Moscow. Arrival, accommodation and free day
During the day, arrival of participants at the different airports of Moscow, where a guide will be waiting with our name to move in a private vehicle to the hotel. Welcome from responsibles of the organization, introduction of the guides, general indications. Delivery of documentation and labels for the train and everything you need. Check in at the hotel and time to relax, settle and get to know the other travelers as they arrive. Rest of the day free. Depending on the time available, you can consult the guides to advise what you can do in the city. Welcome dinner and accommodation at the luxury hotel in Moscow.
Moscú. City Tour and Kremlim
We recommend you getting up with enough time toquietly enjoy the complete breakfast of the hotel, after which, at the appointed time, we will meet our guide at reception for the first activity of the trip. We leave the luggage ready, and we will no longer worry about it until we arrive to the train in the afternoon, because we will have it in our cabin.
Panoramic visit of the city and the Kremlin in Spanish with a local guide.
On excursions, as throughout the trip, the group is accompanied by an experienced Spanish speaking guide who not only lives together with the group on the train, but all day, for any need. The guides are Russians who speak perfectly Spanish and have extensive training, not only in tourism. They are people of very nice treatment, used to dealing with people around the world with experience on this trip and they are always keep an eye on each traveler. You can ask them any questions you have about the country, language, culture; also there are lectures on the Train about Russian culture, and they are always open and willing to do whatever is needed. This is a unique journey where you going to be pampered, and it is in these details that you notice the big difference with other travels.
At the end of the visits, transfer to the Moscow Central Station, an imposing building in the city center, where we will board on the mythic Trans-Siberian Railway. Allocation of the cabins, where you will find your suitcase, explanations of function and schedules, staff of each car and train presentation and comprehensive briefing. It will be our first night on the train, which starts to run on the tracks to the next destination.
Siberian steppe and Urals
The sound of the train on the tracks and its particular swaying will rock us all night and we will wake up watching the lights changing with the landscape. It's a different experience that, for sure, will impress us. Breakfast in the dining car. Today is a train day to enjoy contemplating the landscapes of the steppe that are going to delight us. It is the day of recognition of our new home on rails, walking through the cars, living with other colleagues, interacting in the wagon-bar and listening to the piano music that will accompany us during the trip in the lounge. At any time you can order tea or coffee to the person in charge of your cabin, who are available 24 hours for passengers, taking turns, day and night so that everything works correctly. Russian tea, served in its characteristic holders will form part of the trip, from now on. We recommend you walk to the end of the last car, it will take you a while given the large number of wagons of the convoy, but you will enjoy this special walk and particularly the view of the end of the track.
At end of the evening, arrival at the station of Yekaterinburg, where we will go down the train, with the basic luggage for that night, as we spend the night in a good hotel in this Russian city.
The rest of our luggage stays in our cabin as it will always be our throughout the tour. You only have to take the necessary for the night (pyjamas, change of clothes for the next day, camera, charger...) because we will not return to the train until next day in the afternoon.
Yekaterinburg and sightseeing tour
After breakfast, at the appointed time, we will meet the local guide of this day, who will tell us about this city, the capital of the Urals, that in the early twentieth century, was one of the most important financial, industrial and cultural centers of Russia. We visit the city center where the "Cathedral of the Spilled Blood" is located, built in the place where Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. In the afternoon, an excursion to the Urals by bus, to Ganina Yama, considered a holy place by the Russians for being the place where the bodies of the royal family murdered were thrown, and now a center of celebration and worship, with 7 chapels built of wood, one for each member of the family executed.
We will stop at the famous obelisk that marks the separation between Asia and Europe, where we can make the typical photo where you have one foot on each continent.Back to the station and return to our train. Tonight we will rest in our cabin cradled by the rattle, while the machine continues its journey through the steppe tracks.
