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Russia Cycling Tour

Russian Cycle Touring Club invites you to the annual international bicycle tour in the most interesting historic part of Russia for 12 days with almost 500 kilometers of 9 cycling days. The Golden Ring of Russia is the most interesting tourist route in Central Russia. You will see the beautiful Russian countryside and Volga River, magnificent Orthodox churches, and monasteries. The bicycling part starts in Uglich and ends in Vladimir 10 days later.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to Point
  • Terrain: Mostly flat, small areas of unpaved roads
  • Starts and ends in: Moscow
  • Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate (the cyclist doesn't need to have a certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally you will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day.
  • Total Distance: 292 Miles / 470 Kilometers
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike Available to rent 100 EUR
  • E-bike: Available to rent 250 EUR
  • Number of participants: 10 - 20 persons

Meet the instructors

Svetlana, Dmitry, & Andrey
Read more

Highlights

  • 9 guided cycling days
  • Enjoy six days along Volga, the longest river in Europe
  • The most educational cycling tour about Russian history
  • Visit UNESCO world heritage sites in Sergiev Posad, Yaroslavl, Vladimir, and Suzdal
  • Experience crossing a river by boat and a Russian steam bath (banya)
  • Have special dinners in Yaroslavl, Kostroma and Suzdal
  • All daily meals will be provided
  • 11 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


10 cycling days in English
The organizer also speaks: Russian
Group size: Maximum of 20 participants
Airport transfer available:
Sheremetyevo International Airport (US$45 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Vnukovo International Airport (US$45 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Domodedovo International Airport (US$45 per person)
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Accommodation

You will be staying in high-quality hotels in double or single accommodation with a private bathroom.

  • Night 1: Moscow
  • Night 2: Uglich
  • Night 3 Myshkin
  • Night 4: Rybinsk
  • Nights 5 and 6: Yaroslavl
  • Night 7: Viatskoe
  • Night 8: Kostroma
  • Night 9 and 10: Suzdal
  • Night 11: Moscow

Program

The bike tour is designed for international cyclists and it will introduce you to the real Russia! Bicycling is an ideal way to explore this fascinating country. The tour is comfortably paced and you will enjoy biking in the quiet Russian countryside. In addition to cycling, they offer a special cultural program. You'll visit a lot of museums and exhibitions (some of them are little known).

You will meet friendly local people and see how Russians really live. It is not possible to be in Russia and not to try a Russian steam bath (banya). You will see the beautiful Russian countryside and Volga River, magnificent Orthodox churches, and monasteries. The bicycling part starts in Uglich and ends in Vladimir. For 9 cycling days, you'll ride about 500 kilometers.

The bike tour starts in Moscow where you'll have a guided downtown excursion. At the end of the tour, you can stay longer in Moscow on your own or make a trip to St. Petersburg by train. Most roads along the route do not have heavy traffic and are paved with asphalt.

Day 1: Moscow (No cycling)

Arrival in Moscow. The hotel is located in the east part of Moscow next to the biggest Moscow park and a five-minute walk from an underground station. It takes 15 minutes to get to Red Square by metro. After a short briefing, go for a walk in the center of Moscow. Enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Uglich (12 miles / 20 kilometers)

Take a bus to Ratmanovo (about 220 kilometers). On your way, stop in Sergiev Posad for a tour of The Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra (UNESCO world heritage). From Ratmanovo, cycle 20 kilometers to Uglich (some parts of the road are not paved). Today is a short day, you need to adjust bikes and there is lots of sightseeing. Uglich, a charming town on the Volga, is one of the pearls of your tour. Meet the Volga River, the main river of Russia which you will follow for the next seven days. After a city tour and visiting the museum of vodka, stay at the nice hotel faced to the river.

Day 3: Uglich - Myshkin (25 miles / 40 kilometers)

Visit a very interesting museum of hydropower in the morning. Then cycle 40 kilometers by a quiet road to Myshkin. Myshkin (“mice town” in Russian) is a small town on the Volga with plenty of museums. Again, stay next to the river. After taking a shower, have a tour of Myshkin with a local guide. After the tour, have free time to walk around the town.

Day 4: Myshkin - Rybinsk (47 miles / 75 kilometers)

Ride along Volga River by a quiet road. Along the road, you may see lots of old wooden houses of 19, beginning of the 20th century (typical architecture of that time). After crossing the Volga by ferry, continue to Rybinsk. In Rybinsk, visit the historic museum of the region and then continue 18 kilometers further to a nice countryside hotel with a swimming pool and spa.

