A 29-day Trans-Siberian Epic Adventure

 

Polny MV8 (KEKIUU)

29 days / 6 stops – €4,370 (per person, twin share)

29 day itinerary with tours in Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk / Lake Baikal, side trip to Mongolia, and Ulan-Ude

Tour Introduction
The epic Trans-Siberian / Mongolian adventure; 2 continents, 3 countries, 8 cities, 29-days traversing Russia, Mongolia and China. 

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

Departure dates
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
√  Moscow: 1 night centrally located 3* hotel; guided city walking tour; departure transfer
√  Kazan Tartarstan: station transfers; 1 night 3* hotel
√  Kazan guided city walking tour; Raif Monastery guided tour
√  Ekaterinburg: station transfers; 2 nights central 3* hotel
√  Ekaterinburg: guided city walking tour; guided excursion in Ural Countryside
√  Krasnoyarsk: station transfers; 2 nights 3* boutique hotel
√  Krasnoyarsk guided city tour and full day hiking excursion in Stolby Nature Reserve
√  Lake Baikal: all transfers; two-night Bolshoe Goloustnoe tour program; 2 nights guesthouse with full board
√  Irkutsk: 1 night 3* Marussia hotel, guided city tour
√  Mongolia: 3 night fully guided central Mongolia tour program
√  Mongolia: 1 night centrally located 3* hotel; departure transfer
√  Ulan-Ude: station transfers; 3 nights 3* hotel
√  
Ulan-Ude: Guided excursions to Ivolginsky Datsun and ‘Old Believers village’, and Atsagatski Datsun and Buryat village (incl. local lunches)
√  Vladivostok: arrival and departure transfers: 2 nights 3* hotel; guided city tour
√  Meals as listed in the itinerary (B – breakfast | L – lunch | D – dinner)

Prices (per person)
€6,740  – based on solo travel
€4,370  – based on two people travelling together
€3,980  – based on three people travelling together
€3,725  – based on four people travelling together

Highlights
»  Guided city tour of Kazan and Raif Monastery
»  Ekaterinburg: excursion to traditional village in Ural Countryside
»  Krasnoyarsk: Hiking among the unique rock formations in Stolby Nature Reserve
»  Days by Lake Baikal at the village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe
»  Guided excursions outside Ulan-Ude to Ivolginsky and Atsagatski Datsuns, plus ‘Old Believers’ village and Buryat village
»  Mongolia 3 night guided open steppe tour
»  Guided city tours in Moscow and Vladivostok

Flexibility and further considerations
Upgrade to first-class or private second-class cabin
Add an extension from Saint Petersburg to Moscow with accommodation in Saint Petersburgovernight or express day train and extra nights accommodation in Moscow, along with a number of additional tours in Saint Petersburg and Moscow.
Consider alternative tour programs and excursions in Krasnoyarsk or Ekaterinburg, adding or subtracting days to coordinate with your interests, time frame and budget

Consider a 3-night tour program on magical Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal
Add on a night or two in central Mongolia to visit the Tsetserleg Hot Springs or the Orkhon Valley

Day 1
Moscow arrival
Arrive Moscow___ (optional arrival transfer can be added). Staying at a centrally located 3* hotel, one night.
We can book extra accommodation and tours in Moscow, along with an extension from Saint Petersburg.

Day 2
Moscow city tour and departure
Enjoy a guided orientation tour of Moscow (usually at 10am – 3 hrs).
The Moscow guides have their own personal touch, while of course visiting the main sites and introducing you to the diversity of Moscow’s architectural styles from Russian-Moscow Baroque and Art Nouveau to the Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish influences. The three-hour walking tour generally includes: 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.
Free afternoon in Moscow before evening transfer to station. Depart Moscow around 21:00. (B)

Day 3
Kazan
Arrive Kazan in the early morning around 8am. Meet driver on station platform and transfer to a central 3* hotel, staying one night. Freshen up at hotel before meeting your guide for a 6-8 hour guided city tour, visiting: The Kremlin, Vozdvizhenskaya Church, Peter and Pavel Church, Kremlyevskaya and Bauman streets and Anniversary Park.

Day 4
Kazan | Train to Ekaterinburg
Enjoy a guided tour of the Raif Monastery. The Raifskii Bogorodizkii monastery and grounds is a charming and remarkable site, where guests will experience a sense of the spirituality and mystery of the Orthodox belief.
Evening transfer to station for departure around 20:00. (B)

Day 5
Ekaterinburg arrival and city tour
Arrive Ekaterinburg a little after noon. Meet the guide on the platform and transfer to a centrally located 3* hotel, staying one night.
Enjoy a 3-4 hour guided walking tour (or by car in winter) of the historical center, visiting: the 1905 Revolution Square, Church of Spilled and the Chapel of St. Elizabeth, the Hill of Ascension, the Ural Museum of Minerals, along with statues of Ekaterinburg founders and communist leaders.

Day 6
Ekaterinburg  | Ural Mountains – Nevyansk / Train to Krasnoyarsk
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.
Return to Ekaterinburg and transfer to station. Depart on evening train around 20:00.

Day 7
On train
The train stops around ten times per day, at cities such as Omsk and Novosibirsk  This is the ‘mid Siberian railway’, built between 1893 and 1898; crossing the great rivers Ob and Yenisei.

Day 8
Krasnoyarsk arrival
Early morning arrival a little before 7am. Meet guide on platform and transfer to the Metelitsa Hotel, where you will stay for two nights (including early check-in). Rest up before enjoying a guided city tour (3-4 hrs by car); including: downtown Mira Prospekt, the Chapel of Saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Communal Bridge, Victory Memorial, and the local Ethnographic Museum (entrance not included).

