Day 1-st: St. Petersburg
Self arrival and check-in at the hotel in the historic city center.
If this is your first time in St. Petersburg, be sure to arrive early so that you have more time to explore at least a small part of the sights of Historical Center of extraordinary city on river Neva.
Peter I conceived Petersburg as a «city on water». Part of his idea was realized, which is why we recommend you to make your first acquaintance by taking a ride on one of the water trams. Enjoy looking at the city from the water as you go along its many rivers and canals, observing its granite embankments and distant spiers, numerous palaces and tenements. Fresh wind, panoramic views, a story about the city and its main attractions, will allow you to enjoy the atmosphere of the Northern capital and learn interesting details. For example, why exactly the center of the city is called «ceremonial», what is Semimost, how the Kryukov Canal and the series «Petersburg secrets» are connected, how the monument to Chizhik-Pyzhik appeared in Fontanka...
Overnight in St. Petersburg
Day 2-nd: St. Petersburg – Pushkin – Pavlovsk / about 38 km or 43 km
The morning in St. Petersburg is early, if of course it exists at all. So, for example, if the dates of your bike tour are at the end of May - end of June, this is the time of «white» nights, and you will have almost no time to sleep...) So, wake up, have breakfast and ride to Pushkin!
You will ride along Obvodny Canal, and quiet streets (along sidewalks) in quiet areas, along the Volkovka riverbed, you will reach the Shushary area. From there, exclusively along the bike path, go to the city of Pushkin or to the former Tsarskoe Selo, which was founded in the beginning of 17th century, from a simple Swedish noble estate ... In the early summer of 1710, Peter I signed a decree for the transfer of these lands (including 43 attributed villages) to Katerina Alekseevna - the future empress. From that moment, the official history of the formation and development of Tsarskoye Selo now the city of Pushkin began.
In Pushkin you will immerse yourself in the special atmosphere that the city has been preserving for several centuries. Here, with great respect they treat the genius of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, who glorified the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, where he spent his academic years. Other great poets such as Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilyov are also remembered here.
When you ride up to the Tsarskoye Selo museum complex (to the Catherine Palace), in order to see its main attractions, you will have to leave your bike in the parking lot. You will have a wide choice of what to see: the Great Catherine Palace, the Amber Room, the Cameron Gallery or the Hermitage Pavilion. Many famous architects and artists worked on the creation of palace and park ensembles in Tsarskoye Selo. The buildings mixed antique, Gothic, Chinese, Egyptian styles. The reservoirs were skillfully designed forming beautiful parks with dense vegetation around them. Carefully restored after the Great Patriotic War and preserved today the Catherine and Alexander parks are recognized as world examples of gardening art and architecture. In Aleksandrovsky Park, you can ride a bike, exclusively along the official route, which covers the most significant points of the park.
Further along Sadovaya Street heading to Pavlovsk, the palace and park of the same name. This is the former «Seltso on the Slavyanka River», where the trade route «from Varangians to Greeks» passed. In December 1777 Catherine II presented rich lands with an area of more than 600 hectares with surrounding villages and peasants, mainly of Ingermanland origin to her son and heir Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich and his wife Maria Feodorovna, on the occasion of the birth of their first child Grand Duke Alexander. This is how the Pavlovskoye Village appeared. In 1780 construction started with a large stone palace for the grand ducal family designed by Charles Cameron invited by Catherine II to Russia... Take the opportunity – it is allowed to ride a bicycle in Pavlovsky Park!
Overnight in Pushkin
Day 3-rd: Pushkin – St. Petersburg / about 38 km or train
One evening is definitely not enough to discover the city of Pushkin and Pavlovsk! Only Catherine Palace with park will require at least three to four hours to visit. The unique atmosphere of Pushkin with its wide straight streets and extraordinary dachas, including the dacha of poet Alexander Pushkin and the dacha of Grand Duke Boris Romanov, the grandson of Alexander II, the abundance of greenery and low-rise buildings, give the city an extraordinary charm. To this day, the small town has retained the atmosphere of Tsarist Russia of the 19th century and is included in the list of monuments protected by UNESCO. Every corner of Pushkin is permeated with history and events of bygone days.
Having spent enough time in the Palace and Park Ensembles of Pushkin and Pavlovsk, we recommend returning to St. Petersburg by taking a train, which runs three times an hour and arrives at the Vitebsky railway station. Railway stations are in both cities so it is up to you. An alternative to the electric train can be a cycle track along your yesterday's route.
Back in St. Petersburg, head to the historic city center or Nevsky Prospekt for another unforgettable evening in this beautiful city.
Overnight in St. Petersburg
Day 4-ht: Lomonosov – Peterhof / about 20 km + Trekking
+ Train from St. Petersburg to Lomonosov
+ Trekking in two Parks about 10 km. or more.
After breakfast, you will take a short track to the Baltiysky railway station to take the train to the southern coast of Gulf of Finland. In 50 minutes «Lastochka» will take you to the town of Lomonosov, to the station Oranienbaum.
