Russia: Golden Horde Tatars & the Middle Volga

Spanning over eleven time zones and two continents, Russia is the largest country in the world with an array of rivers such as the mighty Volga, forests and towering mountains and a rich and at times tumultuous history stretching back centuries, the Land of the Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Tsars, Lenin and Stalin is a truly fascinating place to explore.

Islam entered Russia via the Caucasus over a thousand years ago and Muslims now make up nearly 20% of the population with the majority strategically placed in the Volga-Ural (Kazan) region and Caucasus as well as significant populations in Moscow and other major cities. The River Volga has symbolic meaning in Russian culture and is often referred to as Volga-Matushka (Mother Volga) in Russian literature and folklore. Islamic rule peaked under Sultan Muhammad Öz Beg, Khan of the Golden Horde, and once upon a time, even Moscow was under the dawlah of Amir Timur (Tamerlane).

Unlike other Muslim minorities in Europe, Russian Muslims are not considered foreign immigrants but natives who form an integral part of Russian society. For instance, whenever Russia is successful in international sports tournaments many of the medalists are in fact indigenous Muslim athletes! Whether you’re in the Muslim republics of the Volga-Ural Basin, the Caucasus or one of the country’s great cities, our travel to Russia is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with its history, culture, art, food and the current state of Islam and Muslims in Russia.

Our guides in Moscow, Tatarstan and Dagestan have over 10 years of experience organising private and group tours in this region.


The package comes without flights and visa but includes: English speaking Russian Muslim guides, all local transport, daily breakfast, accommodation and entrance fees to sites of interest. Itineraries can be subject to small modifications depending on the size and composition of the group as well as local circumstances at the time of the trip.

Overland journeys may be tiring and sometimes uncomfortable due to changes in weather and road conditions. A basic level of fitness is therefore required to fully benefit from the trip. Suitable places for lunch and dinner will be suggested by our guide.


  • Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Red Square, Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Museum of Cosmonautics, Park Pobyedy, Zamoskvorech’ye District, Qul Sharif Mosque, Starotatarskaya Sloboda, Volga River, and Bolgar Archaeological Complex.

Main Locations:

  • Moscow, Kazan, Bolgar, Bilyar.


3 or 4 star hotels in a convenient location will allow you to easily reach the most famous tourist attractions. Participants will normally spend 1-2 nights in various cities and towns. Breakfast is included.

Rooms: In the standard package there are twin or double rooms. There may also be the option of 3 beds (triple room) for larger families subject to availability. Other features include: en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, air-conditioning, free wifi and a refrigerator.

To follow

“The walking tour in Moscow was interesting as we got to travel like the locals. Our highlight for the trip was Kazan / Tatarstan: the place, the people, the hospitality was perfect. There was a good balance of Islamic history and political history of Moscow / Kazan. Generally, a well organized trip. We were all especially impressed by local guide Rushan who was energetic and very informative. He was also accommodating to our requests to stop for coffee or shop for local delicacies. Very professionally done. We love that the Deputy Mufti took time to talk to us, and their Grand Imam hosted us for the farewell dinner. Made us feel extra special. But most importantly, the dialogues we had were very beneficial including the insights into life in Russia as Muslims. The guide in Moscow was a very nice, affable man.”  (Saif-ur-Rahman, Singapore, October 2018)

“Guides were polite and hospitable as well as patient. Brother Abdullah was quite eloquent and knowledgeable about Islam and introduced us to various members of the Moscow Muslim community including the Russian Muftis Council and non profit organizations. Sister Natalya, our guide from Penza to Kazan was really amiable and an excellent translator. Her command of the English language is excellent. Moreover Brother Rushan and his knowledge base of Islam and its embryogenesis and growth, as well as our visits to the museums and historical sights gave us a good view of the evolution of Islam in Russia. I enjoyed the eclectic nature of the tour i.e. the Kremlin, Mosques and Cathedrals. Not to mention the underground metro with Stalin’s extravagant marble walls, high ceilings and grand chandeliers, and quite unlike the London or Hong Kong underground (both of which I have extensively utilised). Meeting the Imams of the various Mosques and their single minded passion for the Deen was inspiring; plus the very personal nature of our interaction with the community of rural Srednyaya Elyuzan (their warmth, hospitality and the picnic will be etched in my memory). Kazan was magical and Jumuah at the Qul-Sharif Mosque perhaps the highlight of our visit to the city. I loved the people and their passion for the Deen.” (Anisa Pandor, South Africa, April 2015)

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