Spend a full day seeing the historical and architectural monuments of Novgorod, Russia’s oldest city,located a 3-hour drive from St Petersburg. View the forests and medieval churches that surround the old capital, and visit monasteries such as St George’s Cathedral and the frescoes of St Sophia’s. On this small-group tour, enjoy transport aboard a comfortable coach as your expert guide informs you about Russia’s fascinating past.
After pickup from your hotel in St Petersburg and transport to the bus station, relax for a comfortable 3-hour ride. Pass impressive landmarks in the historical center of St Petersburg, and see its suburbs and surrounding forests on the road to Novgorod, once the spiritual center of Russian Orthodoxy. Situated on the Volkhov River along an old trade route between Central Asia and Northern Europe, this medieval city became Russia's first capital in the 9th century. Your guide will point out the many remarkable churches, monasteries and medieval monuments as you learn about their historical and cultural significance. Visit St Sophia's Cathedral, one of Russia’s best-preserved churches built in the 11th century and still in use today, and admire the stone walls, five domes and 12th-century frescoes. See the Church of the Savior with its frescoes painted by Theophanes the Greek, who lived in Novgorod in the late 14th century. Explore the old marketplace on the bank of the Volkhov River. Enjoy a traditional Russian lunch in a local restaurant center of Novgorod. Then head to Russia’s oldest monastery, St. George's Cathedral (Yuriev) on the riverbank. Next, visit the Novgorod Kremlin, which contains the oldest palace in Russia – the Chamber of the Facets, built in 1433, where archbishops once met. Look up at Russia’s oldest clock tower and see a bell tower constructed in the mid-15th century. Then board your bus for the ride back to your St Petersburg hotel.