Polny VM8 (UUIKEK)

26 days / 6 stops – from €4,425 (per person, twin share)

26 day itinerary with tour programs in Vladivostok, Ulan-Ude, side trip in Mongolia, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, Krasnoyarsk, Ekaterinburg, Kazan and Moscow


Tour Introduction
A truly epic adventure, 26-days traversing Russia, including a side trip into Mongolia. 

Vladivostok — Ulan-Ude — Mongolia  Irkutsk / Lake Baikal — Krasnoyarsk — Ekaterinburg — Kazan — Moscow  

Departure dates
Daily departures on either train #1 or #7.
Take a look at the Trains and Schedules page for the specific details regarding Beijing departures and onward travel.

Tour includes
√  Monkey info pack, local support, visa invitation documents
√  Train tickets in standard second class (4-berth) cabins
√  Vladivostok: arrival and departure transfers: 2 nights centrally located 4* hotel; guided city tour
√  Ulan-Ude: station transfers; 2 nights 3* hotel
√  Guided excursions to Ivolginsky Datsan and ‘Old Believers village’, and Atsagatski Datsan and Buryat village (incl. local lunches)
√  Mongolia: 3 night Gun-Gulaat and Terelj National Park guided 
open steppe tour program
√  Ulaanbaatar: station transfers; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel; 
√  Lake Baikal: all transfers; 2 nights guesthouse accommodation in Listvyanka Village
√  Guided tour of Listvyanka tour and Lake Baikal Museum
√  Listvyanka guided hiking excursion
√  Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√  Krasnoyarsk: station transfer; 2 nights 3* boutique hotel
√  Krasnoyarsk guided city tour and full day hiking excursion in Stolby Nature Reserve
√  Ekaterinburg: station transfers; 2 nights 3* hotel,
√  Ekaterinburg guided city walking tour; guided excursion in Ural Countryside
√  Kazan Tartarstan: 1 night 3* hotel, return station transfers, full day guided city walking tour
√  Moscow: arrival transfer; 1 night centrally located 3* hotel, guided city walking tour
√  Meals as listed in the itinerary (B – breakfast | L – lunch | D – dinner)

Prices (per person)
€6,505  – based on solo travel
€4,425  – based on two people travelling together
€4,020  – based on three people travelling together
€3,710  – based on four people travelling together

»  Guided excursions outside Ulan-Ude to Ivolginsky and Atsagatski Datsans, plus ‘Old Believers’ village and Buryat village
»  Mongolia: 3 night guided open steppe tour program
»  Days by the shore of majestic Lake Baikal, guided tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal Museum + hiking excursion
»  Krasnoyarsk: Hiking among the unique rock formations in Stolby Nature Reserve

»  Ekaterinburg: excursion to traditional village in Ural Countryside
»  Kazan guided city tour
»  Guided city tours in Vladivostok and Moscow

Flexibility and further considerations
Upgrade to first-class or private second-class cabin.
Substitute the open steppe tour in Mongolia for an even more adventurous central Mongolia tour Consider a 3-night tour program on magical Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal Consider alternative tour programs and excursions in Krasnoyarsk or Ekaterinburg, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget;
Add an extension from Moscow to St Petersburg with extra nights accommodation in Moscow, overnight or express day train and accommodation in St Petersburg, along with a number of additional Moscow tours and St Petersburg

Compare to: Polny MV8 (KEKIUU); Polny BM8 (UUIKEK)


Day 1 
Vladivostok arrival
Arrive in Vladivostok and meet your driver in the arrivals hall (arriving by plane). Transfer to centrally located 4* Astoria hotel, where you will stay 2 nights.

