In this small, remote Russian village, the locals use their gardens and community plots to grow their own vegetables. Tours may include a visit to a private house for an introduction to local traditions, or to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, founded in the 14th century beside the Sheksna River, where there is a cathedral and numerous small wooden chapels.
The port of Kherson is situated beside the Black Sea and the Dnieper River, surrounded by nature reserves and vineyards. The town's fortress contains the cathedral of St Catherine where Prince Potemkin is buried. Excursions by boat through the Dnieper Delta to Fisherman's Island may be available, with views of the region's rich flora and fauna on the way.
Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and one of Europe's oldest cities. Its two chief sights are the lovely St Sophia Cathedral and the Monastery of the Caves, an intricate complex of churches founded by monks from Mount Athos in Greece. Stroll lively Independence Square and Andrew's Descent, a cobblestone street lined with restaurants and vendors.
Russia’s capital is a bustling metropolis with numerous famous landmarks. These include Red Square, the Bolshoi Theatre, St Basil’s Cathedral, Tverskaya Street, the Kremlin and Armoury Museum, the famous GUM department store and Lenin’s Tomb.
Sevastopol port began as an 18th-century military fortress and is now a busy commercial port as well as the base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet. The interesting tunnels of the former Soviet Underground Submarine Base are open to visitors, and other attractions include St Vladimir Cathedral, the remains of the Greek city of Chersonese and the excellent Panorama Museum in the valley of Balaklava, which depicts the defence of Sevastopol during the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The imperial city of St Petersburg is full of treasures. Important works by Italian Renaissance artists, Rembrandt, Matisse and Picasso are on display in the vast Hermitage Museum, which is housed in the extravagant Winter Palace. Peterhof Palace was inspired by Versailles, and perhaps outshines it. See the lavish fountains, culminating in the splendour of the Grand Cascade. Perhaps visit the suburb of Pushkin and the onion-domed Catherine's Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, or Mariinksy Theatre, formerly the Kirov Ballet.
Although Uglich is one of Russia's Golden Ring cities, it is a town well away from the tourist trail. Its key sights are the Church of St Dimitri, built where Ivan the Terrible's son Dmitry was found dead, and Uglich's kremlin which contains Spaso-Preobrazhenski Cathedral. There is also a Vodka Musuem where tastings are included in the entry fee.
Yalta has a lovely sea promenade, the Lenin Embankment, which leads to Alexandra Nevsky Cathedral, ornately decorated with golden domes. The town is forever associated with the 1945 Yalta Conference which was held at Livadia Palace, formerly the summer retreat of Russia's last Tsar. Tours may include the palace and Nikita Botanical Garden, which has over 50,000 plant species.
Yaroslavl is one of Russia's historic Golden Ring cities, and one of the most beautiful. From the historical centre, Svobody Street leads to the ancient walls of Spassky monastery, and close to the Volga River is the Church of Elia the Prophet which is famous for its wonderful frescoes. Yaroslavl is also the site of Russia's oldest theatre, the Volkov, built in 1750.
Zaporozhye was a Cossack stronghold for several hundred years, and opposite Zaporozhye on Khortitsa Island is an interesting Cossack museum.