Faith-based travel is the perfect way to explore the roots and stories of different faiths. Joining our mystic tour you will make a fascinating trip to holy places in Russia, Tatarstan, Buryatia, Mongolia, China, which for a long time were the pilgrimage sites for many confessions. Don't miss our spiritual journey that feels a lot like a vacation!
For many, traveling abroad is a spiritual experience visiting magnificent cathedrals, ancient temples and other historic religious sites can have a profound effect on anyone that encounters them. On a two-week itinerary, you can expect several sightseeing visits to spiritual sites, accompanied by expert commentary from your local guides. But you'll also enjoy traditional sightseeing, as well, such as tours of Moscow and Irkutsk. You'll also enjoy plenty of free time for exploration on your own. Carefully review the day-by-day itinerary, as well as What's Included, so you'll know exactly what to expect each day of your tour.
Welcome to Russia!
Transfer from the airport, accommodation to 4* hotel and free time. Capital of Russia, home of the mighty Kremlin and the legendary Red Square and the city that inspired dozens of spy novels. This amazing city began as a small provincial outpost but has become the cutting edge epicentre of Russia, with a fascinating history and a hedonistic night scene. In Red Square, feast your eyes upon the intensely colored onion domed St Basil's Cathedral – the subject of countless postcards and an enduring symbol of Russia. You can also pay your respects to the father of Communism, Lenin, whose sallow embalmed body has laid in the Square's eerie mausoleum since his death in 1924. Not to be missed, and opposite the mighty square is the golden domed Kremlin, Russia’s political powerhouse, where many infamous tyrants and dictators have conducted their business including Ivan the Terrible and Stalin. There is so much on offer in this exciting Capital, including internationally acclaimed museums and galleries, markets, boutique shopping and restaurants, it’s hard to know where to start! Getting around Moscow is easy using the metro system which was a gift to the Soviet people from Joseph Stalin and a tourist attraction in itself, take time to appreciate the elaborately decorated central stations.
Wonderful Golden Domes
After breakfast your guide will take you to the tour called “The Golden Domes” . Russia, like no other country in the world is rather attractive in terms of religious tourism. Scattered all over its vast territory is a great number of Orthodox churches and monasteries. No wonder it is often referred to as the Golden-Domed, since nearly every (without exaggeration!) Russian town and city alike is lit by the glow of its gilded domes. Most of the Russian churches and monasteries are in the UNESCO World Heritage List. They are the true masterpieces of ancient architecture, which have reached us from times immemorial and are now the most remarkable Russian landmarks. However, during our religious tour you'll be able to not only get the aesthetic pleasure from contemplation of ancient architecture but also visit a number of Christian holy sites. It is not a secret that most of the early monasteries were built on the so-called sacred places, near holy water springs, where according to legends people saw the images of the Virgin and other holy elders. Many temples keep miraculous shrines - the images of saints or chests with their relics. Each of these shrines has a story associated with the healing of the sick or saving entire cities from enemies' attacks. And of course, there is a unique story for every Orthodox church and monastery, connected not only with miraculous events but also with the history of the Russian land Ipatiev Monastery (Kostroma) used to serve as the hiding place from the Poles of the future founder of the Romanov dynasty - Mikhail; the Novodevichy Convent (Moscow) was the prison of the sister of Peter I, the Princess Sophia.
On the Transsib train
In the morning you will have to check out of your room. Today is time to relax and prepare for traveling by train. At the per-arranged time your driver will get you to the rail station. Our next destination is Kazan – the capital of Tatarstan well-known as a mix of cultures and religions.
Welcome to Kazan
In the morning your train arrives in Kazan. Did you know that it is called as the third capital of Russia? A city of unique historical monuments, Kazan is a UNESCO World Heritage City. The Kazan Kremlin that is located in close proximity to our hotel has been named a site of cultural and architectural value for all humanity, and indeed the Kremlin is the heart of the capital. You will be fascinated by the picturesque view that opens from our Roof Top Terrace. The famous Kul Sharif mosque, counted as the largest mosque in Europe at its opening in 2005, and Annunciation Cathedral built in 1556 stand side-by-side in Kazan Kremlin, symbolizing the peaceful coexistence of Islam and Orthodoxy; they impress by the panorama of unusual mix of their onion-shaped domes and golden minarets. All of these highlights you are going to see today. Free time in the evening.