Day 5: Rybinsk - Yaroslavl (56 miles / 90 kilometers)

The longest day leads to the capital of the region, 1000-year-old city Yaroslavl. On the route, stop in a small town, Tutaev, which preserves its authenticity since the 19th century. Visit an old 17th-century church with frescos of famous Gury Nikitin. In Yaroslavl, stay in a modern hotel in the center of the city.

Day 6: Yaroslavl (No cycling)

Walking tour of Yaroslavl with a local guide. The whole center of the city with around 140 architectural monuments has been included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Free time in the afternoon. Special dinner and video in the evening.

Day 7: Yaroslavl - Viatskoe (37 miles / 60 kilometers)

After leaving Yaroslavl, make for the old merchant village, Viatskoe. In the middle, the road is bumpy (10 kilometers). In Viatskoe, you will find out how Russian people lived a few centuries ago. You will have experience of real Russian banya (steam bathhouse, black style).

Day 8: Vyatskoe - Kostroma (35 miles / 57 kilometers)

The main adventure is going to be today. Cycle through a wood by sand road (7 kilometers) to a place where you will cross the river by boat. Before the sand part, cycle 26 kilometers by a very quiet road. After the boat crossing, continue by a small road to Kostroma (20 kilometers).

Visit the outdoor museum of Wooden Architecture & Peasant Life and stay for a night in a hotel in the very center of the city next to the river. Dinner at a boat with local drinks tasting.

Day 9: Kostroma - Ples (39 miles / 63 kilometers)

You'll use some unpaved shortcut to go out of the city (2 kilometers). Today, the route leads us to the small town, Ples, where famous Russian artist Isaak Levitan used to work in the 19th century. The town is also famous for its incredible landscape. To get to the town, use the boat crossing Volga again.

Cycling tour of Ples with visiting the Cathedral hill and famous coffee shop named after Sofia Kufshinnikova, a friend of Levitan. Here, you may try the favorite cookie of I. Levitan and Russian cheesecake “Kuleika” (not included). Transfer to Suzdal (150 kilometers).

Day 10: Suzdal (12 miles / 20 kilometers)

Cycle tour in the world-famous town Suzdal (UNESCO world heritage). Guided tour in Spaso-Ephimy monastery. Cycling to Kideksha with the old church of Boris and Gleb (1152). Free time. Farewell dinner in one of the best restaurants in the town.

Day 11: Suzdal - Bogolubovo - Vladimir - Moscow (31 miles / 50 kilometers, if weather permits)

If weather permits, cycle to Bogolubovo by small roads. If it is raining, go by bus. You will visit the famous Church of Intercession on the Nerl. Then bus transfer to Vladimir to have a guided tour of the historic center including the Assumption monastery with Andrey Rublev frescos. The bus ride back to Moscow (180 kilometers). Arrival in Moscow around 7 to 8 p.m. depends on traffic. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 12: Moscow departure

Breakfast is included.

Please note that the program is subject to change.

All roads are asphalt except a few short parts. Pay attention that Russian asphalt is not always smooth. They do not recommend tires less than 32 millimeters wide. Russian Cycle Touring Club tries to choose only quiet roads. You will usually cycle 15 to 20 kilometers per hour on average (10 - 12 miles per hour). But they are not in one pack (except cycling in cities).

You can keep your own pace. You'll gather all groups in the turn points where the support car waits for you each 25 to 30 kilometers. A support car is always ready to give you a lift.

Bike information

You can ride any type. Russian Cycle Touring Club recommends road or hybrid bikes with 28" (700 mm) wheels (32 - 40 mm wide). They are available for rent. You can also use tandem or recumbent bicycles for the tour. They have hybrid (city) bikes for rent. They are equipped with a rack and bottle cage. You may bring your own saddle and pedals (if you use special like SPD). Tandems and electric bikes are also available upon request.

If your bike is broken during the tour, the guides will help you, it does not matter if it is your bike or rent. But in the case of your own bike, they can't guarantee full maintenance.

RCTC bike rental

Russian Cycle Touring Club rents hybrid (city or commuter to be precise) type of bikes (mostly Marin brand, the parent of hybrid bikes) for supported and self-supported bicycle tours. Different sizes are available. You may put on your own pedals and seat. Bags and helmets are available upon request. Specifications:

  • Frame - aluminum, 15-23"
  • Fork - rigid
  • Wheels - 28", 700C x 35-40 mm
  • Derailleur - Shimano Acera, Altus
  • Speeds - 21-27
  • Seatpost - 27.2 mm
  • Pedals - flat platform
  • Brakes - V-brake
  • Rear rack - yes
  • Water bottle cage - yes
  • Fenders - front and rear depends on the model

