Peterhof, the town of palaces, fountains and parks, was built by Peter the Great to rival Versailles and a great part of the work was focused on the lavish gardens. The estate construction spanned two centuries and upon its completion it encompassed seven parks and more than 20 smaller palaces and pavilions. Peter himself designed the layout of the 300-acre park and spectacular fountains, 144 in total, all operating without the use of pumps by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic.
The Upper Park has as its centerpiece the Neptune Fountain, ending up here after Paul I bought it during one of his shopping trips to Germany. The Lower Park where you find the famous Grand Cascade - often considered the chief delight of the grounds - consists of three waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains and 37 gilded statues. Samson, constructed in 1734-1735 and the main attraction of Peterhof, is located at the base of the Great Cascade.
There are a couple of fountains that will spray an innocent passerby for the mere mistake of stepping on a funny stone or sitting on the wrong bench. A hydrofoil will arrive at the pier located in the Low Park to whisk you back to the city while you have the great opportunity to see the city from the perspective of the Gulf of Finland.
Please note: This St. Petersburg tour does not enter Peterhof Palace.
Note that all of our St. Petersburg tours are operated by authorized guides, and you therefore do not need to secure an independent visa in order to participate in this tour. However, in order to book this tour, you must provide us with full names, dates of birth, nationality, and passport numbers for each tour participant so that our guides can secure the proper tour visas on your behalf. Note also that, if you wish to explore St. Petersburg on your own while not accompanied by one of our guides, you will need to secure an independent visa.
Please be aware that cruise lines occasionally mislead passengers by telling them that they are not allowed to disembark the ship in St. Petersburg unless they are on an excursion purchased through the cruise line. In addition, the cruise lines also sometimes tell passengers that they cannot disembark the ship until the passengers on the cruise lines' excursions have done so first. This is incorrect, and you are free to exit the ship as soon as passengers start to disembark because Russian law states that a cruise ship cannot hold passengers onboard against their will as long as they have the proper documents. In order to clear immigration, you will need to bring along: 1) Your passport; 2) A photocopy of the picture page of your passport; and 3) A copy of your tour tickets. We will provide you with your tour tickets as part of the documents we e-mail to you after you make a tour booking.
Due to administration and immigration restrictions, there will be no refund for programs canceled within 15 days of departure.
Reviewer: Schneidman Barbara
Taken out to the Peterhof gardens by our private guide and walked us through the most memorable fountains. Gardens not yet in bloom but the fountains were beautiful, lots of gold foil and architecturally very unique. Would highly recommend and had a great guide with Kristine.