Welcome to Yekaterinburg
Early morning departure for Yekaterinburg. In the evening the same day transfer from the station in Yekaterinburg, check-into central hotel and time to have a rest.
Today you are welcome to visit Verkhoturye – one is the largest religious centre of the Urals and Siberia! Here there are 40 churches and ancient monasteries. The oldest city of the Ural region was founded in 1598. At first, it was a stockaded town, built on the site of ancient settlement of Mansi people. Verkhoturye became an important administrative and customs post on a new path “Babinovska”, linking the European part of Russia with Siberia and protecting the most important waterways. Building of other roads was prohibited. In the town a custom house was established and later, in XVII century, state post service appeared. That is why Verkhoturye is often called “Gates to Siberia”. The town was founded on cross-country that determined some peculiarities in the general town planning scheme. Verkhoturye was divided on to four parts. You will have an opportunity to visit the Kremlin and the St. Trinity cathedral that was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List (lunch included).
On the Transsib train
Morning departure for Irkutsk, the Pearl of Siberia. On the Transsiberian Train. The one who undertakes the trip along the way will necessarily observe all the beauty and charm of Russian nature and culture. You will be passing Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk along the way. The trains along Trans Siberian stop only for 5 to 20 minutes. If you decide to go outside, be careful: you may hear the hiss and the train might start leaving.
Welcome to Irkutsk
Our spiritual journey is in full play! Arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Have a spare time to observe the local sights!
Leisure in Irkutsk
You will visit the place of foundation of Irkutsk in the 17th century, the eternal flame to the Heroes, Znamensky monastery and the Polish cathedral. The central street of Irkutsk leads to the embankment of the Angara - river, the favorite place of the inhabitants of Irkutsk. Have a rest in the evening after such an informative day!
Mythic Baikal Lake
In the morning your guide tells you mystic stories concerning sights of the Baikal Lake such as the Shaman Stone, take to the open-air Taltsy museum, show you the beauty of amazing and mythic Baikal Lake. Lunch at homestead “Sibirskaya Zaimka”. Excursion through Listvyanka village to see the wooden village church of the saint Nicholas, local souvenirs, the place where Angara - river flows out of Baikal. Climb up with funicular road to the mountain top to enjoy the panoramic overview of Baikal and Angara. Late evening departure for Ulan-Ude.
Welcome to Ulan-Ude
In the morning you will arrive in the capital of Buryatia – Ulan-Ude. Buryatia is the only place in Russia where Buddhism is predominating. You are going to visit Atsagatsky Buddhist Temple and museum, Buryat family with lunch and animations (7 hours). Atsagatsky datsan is a very important temple in the history of Buddhism in Buryatia. In XIX-XX centuries it was the largest center of study and practice of Tibetan medicine having in basis tantric fusions. A large printing-house was founded at the Datsan, here texts were printed in Mongolian and in Tibetan languages. Optionally we can offer mini concert of alive traditional Buryat music 1-3 musicians. Your driver will take you back to your hotel.
On the train to MongoliaDon't be late for your transfer to the station, it is early in the morning! We are leaving Russia and proceeding to Mongolia.
Welcome to Ulaan-Baatar
Mongolia is greeting you. Manzushir Monastery ruin is located in the southern entrance of Bogd Khaan National Park. This 18th century monastic complex was left in ruins after the communist purges of the 1937s. There had many valuable and rare Buddhism scriptures. For example Marvelous scripture which is with golden script on silver leafs . Now it scripture is saved in Central library of Mongolia. A new temple has been built next to the ruins of the old temples and serves as a museum with pictures and artifacts from the original monastery. By the time there are also some gers, a restaurant and a natural museum. The surrounding area is perfect for walking in green woods, meadows and clear water mountain streams.
On the Transsib train, Chineese border
Early morning departure for Beijing.
Welcome to Beijing
Arrival in Beijing. Check-into your room in the central hotel. Free time. After lunch you will be met by your professional guide to take the private tour. The Forbidden City, at the center of the ancient city of Beijing, was home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, the Forbidden City is a public museum and World Heritage site, attracting millions of tourists from around the world. The Summer Palace in Beijing is an outstanding expression of the creative art of Chinese landscape garden design, incorporating the works of humankind and nature in a harmonious whole. It epitomizes the philosophy and practice of Chinese garden design and is a potent symbol of one of the major world civilizations. The Temple of Heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven – the human world and God's world – which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.
Check out of your room. Transfer to the hotel. End of service. Till next time?