Day 2
Vladivostok city tour
Guided city tour (4 hrs by car). (B)

Day 3
Vladivostok departure
Free day in Vladivostok before early evening transfer to train station. Depart on train #1 (Rossiya) at 19:10 (or on #7 at 21:30). (B)

Day 4
On train – Russian far east

Day 5
On train – Siberia

Day 6
Ulan-Ude arrival | Ivolginsk Datsan
Arrive Ulan-Ude on train #1 at 08:02 (or #7 at 14:20). Meet guide on station platform and transfer to 3* Park hotel, staying 2 nights.
As the capital of Russia’s Buryatia republic Ulan-Ude has a unique mix of the Buryat and Russian people and their culture, of Orthodox and Buddhist religions and Soviet industrial planning. The highlight of a stopover in Ulan-Ude is the Ivolginsk Datsan monastery, situated 35km outside of Ulan-Ude.
This is the center of Buddhism in Russia and an important pilgrimage site. View the teaching areas where students study Philosophy, Tantrism, or Buddhist art and Tibetan language, monks’ living quarters, and various temples and the impressive Itygel Khambin Datsan.
Continue on to a traditional ‘Old Believers’ village: the ‘Old Believers’ separated from the Russian Orthodox Church as a Protestant religion and were exiled to Siberia in the 18th century. You will visit their church and a small museum, enjoying a traditional lunch in the home of a local family.
Return to Ulan-Ude in the evening. (L)

Day 7
Ulan-Ude | Atsagatski Datsan
You will visit the photogenic Atsagatski Datsan (approx. one hour from Ulan Ude) to learn more about the important role Buddhism plays in the life of the local Buryat people. The monastery was completely destroyed in the 1930’s and rebuilt during the rebirth of Buddhism in the area, as is now a center for Tibetan Medicine. The local village was founded in the 19th century and keeps the traditions and customs of the Buryat people.
You will have lunch with a local family in traditional dress before returning to Ulan-Ude. (B|L)

Day 8
Train to Ulaanbaatar
Breakfast and free morning in Ulan-Ude before transfer to station. Depart on train #306 at 15:43 (Monday, Tuesday, Friday departures only). (B)

Day 9
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
Arrive Ulaanbaatar at 06:30 and meet your driver / guide on platform.
Chance for breakfast before a short guided city tour, including: Gandan Monastery, Sukhbaatar Square and National History Museum.
Travel east of UB (approx. 120km) to the Gun Galuut area on the open steppe, visiting the Genghis Khan monument on the way. Arrive at tourist ger camp and settle into your comfortable Mongolian ger before lunch.
In the afternoon, choose from a range of optional excursions and activities: kayaking on the Kherlen River, hiking, or visiting a local nomadic family. Horse riding can be arranged with the local herdsman. You can also take advantage of the camp’s many sporting facilities for rent (mountain bikes, tennis, volleyball and basketball court).
Dinner at ger camp restaurant. (L|D)

Day 10
Gun Galuut Ger Camp
You have the entire day to explore the open steppe with your guide, choosing from a wide range of excursions and activities.
All meals are taken at the camp restaurant, or your guide can arrange a picnic lunch. (B|L|D)

Day 11
Terelj National Park
Breakfast before travelling to Terelj National Park (approx. 70km). Settle into ger camp and have lunch at camp restaurant.
Explore the valley with your guide, hiking to the Aryabala meditation temple (or alternative area) to enjoy the view of Terelj valley.
Your driver and guide will return to UB in the evening. (B|L|D)

Day 12
Breakfast. Your driver will pick you up for the return transfer to Ulaanbaatar. 
Staying overnight at 3* Hotel Nine. (B)

Day 13
Ulaanbaatar / Train to Irkutsk
Free morning in Ulaanbaatar before afternoon transfer to train station.
Depart on train #305 at 15:22 (Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday departures only). (B)

Day 14
Irkutsk arrival
Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal in the early morning before arriving in Irkutsk at 15:13. Meet guide on platform.
Transfer to 3* Marussia Hotel, a boutique hotel in a district showcasing the wooden architecture of the city, staying 1 night. (B)

Day 15
Lake Baikal – Listvyanka | Excursion
Transfer to Listvyanka, staying at wooden UD Guesthouse, 2 nights. Guided tour of Listvyanka Village and Lake Baikal Museum.
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (5 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. 
Free evening in Listvyanka. (B)

Day 16
Listvyanka | Irkutsk
Enjoy a moderate hiking excursion (5 hrs) in Baikal National Park, navigating the taiga forests surrounding Listvyanka and skirting the high cliffs looking over Lake Baikal. Excursion includes a stop by the foreshore to enjoy a picnic lunch. (B|L)
Note: for alternative excursions, check out the Lake Baikal tour programs.