Train journey and arrival to Novosibirsk
Breakfast on board. We spend the morning on the train running through Western Siberia that will subjugate us with their landscapes. Huge forests, towns and houses, country people working, pure nature... Lectures and conferences on the train about Russian culture, as we move forward. During stops in approach areas and while passing through different stations, although we are not allowed to get off, the train greatly reduces the speed, and this is the moment when you can get to discover the true pace of life and the activity of Russian travelers that use trains very often. We will see all kinds of people with their lives, so different from ours; this is a unique moment to realize where we really are.
In the afternoon, we arrive in Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia and the bigest of Siberia, where we will go down the train again with the luggage for the day. Transfer to hotel where we will have dinner and spend the night.
Breakfast at the hotel. Meeting with our local guide and, in the morning, visit to the city that owes so much to our Trans-Siberian train as it was developed thanks to its construction, and therefore has the largest station of its route. Everything in this city looks great, it have the greatest opera of Russia, the biggest library in Siberia, the largest ballet of the country, surpassing even the Bolshoi in Moscow ... We will see some of the Orthodox churches that have survived the Soviet period and we will visit the inside od the Palace of the Opera which is located at Lenin Square.
After lunch, in the afternoon, we will make an excursion to the Taiga, the "real Siberian forest", about 30 kilometers from the city, where you can visit the largest open air railway museum of Russia, with a collection of locomotives and historical wagons that, definitely, are going to take us to other times.
Return to the train, where we spend another night in our cabin.
In the morning, when we wake up, we have already arrived in this city. Breakfast and we leave to meet our local guide who will make us the city sightseeing tour, which was also a "closed city" during Soviet times, closed to foreigners and much of the Soviet people. Center of the Siberian-Cossack movement and that also get developed thanks to the Trans-Siberiano when gold was discovered nearby. During the Stalinist period gulags were settled in their surroundings. Today it is a modern city with curiosities such as a palm-filled garden.
Boat ride on the immense Yenissej river that surrounds the city and is the most important river system that flows into the Arctic Ocean. From this point you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and of the great railway bridge over the river, that our train also cross.
Return to the train, where we spend the night.
Breakfast on the train and, at the appointed time, meeting at the station with our local guide that will introduce us this city, famous for its trade between Mongolia and China and that used to be called the "Paris of Siberia" because of its colorful life style in Tsars times. It is the most populous city in Siberia where the Cossacks were installed and where many Russian artists, officers and aristocrats were sent by rebels in the nineteenth century. They left here their intellectual mark on buildings of wooden houses decorated with hand-carved decorations which survive, in stark contrast, with the standard Soviet apartment blocks that surround them. Not all of these houses are well preserved, but it gives us a good idea of what this city was.
Trans-Siberian passengers have here a unique date with culture, they will be delight with a private concert of classical music, accompanied by champagne to toast in honor of our exclusive trip.
Accommodation in the hotel where we spend this nigth.
Today is a key day of this trip, with which many dream from the beginning. We get to know, first hand, the "Blue Eye of Siberia", the huge lake that represents the largest reservoir of freshwater in the world, containing no less than 20% of unfrozen fresh water on the planet, with its 1,680 m of depth, the deepest in the world (known so far), and 638 km long.
In the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, a bus takes travelers to the lake, in approximately an hour's drive. We have a walk through the village of Listvyanka. Today we enjoy a Siberian opulent lunch, where we taste the famous endemic fish of Lake Baikal Omul. In the afternoon we cross by boat to the village of Baikal Lake, enjoying the sailing on the lake. Our train will be there waiting for us.
Today the rail route is characterized by the very low speed of the train along the scenic Circum Bailkal railway line between Sludyanka and Port Baikal. We stop at a small town, where you can get off and walk, get your feet wet or even, the bravest, take a bath, and visit the typical wooden houses of local people, seeing an authentic Russian rustic way of life. We will make a picnic on the banks of the lake, to enjoy even more this special day.
Night on the train.
Capital of the so-called "Buryat Autonomous Republic" of the Russian Federation, this place has something magical and is very special. Buryats are close to the Mongolian ethnic group, and their land is an impressive mix of cultures, a meeting point between East and West. Possibly our local guide will be a Buryat, and will explain us in more detail and gladly how they differ and how their lifestyle is. We will make a sightseeing tour of the city where we see the world's largest the statue of the head of Lenin, and we will visit the Buddhist monastery Ivolginsky where the body of Khambo Lama, died in 1927 while meditating in the lotus position, is in perfect condition.
