Moscow River banking, see the great Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and come to the Kremlin and Red Square. With the Moscow Metro we go back to the hotel admiring its famous stations «Mayakovskaya», «Ploshchad Revolyutsii» and «Arbatskaya», recognised as real architectural treasures.

 

Day 2 

Moscow – Staritsa, Transfer of 260 km  

We leave Moscow by bus and the ride of 260km will bring us in the afternoon to the ancient Russian town of Staritsa. Staritsa is one of the oldest towns of Russia that through the centuries has remained authentic and original. This town was also the main and most favourite residence of Tsar Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV). After lunch in the hotel, we have an excursion to one of the oldest Russian monasteries founded by the monks of Kiev Pechersk Lavra in 1110. In the afternoon, we will come back to our hotel that long ago used to be a manor place. A master class of cooking Russian pelmeni (meat dumplings) will be waiting for you !

 

Day 3 

Staritsa – Village Krasnoije – Village Volga

Cycling tour: Krasnoije – Golshino or Voevodino; distance 45 km /28 miles or 55 km / 34 miles + transfer 35 km / 22 miles oder 25 km / 15,5 miles.

After breakfast, we leave Staritsa to go to the village of Krasnoije by bus. Krasnoije used to be a country estate of a State Counsellor, who was a friend of A.S. Pushkin. In the village, there is still an old unique pseudo gothic church built in 1790. There are only three such exceptional churches in Russia. Going up the bell tower with Father Superior we can take wonderful pictures and even clang a bell. After our visit of Krasnoije, we have our first cycle tour through the Tver Governorate. We will pass some deserted villages, fields, meadows and small rivers. Then we pedal along the Volga River. It is a very quiet route so maybe we will meet only some fishermen. There is just peace and quiet around us, now and then interrupted by the chirping of birds. Near the village of Golshino or Voevodino we will take the bus to get to the beautiful country Hotel «Usadba», situated on the bank of the Volga River. There you could swim in an indoor swimming pool, play bowling, visit a SPA and banya, ride horses or explore a small but interesting zoo.

 

Day 4 

Volga – Tver

Cycling Tour: village of Volga – Bolschie Borki; distance 35 km / 22 miles + transfer 25 km / 15,5 miles. 

Today, you will discover the capital of Tver Oblast, the ancient Russian city of Tver. But first cycle along dirt roads and cross through small «old» and «new» villages. The nature of Tver Oblast is amazing. There will be no cars at all… just us and the nature of Tver Oblast. The nicest part is the landscape with sand dunes covered with colourful mosses and pines. We will have a rest on the bank of the Volga River in village Bolschie Borki. Here we have a light lunch and, if you like, a swim in the river. Then back in the saddle we go to Tver to get acquainted with its interesting history and sights. After a fire, which levelled most of the town in 1763, Catherine the Great rebuilt the town. The architect took as an example St Petersburg and Moscow.

 

Day 5 

 

 

Tver –Yurievskoe

Cycling tour: Tver -  Orschinski monastery- Savvat`evo; Distance 35 km/22 miles or 45 km/28 miles + transfer 15 km. 

After breakfast we cycle through the historic area of Tver, going down the banking that dates back to 1760-1770. We cross the Volga river over the «Starovolzhsky» bridge, built in the late XIX century and will leave Tver. Then we continue cycling along the Volga River along dirt roads crossing pine forest. We reach a real architectural pearl, the Orshin Ascension Monastery, which was always favoured by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. There we make a stop to have a picnic on the bank of a Volga feeder. Leaving this calm and mysterious place, we continue our trip through old pinewoods, cycling down a quiet asphalted road to Savvat`evo. We return to the Volga River by bus and have an overnight stay in a Park-Hotel in the village of Yurievskoe

 

Day 6

Yurievskoe – Konakovo

Cycling tour:Yurievskoe–Widogostschi–Edimonowo; Distance 35 or 45 km / 22 of 28 miles + transfer 25 - 30 km / 15,5-18,6 miles

Also today, we cycle along dirt roads through old pine forest passing ancient typical, small villages. We enjoy splendid views of the Volga River, which became especially wide and deep near the village of Edimonovo. We experience the beauty of the islands, riverbanks, pinewoods and calm water, creating a real fairy-tale landscape. We follow the sharp river turn to the Northeast, which forms the Ivankovo Reservoir, also known as the sea of Moscow. After a nice break and a swim in clear waters, we have a transfer to the bank of the reservoir and here we take a ferry until the town of Konakovo. If we have enough time we will visit the local faience factory built in 1809. Later you will have a lovely evening at the hotel famous for its own sandy beach.