Day 17
Irkutsk | Train to Krasnoyarsk
Free morning before transfer to Irkutsk. Guided city walking tour (2 hrs). Afternoon transfer to train station. Depart on train #69 at 16:11. (B)
Hint: Pick up supplies for the four-night train journey.

Day 18
Krasnoyarsk arrival and city tour
Morning arrival into Krasnoyarsk at 09:35. Meet guide on platform and transfer to a centrally located boutique 3* Metelitsa Hotel, staying two nights.
Enjoy an afternoon 3 hrs guided city tour by car, including: downtown Mira Prospekt, the Chapel of Saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Communal Bridge, Victory Memorial, and the local Ethnographic Museum, learning some fascinating stories along the way.

Day 19
Krasnoyarsk – Stolby Nature Reserve
This is a full day excursion to the beautiful countryside of Siberia, and a strenuous but exhilarating day. [there are alternative options if you prefer a more relaxed tour].
Crossing the Yenisei River you head out to Stolby Nature reserve and hike 4km to the first outcrop of Stolby rocks. Here you can gain access to a number of unique rock formations, including: ‘Little Elephant’, ‘Grandfather’, ‘Feathers’ and ‘Lion’s gate’. There are a number of peaks offering views throughout the reserve and how many you visit will depend on your level of fitness, time and the weather conditions.
Enjoy a picnic lunch during the outing. Return to city late afternoon. (B|L)

For alternative excursions, check out the Krasnoyarsk tour programs.

Day 20
Krasnoyarsk | Train to Ekaterinburg
Free morning before transfer to the train station. Depart on train #69 at 10:23. (B)

Day 21
Train | Ekaterinburg
Spend the day relaxing in your comfortable cabin, enjoying the view of the Siberian taiga forest. You will pass cities such as Novosibirsk and Omsk on the ‘mid Siberian railway’, which was built between 1893 and 1898. 
Arrive to Ekaterinburg around 22:48 and transfer to the 3* Chekov hotel where you will stay for two nights.

Day 22
Ekaterinburg | Nevyansk
Full-day excursion to the city of Nevyansk (80km from Ekaterinburg). Nevyansk is the one time capital of the Demidov dynasty, a very successful family of factory owners. The trip includes a visit to the famous and recently restored Nevyansk “leaning tower”, and the Transfiguration Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, plus the traditional craft center and famous Nevyansk icons. 
On the return trip, you will stop at Byngi Village for lunch. (B|L)
Note: for alternative excursions, check out the Ekaterinburg tour programs.

Day 23
Train to Kazan
Transfer to railway station after breakfast. Depart at 10:12. Evening arrival in Kazan at 21:28; meet driver and transfer to a comfortable 3* Giuseppe hotel in the city center of Kazan, staying one night.

Day 24
Kazan | Train to Moscow
Full day guided city tour, visiting: the Kremlin, Vozdvizhenskaya Church, Peter and Pavel Church, Kremlyevskaya and Bauman streets and Anniversary Park.
Evening transfer to station. Depart at 22:05 to Moscow. (B)

Day 25
Moscow arrival
Arrive Moscow (Yaroslavskaya station) in the morning at 09:30; meet driver on station platform. Transfer to centrally located 3* Arbat House, staying one night. Freshen up before afternoon guided city tour.  Enjoy a terrific informative three-hour guided orientation tour of Moscow.
All our guides have their own personal itineraries and will visit many of the main sites, including: Tverskaya street and it’s important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Aleksandrovsky Gardens and of course the Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
You have a free afternoon to continue your exploration of this exciting and vibrant city and delve into the long and turbulent history of Russia, adding on extra nights and additional Moscow tours if you wish. 

Day 26
Moscow | Tour extension
Breakfast. Free time.
Moscow is world class in terms of attractions and we recommend to spend at least 3 days in Moscow and we have a number of city tours and tour extensions in the city, before moving on to Saint Petersburg or onward connections to Europe. (B)