Included excursions

Day 1: Moscow arrival - 20 kilometers (10 kilometers of gravel road) | Elevation gain - 35 meters

  • Walking tour of Moscow

Day 2: Bus transfer to Ratmanovo (220 kilometers)

  • Cycling to Uglich
  • Trinity Monastery in Sergiev Posad (UNESCO world heritage).
  • City tour in Uglich
  • Volga
  • Kremlin
  • Museum of Russian Vodka

Day 3: Myshkin - 40 kilometers | Elevation gain - 50 meters

  • Museum of hydropower
  • City tour in Myshkin (Valenki (wool-boot) museum)

Day 4: Rybinsk - 75 kilometers | Elevation gain - 100 meters

  • Rybinsk (local museum)
  • Spa

Day 5: Yaroslavl - 90 kilometers (10 kilometers of unpaved road) | Elevation gain - 200 meters

  • City tour in Tutaev

Day 6: Yaroslavl

  • Free day of cycling
  • City tour of Yaroslavl
  • Free time.

Day 7: Vjatskoe - 60 kilometers (2 kilometers of gravel road, 10 kilometers of bumpy road) | Elevation gain - 125 meters

  • Tour in Vjatskoe
  • Russian bathhouse

Day 8: Kostroma - 58 kilometers (7 kilometers of sand road, if weather permits) | Elevation gain - 40 meters

  • City tour in Kostroma
  • Outdoor museum of Wooden Architecture & Peasant Life

Day 9: Ples - 64 kilometers (2 kilometers of sand road | Elevation gain - 150 meters

  • Bus transfer to Suzdal (150 kilometers)
  • City tour in Ples

Day 10: Cycling in Suzdal - 20 kilometers

  • City tour in Suzdal Spaso-Ephimy monastery
  • Kideksha
  • Farewell dinner

Day 11. Cycling to Bogolubovo - 50 kilometers (14 kilometers of dirt road, if weather permits) | Elevation gain - 130 meters

  • Bus transfer to Moscow (200 kilometers)
  • The Church of Intercession on the Nerl
  • Vladimir

Instructors

Svetlana

Dmitry

Andrey

Location

The Golden Ring of Russia (the region northeast of Moscow) is the most famous tourist route in the heart of Russia. It goes through numerous picturesque and ancient Russian towns: Vladimir, Suzdal (UNESCO world heritage), Yaroslavl (UNESCO world heritage), Kostroma, Sergiev Posad with Trinity Sergius Monastery (UNESCO world heritage), Uglich (the Church of Dmitry on Blood is in the list of the world's most beautiful churches), Rostov, and others, known for their ancient history and inspiring architecture. The conception of the Golden Ring was created by art critic and writer Yuri Bychkov in 1967.

Food

All meals will be provided from dinner on the arrival day till breakfast on the departure day. The menu promises to give you the opportunity to taste authentic Russian food that is unlike anything you’ve tasted before!

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

See St. Petersburg

There are many trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg: fast day trains (4 hours) and night trains (8 hours with comfortable sleeping compartments). They can help you to organize a train trip to St. Petersburg on your own after the tour. They may buy train tickets in advance and book a hotel for you.

What's included

  • 9 guided cycling days
  • 11 nights double/twin accommodation
  • Guided excursions and museums fees as described in the itinerary
  • English-speaking cycling guides (or other languages) and mechanic
  • All daily meals (from dinner on the arrival day till breakfast on the departure day)
  • All transfers along the route
  • Invitation for visa application
  • A sag wagon (support vehicle and baggage carrier)
  • T-shirt

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfer (One way: 40 EUR | Both ways: 75 EUR)
  • Consulate fee for visa processing
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Permission for photo-video-taking in some museums
  • Cycling jersey 50 EUR (Extra t-shirt: 10 EUR)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by train

You may take a comfortable express train from any Moscow airport to the hotel. Then you need to change to Metro. You need Partizanskaya station (blue line). You may pay by card for your ticket. You may also request an airport transfer from Russian Cycle Touring Club. They do not recommend taking a taxi at the airport but you may book it on the Internet.

Airport: Sheremetyevo International Airport Airport transfer available: Sheremetyevo International Airport (US$45 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Vnukovo International Airport Airport transfer available: Vnukovo International Airport (US$45 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Domodedovo International Airport Airport transfer available: Domodedovo International Airport (US$45 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
12 days / 11 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Sunday August 14, 2022
Departure: Thursday August 25, 2022

Extension options

Extra night in Moscow with breakfast is 80 EUR for a double/twin room and 70 EUR for a single room. For more information, please send an inquiry.

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