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ICTMB - Classic Trans Mongolian - Independent

This brief journey captures the highlights perfectly. You'll visit a collection of the world's most fascinating cities: St Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Ulaanbaatar and Beijing each as diverse as they are iconic. And you'll experience two of the world's most famous railways, before walking along the Great Wall of China.

Inclusions

Group size
Meals
Transfers
Accommodation
Sightseeing
Expertise
Tour Provider Sundowners Overland
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $5,060
Start Location
St Petersburg, Russia
End Location
Beijing, Russia
Age Range
Avg. 40+
Group Size
1 to 15
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Adventure, Cycling/Trekking, Self Guided
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
01 Jan 201801 Jan 2019Please see web site for departure detailsAUD $5,060
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg with its beautiful canals, manicured parks, and graceful 18th century architecture is a beautiful city to begin your journey.
Day 2: St. Petersburg and on to Moscow
Take a look at the world's largest collection of paintings housed within the gilded halls of the Hermitage Museum, where works by Botticelli and Rembrandt to Van Gogh to Picasso are hung, or venture beyond the city to marvel at the summer palaces of the tsars at Catherine Palace and Petrodvorets (Peterhof), before joining the overnight express to Moscow.
Day 3: Hello Moscow!
You'll soon see that Moscow is a vibrant and dynamic city. The Christ the Saviour Cathedral, built after the collapse of the Soviet Union, now dominates Moscow's skyline and is sure to take your breath away. Beneath the city lies the palatial metro rail system draped in chandeliers, mosaics and baroque bas-reliefs. Nearby, you'll find the cobblestone streets and discover Red Square surrounded by the State History Museum, Lenin's Mausoleum as well as the iconic swirled cupolas of St. Basils Cathedral, now a museum.
Day 4: Moscow and onto Kazan
Showcasing monumental walls, towers and golden-domed cathedrals, pause at the city's impressive Kremlin. Here you can marvel at the exquisite collection of royal treasures, Faberge jewels and icons of the lavish Armoury Chamber before making your way to the station and meet your onward train to Kazan.
Day 5: Kazan and to Yekaterinburg
A penultimate stop on this epic journey is the picturesque and historic city of Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. It's an impressive city where the domes of Orthodox churches and the minarets of the Islamic mosques vie for attention in the skyline. Whilst on today's city tour we visit Kazan's UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kremlin. You cannot help but admire the marvelous towers, glistening domes and ornate minarets encased within the Kremlin that is still today the very heart of the city. Later in the evening return to the station to recommence your train journey. We pass through the Ural Mountains before stopping just inside Asia at Yekaterinburg, considered to be the dividing point between Europe and Asia.
Day 6: Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is a vibrant, modern city with a brutal past. Arriving into Yekaterinburg around lunch time, allows ample time to perhaps follow the Red Line Walking tour along the road of murder and intrigue, that surrounds the execution of the Romanov's.
Days 7-9: Trans Siberian Railway
In the very early hours of the morning return to the station to rejoin the train that will carry you across Siberia into Mongolia. Settle into life on board, enjoying the time to get acquainted with Russian travellers on the train as we cross the Irtysh and Ob rivers and head out over the vast Siberian silver and green taiga. The train skirts the shores of Lake Baikal which despite being the world's largest freshwater lake, freezes in winter with ice over two metres thick!
Days 10-11: Welcome to Mongolia
At daybreak, classic scenes of traditional nomadic life greet you as the train winds impressively across the Mongolian steppe and into the capital. Arriving into Ulaanbaatar, you have the chance to visit the Zaisan Memorial to admire the panoramic views, and the city's largest and most important monastery, Gandan Khiid. Later in the day, travel out across the grasslands to Terelj National Park where you spend the next two nights in a Mongolian ger - a traditional felt and wood frame house used by nomadic herdsmen for centuries, set amongst spectacular rock formations and wild rolling hills. Among nomadic families and their grazing livestock you can explore nearby valleys or just relax and enjoy the area.
Day 12: To Ulaanbaatar
On Day 12, return to Ulaanbaatar for a final night in the capital, with the opportunity to listen to unique Mongolian throat singing at an evening cultural performance (optional) and a last chance to soak up the charm of this beautiful country.
Day 13: Ulaanbaatar to Beijing
The Beijing Express departs in the morning. Travel over the steppe of Mongolia and further to the south, the Gobi Desert, towards the Chinese frontier at the border town of Erlian where the train's bogies are changed from a wider gauge used by Russia and Mongolia to a narrower Chinese gauge. It's a smooth operation, and train buffs tend to stay aboard to see it firsthand.
Days 14-16: Beijing
Arrive Beijing a city that never sleeps! Immerse yourself in this bustling metropolis, exploring the remarkable Temple of Heaven, wandering through Tiananmen Square, the Hutong area to see a vanishing world, and of course an excursion out into the countryside to walk the Great Wall of China that stretches 10,000 li (around 5000 km) across the distant hills, cannot be missed!