After meeting your private guide at your St. Petersburg hotel, enjoy a high-speed hydrofoil ride along the River Neva to the Peterhof. Have your camera ready as your hydrofoil passes highlights such as the Peter and Paul Fortress, Hermitage, and the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island. As you travel, let your guide know if there’s anything you want to see more or less of — your tour is private, so the itinerary is flexible.
On arrival, head inside (own expense) Peterhof with your guide for a tour of the palace and fountain-studded gardens, often nicknamed the ‘Russian Versailles.’ As you walk, hear the history of the palace, and learn about the royals who helped shape it, including Peter the Great and the Empress Elizabeth.
Stroll around the famous fountains and water features (operational May to September only) — 176 of them in all — and marvel at the showpiece; the spectacular Grand Cascade, set around a gold fountain of Samson. Indulge your sense of fun and get drenched at the famous joke fountains (May to September only), and admire the statues and flowerbeds.
If you wish, take a tour of the Grand Palace and explore the other royal houses in the grounds, used as summer hideaways by the royals. See Alexandria Palace and Park; Marly Palace with its orchards, grotto and fishponds; and stroll around the waterfront Monplaisir, a favorite retreat of Peter of Great.
Before your tour ends, enjoy free time for lunch (own expense) at a traditional waterside Russian pancake restaurant or a snack (own expense) at a cafe — the choice is yours.
Finally, make your way back to your hotel, or a central drop-off location of your choosing, by foot and metro train with your guide. Your tour then concludes when your guide departs.