Rhodes Tours & Excursions

Review: Susan Shanley, Sacramento, Ca


Review: Susan Shanley, Sacramento, Ca

I was introduced to Alex's Tours & Travel by very good friends about two years before I actually traveled to St. Petersburg. During that time my seemingly never-ending e-mails with questions about travel to Russia were answered quickly, thoroughly, and accurately (as time would tell!).

My trip to St. Petersburg was off to a fabulous start when Alex Polenov (the "Alex" of Alex's Tours & Travel) personally met us at the St. Petersburg Airport. He made us feel like long-lost friends immediately. Our drive into St. Petersburg was the beginning of wonderful sights and learning the fascinating history of this beautiful, cultured City. We had pre-arranged for an apartment in the heart of the City that met our needs perfectly.

Our driver from Alex Tours was at our apartment the next morning ready to begin the adventure! With Luda, our personal guide extradinaire, we visited these many truly remarkable St. Petersburg sights:

  • Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul
  • The State Hermitage
  • Peterhof (via hydrofoil on the Gulf of Finland!)
  • Imperial palaces at Pushkin and Pavlovsk including:
  • Catherine Palace (showcasing the stunning Amber Room)
  • Alexander Palace
  • Pavlovsk Palace
  • Church on the Spilt Blood
  • St. Isaac's Cathedral
  • Plus innumerable museums, monuments, parks, rivers, canals, and bridges!

In addition to the fabulous touring we did during the day, we were privileged to attend the ballet at the Catherine Theatre in the Hermitage for a performance of Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" and another evening at the Mariinsky Theatre for performances choreographed by Balanchine. We felt as though Nicholas II and Alexandra could have been in attendance!

Alex planned a delightful excursion to the countryside for us on our last day in St. Petersburg. He personally escorted us to Russian dacha near Lake Ladoga. We toured the dacha, the garden, saw the family banya and the greenhouse. Beautiful fall, flowers were still in bloom and the trees were producing apples in late September. They prepared and served us the delicious, traditional shashlik (Russian BBQ) with all the trimmings.

Alex's Tours and Travel made my trip one of the best ever, and one I will never forget. And, a bonus: I made a life-long friend!

Susan Shanley, Sacramento, California


Dinner with Alex

Catherine's Palace