EPIC TRANS-MONGOLIAN

MOSCOW ● KAZAN ● EKATERINBURG ● KRASNOYARSK ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● ULAN UDE ● ULAANBAATAR

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

20 nights from UK £ 3,790 / US $ 5,120 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 670 / US$ 905 per person. These prices are based on 2021 rates and are here to give guidance. Final quotes vary by date, exchange rates and are subject to availability.

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A GROUP TOUR - CAN BE TAILORED 

SEASON - YEAR ROUND WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-M-BT-03-UB

DOWNLOAD THE TRIP DOSSIER

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MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

Russia’s vast and iconic capital and the start of this railway adventure.

🇷🇺 KAZAN - 1 night

Prosperous Capital of the Republic of Tatarstan with a superb Kremlin.

🇷🇺 EKATERINBURG - 1 night

City in the beautiful Ural Mountains where the Romanovs met their fate.

🇷🇺 KRASNOYARSK - 2 nights

Busy Siberian city located on the banks of the mighty Yenisey River.

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 3 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇷🇺 ULAN UDE - 2 nights

East meets West in the Mongolian influenced capital of Buryatia.

🇲🇳 ULAANBAATAR - 3 nights

Remote capital of Mongolia and the start of a steppe adventure.

ON THE TRAINS - total 6 nights

We use the most comfortable and reliable trains possible for each leg.

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OUR EXCLUSIVE TRIP GUIDEBOOK

This trip includes our exclusive 200+ page guidebook personalised to your trip with sections about the trains, destinations, timetables and emergency contacts and allowing you to be fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime - an invaluable resource!
trip-guidebook

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

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DAY 1 - MOSCOW 

YOUR TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE STARTS IN RUSSIA’S CAPITAL OF MOSCOW

Welcome to Moscow, Russia’s capital and its largest city with more than 12 million people. It is the political and economic centre of this vast country and has many of Russia’s most famous sights, not least Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral. With over 800 years of history there is also a wealth of architecture, museums and monuments to a colourful past. Transfer by private car with an English speaking driver to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring this stunning city.

MEALS: None today.

OVERNIGHT: Peter 1 Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 2 - MOSCOW 

A FASCINATING 3 HOUR WALKING TOUR OF CENTRAL MOSCOW WITH A FREE AFTERNOON

The perfect introductory walking tour of central Moscow designed to orientate and open up its hidden treasures. Your guide will take you along the main streets and less visited back roads to see the diversity of architectural styles from the austere and restrained Russian style to richly decorated Moscow Baroque, elegant Empire, fascinating Art Nouveau and even Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish. Hear stories and legends not found in the guidebooks as well as passing the most important sites in the city including the Bolshoi Theatre, Tverskaya street, GUM Department store, Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral.

The rest of the day is free to further explore Moscow. The exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before your trip is full of ideas and useful information to ensure you get the most out of your time in this iconic city.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Peter 1 Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 3 - on the train 

FREE TIME TO EXPLORE RUSSIA’S CAPITAL & ITS MANY WORLD CLASS SIGHTS

A free day to explore Moscow. The city has much to offer whatever the weather from the famous museums such as Pushkin Fine Arts and Tretyakov Art Gallery to more outdoor areas including the Park of the Fallen Idols and Novodevitchy Convent. Of course, if the weather is not so good Moscow is one of the few cities where a day spent on the metro is a tourist attraction with many beautiful stations to visit and all for the price of a single ticket! For relaxing we recommend the bars, galleries and cafes of the Red October district or the fabulous Gorky Park.

Transfer to the station for the overnight train to Kazan. Settle in to your cabin for a good nights sleep on the way to the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 4 - kazan 

MORNING TOUR TO SVIYAZHSK ‘ISLAND’ & WITH A FREE AFTERNOON IN THE CITY

Morning arrival in Kazan a wealthy city considered the “Third Capital of Russia” that successfully manages to blend both Islamic and Christian culture - even its Kremlin has both an Orthodox Cathedral and Mosque within its walls. With this blend the city has a colourful past and an optimistic future.

Your guide will meet you at the station and you start your time with a trip to Sviyazhsk ‘Island’ about an hour from the city centre. Located at the strategically important confluence of the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers, Sviyazhsk was founded in 1551 as a fortress. Today a visit here is like stepping back in time to an older, pre-Soviet Russia.