 

Day 7

Konakovo –Canal of Moscow –Rogachevo - Dmitrov

Cycling tour: Canal of Moscow– Rogachewo: Distance 45 km/28 miles + 40 km / 25 miles transfer.

In the morning, we go by bus to the Moscow Canal. This unique and massive canal was built in 1930s  We will walk along the canal to embrace the history of this place, take some pictures of the lighthouse, one of the world's tallest statues of Lenin and admire calm and quiet waters. We first continue our trip along the canal and then we cross forests, fields and old Russian villages to reach the trading of Rogachevo. You still see the wooden country buildings indicating the bygone age of wealth and prosperity. We have lunch in an Inn at the marketplace of the village. In the evening, we stay in the ancient town of Dmitrov.

 

Day 8

Dmitrov –Sergiev Posad

Cycling tour: Budenovetz–Swyatogorovo–Vassil`evskoje: Distance 25/15,5 miles or 40 km/25 miles + transfer 40 km/25 miles.

After breakfast, we will visit the museum «Dmitrovsky Kremlin» where we will see a very interesting display dedicated to the Second World War and local history and culture. Leaving the former country estate of the Golitsyn family we cycle to the highest part of Klinsko-Dmitrovskaja hill chain, which is crossed by the rapid and twisty Velja River(later we will have a real adventure wading this river!). This place is often called the Moscow taiga and even Russian Switzerland because of its high green hills. You will cycle down the sealed, dirt and sometimes even very rocky roads to reach village of Svyatogorovo. This village has always been a place of interest for tourists, photographers and artists, because of its typical architecture of wooden Russian houses famous for their beauty all over the world. Then we will have a nice lunch consisted of traditional Russian dishes at km 0. In the evening, you will finally explore the main treasure of the Golden Ring of Russia, the city of Sergiev Posad. Later the master class on Matreshka painting will await for you! Everyone will get a wooden doll to paint.

 

Day 9

Sergiev Posad – country Estate Abramtsevo – Sergiev Posad, ring tour

Cycling tour: Abramtsewo–Khot’kowo–Sergijew Possad: Distance 18/11 miles or 36 km / 22 miles.

Today first, we will spend an hour and a half exploring the memorial estate Abramtsevo dedicated to Russian history and culture. For many years distinguished Russian artists such as Korovin, Repin, Polenov, Vrubel, Surikov, Levitan, the brothers Vasnetsov and the others lived and worked in Abramtsevo. We continue our route to the nice country town Khotkovo with its monastery. Then we return to Sergiev Posad enjoying from afar the brilliant views of Russian nature.Our next destination is Lavra located 500 meters from our hotel in Sergiev Posad. You will visit this place of interest before dinner.

 

Day 10

Sergiev Posad – Moscow

After breakfast, we will return to Moscow. Tourists who plan to leave Russia on this day, please let us know beforehand, because if the group has still some free time on their way to Moscow, we visit a Saint Russian Orthodox Church, see a waterfall (considering Russian nature – it is rare, because there are no mountains) and the spring «Gremyachiy Klyuch». It is a magnificent place, a pilgrimage destination.  Back in Moscow we say goodbye to our fellow travellers and end of tour ! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Included in the tour:

·         Detailed route notes with materials about the sights in English and German

·         9 overnight stays in 4* and 3* hotels (in the centre of Moscow ), one night in a family hotel and another one in a « Recreation Park » on the Volga River

·         7 cycle days

·         Breakfast and evening meals

·         Packed lunch or Picnic; tea, coffee, juice

·         During the cycling a bottle of water.

·         Use swimming pools of the hotels

·         Clients assistance and a guide (English or German)

·         Minivan for technical support

·         All tour transfers mentioned in the programm (incl. Moscow – Staritsa; Sergiev Posad – Moscow ), Volga-ferry

·         Luggage transfer (no more 25 kg and one  bag / person)

·         Tour excursions mentioned in the programme, including entrance tickets to museums  in Dmitrov, in Abramtsevo and in Lavra (Sergiev Posad)

·         2 Master classes during the tour (in Staritsa and Sergiev Posad): one cooking class and one painting class

·         Bike rental: MTB-bike, 24 or 21 speed, helmet on request

 

 

 

Dates 2017

Saturday 13/05, 27/05, 17/06, 01/07, 15/07, 05/08, 19/08, 02/09

Level 1/2

The tour is of easy/medium difficulty. Suitable for cyclists who some cycling experience. Flat routes, asphalt and some dirt roads. Daily distances are between 18 and 55 km.

Prices p.p. 2017

In double or twin  € 1.589,00

supplement single room     € 199,00 

Participants

Group tour will be confirmed with min. 8 and max. 20 people.
You do not need yourself to consolidate a full group for the tour. It will be an international group tour with an English-speaking tour leader .