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Cycling in Russia

 

 

Welcome to Russia! The good news is that we do not have snow all year round, and the bears are not so common on the city streets! This alone makes Russia a good place for cycling. But there is much more to it because Russia is unique in many ways.

First, it is the country’s vast spaces. The size of Russia’s forests can compare with that of an average European country. Its lakes compete with the Great Lakes of America, and beat by size some of the seas.
Second, the richness of Russia’s history, including the recent history, would impress any inquisitive mind.  We compose all our itineraries so that you could get acquainted with the history of Russia.
Any country’s history is always reflected in its architecture. The visitors will see impressive fortresses, ancient Orthodox churches, magnificent imperial palaces, Art Nouveau buildings, modern towers, and lots more.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Then, there is the diversity. The dynamic life of cities contrasts with peaceful rural lifestyle of the villages. Many peoples originating from different parts of the Russian Empire have contributed to its cultural heritage. And what is a better way of tasting this diversity than Russian cuisine? Along with delicious Russian dishes, you can taste Ukrainian, Georgian, Tatar, Uzbek, and many other specialties.
A few words about the city of Saint Petersburg where we are based... One of the world’s wonders, it was created in a unique natural environment of the mighty River Neva’s delta by the will of Russian Emperor Peter the Great and the talent of renown architects from all over Europe. They were supported by financial power of the empire, and inspired by the Russian concept of space and perspective. Come and see, and you will fall in love with this city.
While we, the natives of Saint Petersburg get jealous when someone praises Moscow, we must admit its unbeatable vibe, character, and charm. You will be able to judge yourselves.

Talking about the practical side, travelling with us is simple. We offer comfortable double room accommodation, delicious restaurants, an accompanying van, and reliable hybrid bikes. Naturally, our highly experienced cycling guides speak English, some of them will also greet you in German, French, or Spanish.

In addition to enjoying tourist landmarks, we try to help you dive into the local life. Going to the country store, chatting to locals, swimming in the lake (a must for the Russians), an outdoor barbeque (shashlik), and a traditional Russian Sauna – all this will make your Russian adventure an unforgettable experience.

Saint Petersburg – Pushkin National Park – Pskov – Moscow

Highlights of the tour:

  • Architectural perfection of St.Petersburg
  • Historical towns and estates that influenced Russian literature
  • Rural countryside and pretty villages
  • Ancient fortresses and monasteries
  • Old feudal city of Pskov
  • Moscow – historical, colorful, and full of life
  • Overnight train trip in a sleeping car
  • … and XXX kilometers of enjoyable cycling

Day. Arrival in St.Petersburg. Transfer to a centrally located hotel

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Tour of St.Petersburg. Departure by night train

In the morning, we take you on a walking tour of the city centre. We start at bustling Nevsky Prospect, walk along the canals, visit Palace square, see magnificent Winter Palace, Admiralty, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and other landmark sites of St.Petersburg.

Your afternoon is free but we will offer you the options of a city tour on the bike, boat trip on city’s rivers and canals, and a visit to the Hermitage or Russian Museum.
In the evening, we take an overnight train to our destination in Pskov Region.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Suschevo – Sacred Hills

On arrival, we find ourselves in a quiet rural railway station of Suschovo. Our van will meet us here with our bikes. After bike fitting, we hit the road aiming for Sacred Hills. This name was recently returned to this little town that for decades was called Pushkin Hills, after the famous Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin who spent here several years in his family estate. Nowadays the entire area is the National Park preserving historical and cultural heritage along with inspiring landscapes. The town is dominated with the Sacred Hills Monastery.

Day. Exploring Pushkin National Park

Today we explore the National Park on the bike. Quiet side roads lead us to well preserved XVII-XIX century estates - you will recognize the settings of which you read in classical Russian books, or saw in the movies. Wooden mansions, beautiful parks, quiet alleys are in natural harmony with wheat fields, shining lakes, rolling hills, and forests.

