On this unique 13-day journey we get to explore some of the least visited sights in Europe, as we explore Ukraine, Transnistria and Moldova. We get to visit the Ukraine’s historical cities of Kiev, L’viv and Odessa, see the ghostly wastelands of Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster. We travel through the historical lands of Bessarabia, as we visit the breakaway republic of Transnistria, where Soviet values persist to this day. Our tour concludes in Moldova, featuring some of the best wines and vineyards in Europe.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra|
|2.||L'viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre|
|Price (From)||:||US$ 3995|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive Kiev (UKRAINE)
Our exploration of Europe’s most challenging countries starts a welcome meeting upon arrival at Kiev International. We are then transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Radisson BLU Podol or City Hotel, Kiev (3 nights)
Day 02: Kiev
This morning we start with exploring Kiev, visiting St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral, the Golden Gates, the Opera and Ballet Theater, Shevchenko University, St. Andrew’s Church, Andreevsky Descent, St. Sofia Cathedral* - designed to rival Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, which was created in the 11th century in a region evangelized after the baptism of St Vladimir in 988 - St. Michael’s Monastery, Khreschatyk Street and the Maidan Nezalezhnosti. We save the best for last, which is deemed as one of the most beautiful sights of Ukraine, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra*. The spiritual and intellectual influence of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra contributed to the spread of Orthodox thought and the Orthodox faith in the Russian world from the 17th to the 19th century. (B)
Day 03: Kiev
An exciting day awaits as we get to experience the mysterious territory of the Chernobyl Exclusion zone, during which you will see abandoned settlements, soviet top-secret military objects and of course the place of a catastrophe itself, the half ruined nuclear reactor, covered in a concrete sarcophagus. Here we will see the entire infrastructure around it, including the construction site of a new confinement designed to make the station ecologically safe. This tour is a great chance to learn about what happens when human creations get out of control and our civilization gets rapidly taken over by nature. (B)
Day 04: Kiev/L’viv (Drive)
In the early morning departure for Tunnel of Love, which is the most romantic and picturesque places of Ukraine. We will have free time to walk through the Love Tunnel, take incredible photos and buy some souvenirs. Lunch break (at own expense) before we head for Tarakaniv Fort (70 km from the Tunnel of Love). This fortification was built at the end of the 19th century on the border of Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Nowadays, it is a desolated complex of labyrinths and stone galleries that makes an astonishing impression. We continue on to L’viv and check into our hotel.
Overnight: Astoria Hotel or Euro Hotel, L’viv (3 nights) (B)
Day 05: L’viv
After breakfast we head for L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre*. The city of L’viv, founded in 1256, was a flourishing administrative, religious and commercial centre for several centuries. The medieval urban topography has been preserved virtually intact (in particular, there is evidence of the different ethnic communities who lived there), along with many fine Baroque and later buildings. Our tour includes the High Castle Hill, the Baroque St. Yura Cathedral, the Chapel of the Boim Family and the Opera House. We will also visit the Old Town, including the magnificent Market Square. From the Market Square then we embark on a walking tour to discover some of the most ancient streets of L’viv and visit the several churches and cathedrals. Free time before returning back to our hotel. (B)
Day 06: L’viv
Today we will be taking the Golden Horseshoe tour, which includes the Olesko Castle and park, a branch of the L’viv Art Gallery, followed by a visit to beautiful Zolochiv Castle, a residence of the Sobieski noble family, featuring the Great Palace and the Chinese Palace. The last castle on our excursion is Pidgirtsy Castle, an architectural masterpiece dating to the late Renaissance. (B)
Day 07: L’viv/Odessa
This morning we discover the mysterious underground world of L’viv on an exciting excursion. Our guide will entertain us with thrilling stories and enchanting legends about the events that took place in the labyrinths beneath the Old Town of L’viv, including the dungeons. We get to uncover the secrets of the mysterious undergrounds of the Jesuit Cathedral and hear a legend about a Black Monk who sold his soul to the devil; and examine the underground chambers used for executions and torture in the Middle Ages. We also visit one of the oldest operating pharmacies, featuring an underground museum. Next we some of the most famous coffee shops in the city and realize why L’viv is called the Ukrainian capital of coffee. We learn how L’viv has developed its coffee traditions over the centuries and taste the famous L’viv coffee and chocolate (own expense) in one of the cafés. During this tour we will discover the facts about the coffee traditions in L’viv. Around 8:00 PM, we will be dropped off at the train station for the 10:00 PM overnight departure to Odessa.
Overnight: Train (1 night) (B)
Day 08: Arrive Odessa
The approximate arrival time in Odessa is 08:45 AM. We will be met and head out for a guided tour of some of the city’s most iconic attractions. This tour is perfect for first time visitors as it allows us to see the all the popular tourist sights and enjoy the incomparable atmosphere of joy that Odessa is famous for. Once our tour ends, we check in to our hotel. Afternoon is free at leisure.
Overnight: Mozart Hotel or Continental Hotel, Odessa (3 nights)
Day 09: Odessa
We discover the secrets of the city as we wander through the mysterious labyrinths beneath the city. We learn the history about the appearance of the Catacombs, and what role they played in the development of the city. We then embark in the Shustov Cognac Museum Tour, exploring the underground cellars and try some of the best samples of exquisitely flavorful well-aged brandy on a tasting after the tour. During this tour, we learn the history of the Shustov family, famous entrepreneurs of the Russian Empire. (B)
Day 10: Odessa
Today we enjoy a comprehensive full-day tour of the Akkerman Fortress and Shabo Wine Center. We travel back in time as we visit the medieval Akkerman Fortress accompanied by an expert guide and admire a splendid view of the Belgorod-Dnistrovskiy Liman. We then visit Shabo Wine Center and see its terroir vineyards, manufacturing premises and the underground wine storage, followed by a Shabo wine tasting. (B)
Day 11: Odessa/ Tiraspol (TRANSNISTRIA)/Chisinau (MOLDOVA)
We leave Odessa to visit the unrecognized country of Transnistria. Officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Transnistria is a breakaway state in the narrow strip of land between the river Dniester and the territory of Ukraine that is internationally recognized as part of Moldova. Its capital is Tiraspol. The region is considered by the United Nations to be part of Moldova. We get to step back in time and feel the atmosphere of the former Soviet Union, as we visit the cities of Tiraspol and Bendery, which feature Soviet-style buildings, monuments of Lenin and old-fashioned cars. Examine the Soviet landmarks including the monuments to Lenin and the House of Soviets, and travel by an old trolleybus from Tiraspol to Bendery along with the locals. We get to learn interesting facts about the history and political situation of Transnistria. Imagine how people used to live in the USSR. After the tour, we depart for Chisinau, Moldovia and check in to our hotel.
Overnight: Regency Hotel or Radisson BLU Leogrand or Best Western Plus Flowers, Chisinau (2 nights) (B)
Day 12: Chisinau
This morning we enjoy a walking tour of the city centre of Chisinau. Our guide will show us the monument of Stephen the Great, the Triumphal Arch, the Nativity Cathedral and the building of the Houses of Parliament. Later on the day we visit Cricova Winery and Wine cellars where we will have a train tour through the underground tunnels filled with wine-cellars. Continue to see the large wine collection and get acquainted with the process of wine making and sparkling wine production. The day ends with wine tasting. (B)
Day 13: Depart Chisinau
Completing our remarkable journey through these historical lands, we are transferred to Chisinau airport for our onward flight. Check out time at the hotel is by 11:00 AM. Chisinau is connected by Austrian, LOT, Lufthansa, Turkish and Ukraine Airlines. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum tour size of 12 participants.
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