Intrepid Travel
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Russia Real Food Adventure
St Petersburg to Moscow
Duration: 10 days
Tour code: WBZF

Highlights

  • Learn how to walk, talk, drink and party like a Russian on a Zakusha and Vodka tasting tour in Moscow.
  • The beautifully preserved thatched houses and dome-topped churches of Suzdal are straight out of a Russian fairy tale.
  • Enjoy a hearty, home-cooked feast with a Tatar family, sampling dishes unique to this semi-autonomous region of Russia.
  • Forage for ingredients in a family’s garden (with permission, of course), then learn how to make one of the region’s most famous dishes – borsht.
  • Eat, drink and be merry during an evening with a family in St Petersburg, sipping birch juice and playing table games.

Discover the cultural and culinary secrets of Russia on this 10-day tour. Experience authentic Russia in all its diversity, from an evening of eating, drinking and table games with a St Petersburg family to the steaming hot bowls of laghman (pulled noodles with meat and veges) found inside Soviet-style canteens. Food culture here is insular, and there are plenty of dishes you’ll try on this tour that don’t really exist anywhere else. This journey is a delicious adventure on its own, or the perfect side dish to a larger European adventure.

What's included?

Meals

5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Train , Private Bus , Public Bus , High Speed Train , Taxi , Metro

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Guesthouse (1 night), Overnight Sleeper Train (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Market tour and lunch at local family
  • Informal Russian language lesson
  • Suzdal - Russian Dinner & Borsht Baking
  • Suzdal - Guided walking tour
  • Kazan - Guided walking tour
  • Kazan Kremlin
  • Kazan - Village visit & traditional Tatar lunch
  • More than just vodka spirits tour of Moscow
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

Itinerary

Day 1
Saint Petersburg
Welcome to Russia! The former imperial capital and cultural heart of Russia, St Petersburg is the perfect place to get started on this Russian Real Food Adventure. Get acquainted with Russian cuisine this evening with a classic dinner. Though the exact dishes will change depending on available produce and the time of year, it’s guaranteed to be hearty and satisfying.

Meals: dinner

Day 2
Saint Petersburg
Today you’ll dig into authentic Russian food and culture on a tour that takes you from the oldest market in town to a local’s home for dinner. St Petersburg has changed drastically over the years, from Imperial Russia through Soviet rule to the modern city of today. But one thing has remained fairly consistent: the food! Sample local delicacies and staples at the market before exploring the harsh Soviet architecture woven throughout the city. In the evening, sit own to eat with a typical St Petersburg family, enjoying a home-cooked meal paired with vodka, Crimean wines, kvass (a fermented rye-based beverage) and birch juice. Play some traditional table games and experience how food and culture intertwine in this unique city.

Included activities: Market tour and lunch at local family

Meals: ● breakfast● lunch

Day 3
Saint Petersburg/Overnight Train
Spend the afternoon as you wish in St Petersburg. The technicolour splendour of the Church of the Savior of the Blood is a must-see. Featuring a design inspired by medieval Russian architecture and floor to ceiling mosaics inside, this late 19th-century structure is a church unlike any other in the world. Ask your leader for advice on where to grab a meal, a drink or both. Maybe ask them to point you in the direction of a good beef stroganoff, a classic east European comfort food. It’s a good idea to stock up on snacks too, as this evening you’ll board an overnight train bound for Vladimir. It’s a 13-hour journey, so while you’ll likely be sleeping for the majority, it’s a good idea to pack a good book or download a podcast to occupy yourself.

Included activities: Informal Russian language lesson

Meals: breakfast

Day 4
Suzdal
Arrive in Vladimir in the morning and travel the 30 kilometres to Suzdal on another train. An ancient town with wooden houses and pretty churches, Suzdal has none of the Soviet-era apartment blocks and stark buildings that decorate other parts of Russia. The food traditions here reflect the architecture: vintage. It’s fitting then that a walking tour of this storybook town ends with the chance to sample mead – the Russian medieval tipple of choice. Later, join a family in their home and learn to make perhaps the most divisive (among foreigners) of all eastern Europe’s dishes – borsht. This demonstration is hands on, taking you from the kitchen to the garden to learn about foraging traditions.