Day. Sacred Hills – Ostrov

We will start this day on the asphalt but will soon leave it, and make our way to Ostrov on a dirt road winding among the fields and forests, along the River Velikaya (The Great), passing by old tiny villages. While unsealed road is a bit of a challenge, we will be rewarded by the beauty of surroundings and almost non-existent traffic.
Ostrov was established in XIII century. In addition to the old churches and houses, the town owes its charm to unique chain bridges over River Velikaya.

Day. Ostrov – Izborsk

Today we cycle through the lands at the western edges of Russia that saw many battles through the ages. Around Ostrov we see fortifications built prior to World War II. As we approach Izborsk, high on the hill we will see an impressive stone fortress. The legend reads that Izborsk was the capital of Prince Truvor, younger brother of Prince Ryurik – the Viking who was invited to rule Russia in the IX century. The massive fortress was built in XIV century, and defended Russian lands against attacks of Livonian knights. Inside the fortress ramparts, we will see a gorgeous St. Nicolas church built in XIV century. There are a few nice chapels around the fortress. We can also visit the picturesque Slavonic Springs.

Day. Visit to Pechorsky Monastery

Through the beautiful scenery, we ride to the Pechorsky Monastery, one of the few in Russia that remained monasteries through the Soviet era. Its colorful domes are seen from afar, and the view is often supplemented by the music of the bells. The entire monastery looks like a scene from an old Russian fairy tale.

Day. Izborsk – Pskov

The quiet side roads lead us to Pskov. We hope to get there by noon, leaving some time to enjoy this lovely city.  Between X and XV century Pskov was the capital of an independent feudal state, and even today we can see the traces of its glory. First, it is the white-stone Pskov Kremlin on the banks of River Velikaya. We will also see some nice wooden houses and white-stone churches all around the city.
In the evening, we take the night train to Moscow.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Moscow

Upon arrival, we will check in our hotel, and then go on a walking tour of Moscow, including the Kremlin and Red Square. In the afternoon, you can choose between free time and optional boat trip on Moskva River, where you can see the Gorky Park, Moscow University skyscraper, Olympic Stadium, recently rebuilt Church of the Christ-the-Savior, and other Moscow landmark.

Day. Free time and return flight

Price: EUR 1070 for the group of 10-14 pax.

  • Price includes:
  • Hotel accommodation in twin/ double rooms with private facilities
  • Ground transportation as described above, including airport transfers
  • Breakfasts on days 2-10.
  • Picnic lunches on cycling days (3-7)
  • On cycling days (3-8) – snacks and drinking water
  • On cycling days (3-8) – support van carrying the luggage and providing help when needed.
  • English speaking guide
  • Walking tours of St.Petersburg and Moscow.

Price does not include:

  • Flights to St.Petersburg and from Moscow
  • Fees associated with obtaining the visa
  • Any insurance
  • Lunches in St.Petersburg, Moscow
  • Dinners
  • Bicycle rental, which can be provided for additional cost

This is a planned itinerary. Tour Organizer reserves the right to make any changes that it determines are necessary, with or without advance notice. Changes of itinerary will not result in a refund of any portion of the Tour price.

KARJALA

Day. Arrival in St.Petersburg, transfer to your hotel, and the dinner

Day. Transfer to Roschino, cycling Roschino – Vyborg

In the morning, we start with one hour transfer to Roschino where we meet with our escort vehicle. Here you will get your rental bikes or assemble, with our help, your own ones. We change into our cycling gear, and hit the road!
Today we ride through the Karelian Isthmus lying between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga – the largest lake in Europe. The landscape here was formed in the end of the ice age by the receding glacier which left behind hundreds of lakes. We ride mostly on the asphalt but also enjoy some forest roads.
We end the day in the medieval town of Vyborg. It was established by the Swedish knights, and through its history changed hands multiple times between Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The medieval knights’ castle, the only one in Russia, dominates the town. We also see some medieval homes, along with nice examples of Nordic Classicism and Art Nouveau remaining from the times of the Finnish rule.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Vyborg – Lake Vuoksa

