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Backcountry Russia
Backcountry Russia

Backcountry Russia

Do you want to see the real Russia, not only the glamour and hustle of big cities (though these are interesting too), but also its unspoiled nature, traditional villages, ancient churches hidden between dense forests and clear lakes, narrow winding rivers and small towns where time seems to have stopped long ago? Especially for those who want to get a notion of how contemporary Russia really lives and looks, we have designed a unique itinerary that will encompass the energetic and aggressive Moscow, the beautiful and noble St Petersburg and the rustic country that lies between them and which seems to have practically nothing in common with the life of these two world known cities. And all this in just 8 days of intensive and unforgettable travel!

On the first day, you arrive to the Moscow International airport. We shall meet you at the airport and, after completing custom formalities, you will be transferred to the hotel of your choice (we offer options of 3, 4 and 5 star accommodation).
The rest of the day at leisure.

In the morning of Day 2, after breakfast, you will be collected at your hotel and proceed to a city tour in a comfortable minibus with a driver and an English-speaking guide. You will see the streets and squares of Moscow, the business and cultural center of the country. You will visit the Red Square and Kremlin with its museums and treasures.

Moscow. The Bolshoi Theatre

After lunch (own account) you will have enough time to walk independently along the safe streets of Moscow, do some souveneer shopping and feel the atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city.
You will spend overnight in the same hotel.

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On Day 3, your Russian adventure really begins!
In the morning, we shall pick you up after breakfast and drive you out of town. Past the residential suburbs of Moscow we shall go through small satellite towns of Moscow Krasnogorsk and Istra. In Istra, we shall make a short tour of one of the biggest orthodox monasteries of Russia the New Jerusalem monastery.

The New Jerusalem monastery

Once out of Istra, the views drastically change. We are driving through the typical middle Russia scenery plains, rolling hills and forests. This close of Moscow, we shall see a lot of famous Russian dachas out of town residences where moscovites traditionally spend their weekends. They vary from multithousand dollar villas to small modest dwellings, but all of them are an essential part of Russian life style Russian townsfolk can not imagine their life without weekly retreats to a dacha.
Further away from Moscow, the dachas are becoming replaced by traditional villages, big or small, well-off or poor, sometimes practically abandoned. Instead of rich and middle-class moscovites, these are places where peasants live and work. You will see nothing fancy here, but this is how more than half of Russian population lives. On the other hand, the nature is fantastic, and the further we are from the megapolis, the less villages we encounter and the more fields, forests, rivers and lakes surround us
By lunchtime, we arrive to a small town of Staritsa which history goes back to the XII century. Like in many similar provincial Russian towns, the XX century has left little evidence here most buildings have been built in the XVIII and XIX centuries, and the monastery dates back to the XII century. The town is located on the high banks of the great Russian river Volga and looks fantastic in any time of the year.

A chirch in Staritsa


A typical house in Staritsa

View of Staritsa Monastery on the bank of river Volga

We have lunch in a small restaurant (own account) and after that we slowly stroll along its main street. This short walk (no more than 30 minutes) will allow you to feel the atmosphere of a small Russian town and to have a glimpse of the way people live here.
Taking our minibus again, we proceed to the gem of middle Russia the Seliger system of lakes. This is a fantastically beautiful place hundreds of kilometers of interconnected lakes surrounded by virgin pine forests. Without any industry or dense population, this is a true ecological paradise deserving to be a major tourist attraction, but unfortunately it still remains unknown to the world.

Some views of Seliger:








By evening we reach our next home a modern and well-equipped lodge built in traditional Russian style, located on a picturesque shore of one of the lakes.

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The lodge the cottages

The lodge interior

The lodge banya


The lodge equipment to rent

Day 4
Is the day of exploring the natural wonders of Seliger and getting to know the Russian customs and traditions.
Early in the morning some of us will have an early breakfast and a morning fishing session in the waters teeming with fish (license and equipment are provided). Others will have a leisury late wake up.
At 12 AM, we shall all go to a traditional Russian izba (country house). We shall take part in peasant everyday activities: under supervision of local residents, we shall collect and cut wood, make fire in an oven, prepare a meal and Russian spirit samogon. Naturally, after that we shall eat our self-prepared lunch and drink the self-prepared samogon.
Rest of the day at leisure. The lodge offers optional horse-riding tours, more fishing, paintball, rents quadbikes Polaris Sportsman 500 and water scooters Bombardier, boats with or without motor, sailboats. Or you may choose a walking tour, or just lie on a sandy beach.

BBL

Day 5
After breakfast we all board a small ship and make a tour of the system of Seliger lakes. This beautiful place is even more beautiful when seen from water.
We return to the lodge by lunch time and after a few hours at leisure, we all go to a traditional Russian banya. Banya is another Russian tradition. It is different from Scandinavian sauna but is equally pleasant and healthy.
Relaxed and content after the banya, it is high time for a tasty barbeque that will last long into nightfall.

BBD

Day 6
After breakfast, we hit the road again. Our road is among the lakes and forests, through the center of Seliger the town of Ostashkov. Time permitting, we shall visit one of the Orthodox religious centers Nilova Pustin monastery.

By lunchtime we reach one of the oldest Russian towns Novgorod. There, we shall have lunch (own account) and visit the oldest in Russia Novgorod kremlin (Kremlin is not only in Moscow. The old Russian word kremlin means a fortress). Then, we proceed to the second, unofficial capital of Russia St. Petersburg, which is reached late in the evening. Accommodation in the hotel of your choice (3, 4 and 5* options).
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Novgorod

Day 7
After breakfast, we start on a city tour. But our city tour will be different we shall do it on a motorboat. It is not by chance that St. Petersburg is often called the northern Venice it is interwoven by a system of rivers and channels. The citys magnificent palaces and churches are seen to their best advantage from the water.
After the tour and lunch (own account) we shall visit one of the most famous museums of the world the Hermitage. Located in the former residence of the Russian Tsars, this museum rightfully boasts one of the richest collections of Western European art in the world.

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St. Retersburg. The Hermitage (Winter Palace)

St. Petersburg. One of the canals

Sadly, the eights and the last day of the tour has come.
In the morning, we go by motorboat to another gem of the Russian culture the out-of town residence of the Tsars, Peterhoff. Founded by Peter the Great in the beginning of the XVIII century, it has been lovingly expanded and developed by the following generations of the Tsars. Now, it is rightfully compared to Versailles in its beauty.

Peterhoff. The Big Palace and the Casacade

After the tour of Peterhoff and a lunch (own account), we return to St. Petersburg.
The rest of the day will be at leisure. We would recommend you to walk along the streets of the center of the city it will be a memorable experience.
For those departing on an evening flight, a transfer will be organized.
Others will spend one more night in their hotel (own account) and will be transferred to the airport according to their flight schedule.

Arrivals and departures: every Saturday to Saturday

Tour price (USD) per person

 

2 pax sharing

4 pax sharing

6 pax sharing

8 pax sharing

10 pax sharing

3*

3940

2740

2340

2140

2020

4*

4150

2950

2550

2350

2230

5*

5330

4130

3730

3530

3410

Included: accommodation (1/2 Dbl), transportation in a comfortable mini-bus with a driver, services of a guide, meals, excursions and transfers as indicated in the itinerary.

Excluded: International flights, visas, personal insurance, pre- and post-tour accommodation, additional tours and services, tips and personal requirements

 
   
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: 8 (499) 922 4444, 8 (499) 922 4423, 8 (985) 997 1216
E-mail: office@jamescook.ru    : 003859


   
 

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