The first site your main track will be Museum-Reserve and Oranienbaum Park – the most valuable example of gardening art of the second half of the 18th – mid-19th century. It is prohibited to ride bicycles in the park. Therefore, walk along the Lipovaya Alley to the Chinese Palace, then walk along the paths of the park to the Palace of Peter III. Further through the Lower Pond – to the Big Menshikov Palace and through the beautiful Lower Garden (it was founded in 1717 and decorated in just 3 years), again go out onto Palace Avenue in order to ride from city of Lomonosov head to Peterhof.
But before arriving at the main Palace of Peterhof, we will drive at a calm pace through the «untouched» by tourists Park-Reserve «Sergievka». Here you will see the most unusual stone – «Adam's head» – for selfie lovers – this is a godsend! Then passing through small beautiful villages, through the «English» park, you will arrive in Peterhof, and after lunch go to the main residence of the Russian Emperors.
Peterhof (from German Peterhof, literally translated as «Peter's courtyard») for 200 years was the ceremonial emperor's summer residence and is inextricably linked with the history of Russia. The Primorsky Paradise was built as a grandiose triumphal monument glorifying the greatness of the Empire which won the much-needed and desired access to the Baltic Sea during the Northern War. The Great Peterhof Palace, the famous fountains of the Upper and Lower Gardens, the Gardens themselves and several interesting museum expositions – this is just a short list of names behind which the genuine grandeur of the beauty of architecture and art and an unforgettable historical heritage is hidden.The «list» is long! Few days is not enough to check every corner of Peterhof. But you will have enough time to see the main attractions of the Park and the Palace.
Overnight in Peterhof
Day 5-ht: Peterhof – St. Petersburg / about 35 km
The main cycle track will take you further through Strelna to St. Petersburg. But before that, you can still visit a not that popular but still cute Park Alexandria and the «Palace Cottage». The park is named after its first owner - Empress Alexandra Feodorovna wife of Nicholas I. Alexandria is the family nest for four generations of Romanov dynasty.
Strelna is one of the most ancient settlements on the southern coast of Gulf of Finland. This name comes from the Strelka river flowing here. The first inhabitants of these place in the 7th - 8th centuries, were the Finno – Ugrians – Izhora and Vodi. Later, the Slavs begin to settle. In 1703 during the Northern War Russia regains the southern coast of Gulf of Finland. Strelina manor becomes the personal property of Peter I. Here he will build his wooden Traveling Palace at the beginning of 18th century... Konstantinovsky Park and the palace deserve special attention as well as other sites.
You will return to your hotel in St. Petersburg along the wide sidewalks and bike paths that laid in the green areas and parks of the city. Alternatively if you are late you can take the train in Strelna and go back to the center of St. Petersburg.
Overnight in St. Petersburg, Category «В» – Hotel 3* , Category «A» – 4*.
Day 6-th: Zelenogorsk – Roshchino – Komarovo – Zelenogorsk / about 45 or 28 km
+ bus transfer from St. Petersburg to Zelenogorsk
In the morning you will be transferred (about an hour) to the East coast of Gulf of Finland to the resort town of Zelenogorsk or to the small town of Roshchino. Your choice depends on how long you want to cycle today.
The Karelian Isthmus is rich not only in lakes but also in numerous «summer cottages» and villages. All of them simply tune in to a wave of rest, relaxation and resort and dacha experiences. And if you want to fully enjoy this atmosphere, take the short track from Roshchin (first mentioned in the middle of the 16th century as the Finnish village of Raivola) to Zelenogorsk. You will drive through beautiful pine forests next to several small lakes including the «Shchuchye» lake and its reserve. Only one third of the way will pass along uninhabited roads, everything else is quiet streets and a bike path. The climax of the track is the descent to Gulf of Finland through famous Komarovo so beloved by the intelligentsia of St. Petersburg (until 1948 – Kellomyaki) through its «Lesnaya-upper» and «Marine-lower» parts.
Going down to the Gulf of Finland, you will ride to Zelenogorsk with a beautiful bike path along the «Komarovsky shore» a natural monument. A continuous strip of sandy beaches will accompany you sometimes passing into low dunes. A large number of springs run down the entire slope forming numerous streams. Swimming here is especially pleasant because thanks to these streams and rivers, the water in this part of the bay is freshened.
The resort Zelenogorsk, former Terijoki, in 1721 was part of other lands of Old Finland and became part of the Russian Empire. But there were several such «transitions» in one direction or another, thanks to which modern Zelenogorsk became a Russian city with Finnish mood. Relaxing and one might say idle Zelenogorsk has several pearls, and first of all it is the Park of Culture and Leisure with access to a beautiful beach, at the entrance to which Georgy Vitsin will meet you. The main are architectural attractions and it is without a doubt: the Lutheran Finnish Church (built in 1908), the Orthodox Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (built in 1916) and several preserved pre-revolutionary summer cottages.
If you opt for a longer track then you will start and end in Zelenogorsk. And to the cycling route described above, you will add few more kilometers on the bike path along Gulf of Finland and a gradual ascent to Roshchino.
