Inclusions: hotel pick up (8.00 a.m.) and drop off (5.00 p.m.), English-speaking tour guide, chauffeured transportation. Lunches fot groups 2 PAX+.
Novgorod tour will take you to the capital of old Rus that dates back to the IX century. By visiting Novgorod you will be able to have a look at the history of the country from a different angle. However rich Saint Petersburg is in its history, it was founded only in 1703. A day trip to Novgorod will open a broader perspective and give more understanding of the Russian history and the development of the country in the ancient times. The principle inclusions of the Novgorod tour are Yuriev Monastery with its St George Cathedral, the museum of Wooden Architecture -Vitoslavitsy and certainly the old Novgorod Kremlin.
Novgorod tour will take you to the North-West of the country, to one of the oldest Russian towns, which is situated on the bank of Ilmen Lake and Volkhov river, between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The distance between Saint Petersburg and Novgorod is 180 km (about 125 miles).
The full name of the city is Veliky Novgorod. “Veliky” is a Russian word that means “great”. Once Novgorod used to be the political centre of vast areas that covered the territory from the Ural Mountains to the Baltic Sea. It was a commercial centre too that had trading connections with other regions and countries.
No other city in the Russian North has so many surviving ancient architectural monuments, but the principle highlight of the Novgorod tour is certainly Novgorod Kremlin. This is a fortress ("kreml" means a fortress in old Russian), also used to be called Detinets. The Kremlin was completed in the XVth century though the first construction dates back to 864. The walls of the Kremlin were strong enough to protect the city from its enemies. Nowadays Kremlin is a monument of Novgorod's former political significance and power as well as the epicenter of the town’s life.
The Cathedral of St Sophia, situated on the territory of the Kremlin, is a remarkable part of the Novgorod tour. The cathedral was built in the XIth century and was the first stone structure in the North-Western and Northern territories. Having been modelled after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, it remains one of the greatest monuments of old Russian architecture.
The possible add-on to the Kremlin tour is a tour of the Palace of Facets which has a rich collection of objects of applied art. The Palace of Facets is located in the Kremlin.
The next stop of the Novgorod tour is St George (Yuriev) Monastery named after one of the Russian saints. St George monastery was founded in the early XI century and there is a Cathedral of the same name which dates back to the early XII century. Though St George Cathedral has suffered from several fires, it still preserves original features and frescoes.
The last place to visit during Novgorod tour is Vitoslavlitsy museum of Slavic wooden architecture. This is a collection of real wooden houses which have been moved to the museum from several villages of the Novgorod region.
There is a good chance to shop after the tour of Vitoslavitsy Museum as there is a small market nearby selling nice authentic souvenirs, many of them are made of the Russian birch tree bark.
If you prefer to have a thorough look at Novogorod and probably add visits to some of the towns situated nearby (Staraya Russa and others), we shall design a private itinerary including an overnight stay in Novgorod.