WINTER HIGHLIGHTS WESTBOUND

BEIJING ● ULAANBAATAR ● IRKUTSK & LAKE BAIKAL ● MOSCOW

TOUR OVERVIEW

DURATION, PRICE, TOUR TYPE & DEPARTURES

15 nights from UK £ 2,745 / US $ 3,850 per person*

*Price based on 2 people travelling in a shared 4 berth second class cabin. Upgrade to your own cabin from UK £ 540 / US$ 750 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 - OCTOBER TO APRIL WITH WEEKLY DEPARTURES

TOUR CODE : TS-W-B-04

MAP & DESTINATIONS

THE STOPS VISITED ON THIS TOUR

🇨🇳 BEIJING - 3 nights

China’s Capital is an eclectic mix of Imperial splendour & 21st Century Asia.

🇲🇳 ULAANBAATAR - 2 nights

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

🇷🇺 IRKUTSK & BAIKAL - 2 nights

Forward looking Siberian city and gateway to Lake Baikal.

🇷🇺 MOSCOW - 2 nights

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

ON THE TRAINS - total 6 nights

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

TSWB04 map

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!

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAILY DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTIVITIES, MEALS & OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION

DAY 1 - BEIJING

ARRIVAL BEIJING WITH TIME TO RELAX AT THE HOTEL

Welcome to Beijing, China’s cultural and political capital and a real highlight with its extraordinary blend of ancient and modern sights. Your guide will greet you at the airport with a transfer by private car to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax from the long flight or start to explore the city with the help of your personalised and exclusive Trip Guidebook we send you before the trip. The area around your centrally located hotel is perfect for an introductory walk.

MEALS: None Today.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 2 - BEIJING

THE GREAT WALL AT STUNNING MUTIANYU & ONE OF BEIJING’S MARKETS OR ICE SKATING ON HO HAI LAKE

Today we will be showing you one of China’s most famous sights - the Great Wall. We visit the dramatic and less crowded Mutianyu section 70 km from Beijing set amongst spectacular mountain scenery. Dating back to the 6th Century and largely rebuilt in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the best preserved sections of the wall largely due to the high standard of construction.

Also today, if you wish, we can take you to one of Beijing’s many markets. Favourites are the Silk Market, Pearl Market and Panjiayuan antique market. If souvenir shopping isn’t for you other options are the Hutong street of Nanluoguxiang, the 798 Dashanzhi contemporary art area or a quick look at the impressive 2008 Olympic Stadium. Alternatively you can see and perhaps participate in the ice skating on Ho Hai Lake. You can discuss which is right for you with us in advance or your guide on the day.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

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DAY 3 - BEIJING

TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, TIANANMEN SQUARE, FORBIDDEN CITY & SUMMER PALACE

Today you will see the main highlights of Beijing starting with the Temple of Heaven, considered by many to be the most beautiful building in China. On to vast Tiananmen Square, home to the Mao Mausoleum (it may be possible to visit if open) and Monument to the People’s Heroes before walking to the huge palace complex of the Forbidden City. We’ll walk up the middle axis from South to North taking in the splendour of the most important central buildings before finishing in a small and ancient garden by the north gate.

The last stop today is at the Summer Palace to the west of Beijing. Dominated by Kunming lake it is as popular an escape from the city for todays Beijingers as it was for the Imperial court over the centuries.

Return to your hotel with the rest of the evening free or just ask us for suggestions of shows or cultural activities.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast & Restaurant Lunch.

OVERNIGHT: Jade Garden Hotel  ★ ★ ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 4 - on the train

TRAIN JOURNEY UP INTO INNER MONGOLIA REACHING THE CHINA MONGOLIA BORDER

Morning transfer to the station to catch your first train in to Mongolia. Pass through Beijing’s suburbs before entering the grasslands of inner Mongolia, an expansive land of villages and farms. Evening arrival at the China-Mongolia border at Erlian. Here the carriages are raised up (with you still in them!) and the new bogies of the Mongolian gauge fitted making for a unique experience. Once completed the train continues across the border to the Mongolian town of Zamyn-Ude for the Mongolian immigration formalities. By this time it is late in the night as you continue your journey under darkness through the Gobi desert.

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

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 5 - ULAANBAATAR

THROUGH THE GOBI DESERT & GRASSLANDS TO ULAANBAATAR

Gradually the landscape changes from desert to grassland as you approach Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, arriving early afternoon.

Your guide will be meeting you at the station transfer you 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, spacious and cosy ger accommodation. Click here to learn more about ger camps in Mongolia.

In the winter months options are limited to taking walks on the frozen steppe. Note that horse riding is not available in the winter months. Of course, you can simply relax in your ger which is kept toasty warm by its own burner.

MEALS: Dinner at the Ger Camp.

OVERNIGHT: Elstei Ger Camp - click to learn more.