Return to the city early afternoon to check-in to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day to relax or explore the surrounding area.

MEALS: None today.

OVERNIGHT: Guiseppe Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 5 - on the train 

FREE MORNING BEFORE AN AFTERNOON WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY’S HIGHLIGHTS & EVENING DEPARTURE

Free time this morning before checking out of your hotel. This afternoon you have a 4 hour walking tour of the city focusing on some of the Kremlin and some of the oldest streets including the Bauman, Karl Marx and what is known as the Big Red Street to see the Peter & Paul Cathedral. You will also see Mardzhani Mosque, Sultal-Galeev Square and the Virgin Monastery where the Kazan Virgin icon is housed.

After the tour some free time before an evening transfer for the train on to Ekaterinburg.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 6 - EKATERINBURG

VISIT THE ROMANOVS SECRET GRAVE & STAND ASTRIDE THE EUROPE-ASIA BORDER

Awake in the Ural Mountains crossing the Europe-Asia continental border before arriving in Ekaterinburg a short time afterwards around noon. The city is full of history and surrounded by beautiful countryside and traditional villages. Transfer to your hotel.

Drive 15 km north-west to a monastery dedicated to the Romanov’s family located on the spot where the Bolsheviks tried to hide the corpses of the Tsar and his family in a secret grave. Today this is a Russian Orthodox pilgrimage site including a grave and seven wooden churches.

Continue on to the continental border of Europe and Asia 20 km west of the city. On the way we make a short stop at the Memorial of Victims of the GULAGs. The Main Obelisk “Between Europe & Asia” allows you to straddle the continental divide and you also get a Certificate with a glass of sparkling wine!

Return to the city with a free evening.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Chekhov Boutique Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 7 - on the train

FULL DAY COUNTRYSIDE & SIBERIAN VILLAGE EXPERIENCE BEFORE AN EVENING DEPARTURE

Today we drive out of the city to one of the photogenic country villages* that are scattered across the rolling scenery of the Ural mountains. Here we see a traditional Siberian “izba” house - a style suited to the often extreme environment - that can be seen right across Siberia. We also visit the local museum to learn about everyday life in this part of Russia and listen to a concert of local folk music. There will be time to explore the village with your guide and you will also enjoy a traditional Siberian homestyle lunch often using locally produced and seasonal ingredients.

Evening transfer to the station for your onward train. From this point on you have entered Siberia!

*Depending on the day of your visit this trip will be to either Koptelovo, Nizhnyaya Sinyachikha or Mironovo village all approximately 150 km from Ekaterinburg.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 8 - on the train

YOUR FIRST DAY IN SIBERIA & THE VASTNESS OF CENTRAL RUSSIA

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few large settlements. The major city is Omsk but there are also a few other large stops. This is a day for relaxing, socializing and getting into a good book!

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 9 - KRASNOYARSK

ARRIVAL IN & CITY TOUR OF KRASNOYARSK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Morning arrival in Krasnoyarsk where you will be met at the station to start an half day city tour. This prosperous city located on the Yenisey River is highly regarded for it’s cultural life as well as the beautiful scenery of the Stolby Nature Reserve a short distance from the city.

As a hotel room is unlikely to be ready this early we start with a city tour which begins with the monument to Andrey Dubensky, the founder of the city, which also offers superb views and Karaulnaya Hill where Paraskeva Pjatnitsa Chapel built in 1855 is located. Move on to the Annunciation temple, Intercession Cathedral and Catholic church as well as Mira Avenue, the Drama Theatre, Opera and Ballet House and Yenisey quay.

