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The Trans Siberian Rail Journey

9 NIGHTS/10 DAYS

A journey on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the greatest travel adventures of our time. The massive & intricate network spanning across 7 time zones, mountains and steppes runs through Russia, Mongolia & China. Live your Trans Siberian dream as you visit Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar. Enjoy the vast Russian and Mongolian scenery as you cross villages and small towns. Marvel at some of world’s oldest monasteries, enjoy the local cuisine and experience the Siberian life with a local family!


Highlights:

  • Trans Siberian Rail Journey
  • Lenin's Square & House
  • Unique interaction with a local Siberian family
  • Baikal Lake Cruise
  • Ulaanbaatar Visit
  • Gobi Desert

Day 1: Novosibirsk:

We fly into Novosibirsk and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure OR visit the Roerich Museum if time permits (open till 6 pm). After dinner today we transfer to the hotel. *Novosibirsk is situated at the junction of the forest-steppe and forest natural zones, on the Priobsk plateau, adjacent to the Ob River. In the city center is the 19th-century, Byzantine-style Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its golden domes. The expansive Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre borders Lenin Square. It is the fastest growing city in the world to this day, for which it has been included in the Guinness Book of Records. Today, Novosibirsk is considered the cultural center of Siberia.


Day 2: Novosibirsk:  

After breakfast in the hotel we go for a full day sightseeing of Novosibirsk. We visit Novosibirsk Railway Station – the biggest station of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Ascension Cathedral, Krasny Prospect street - the longest direct street in the world (10km), Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Lenin Square - city center with the biggest world’s Opera House, Old wooden houses on Gorkogo Street - the oldest part of the city, purchase sculpture if you would like to,  St.Nicolas Chapel – the geographic center of Russia, Lenin's House (Dom Lenina), River Ob’ embankment and colorful Siberian farm-market. We will stop for lunch (on your own) in between the tour at Taiga Cuisine Restaurant.

We will then visit the Trans-Siberian Museum, pass through the Opera House and visit the Zoo Garden with Siberian animals which is located in picturesque forest park. After dinner today we transfer to the hotel. *Nevsky Cathedral: entrance only for ladies in covered clothing!


Day 3: Novosibirsk:

After breakfast we check out today and do the ‘Be My Guest Experience’ which is a unique interaction with a local Siberian family

During this program, you will have a unique chance to experience a real Siberian life from inside, enjoying hospitality and open heartedness of the local people. You will be the guests, and not the tourists, with one of the English-speaking Siberian families, living in the countryside cottage by the River Ob, within an hour's drive from Novosibirsk.

During the following hours, you could choose several activities together with your hosts: Walking along the village to see the real life of Siberians or making samovar tea in the open air courtyard.

For the lunch, enjoy a delicious Siberian home lunch. You can also help the hostess to prepare it if you wish.

In the afternoon, an excursion to the local family farm would also be possible.

Later we leave for the Novisibirsk station around 6 pm, where you can store your luggage at the station and explore the city by yourselves before boarding the first leg of the Trans Siberian train journey. You can dine at the nearby local restaurant (on your own).

After dinner, we transfer to the Novosibirsk train station to board the train, which departs for Irkutsk at 1:21 am (Novosibirsk time).


Day 4: Novosibirsk to Irkutsk:

Train Journey continues.


Day 5: Irkutsk to Listvianka:

We arrive Irkutsk early in the morning (by 7:18 am Irkutsk time after a journey of 29 hours). We disembark at Irkutsk station and meet with our guide for the trip to Listvianka. We could stop for a cup of coffee before we begin the sightseeing for the day. Today we will visit the Baikal Museum, which is entirely devoted to the history of Lake Baikal exploration, its flora and fauna. We will also experience the Baikal lake cruise (approximate duration: 3 hours). Later we have lunch at a local trendy restaurant serving the traditional Pelmeni & Vareniki. After lunch we visit the souvenir market in Listvianka. We will also visit Nerpinary that houses Nerpa Seals, the only seals in the world that live in fresh water. You can see the first in the world show of trained Nerpa and its behavior in Nerpinary, which was opened at Listvyanka in June 2009. We then head to the hotel and check in and relax for the rest of the day. Dinner will be on your own.

