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The Cossack

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
From {{totalPrice}} EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
26 dagen
Begint in
Beijing
Eindigt in
St. Petersburg
Grootte van de groep
15 people maximum. Big enough to form a posse, small enough to give you space.
Seize an adventure that goes beyond the tourist trail, and channel the freedom and independence of the Cossacks on an unforgettable journey.
With more time you will discover bustling Beijing, the shamans of Buryatia, Mongolia’s wild history, the heart of Tartarstan in Kazan as well as Russia’s Golden Ring and the dazzling cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Reisroute

The Cossack

Days 1-2: Beijing

Meet your fellow adventurers and let the journey begin! Jump on a rickshaw or bicycle to the Art District and Hutong neighbourhood; these ancient alleyways have been here since Kublai Khan established his capital here. Yup, Beijing used to be Mongolian. Make time to visit a lesser known section of the Great Wall - your Honcho will have lots of good suggestions.

Day 3: Trans Mongolian Railway

Travel across the fringes of the Gobi Desert then over the steppe of Mongolia. Arrive in Mongolia’s capital and head to Zaisan Memorial for panoramic views.

Day 4: Ulaanbaatar

Time to explore this fascinating city now a jumble of traditional gers and modern skyscrapers. Grab some snacks at the market for your adventure to the steppe.

Day 5: Kharkhorin

Enjoy your first night as a nomad in our ger camp. Perhaps test out your ger building skills. Visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, the spiritual and intellectual home of Mongolia.

Days 6-7: Khustai National Park

From Kharkhorin we travel to the home of the ‘Takhi’ horses, were introduced after previously becoming extinct in their native habitat. Enjoy another night under the starts, with plenty of time to relax and learn more about the lifestyle of Mongolia’s nomadic peoples. Back for a final night in UB and perhaps some karaoke!

Day 8: To Ulan Ude

Rise and shine! It’s an early start this morning as you make your way by bus to Ulan Ude.. Plan what activities you might like to do once you arrive in the home of the Buryats, and if you can read in a moving vehicle, brush up on a brand-new language.

Day 9: Ulan Ude & Irkutsk

Spend a full day exploring Russia’s home of Buddhism and the world’s biggest statue of Lenin’s head, standing at 7.7 meters tall.

Days 10-11: Irkutsk & Lake Baikal

Time to unwind at the world’s deepest and oldest lake. Splash by the shoreline or and hike in the hills for magnificent views. Explore further with a visit to the serene Bolshiye Koty settlement, it’s an excellent way to blow away any vodka-induced cobwebs.

Days 12-13: Trans Siberian Railway

After wandering the streets of Irkutsk we hop back on board to take the train to Yekaterinburg. Spend time sharing stories with the locals over tea (or something stronger).

Days 14-15: Yekaterinburg

The city is infamous as the brutal murder site of the Romanov family, which brought Tsarist rule to an end, and ushered in the Communist era in 1918. Pay your respects at the church recently built on the site or see the obelisk which marks the spot where Europe and Asia meet. Alternatively check out the mafia cemetery complete with fast cars and gold teeth.

Day 16: Trans Siberian Railway

Watch the changing landscape of European Russia and perfect your card skills with the locals.

Days 17-18: Kazan

Welcome to Tartarstan where Orthodox Christianty and Islam unite under the unofficial Tartarstan motto of "Bez Buldırabız!" - "We can"! Tuck into the local delicacies which have a distinct Central Asian influence which will make a change from borscht soup on the train.

Days 19-20: Russia’s Golden Ring

The old capitals of Russia await. Relax as you wander through Vladimir and Suzdal’s famous churches and dome-spotted skyline, then unwind in a Russian banya (sauna).

Days 21-23: Moscow

You’ve got 2 nights and 2 days to explore Russia’s capital, and we recommend you start with a bang! Head to Red Square and take in the fantastic St. Basils. Part fairytale palace, part gingerbread creation, Napoleon tried to blow up the psychedelic masterpiece as it offended his architectural sensibilities. From here, walk in any direction and you’ll discover more jaw-dropping wonders, including, the Kremlin, Lenin’s Tomb, the State Museum and the GUM department store. It’s not all about the buildings though, dive into the metro, visit the underground bunkers and explore the pulsing nightlife of this vibrant city.

