Can you imagine riding Russia of 10-th to 15-th century? We offer you to plunge into medieval Russian towns of Novgorod and Russa with their really unique onion-cupola churches, fortresses surrounded by molls and canals. Actually this is the core land of ancient Russians full of history and natural majesty. We ride bikes through cute non-touristic Russian wooden-house villages located along the scenic coasts of the Ilmen’ lake. On the way we face with localpeople and observe real Russian rural life. Sometimes we can see crosses of hidden monasteries or ruins of chapels above the trees. Russian style nature with peaceful birch woods and green meadows, adjacent blue lakes explains you why the area of Novgorod was the source of fairytales, legends and gave inspiration to the famous painters, writers and musicians such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Pushkin and others. Historical excursions on the bikes around cities help us to learn more about roots of the Russia’s history. Special bonus of our tour is a dinner at local family in a traditional country house.
The Ilmen’ lake played an important role in the great commercial routes. Being one of the numerous lakes and rivers it offered the way connected Northern Europe and Greece trades of that time.
The Novgorod Velikiy city is the most ancient centers of Slaves from IX century. Together with Kiev city they remained capitals of medieval Russia long time till Moscow headed country’s power. Novgorod city developed from the Kremlin located in the center surrounded by the old wooden town. Chronicles and artifacts say “even working class citizens were well educated and capable to read and write various massages on the birch cork already in IX to XI century! They wore well-done leather shoes.’’ Citizens also had high level of political awareness and the base of democracy. They publicly invited rulers to lead the country and dethroned those they were not satisfied with.
Taking our tour you will face with a lot of surprises in the real knowledge of Russia, which probably break some of your preconceptions of this country – always contradictory and strange for western people.
Tour is supported by a car. Sleeping is in dorms.
We spend 3 or 4 days depending on the program you choose. The classical 4 days program involves a little more sights, photo stops and is more relaxed.
Three days program has less amount of sights, visits are reduced or shorten in time.
Day 1 – Exploring the city of Novgorod and environs
Distance - (20 km around the city and 25 km countryside = 45 km)
10:00-11:00 arrival at Novgorod Velikiy
11:00–12:30 excursion around main fortress
12:30–14:00 exploring the old city riding bikes
14:00-15:00 dinner at a Café
15:00 riding the countryside
15:30-16:30 inside visit and excursion around “Vitoslavlitzy” - The wooden architecture village-museum. These are 18-19 century wooden artwork houses.
16:30–19:30 riding along the lake with photo stops of monasteries on the way
19:30-20:00 taking the lodge by the Ilmen’ lake, taking shower or having a swim in a lake.
20:00 having some supper, negotiation.
22:00 a night in a loge.
Day 2 – viewing the beautiful lake of Ilmen’
Distance – around 65 km
7:00 getting up
8:30 going countryside – an asphalted road goes through small Russian villages.
9:30 – photo stop in a viewpoint of the Ilmen’ lake. Possible to have a swim.
10:00-13:30 temporary going along the main road we ride a countryside again later. Here mainly green fields surround us. From time to time we can enjoy variable landscapes of the Lake as the road goes close to it.
13:30 dinner at the Café
14:30 – 17:00 Going along the southern high coast of the Lake. A visit of the WW II German cemetery.
Arrival at Ritloe village located on the high coast of the Lake. It’s a nice photo stop as well.
18:00 dinner, free time
Day 3 – exploring Russian rural life
Distance – about 46 km
7:00 getting up
8:30 riding off-road through the fields and a typical “Russian” roads. Variety of landscapes: meadows and small woods, fields, villages, lakesides.
11:00 having snacks and tea
12:00 continue riding
15:00 arrival at Russa. Riding around the magic old town.
18:00 lodging in a local resort
Day 4 – The peaceful monasteries of the city of Russa
8:00 getting up
9:30 a visit of the oldest monastery - The city history museum
13:00 a visit to the former Dostoevskiy’s private house where he wrote “Brother Karamazovs”
14:30 returning to the lodge
14:30- 16:00 free time, enjoying the town, buying souvenirs
16:00 departure to St. Petersburg by the private microbus, loading bikes.
21:00-22:00 arrival at St. Petersburg.
Area: Novgorod region
Start point: Novgorod
Transfer: St. Petersburg - Novgorod by suburban train, Novgorod - St. Petersburg by microbus
Duration: 3 - 4 days
Group size: up to 10 person