Overnight in Zelenogorsk
Day 7-th: Zelenogorsk – Sestroretsk – Lisiy Nos or St. Petersburg / 35 km or 30 km + train
In the morning you will ride the bike path again towards St. Petersburg along the coast and sandy beaches surrounded by century-old coniferous trees. The easiest and most enjoyable track will give you frequent stops for both swimming and relaxation. On the way you will have a lot of small restaurants and cafes located on the shores of Gulf of Finland.
Be sure to have a stop in Repino, which perfectly combines the atmosphere of resort and country life: fresh sea air, the sound of surf, sandy beaches and many idle vacationers. In 1948 the village of Kuokkala was renamed in honor of Ilya Repin where the great Russian artist lived and was buried. The Penaty estate was equipped according to the plans of the artist himself and was restored in the 60s of the last century after a fire. Korney Chukovsky lived not far from Penat. His dacha was jokingly called «Chukokkala». Leonid Andreev and Ivan Bunin and Maxim Gorky, and Fyodor Chaliapin, and Vladimir Mayakovsky came to visit Chukovsky...
Further on along bike path you will arrive in the city of Sestroretsk. In 1714 by decree of Peter I on the site of small Swedish settlement "Süsterbek" that already existed at that time, the city of Sestroretsk was founded. And already in 1721 the construction of an arms factory began. In Soviet times Sestroretsk became a resort city and before the Revolution, there were dachas for rich Petersburgers. It is a pity that the old dacha buildings on the old streets are almost not preserved, but the new dachas are being to built in a very interesting way, preserving the very pre-revolutionary style. You will ride through the city along bike path and the shore of Lake Sestroretsky Razliv, on the southern shore of which in a hut Lenin V.I. hid from the persecution of the interim government in the summer of 1917. If you have enough time turn to the Gulf of Finland to Dubki Park, where you can relax, have a snack and swim. The park was founded by decree of Peter I, who stopped to rest in the Battle of Gangut in 1714 and was impressed by the age of the oak trees growing in the copse.
*If before you decide not to cycle into St. Petersburg then at the Razliv or Tarkhovka station, we recommend taking the train along with bike, which will take you to the city center to Finlyandsky railway station in a few minutes. From there along the Liteiny Bridge crossing Neva River then along the Palace Embankment and Gorokhovaya Street, you will arrive at our hotel. The second option: by electric train you will reach the Lakhta station. Then you will enter St. Petersburg according to our track.This will be your final night and the tour will last 8 days / 7 nights.
If your choice is to travel through St. Petersburg and the full coverage of our cycle route then follow the cycle path from Sestroretsk along Tarkhovsky forest park and then stop for the night in the small village of Lisiy Nos in an excellent hotel-restaurant. In the evening you can take a ride to Fox Beach. There are bars and restaurants; in the summer, various evening festivals and discos are organized there. Most of all you will be surprised by the large number of old country houses with turrets and carved shutters, which remained intact to this day.
Overnight or in St. Petersburg,
Day 8-th: Lisiy Nos – St. Petersburg / about 30 km.
In the morning you will ride along the bike path towards St. Petersburg. The last cycle track will take you first along the Northern Coast of Neva Bay nature reserve. You can go down to the bay along a picturesque forest path to admire the local inhabitants – various species of birds, including swans. Before entering St. Petersburg on your right there will be the Stenbock-Fermor estate, which unfortunately is closed to public... But it was the owners of this estate once owned Lakhta, through which you will enter the «Cultural Capital» of Russia.
There, on the road from Olgino to Lakhty on the shore of the bay, is a granite rock: the remains of the Thunder-stone which became the pedestal of the «Bronze Horseman». And the modern main attraction of Lakhta-Olgino now, of course, is the Lakhta tower – the tallest tower in Russia and Europe (462 meters), moreover it is the northernmost skyscraper in the world. Next you will ride through a new park and this is where you need to take a photo with the Tower in the background! You have arrived in St. Petersburg!
Then across Yakhtenny Bridge from the new Primorsky District you will get to Krestovsky Island. Friends, believe me, this bridge is indeed a striking example of modern architecture and urban infrastructure.
Then you will pass through Vasilievsky Island – we are sure you will be delighted with it; you will cross Malaya Nevka and further along Zhdanovka river you will arrive to the Peter and Paul Fortress. If you have already visited it the day before then ride along the Tuchkov Bridge and then along the Embankment to the Palace Bridge. We will of course tell you more about all the sights of St. Petersburg that you will pass in our Tour Book, but now we will note that crossing the Palace Bridge and passing next to the Admiralty and the Winter Palace you will experience a massive feeling of admiration... And further on along Gorokhovaya crossing several small bridges over Moika and Fontanka you will arrive at your hotel.
Overnight St. Petersburg
Day 9-th: St. Petersburg
Today after breakfast at the hotel your bike trip around the Leningrad Region ends. But if you have some of extra free days be sure to stay and spend more time to explore the sights of the beautiful city on Neva, St. Petersburg. Visit the Hermitage and the Peter and Paul Fortress Walk around the night Petersburg and enjoy its extraordinary atmosphere. You can read more about the sights of St. Petersburg in our Brochure and in the Tour Book.