MATS Travel
Russia, St.Petersburg
+7 (812) 965-01-63

Chic Russia - Hidden Treasures

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Chic Russia - Hidden Treasures

Duration: 9 days

Highlights: The Amber Room at Catherine Palace, The Gold Rooms of the Hermitage, Luxurious Canal Cruise, Private tour of the Faberge Museum, Private Tour of the Grand Kremlin Palace and Diamond Fund, Private concert at the Church of St Nicholas. Chic Russia at its best, discover the wealth of treasures and palaces which depict a tale of Russia's fascinating history and join us as we lead you behind the scenes to discover hidden gems not accessible by the general public.


Day 1 - Arrive St Petersburg

Upon arrival at St. Petersburg airport, meet your guide in the arrivals hall and transfer in the comfort of your own private vehicle to your hotel where your local manager is waiting to welcome you to Russia and assist with check-in procedures.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Day 2 - Peterhof and St Petersburg Highlights

This morning's sightseeing with your expert guide takes you out of the city to Peterhof and the great summer estate of Peter the Great, nestled on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. After his victory over the Swedes at Poltava in 1709, Peter decided to build a palace "befitting of the very highest of monarchs" and a visit to Versailles in 1717 furthered these ambitions. The park features numerous palaces, summer houses and pavilions; a prominent highlight is the Grand Cascade, a delightful sequence of 37 gilded bronze sculptures, 64 fountains and 142 water jets descending from the terraces of the Great Palace to the Marine Canal and the sea. To avoid the crowds, the Grand Palace is opened for you before official opening hours.

Afterwards you are whisked back to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil.

After lunch at leisure, find your bearings in St Petersburg on a drive through the historical city centre seeing highlights such as Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the Admiralty and Vasilevsky Island. Visit the fascinating Peter & Paul Fortress, which Peter the Great built in 1703 to provide protection from the Swedes. The Fortress Cathedral is the burial place of most of Russia's Tsars and Tsarinas from the eighteenth century onwards, including Peter the Great himself, the great architect of St Petersburg. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure, during which you may like to discover the gastronomic delights of the city.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Meal Plan: B

Day 3 - Catherine Palace and Pavlovsk Palace

Head south out of the city with your expert guide to TsarskoeSelo ('the Tsar's village'), more commonly known as Pushkin. Set in landscaped parkland, one of the baroque palace’s highlights is the famous Amber Room, a chamber decorated with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors which has been restored to its original glory.

Enjoy a traditional hearty Russian lunch at Podvorie Dacha and continue to Pavlovsk Palace, a royal residence until 1917. The Great Palace was a gift from Catherine the Great to her son Paul. Originally designed by Charles Cameron, it was partly redesigned at Paul’s request by several famous European architects including Quarenghi and Rossi. Although severely damaged in World War II, the palace has been beautifully and lavishly restored, and is set amidst delightful parkland which, when created, was the largest landscaped area in the world.

Later, have fun riding a colourful Russian troika through Pavlovsk Park.

Return to the hotel at the end of your tour for an evening at leisure. You might wish to take in a ballet or opera performance at one of St. Petersburg's theatres.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Meal Plan: B

Day 4 - The Hermitage, Gold Rooms and Canal Cruise

Begin your day with a visit to one of the most famous museums in the world: the awe-inspiring Hermitage in the lavishly decorated Winter Palace. The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings and houses 3-million pieces of artwork from the Stone Age to modern times. The museum was commissioned by Catherine the Great and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases from the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe.

During your visit to the Hermitage, take the unique opportunity to be astounded with a private visit to see the stunning collections of either gold or diamonds safely secreted in the museum treasuries. On display in the Gold Rooms are works by Ancient Greek masters, Scythian gold articles and Oriental jewellery from India, Iran and China, as well as superb examples of ceremonial Oriental weapons.

After lunch at leisure, continue to the Church of the Resurrection of Christ (more familiarly known as the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood), a superb example of Russian architecture and decorative art from the end of the nineteenth century.

Afterwards, experience St Petersburg in the manner Peter the Great intended with a one-hour private journey on a luxurious canal boat. Your cruise allows you to gain a unique perspective of the city as the granite embankments appear like peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace

Meal Plan: B

Day 5 - Faberge Museum and High-Speed Sapsan Train to Moscow

This morning, visit the wonderful Faberge museum. Founded by Russia's fourth richest businessman and billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, the museum was opened in St. Petersburg to display a glittering collection of Faberge eggs as well as about 4,000 jewelledobjets d’art. Vekselberg's collection of Faberge objects is rated as one of the world's most valuable as the businessman paid the Forbes family more than $100 million to acquire it. When he bought them, the actual price was not disclosed but the estimated value of his art collection amounts $850 million.