Day 9
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 Yenisey 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 10
Krasnoyarsk | Train to Irkutsk
After breakfast, you will have some free time before transferring to the train station. Depart before 11am, and spend the day relaxing in your comfortable cabin. Enjoy endless views of Siberian taiga forest, as the train passes north of the Sayan Mountains. (B)

Day 11
Irkutsk | Lake Baikal – Bolshoe Goloustnoe
Morning arrival a little after 6am into Irkutsk, and meet your guide on the station platform. Travel with your guide to the small village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe (110km from Irkutsk). You will stay here for two nights in the comfortable wooden guesthouse. Your host will provide hearty home-cooked meals in the main building.
The residents of the village are a mix of Buryat and Russian. Surrounded by hills, and with a river nearby flowing into Lake Baikal, the village contains a small Russian Orthodox church and chapel and a few interesting and sacred sites. The guide will conduct a brief introductory tour before or after lunch and provide suggestions for you to explore further on your own.
Enjoy a home-cooked dinner; remember to ask your guide if there is a chance to use one of the local banyas (sauna). (L|D)

Day 12
Lake Baikal – Bolshoe Goloustnoe
Guide will be on hand to provide suggestions for your day by the shore of Lake Baikal.
You can walk along the shores of Lake Baikal to the wooded area by the Goloustnoe River, or in the opposite direction along open park land by the pebble beach. You can see fisherman’s homes, or speak with your guide to perhaps arrange a picnic on the shore of the lake. For the truly brave souls, take a dip in the cool refreshing waters, and add a few years to your life. Enjoy dinner at the guesthouse. (B|L|D)

Day 13
Irkutsk
Return to Irkutsk, staying overnight in a boutique hotel in the interesting District 130, an restaurant and shopping area refurbished to showcase the unique wooden architecture of the city. Enjoy a 2-hour guided city walking tour of the main sites in the city center, including: Karl Marx Street, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Epiphany Cathedral and the former Polish Cathedral.
Explore further on your own. The main part of Irkutsk is easy to navigate by foot. (B)
Hint: The Decemberists homes are definitely worth visiting, so remember to ask your guide for directions.

Day 14
Irkutsk | Train to Ulaanbaatar
Free day in Irkutsk. Evening transfer to station. Depart around 9:00pm. Travel along the southern shore of Lake Baikal during the night. (B)
Hint: The regular daily train #306 has no dining car, so it is a good idea to stock up on supplies in Irkutsk. 

Day 15
On train | Russian – Mongolian border
Passing Ulan-Ude in the early morning, the train meanders along the Selenge River to the Russian border.
Cross the 
Russian – 
Mongolian border in the afternoon, spending time in Naushki (Russia) and Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities. Custom and immigration procedures are carried out on board the train before continuing on and travelling alongside the Orkhon River and the open plans of Northern Mongolia.

Day 16
Ulaanbaatar | Central Mongolia – Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes and Karakorum
Arrive in Ulaanbaatar in the early morning around 6am. Meet your local guide on the station platform.
Chance for breakfast before beginning the four-day trip (suggested start time: 8am).
Travel west of UB (approx. 260km) to Elsen Tasarkhai, known as the ‘mini-Gobi’ sand dunes. Enjoy a picnic lunch or at a local ger camp. Opportunity to ride a camel or horse ride.
Travel on to Karakorum (85km). Staying overnight at local hotel or guesthouse. (L|D)

Day 17
Karakorum and Ugii Lake
Visit Erdene Zuu monastery, and the Karakorum history museum. Travel (65km) to Ugii Lake. Enjoy lunch at ger camp before exploring the fabulous lake environs at your leisure (boating on the lake can be arranged).
Staying overnight at tourist ger camp. (B|L|D)

Day 18
Hustai National Park
Travel (270km) to Hustai National Park. Introduction to the national park’s work in re-introducing the wild Takhi horses, a subspecies of the Przewalski. Lunch in the park. Spend the afternoon searching for the horse within the national park.
Travel on from the park (70km) to spend the evening and overnight at a local nomadic family ger. (B|L|D)

Day 19
Return to Ulaanbaatar
Finish the tour with a drive back to Ulaanbaatar (100km – 1-2 hrs). Staying overnight at central 3* hotel. (B)

Day 20
Ulaanbaatar | Train to Ulan-Ude
Free day in Ulaanbaatar before evening transfer to train station. Depart around 20:30.
The northern plains of Mongolia are very flat and the train travels along the meandering Orkhon river up to the border. (B)

Day 21
Train | Ulan-Ude arrival
Cross the Mongolian – Russian border in the early morning, spending a few hours in Sukhebaatar (Mongolia) and Naushki (Russia) for immigration and customs formalities.
The afternoon is spent on the train as it meanders through the southern plains of Siberia, following the Selenge river to Ulan-Ude and stopping at a number of remote small villages. Arrive into Ulan-Ude late evening around 21:30 and transfer to a 3* Hotel, where you will stay three nights.

Day 22
Ulan-Ude – Ivolginsk Datsun
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 centre 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 datsun.
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. (B|L)

Day 23
Ulan-Ude – Atsagatski Datsun
You will visit the photogenic Atsagatski Datsun (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 24
Ulan-Ude | Train to Vladivostok
Free morning in Ulan-Ude before transfer to station. Depart on train #2 (or #8) around 14:30. (B)

Day 25
On train
On train crossing Siberia.

Day 26
On train
On train crossing the Russian far east.

Day 27
Vladivostok arrival
Arrive early morning into Vladivostok around 7am. Meet your driver on the platform and transfer to a centrally 3* hotel, where you’ll stay two nights.

Day 28
Vladivostok
Guided city tour (3 hrs by car). (B)

Day 29
Vladivostok
Transfer to airport (or port) for onward travel from Vladivostok – End of tour. (B)