Stunning Scandinavia & Russia Tour 2020 - ESR20
Number of Days: 20
Experience the stunning region of Scandinavia with visits to Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Kristiansand, Flekkefjord, Stavanger, Bergen, Oslo, Orebro, Stockholm, Turku, Naantali & Helsinki before heading to Tallinn in Estonia and then onto Russia. Explore St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Valday, Tver, Sergiev Posad, Suzdal, Vladimir and conclude in Moscow.
Your expert guide will make sure you see and experience all that this fantastic itinerary has to offer. Tick this off your bucket list in 2020!
Day 1 COPENHAGEN
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel. Welcome to Europe!!!. Transfer to hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon, or you can check the informative panels in the hotel reception area.
Day 2 COPENHAGEN - ODENSE - ARHUS
TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Visit of Copenhagen, pleasant scenery in southern Denmark. In the morning, a comprehensive tour of the Danish capital with a local guide. Copenhagen is the largest Scandinavian city, and full of contrasts: the popular Tivoli, Christianborg Palace, the terraces of Nyhavn, the Mermaid... In the afternoon we travel to Jutland, passing through pleasant scenery on our way. En route, we take a 20km bridge over the sea and stop at ODENSE, where we can visit its gothic cathedral and the house of Andersen. Arrival at AARHUS, accommodation.
Day 3 ARHUS - KRISTIANSAND FERRY - KRISTIANSAND - STAVANGER
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Norwegian coastline. We will travel to HIRTSHALS where we will take a ferryboat to Norway crossing the North Sea. A three-hour voyage to KRISTIANSAND. We will go along Norway’s southern coastline and enjoy its gorgeous landscapes. We will stop in a picturesque small town called STAVANGER, a beautiful town that has an active port by the fjord. Note: ferryboat operation hours vary depending on the months. Some time is normally reserved to have lunch on the boat.
Day 4 STAVANGER - BERGEN
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: beautiful fjord and sea landscapes. A funicular trip to Mount Floyen. On leaving the city, we will stop at the "Swords in Rock" monument, where we will remember the Vikings before continuing on the very beautiful scenic tour. We will follow the route going through tunnels, bridges and travel some stretches by boat to go along the fjord coast of Norway. One of its undersea tunnels is the deepest one in the world. This stage gets more relaxed and spectacular with its two boat trips. Arrival in BERGEN at lunchtime. We include a funicular trip to Mount Fløyen which offers amazing vistas of the town and Bergen fjord. There will be some free time later to enjoy the capital city of fjords.
Day 5 BERGEN - OSLO
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Spectacular scenery of mountains and fjords. Cruise. Landscapes are still fantastic on this day: images of Norway’s interior region – fjords, glaciers, lakes and forests. We will travel to SOGNEFJORD, Norway’s largest fjord. Prior to arrival, we will stop at the beautiful TVINDEFOSSEN waterfall. We will go on a magnificent cruise between the cities of Gudvangen and Flam; fantastic landscapes during this two-hour voyage. We will continue our journey crossing magnificent snow-covered landscapes. We will go under the Lærdal Tunnel, one of the longest in the world. Visit to BORGUND’s 12th century wooden church which is considered Norway’s best-preserved medieval church (entrance included). Arrival in OSLO. Free time. Check out its port, main streets, and the artworks at Frognerparken.
Day 6 OSLO - OREBRO - STOCKHOLM
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: impressive scenery with mountains, forests and lakes. We will spend some time in OSLO before departing for Sweden. Landscapes with forests and lakes. Stop OREBRO, town next to a beautiful lake with a castle and charming historic centre. Time for stroll and lunch. Arrival in Stockholm in the evening.