DAY 6 - ULAANBAATAR

THROUGH THE GOBI DESERT & GRASSLANDS TO ULAANBAATAR

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, largely driven mainly by the mining industry. However, there is much of cultural interest here and the city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, the impressive Sukhbaatar square and the impressive 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.

itinerary insert ulaanbaatar 1itinerary insert mongolia 4

DAY 7 - on the train

FREE TIME TO EXPLORE THE CITY BEFORE DEPARTURE TOWARDS RUSSIA

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, largely driven mainly by the mining industry. However, there is much of cultural interest here and the city tour includes Gandan Lama Monastery, the impressive Sukhbaatar square and the impressive 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: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 8 - IRKUTSK & BAIKAL

PASS ULAN UDE & TRAVEL ALONG THE SHORES OF LAKE BAIKAL TO IRKUTSK WITH A TRANSFER TO LISTVYANKA VILLAGE

Today is usually the scenic highlight of the entire journey, a day of lake, forest and mountain views. Early in the morning you reach Ulan Ude before joining the main Trans-Siberian line on to Moscow. Later in the day the train rumbles around the Southern shore of stunning Lake Baikal often passing within a matter of meters of the lake and providing endlessly changing vistas.

Afternoon 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 1 hour drive following the route of the Angara River down to the village of Listvyanka located close to where the river meets beautiful Lake Baikal. The lake is among the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters and has exceptionally clear water - or perhaps ice when you are here!

Settle in to your accommodation with free time for the rest of the day.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

OVERNIGHT: Usadba Demidova Guesthouse ★ ★ click to view hotel.

itinerary insert irkutsk 6itinerary insert irkutsk 1

DAY 9 - LAKE BAIKAL

TOUR OF LISTVYANKA VILLAGE & FREE TIME

After breakfast your guide will take you on a 4 hour walking tour of the village. You will see the beautiful church and visit the Limnological Museum to learn about the Lake itself and its unique flora and fauna. We will also take chairlift up to a view point for some of the best lake vistas.

The afternoon is free or we can arrange snowmobiling or dogsledding (depending on snow cover) or, if the lake is frozen enough, you may want to venture out onto the surface by foot or by hiring a bike.

The village also has a banya (Russian sauna) you can arrange to visit and which we heartily recommend as the quintessential Siberian experience!

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: Usadba Demidova Guesthouse ★ ★ click to view hotel.

DAY 10 - on the train

FREE MORNING BEFORE RETURNING TO IRKUTSK WITH A CITY TOUR & FREE TIME BEFORE A LATE DEPARTURE

A free morning in Listvyanka before an early afternoon transfer back to Irkutsk for 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.

Check into the Marussia Hotel with free time until a transfer in the early hours of the morning for the train on to Moscow.

MEALS: Breakfast at the Guesthouse.

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 11 - on the train

GOOD SCENERY TODAY PASSING KRASNOYARSK & ONTO NOVOSIBIRSK

Some good scenery today with a landscape consisting of gently rolling hills and dense forests of larch, pine and 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 quite untouched much of Russia is. Pass attractive and prosperous Krasnoyarsk reaching Siberia’s largest city of Novosibirsk in the evening.

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

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 12 - on the train

LAST DAY IN SIBERIA, EKATERINBURG & CROSS EURO-ASIA BORDER

The scenery today is flat, often swampy or forested and with few major settlements except for Omsk. Late in the evening you enter the rolling hills of the Ural's before reaching Ekaterinburg, historic capital of this mineral rich region. Shortly after Ekaterinburg you pass the Europe Asia border and so leave Siberia behind to the East.

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

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

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DAY 13 - on the train

THE LAND BECOMES MORE UTILIZED & POPULATED AS MOSCOW IS APPROACHED

Your last day on the train through a relatively highly populated region by Russian standards - a landscape of farms, small towns and villages. There are a few large cities to stop at but by now most people’s minds are focused on the final stop of Moscow reached tomorrow morning.

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

OVERNIGHT: On the train - click to learn more.

DAY 14 - MOSCOW

ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW & A WALKING TOUR OF THE CITY

Morning arrival at Moscow’s large Yaroslavsky station where a driver will be meeting you to transfer you to the hotel. Note that due to parking restrictions and enthusiastic traffic police you will need to check-in yourselves. Breakfast and early check-in from 6am has been pre-booked for you so you will have the opportunity to eat and freshen up before starting to explore the city.

This afternoon you will have 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.

MEALS: None today.

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

itinerary insert moscow 6itinerary insert moscow 9

DAY 15 - MOSCOW

FREE DAY 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.

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

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

DAY 16 - end of tour

DEPART MOSCOW & RUSSIA AFTER YOUR EPIC TRANS-SIBERIAN ADVENTURE

Today is a free until a transfer to your onward travel from Russia. We sincerely hope that you will have enjoyed your epic journey as much as we have many times already and we look forward to welcoming you back on another one of our trips!

MEALS: Hotel Breakfast.

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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 and Chinese 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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