Today we keep cycling through pristine Karelian landscape featuring pine forests and endless lakes. We end the day in a guesthouse on the bank of Lake Vuoksa. We will experience traditional Russian sauna and swim in the lake. We will have a barbeque dinner, having a choice between meat, fish, and vegetables.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Lake Vuoksa – Losevo

We start the days cycling on a quiet asphalt road, then ride through the forests, and reach Losevo. This village is well known among outdoor enthusiasts for the Losevo Rapids. Here a large river goes through the narrows, running between the rocks and forming impressive vortexes. The rapids traditionally host kayaking and rafting competitions. We are not going to compete but will have a chance to pass through the rapids on a raft with an experienced instructor.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Losevo – Lake Ladoga

Today the asphalt will make up less than a half of our journey. In this rural countryside we will enjoy beautiful nature and nice architecture. On a tiny island on Lake Vuoksa we will find a traditional Russian Orthodox Church of St. Andrew. We will also stop by a Lutheran Church build in Nordic Modern style.
We will stay in the hotel near Lake Ladoga. The wooded coast has many little bays and islands adjacent to the shore, and we will enjoy the views of Ladoga sherries.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Lake Ladoga – Lahdenpohya – transfer to Sortavala

We continue our journey on a dirt road, and cross the former border to what was Finland before 1940. Hilly road takes us through the woods and passes along few bays of Lake Ladoga with crystal clear waters. We cycle to Lahdenpohya from where we transfer to Sortavala – a nice town on the shores of Lake Ladoga. Our hotel overlooks the lake.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Boat trip to Valaam Archipelago

Today is one of the trip highlights. We take a boat to go to the Valaam Archipelago known as a “Pearl of the Russian North”. Remoteness of Valaam, along with its natural beauty attracted the monks to settle here in XI century. This settlement later became a Monastery. Today we see an extraordinary architectural ensemble built into exceptional natural environment. The churches and chapels are often surrounded by century-old firs, and they are dispersed across the islands, some of which are connected with the bridges. As a bonus for us, there is no car traffic on the archipelago, and we spend the day exploring it on the bike.
In the evening, we take the boat back to Sortavala, and stay in the same hotel.

Valaam stamp 2010

Day. Transfer to St.Petersburg (290 km), city tour

In the morning we take a new highway to transfer to St.Petersburg. We expect to be in our centrally located hotel by 1 pm. We spend the afternoon exploring the city on foot. Our city tour will include Nevsky Prospekt, Palace Square, Winter Palace, Admiralty, St.Isaak Cathedral, Neva embankment, the canals, and more.

Cycling in Russia. VeloTour invites everyone. Come and experience the taste of Russia. Russia as it is. Велосипедные маршруты для иностранцев в России с ВелоТуром.

Day. Free time in the city, airport transfer, return flight

Price: EUR 890 for the group of 10-14 pax.

  • Price includes:
  • Hotel accommodation in twin/ double rooms with private facilities
  • Ground transportation as described above, including airport transfers
  • Boat transportation to Valaam Island
  • Breakfasts on days 2-9
  • Picnic lunches on cycling days (2-7)
  • Snacks and drinking water on cycling days (2-7)  
  • 3 dinners, including 1 barbeque dinner
  • Russian sauna on day 3
  • Support van carrying the luggage and providing help when needed – on cycling days (2-7)
  • English speaking guide
  • Invitations required for visa application

Price does not include:

  • Flights to St.Petersburg and from Moscow
  • Fees associated with obtaining the visa
  • Any insurance
  • Meals not listed
  • Bicycle rental, which can be provided for additional cost

This is a planned itinerary. Tour Organizer reserves the right to make any changes that it determines are necessary, with or without advance notice. Changes of itinerary will not result in a refund of any portion of the Tour price.

Для оформления страницы были использованы фотографии из источников www.planetadorog.ru, photocentra.com, fotokto.ru, dachniki-online.ru, kuda-poehat-otdyhat.ru, thebestofrussia.ru, www.panoramio.com, www.culture.ru,

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