Day 7 STOCKHOLM
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: Stockholm sightseeing. We make a panoramic tour of this very beautiful capital city built on 13 islands joined together. We will see the Gamla Stand or the “City between the Bridges”, the old quarter of the city, full of life where there are many monumental buildings such as the Nobel Museum, alongside the main square of Stortorget, which pays tribute to the winners of the Nobel Prizes, the Cathedral and the Royal Palace. Whenever possible, we will enjoy a pretty view of the Fjällgatan viewpoint. Free time. We recommend visiting the museums and parks. Optionally, we suggest a visit to the City Hall and to the Vasa museum-ship.
Day 8 STOCKHOLM - STOCKHOLM-TURKU FERRY
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Ferry to Finland. Free day in Stockholm. In the evening we will board a modern ferry, overnight accommodation in double cabins with private bathroom to go to Finland.
Day 9 STOCKHOLM-TURKU FERRY - NAANTALI - HELSINKI
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Forests, lakes, pleasant landscapes. We recommend you to go to the ship deck at sunrise; we arrive in Finland by sailing along the Aland Islands, contemplating hundreds of islands covered by forests. We shall see mesmerizing landscapes from the sea. Disembarkation and time to walk around TURKU, a city with a very strong Swedish influence. We continue our journey to the neighbouring city of NAANTALI, very picturesque town of wooden houses next to the sea. We will later arrive in HELSINKI, time for lunch. Free afternoon, you will be able to get to know this city, with its old market, the Russian influence in its buildings and churches.
Day 10 HELSINKI - HELSINKI-TALLINN FERRY - TALLINN
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Stage by the sea with beautiful landscapes on the way out of Helsinki. We include a boat trip (regular line water local transport) to Suomenlinna Islands, - six islands where we highlight a great fortress that used to protect the sea entry to the city and was declared World Heritage - Time to stroll around (we will be able to cross the island through its small pedestrian bridges). Later we shall board a ferry to Estonia; Ferry trip of around 2h30 duration; we suggest admiring the departure from Helsinki and the surrounding islands. Arrival to TALLINN.
Day 11 TALLINN
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: city tour of Tallinn. The capital of Estonia is a wonderful city with a well-conserved medieval centre. Comprehensive tour of the city, its walls, churches, squares, and its mediaeval streets filled with tourist attractions. Free afternoon.
Day 12 TALLINN - NARVA - ST. PETERSBURG
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: from Estonia to Russia. Today we leave Estonia and travel to Russia. We stop in NARVA with time to see the impressive fortress by the river, on the border between the two countries. Border procedures (which can sometimes take time), lunch included once in Russia. We go on to ST PETERSBURG. Arrival at the hotel.
Day 13 ST. PETERSBURG
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Panoramic visit of St. Petersburg. Catherine Palace. With a local guide, we begin the panoramic visit of this beautiful city crossed by the Neva River and built on 40 islands. Saint Petersburg is the second most important city of Russia and the capital of the Russian Empire. This imperial city reveals the history of the Russian tsars through its museums, palaces, and architectural wealth. The visit includes the Peter and Paul Fortress, origin of the city (entrance included). The city is surrounded by numerous palaces, in the afternoon we include the excursion (tour with guide and tickets) to the CATHERINE PALACE located 25 km from St. Petersburg, it was the Tzars summer rococo residence. Note: Depending on availability, Peterhof Palace may be visited instead of Catalina Palace. The Peterhof Palace, with very similar characteristics, was also a former residence of tsars.
Day 14 ST. PETERSBURG
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Hermitage Museum. Today we have included the Hermitage Museum, a fantastic art museum located in the building that was the Tsars’ Winter Palace (visit with guide and tickets). Free afternoon.
Day 15 ST. PETERSBURG - NOVGOROD - VALDAY - TVER
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Russian plain, woodlands and lakes. Novgorod. Dinner included. We travel to NOVGOROD, an exciting city that was one of Russia’s most important political and cultural centres. We will visit (with guide and tickets included) it's Kremlin, the former market district, the court of Yaroslav. Lunch included. We go on our way to VALDAY, a picturesque little city by a lake. We will visit an ancient monastery on the island in the lake before going on to TVER. Dinner included.
