Start with pickup at your St. Petersburg hotel, and settle inside your private, air-conditioned vehicle with your guide and driver.
Then, travel through rural Russia to Veliky Novgorod, set on the River Volkhov and known as the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy. The city once stood at the junction of Asian and European trade routes, and was Russia’s first capital in the 9th century.
After a roughly 2.5-hour journey, arrive in Novgorod, and set out on a walking tour. Head to the 15th-century, red-stone walled fortress of the Novgorod Kremlin, and go inside to visit St Sophia's Cathedral, one of Russia’s best-preserved churches. Constructed in the 11th century, this magnificent edifice is embellished with five domes and medieval frescoes.
Admire the painted interior, and then see the Millennium of Russia monument, built in 1862 to mark Russian statehood, before visiting the Church of the Savior, famous for its still-vivid 14th-century frescoes by Theophanes the Greek.
Amble around the marketplace, and savor a traditional Russian lunch at a local restaurant. Then, view the riverside Church of St. George and visit the Museum of Wooden Russian Architecture, an outdoor collection of reconstructed medieval wooden buildings built without nails.
Admire the beautiful wooden churches and chapels, and explore the izbas (village houses), seeing their period furniture and craft displays for an insight into the lives of the peasants who occupied them.
If you wish, arrange with your guide to include a chat with the Russian Orthodox priest at Novgorod’s 12th-century Nativity Church. Your tour is private so the itinerary can be tailored to accommodate a meeting, letting you learn about Orthodox ways first hand.
After about ten hours, your tour concludes with a drop-off at your St. Petersburg hotel.