The first stop on our Ultimate Golden Ring Tour is Vladimir. To get there, you will be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and travel 2-3 hours through the countryside by car or mini-van. It should be about lunchtime, so our first stop will be a local restaurant. Following lunch is a complete tour of the city, including all the major historic locations of this former medieval capital of Russia.
The Golden Gates date back to the year 1164 and borrowed architecturally from the gates of the holiest cities in the world in order to symbolically sanctify the city of Vladimir. Just next to this impressive sight is the Crystal, Lacquer Miniatures, and Embroidery Museum, where you can see the best of the best in Russian decorative arts.
We will travel through the heart of town and visit the Dormition Cathedral, also known as the Assumption Cathedral. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with sophisticated relief work and a gigantic Gothic belfry. Inside, ornate frames and sublime oil paintings will provide a perfect backdrop to contemplate the life and times of the most famous icon painter in Russia’s history, Andrei Rublev. Just outside of town, we will also visit a monastery complex built by the order of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky called Bogolyubovo.
After seeing all that Vladimir has to offer, our next stop is Suzdal, a short drive to the north. We arrive with enough time to check into our hotel before a wholesome dinner, included as part of the tour.