Day 16 TVER - SERGEI POSAD - SUZDAL
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Along tiny roads to see the rural areas of Russia, passing many pretty villages on our way. Lunch included. A stroll in TVER, a city on the banks of the Volga River that was the centre of a small State that was Moscow’s main rival. After this, we will see some of the cities of the GOLDEN RING. A brief stop in KLIN where we find the house of the brilliant composer Tchaikovsky. Then we carry on to SERGIEV POSAD, we see the Monastery of the Trinity, considered Russia’s most important spiritual centre. Lunch included. In the afternoon, we travel along small roads that pass through historical cities of the Golden Ring: ALEKSANDROV (with its Kremlin dedicated to Ivan the Terrible) and YURYEV POLSKIY, a small provincial city with its historical Kremlin. Our route continues to SUZDAL, where we will visit the Wooden Architecture Museum, which illustrates the former peasant life with houses built of trunks, their mills and the Church of the Transfiguration. Dinner included during which a folkloric group will accompany us with the sound of balalaikas (not included if there are fewer than 15 participants in the group).
Day 17 SUZDAL - VLADIMIR - MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: sightseeing of Suzdal. Lunch included. In the morning we will see how the famous Matriuska dolls are made and painted, and we will encourage you to learn how to paint them. Then we visit SUZDAL, which for many is the most beautiful of the cities of the Golden Ring with its canals, its flowers, the domes on the horizon, which give the city a fairy-tale-like appearance. We visit the city with a local guide and tickets included: The Kremlin, the cathedral. At the Monastery of St Eugen, we will hear the bell concert. After this, we travel to VLADIMIR, where we visit the majestic Cathedral of the Assumption. Lunch included. Then we go on to Moscow, where we arrive at the end of the afternoon.
Day 18 MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: city tour of Moscow. We will start our day with an exciting visit to Russia’s huge capital city. This city unites past, present and future in a very unique way. We will go along their immense avenues, their elegant shopping areas, the Red Square where Lenin’s Mausoleum is, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour… We include a ticket to the Kremlin with a visit to two of its main cathedrals. We will try (not guaranteed) to coincide with the ceremonial military parade in Sobornaya Square. Free afternoon.
Day 19 MOSCOW
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Viewpoint over Moscow. Great Patriotic War Museum. We will learn more about the history of Russia and its capital. We will pass by the university viewpoint, with its fantastic view over the city where newly married couples leave flowers (we could go to the viewpoint after Saturday’s visit instead of Sunday) and we will get to know (including entry) the Great Patriotic War Museum (World War II) that also shows us many aspects of the Soviet period. Free afternoon.
Day 20 MOSCOW
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.
- Travel by bus with English speaking guide and breakfast buffet.
- City tour in COPENHAGEN, STOCKHOLM, TALLINN, St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Tver, Suzdal, Moscow
- Excursion: Visit Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg
- Boat: Sogner Fjord in BERGEN, Suomenlinna islands in Helsinki in HELSINKI
- Ticket admission: Borgund´s church in BERGEN, Catherine Palace in S. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Peter and Paul Fortress and Hermitage Museum in S. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Kremlin in Novgorod in Novgorod, Monastery on the island of Valday in Valday, Wooden architecture Museum, Church of the Transfiguration, Kremlin, Monastery of St. Eugen and factory of Matrioskas in Suzdal in Suzdal, Kremlin and its Principal Cathedrals in Moscow in Moscow, Great Patriotic War Museum in Moscow in Moscow
- Ferry: Denmark- Norway in Kristiansand, stretches along the fjord coast of Norway in STAVANGER, Stockholm Sweden / Turku Finland in STOCKHOLM-TURKU FERRY, Helsinki Finland / Tallinn Estonia in HELSINKI-TALLINN FERRY
- Funicular: Mount Floyen in Bergen in BERGEN
- 4 Lunch included in Narva, Novgorod, SERGEI POSAD, Vladimir
- 2 dinner included in Tver, Suzdal
- $5,399 per person based on twin share