Privately transfer to the train station where the high-speed Sapsan train is waiting to transport you to Moscow.

Upon arrival in Moscow, meet your driver at the train station and journey to your hotel where your Guardian Angel is on hand to help you with check-in procedures. Spend the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

Meal Plan: B

Day 6 - Highlights of Moscow, Tretyakov Gallery and Private Concert by the St Nicholas Choir

 Your captivating tour of this magnificent city begins with a visit to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of Russia's most important cathedrals, completely destroyed in Stalin's time and restored in 1990. Complete your touring this morning with a visit to the Novodevichy Convent and cemetery, the final resting place of Nikita Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin amongst many other famous names.

Continue to the Sparrow Hills observation platform to gain fantastic views of the city and visit Bowing Hill and the 1941-1945 war memorial before enjoying lunch at leisure.

This afternoon’s inspirational tour takes in the highlights of the world's best collection of Russian icons and pre-Revolutionary Russian art. Join your guide on a visit to the eye-catching Tretyakov Gallery, whose collection today consists of over 100,000 outstanding works of art.

Afterwards enjoy the unique chance to visit the Church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi, part of the Tretyakov Art Gallery. Absorb the beautiful sound of the St. Nicholas Choir of the Tretyakov Art Gallery, one of the best choirs in Russia, as they sing Russian church hymns.

Spend the evening exploring Moscow’s vibrant restaurants and bars.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

Meal Plan: B

Day 7 - Kremlin Territory and Private Visit to the Grand Kremlin Palace, Red Square and the Moscow Metro

No visit to Moscow would be complete without exploring the Kremlin Territory. For centuries, the Kremlin has been witness to many well-known and tragic events in Russia's past and so it is a treasure trove of Russian history.

Your morning tour begins with the extraordinary State Armoury; the oldest museum in Russia and home to a vast collection of precious stones, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century jewellery and other priceless artefacts dating as far back as the fourteenth century. It is also home to an impressive selection of carriages from the best Russian and European masters, precious fabrics, royal gala clothes and a fine collection of Faberge eggs.

You might wish to visit the dazzling exhibition of royal jewellery at the State Diamond Fund of the Kremlin.

Proceed to the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Faceted Palace. Home to the tsars for 200 years, the Grand Kremlin Palace is now used by the Russian President to entertain foreign dignitaries at the highest level. No palace is more opulent in all of Russia and after a $300 million renovation; the glorious rooms of the Faceted Palace and Terem have never looked more beautiful. The Grand Kremlin Palace and Faceted Palace are strictly closed to the public, but can be seen on any privately arranged itinerary.

Your tour of the Kremlin also includes two of the Kremlin's cathedrals: Assumption, the cathedral of coronations and the burial place of religious leaders, and Archangel, the royal burial church.

After lunch at leisure, visit the magnificent Red Square. Admire its prominent landmarks - Lenin's Tomb and St. Basil's cathedral, a colourful multi-domed complex whose architects were supposedly blinded by Ivan the Terrible so that they could never recreate such splendour again.

You may also wish to take a ride on the famous Moscow metro, renowned for the ornate splendour of its stations.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

Meal Plan: B

Day 8 - Cold War Museum and Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre

This morning, visit a former top-secret Soviet command post, known simply as GO-42, which now houses Moscow’s Cold War Museum. Located 60 metres (the equivalent of 18 floors) underground and accessed by steep steps and a small elevator, this bunker is not for the claustrophobic! Your excursion leads you through the secret tunnels of the building and gives you an exclusive opportunity to become familiar with Soviet armament and communication facilities of the ColdWar.

Please note: this visit is not recommended for anyone who suffers with claustrophobia or mobility issues.

After lunch at leisure visit the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre. Opened in late 2012, it is one of the largest Jewish museums in the world and is dedicated to the complex history of Russian Jewry. This engaging state-of-the-art museum investigates the struggles and achievements of Russian Jews throughout the centuries in touching detail, depth and honesty.

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

Meal Plan: B

Day 9 - Depart Moscow

Transfer in the comfort of your own private vehicle to the airport for you flight back home

Meal Plan: B