Days 1-2: Welcome to Moscow
Moscow has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in recent years and its world-class theatres and galleries are once more alive with culture. Join your Tour Leader and fellow travellers on Day 1 at 5:00pm for your Welcome Meeting as detailed on your joining instructions.
Take in the great sights of Red Square, the splendid twirled cupolas of St. Basil's Cathedral and in your free time make your way to the soaring 100m titanium obelisk that houses the fascinating Cosmonautics Museum for an interesting perspective and significant artifacts from Russia's great race for space.
Days 3-6: Moscow and to Irkutsk
Absorb Moscow's eclectic vibe. Explore the 'Old Moscow' ambience off Arbat Street, head underground for adventure of the palatial Moscow Metro or hang out in trendy Gorky Park a favourite pastime of Muscovites.
Late in the evening on Day 3 we transfer to Yaroslavsky Station where we join the Trans Siberian Railway for the four-night journey across the Ural Mountains, the divide between Europe and Asia, venturing deep into Siberia and on to Irkutsk as the flickering silvers and greens of the birch forests speed past the train window.
Days 7-8: Irkutsk and Lake Baikal
After our evening arrival into Irkutsk we transfer to Lake Baikal where we will spend the next two nights and relax in the lakeside guesthouse taking in the local port and picturesque Siberian village of Listvyanka. Here we have time to explore the village with its traditional houses, and spectacular landscapes.
Day 9: Return to Irkutsk
Almost in the geographical centre of Asia, Irkutsk made its fame as a stopping place on the caravan route from China. The city today still boasts 18th century churches and is renowned for its brightly painted shutters and log houses decorated with wooden lace work. This afternoon's walking tour will reveal the city's major landmarks and historic sites before we spend our last night in Siberia!
Day 10: Aboard the Trans Mongolian Railway
Early morning departure to Mongolia. Settle into life on board with your fellow travelling companions. As the train leaves Irkutsk you will skirt the shores of the magnificent Lake Baikal, before entering the mountains that border Mongolia to our next stop, Ulaanbaatar.
Day 11: Hello Mongolia!
At daybreak, classic scenes of traditional nomadic life greet us as the train winds impressively across the Mongolian steppe arriving into the capital in the early hours of the morning. This quirky city is a clash of the old and new, where modern life comfortably blends with the Mongolian traditional lifestyle.
Here, you have time to spend the most part of the day exploring this fascinating capital. The National History Museum provides an interesting insight into Mongolian history and culture including real examples of 12th century Mongol armour. In the evening we have the opportunity to listen to unique Mongolian throat singing at an evening cultural performance (optional) - it truly is amazing!
Day 12: Across the Mongolian steppe
We spend the tonight beyond the city amongst what was once the homeland of the brilliant, tough, well-drilled horsemen who, for over 500 years in the 13th century, plundered and occupied lands from the Yellow River to the Danube. Here we can enjoy aspects of Mongolian nomadic life when we stay in traditional gers.
We make our way to Khustai National Park home of the Przewalski horse. Once on verge of extinction, the Mongolian government declared this region as a protected national park and initiated a breeding program that enabled the reintroduction of the Prezwalski horse (Takhi) into the wild.
Days 13-14: Terej National Park
We continue across the steppe towards Terej National Park. Here we spend two nights at our ger camp set amongst spectacular rock formations and wild rolling hills. Among nomadic families and their gazing livestock we can explore nearby valleys or just relax and enjoy the area.
Day 15: Return to Ulaanbaatar
On Day 14 we return to Ulaanbaatar via the gigantic Genghis Khan Statue, for a final night in the capital, and a last chance to soak up the charm of this beautiful country.
Day 16: To Beijing
Rise and shine - let's go to China! Very early this morning we return to the railway station to meet the Beijing express train to take us across the Mongolian steppe and Gobi Desert into China. At the Mongolian border town of Dzamin Ude we pause for border formalities and the train's bogies are changed, quite a sight to behold, before we continue towards Beijing.
Days 17-19: Beijing
Arriving into Beijing around midday, spend the next two days taking in some of the cities greatest sights and unique experiences. Visit the late evening (or early morning) local markets to sample some local delicacies, try some morning Tai Chi in the many parks that surround the city, or wander the ancient hutongs where life continues as it has for hundreds of years.
Immerse yourself in the bustling metropolis of Beijing, exploring the remarkable Temple of Heaven, wandering through Tiananmen Square or enjoy the significance of the astonishing Forbidden City, with its moated complex of superb awe-inspiring halls, palace and gates. A trip to Beijing is not complete without setting foot on the legendary Great Wall of China a must do!
Farewell your new friends as your epic adventure travelling 8514km through three countries, diverse cultures and magical landscapes concludes.