After the tour continue to your hotel to check-in with free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: None today - however the train does have a dining car.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 10 - KRASNOYARSK

DAY TRIP TO THE STOLBY NATURE RESERVE & KRASNOYARSK DAM

Today we head out of the city firstly visiting the Hydro Power Station and Dam, Russia’s second largest. Here you can see the mighty Yenisey river which, at 4,092 km is the longest in Russia. The dam is an extraordinary feat of engineering as it had to be designed to cope with the intense cold and ice pressure of winter. Enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting the Stolby Nature Reserve and make a short walk of about 2-3 km round trip to the centre of the reserve where there are beautiful views and unusual rock formations. Time to enjoy the scenery and nature before returning to the city and a free evening.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Picnic Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Soft Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 11 - on the train

FREE MORNING TO EXPLORE THE CITY BEFORE CONTINUING YOUR JOURNEY

Free time until a transfer to the station for your onward train. After Krasnoyarsk the scenery is particularly pleasant consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and, of course, birch trees. There are many rivers and ponds and if it hasn’t happened before now you will start to comprehend just how vast and untouched this part of Russia is as the sun sets on the endless taiga of Siberia.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 12 - IRKUTSK & BAIKAL

ARRIVAL IN IRKUTSK TRANSFERRING TO BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE ON THE SHORES OF BAIKAL

Early morning arrival in Irkutsk, regarded as the modern day cultural capital of Siberia, famed for its traditional wooden architecture, complimented by a vibrant cafe and restaurant culture.

Transfer from the station the 2 hour drive through dense forest to the remote village of Bolshoe Goloustnoe located inside Pribaikalsky National Park. The setting is quintessential Siberia with almost all the village's houses made of wood running up to the lakeshore of beautiful Baikal, among the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters. Many of the 700 residents have lived their entire lives in the village which dates back to 1673.

Your accommodation here is in a Siberian house in the heart of the village. Once settled in take a walk with your guide through the village including a visit to the church. We walk along the lakeshore and can also climb into the forests and hills for views of Lake Baikal (good shoes or walking boots advisable). Return to the house for a pre-dinner Banya - the traditional Russian Sauna. Your guide will explain the procedure and after a hearty Siberian homestyle meal should set you up for a great nights sleep!

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THIS LAKE BAIKAL STOPOVER
Bolshoe Goloustnoe is a small village on the shores of Baikal and provides a genuine Siberian experience in beautiful surroundings. The village is far enough from the Irkutsk to keep day trippers to a minimum and has retained it charm. However, this does mean accommodation is in the traditional Siberian style of log cabins, separate, outside buildings for drop (not flush) toilets and a Russian banya (sauna) for washing. For many this is all part of the experience and feedback is overwhelmingly positive. If you would prefer more comfort we can arrange a higher level guesthouse in Bolshoe Goloustnoe or a different stopover in the more built up village of Listvyanka. Ask us for more information.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

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DAY 13 - lake BAIKAL

A DAY EXPLORING THE LAKE SHORE VILLAGE OF BOLSHOE GOLOUSTNOE & SURROUNDS

There is no rush to wake this morning. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading off for a walk up a nearby mountain ascending 400 meters for panoramic views of Baikal (if this is too strenuous or the weather is bad your guide will make other suggestions). A leisurely return to the house for lunch. Free time in the afternoon to relax back at the house or further explore the village and surrounding forest and hills or enjoy another invigorating Banya.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Siberian Guesthouse - click to learn more.

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DAY 14 - IRKUTSK

RETURN TO IRKUTSK WITH A CITY TOUR AND FREE TIME TO RELAX AT YOUR HOTEL

After breakfast drive the 2 hours back to Irkutsk arriving late morning at your hotel. Once settled in you will have a 2 hour walking tour of the city centre including the park and War Memorial, some of the beautiful churches along the Angara river, the main city centre streets and the statue of Alexander III - the Tzar responsible for the Trans-Siberian railway. Return to your hotel with free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guest House.

OVERNIGHT: Boutique Marussia Hotel ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 15 - ulan ude 

JOURNEY ALONG THE SHORE LAKE BAIKAL & BURYATIA BEFORE ARRIVAL AT ULAN UDE

Early morning transfer to the station to catch your onward train to Ulan Ude. Today is usually the scenic highlight of the journey - a day of lake, forest and mountain views. After Irkutsk the train rumbles around the Southern shore of the stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas. You will also notice a change in the people with many more Asian faces as you enter Buryatia which has strong cultural ties to Mongolia. This is a remote and pretty section of the trip with a hint of an old Asian culture ever present.