*To the present day the Baikal aquarium is the only of its kind, because no aquarium in the world has such a low temperature: - 4 degrees. Water is pumped in it four times a day from 500 meters depth from a special pumping station, built near the Museum. All the 11 aquariums are designed in such a way as to be able to give careful consideration to the underwater inhabitants of the lake, including the two seals, for which almost ideal conditions have been created - two interconnecting rooms with ice floes.

*Lake Baikal is an ancient, massive lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. Considered the deepest lake in the world, it’s circled by a network of hiking paths called the Great Baikal Trail. The village of Listvyanka, on its western shoreline, is a popular starting point for summertime wildlife-spotting tours, plus wintertime ice-skating and dog sledding.


Day 6: Listvyanka to Irkutsk:

Today, after breakfast at the hotel we check out and take a cable car ride to the Chersky Rock. Enroute to Irkutsk, we will visit the open-air museum of wooden houses; The Taltsy Museum. We will then have lunch at a local restaurant (on your own). Later we will proceed to Irkutsk where we enjoy a panoramic city tour with stops at major city attractions and then transfer to our hotel.


*The Taltsy Museum has some 40 monuments of architectural heritage and 8,000 exhibits of high historical value. The most valuable monuments in Taltsy are the Savior's gate tower of the ostrog (fort) of Ilimsk (1667) and an active Kazan Chapel (1679). Take a close look at the exhibits and get acquainted with the life of old Siberia.


*Cable Car ride to the Chersky Rock, is one of a kind, where a beautiful view looks out over the peaks of the Khamar-Daban Mountains. From there, on a clear day you can discover the village of Port Baikal and landmarks such as Shaman Rock, the source of the Angara River, the Astrophysical Observatory, and the endless Siberian taiga.


Day 7: Irkutsk to Ulaanbaatar:

After an early breakfast today we check out and transfer to the Irkutsk rail station for the second leg of the Trans Siberian rail journey towards Ulaanbaatar.

(Boarding time - 08:12 am Irkutsk time)


Day 8: Ulaanbaatar: Today we arrive Ulaanbaatar (arrival time: 6:50 am Ulaanbaatar time after a journey of 23 hours) We then transfer to the hotel from the train station to relax and freshen up. Then after lunch we begin the half day city tour with National History Museum, Choijin Lhama temple museum and Chinggis square. We will then transfer back to the hotel after Dinner.


*Ulaanbaatar: Located in north central Mongolia, at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River, the city was founded as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre. It is Mongolia’s cultural, industrial and financial heart.  It is also the centre of Mongolia's road network and connected by rail to the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia


Day 9: Ulaanbaatar & Around:

After breakfast at the hotel today we will visit the Gandan Monastery. Later we drive to Hustain Nuruu National Park. On arrival we have lunch and visit a small museum and watch a short film about re-introduction activity of rare and endangered Przewalski Horse. We will then drive deep into the national park in search for the Przewalski Horse. We will also visit a nomadic family during this trip. After the visit we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. We will then transfer to the hotel after dinner.


*Przewalski's horse or Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia


Day 10: Departure:

Today we bid goodbye to this epic journey and transfer to the Airport for homebound flights OR you may choose to do the Gobi Desert Extension from 29th Aug to 3rd Sept 2017


*A trip to St Petersburg & Moscow  precedes & Gobi Desert) follows this trip. The first one, to the two most important and breathtaking cities in Russia and the second one, to Gobi Desert, which is a vast, arid region in southern Mongolia, known for its dunes, mountains and rare animals like snow leopards and Bactrian camels.

For more details please get in touch with the travel consultant.



Inclusions:

  • Accommodation in 3/4/5 star with breakfast.
  • Sightseeing on private basis as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fee wherever mentioned in the itinerary above
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Airport transfers on private basis.

Exclusions:

  • International Airfare
  • Visa
  • Personal expenses such as telephone calls, water, mini bar, coffee, Laundry, etc
  • Lunches and all other meals & services which are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Norm for tipping guide is $ 3 per person/ per day and $ 10 for porters at railway station.
  • Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions

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