When leaving Ulan-Ude, the train switches from the Trans-Siberian line to the Trans-Mongolian line towards Ulaanbaatar. In the evening the train reaches the Russian border station Naushki and the Mongolian border station Suchbaatar. Russian and Mongolian immigration formallidades take place in the train itself, passengers do not have to leave the train, only stay in their cabins and immigration officers are the ones who pass by checking the passports. Every moment our guides will inform us of the steps, and accompany the agents to translate or verify that there is no problem.
Border crossing. Accommodation on the Train.
In the morning our train arrives in the capital of Mongolia. We will go down the train, meet our local guide and make a sightseeing tour of the city, a cultural, industrial and financial center of Mongolia although it was founded as a center of Buddhist monasteries. It's a large city with a big circulatory chaos due to the fast growth of the city, and a place where Soviet-style buildings are mixed with traditional Yurts, producing a curious contrast. We visit the famous Ghandan Monastery, the central Sukhebaatar square, the Bogd Khan Museum, which used to be the summer and sometimes also the winter palace of the Khan, as well as the Zaisan monument, at a viewpoint that rises above the city and offers spectacular views.
In the afternoon we attend a cultural show of music and dance of the Mongolian Folklore.
Accommodation at hotel.
After the generous breakfast of the hotel, where we will take forces for the big day that awaits us, we will go to the buses that will take us to the mountains of Mongolia. Excursion to "Terelj" National Park, famous for its nature, with stunning rock formations and mountain landscapes interspersed with the green of the pastures, and shepherds, horsemen and herds spotted in the landscape. We will see the authentic yurts or Mongolian tents, how they are built and equipped inside.
The highlight of the day, and one of the most valued of the trip, is to witness a unique spectacle in the world. We experience a fascinating Naadam spectacle privately, exclusive for travelers of the Trans-Siberian Express, with horses, archers, dancers who will delight us with their unknown culture, astounding us with their skill in the 3 disciplines of this famous national festival: Wrestling, Archery and Horseracing.
Transfer to the hotel.
Ulaanbaatar and Beijing
Another day to discover the capital of Mongolia. Visit to the Historical Museum which explains the history from Genghis Khan's times until today. In the afternoon, free time for shopping, sightseeing and possibility to visit a cashmere factory.
Today we left the train that has been our home in Siberia to go from Mongolia to Beijing in a direct night flight from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing, winning time to visit both cities. This way, we not only have more time to spend both in Ulaanbaatar and Beijing, but we also avoid the need to arrange a visa for China, as passengers with certain passports (European Community, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, USA) may be exempted from visa for stay less than 3 days in the country. It is valid when you are up to 72 h hours in China, as long as arrival and departure is via Beijing International Airport. (Note: you must be especially careful with flight hours, to be less than these 72 hours, including the time you have to be in advance in the airport).
At the appointed time, transfer to the airport for the night flight of 2 hours to Beijing.
Customs procedures, reception at the Beijing International Airport and transfer to the hotel where we spend the night.
After a hearty breakfast to which we recommend going with time enough to enjoy its enormous variety, we will meet to visit the Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of religious buildings, that was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. In the afternoon we will explore the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) and the huge Tian An Men Square.
Farewell dinner of Peking Duck in one of the most famous restaurants in Beijing for this specialty.
Transfer to the hotel where we spend the night.
Today we visit the majestic and huge Great Wall, often called the 8th world wonder, which stretches 6,000 km to the west.
In our way back to the hotel, we will see The Summer Palace and the Olympic Park, where we will have the opportunity to make a stop and take some pictures of the impressive Beijing National Stadium, also called, Bird's Nest.
Return to the hotel where we will spend the last night of our trip.
Beijing and end of the trip
At the appointed time departure to the airport for the return flights and end of the trip