Mid-afternoon arrival in Ulan Ude where a guide will be waiting for you. Transfer to your accommodation. Ulan-Ude is capital of the republic of Buryatia and due to it’s proximity to Mongolia has a traditional importance as a trading settlement between Russia, Mongolia and China. Famed for having the largest Lenin head in the world the other attractions are found outside of the city.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Homestay - click to learn more.

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DAY 16 - ulan ude 

VISIT THE OLD BELIEVERS VILLAGE AND STUNNING IVOLGINSKI DATSAN

Today we leave the city to the impressive Ivolginski Datsan which has long been a center of Buddhism in Russia and has a unique Buddhist library. Continue on to the Old Believer village. The people here separated from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666 in protest of reforms and so practice a form of the religion that stopped across much of Russia at that time. Visit their church and a small museum before lunch is in a local home and free time before returning to Ulan-Ude.

MEALS: Breakfast & Lunch at a Local House.

OVERNIGHT: Homestay - click to learn more.

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DAY 17 - on the train

VISIT ATSAGATSKI DATSAN & TRAIN ON TO THE REMOTE RUSSIAN MONGOLIAN BORDER

After breakfast drive to Atsagatski Datsan which dates back to 1825. This was a teaching monastery as well as a centre for Tibetan Medicine. Continue on to the nearby village founded in the 19th century and which still keeps the traditions and customs of the Buryats, who make up most of the population, alive. Lunch in a local house before returning to the city to catch the afternoon train on to Ulaanbaatar.

Evening arrival at the Russia-Mongolia border at Naushki passing through the border formalities before continuing into the grasslands of Mongolia during the night.

MEALS: Breakfast & Lunch at a Local House.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 18 - ULAANBAATAR

ULAANBAATAR & COMFORTABLE ELSTEI GER CAMP

Early morning arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia and a truly unique destination that is for many a real highlight of the trip. Before heading out to Elstei ger camp you have breakfast and a chance to shower.

Transfer on to Elstei Ger camp located 55 km outside of the city in the open steppe stopping at the 40 meter high Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue (a further 25 km from Elstei) that sees that most famous of Mongols survey the grasslands. Elstei offers comfortable and spacious ger accommodation with separate toilet, showering and dining facilities. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

A range of options are available including visits to local nomads and learning about their way of life and hiking the grasslands. There are also opportunities to for horse riding (payable locally) and, for much of the year, activities such as archery, ger building and even the opportunity to learn how to wrestle Mongolian style! Of course, you can simply relax and take in this extraordinary landscape.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 19 - ULAANBAATAR

ENJOY THE STEPPE FURTHER OR RELAX AT THE GER CAMP

A full day at Elstei Ger camp to enjoy this unique experience with assistance from your guide when required. Today is a good opportunity to range further into the steppe from the ger camp either by foot or horseback (local hire fees apply) and, if the guide is notified the night before, the kitchen can arrange a packed lunch.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

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DAY 20 - ULAANBAATAR

RETURN TO ULAANBAATAR FOR A CITY TOUR & FREE TIME

After breakfast return to Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia’s capital is home to around a third of the entire population and has experienced a major boom in the last 10 years. There is much of cultural interest here and the this morning’s city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, impressive Sukhbaatar square and the views and Soviet monuments of Zaisan Hill.

Free time for the rest of the day, perhaps to delve into the city’s surprisingly vibrant eating and drinking scene.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Bayangol Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 21 - end of tour 

FREE TIME UNTIL A TRANSFER TO YOUR ONWARD TRANSPORT

Today is free for any last minute shopping, sightseeing or souvenirs hunting before a transfer to your onward transport out of Mongolia. We sincerely hope that you have had a fantastic Trans-Siberian experience!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

Thank you so very much. We had the best time!
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INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

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Train tickets in second class – ask us about upgrades.
All accommodation as specified above.
All private transfers and transport as described.
All meals as specified in the itinerary.
All tours as specified including entrance fees.
24 hour emergency assistance
Visa Paperwork you need in order to obtain the visas.
Financial Peace of Mind as your trip is protected.
Our exclusive 200+ page trip guidebook.
International Airfare to / from the start / finish of your trip – we can book these flights on request.
The Russian & Mongolian visas – we can advise and partner with VisaCentral.
Travel insurance to cover any medical treatment – we canadvise on options.
Discretionary gratuities to drivers and guides.

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