Days 24-26: St. Petersburg

A final overnight train brings you 9,062 km to St. Petersburg. Stroll down Nevsky Prospect, beside the canals or by the river. Take in the magnificence of the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, an immense work of art. Visit the Hermitage Museum housed in the Winter Palace and see if you can spot one of the 70 feline guards that protect the art collection from hungry mice.

Inclusions

All train tickets
Visa support & destination information
Shared accommodation (1 twin share hotel night, 14 hostel nights, 2 nights at a Siberian guesthouse, 2 nights at ger camp, 5 nights on the train (4-berth). Please note that private facilities are not guaranteed.)
Honchos throughout your journey, however, with no pre-arranged sightseeing, you have complete freedom to roam. Stay with your group or explore on your own.
All departure and arrival transfers en-route *

* Arrival transfer on Day 1 and departure transfer at the end of your itinerary are not included.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Accommodatie

On the Train
Sleeping compartments are usually four-share with two upper and two lower bunks - depending on the group size you could be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers or other travellers along the way. You’ll find clean bedding, reading lights, a big window, a small table and enough room for a rucksack or two, perfect for when you need a moment’s rest. All carriages have boiling water, attendants and washrooms, but no showers - that’s a luxury to look forward to once you disembark.

Off the Train
Other accommodation may include ger camps in Mongolia and yurts along the Silk Road. These are traditional nomadic homes that are sure to become one of your journey highlights. They tend to be multi-share and mixed-sex so grab your new besties and enjoy the nomadic vibes together. Hostels, hotels and guesthouses we stay at are clean, close to transport and provide legendary hospitality. We’ll do our best to pair couples, but it can’t be guaranteed so sometimes you’ll be sharing with fellow Vodkatrainers of the same sex. Please also note that we cannot guarantee private facilities.

Lokaal vervoer

The public scheduled trains and buses are basic but comfortable and offer a window into real life. Most locals won’t be going the same distance as you, so you’ll meet a marvellous mix along the way. Don't be afraid to say hello!

Maaltijden

In keeping with the budget-friendly policy and adding flexibility to your trip, there are no meals included in your Vodkatrain journey. Your options while on the rails include a restaurant car *, buying food from the "Babushkas" (grandmothers) on the platforms (just make sure you check the hygiene situation before handing over the cash) and self-catering. In general just follow the simple travellers' food rule - peel it, cook it or wash it, and you should be good.

* The train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk (and vice versa) and many of the trains in Central Asia do not have restaurant cars. There are also few opportunities to buy food on the platforms and you will need to buy enough food for the journey before you board.

Houd er rekening mee

Honchos - Local Legends
Honchos know the city better than anyone because they live there. They can show you the iconic sights and then take you behind the scenes for a real taste of local life. They’re under 35, speak excellent English and love their job because they get to meet people from all over the world. You might be comfortable dropping an "una cerveza por favour" in Spain, but do you know how to ask for directions in Russian or find the right bus in Uzbekistan? Your Honcho will not only help you with the logistics of travelling in a distant land but let you feel the pulse of a city through local gems not yet listed in the guidebooks.

- Honchos are included at every stop on your journey.
- They’ll meet you at each stop and help you get your bearings. Need to find an ATM, no worries. Want to try a local beer. Easy.
- They’ll take you to where you want to go and places you haven’t even heard of.
- They will not take you to endless souvenir shops or their cousin’s restaurant - unless you want that.
- There’s no pressure to hang with a Honcho if you’d rather do your own thing.
- They’re available in each city from 09:00 to 21:00, but can often be coerced to stay out late for a drink or two.
- When it comes time to leave, and you’re nursing a post-vodka hangover, they’ll make sure you get on the right train at the right time for stress-free travel.

The Cossack

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