Included activities:

  • Suzdal - Russian Dinner & Borsht Baking
  • Suzdal - Guided walking tour

Meals: dinner

Day 5
Suzdal/Overnight Train
Enjoy a free morning to wander and snap photos in stunning Suzdal. While you’re here, maybe spend a little time within the walls of the Suzdal Kremlin. This World Heritage-listed citadel was initially constructed in the 10th century, though its oldest preserved building is the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, which was built in the early 13th century. The blue domes that top this church are decorated with gold stars, making for a whimsical and unique house of worship. In the afternoon, return to Vladimir and board another overnight train bound for Kazan, via Nizhny. Your leader will take you to the market in Vladimir to shop for food and drinks to bring along for the 14-hour journey. 
Day 6
Kazan
Pull into Kazan in the morning and set out on a walking tour, taking in the colour and East-meets-West charm of the capital of Tatarstan. As a region that is somewhat independent from the rest of Russia, the culture and food here has its own distinct flavour. During your walking tour you’ll stop in at a standard Soviet-style canteen where you can try some Tatar staples. This is a fantastic place to eat like a local and try a variety of dishes such as soups, salads, local pies, laghman (pulled noodles with meat and veges) and, of course, chak-chak. A regional specialty, chak-chak is made of small balls of deep-fried, unleavened dough. These are pressed together to form a dome or tower, then smothered with honey and left to harden. This dish is a point of pride in Tatarstan, and this evening you’ll get a master class in making it with a local expert.

Included activities:

  • Kazan - Guided walking tour
  • Kazan Kremlin

Meals: ● lunch● dinner

Day 7
Kazan
Today, venture into a nearby village to enjoy a social lunch with a Tatar family. Forming half the population of Tatarstan, they are one of many Turkic-speaking ethnic groups in Russia. In 1552, the city of Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible, and the Tatar became the first Muslim subjects of Russian Empire. Today, Tatar people are as diverse as their Russian counterparts. In some areas, such as the village we will visit today, they have preserved a traditional way of life, including recipes handed down over generations. Eat and chat with your hosts, learning more about their culture and way of life.

Included activities: Kazan - Village visit & traditional Tatar lunch

Meals: ● breakfast● lunch

Day 8
Moscow
This great city of Moscow awaits after a 1.5-hour flight. Moscow has survived centuries of revolution and seen Russia through some of its most turbulent years, from tsardom to communism and today's contemporary society. Central Moscow may be modern in parts, but its fascinating, historic heart hosts a wealth of sights. Get into the spirit (literally) with a Zakusha and Vodka tasting tour of the city in the evening. Learn how to walk, talk, drink and party like a Russian. Your local guide will teach you how to do shots the Russian way (by saying a special toast!) and you’ll pair the drinks with tasty local snacks. Discover hidden gems and pass by some of the city’s most famous icons, including the legendary KGB building.

Included activities: More than just vodka spirits tour of Moscow

Meals: breakfast

Day 9
Moscow
Spend your final day in Moscow visiting some well-known attractions. Visit the imposing and macabre Lenin Mausoleum, the grand, red-granite tomb that houses the embalmed body of the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. Take a guided tour of the Kremlin’s Armoury Chamber, where treasures combed from both imperial and church vestries are on display. There are a range of ceremonial garments, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church Hierarchs, armour, carriages and more. Work up your appetite with a day of sightseeing, then enjoy a final dinner with your leader and fellow travellers, practising your new skills and giving a Russian toast to new friends and new flavours.

Included activities: Dinner at a local restaurant

Meals: ● breakfast● dinner

Day 10
Moscow
Your Russian Real Food Adventure comes to an end today. You are free to leave anytime after check out as there are no activities planned for today.

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