Ukraine - Secrets of Chernobyl


Ukraine - Secrets of Chernobyl

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 5 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers

Dossier

Join us on this short tour to Ukraine and visit the largest restricted abandoned area in Europe – the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. We also visit Pobuzske Museum, the former location of the Strategic Missile Forces regiment before taking an overnight train to Lviv and explore this eclectic city, named as one of the best places in Ukraine to live.


Tour Rating

Fitness ●●●○○ | Off the Beaten Track ●●●●○ | Culture ●●●●○ | History ●●●●● | Wildlife ●○○○○

Tour Pace

Moderate

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the unique Museum of Strategic Missile Forces with its command centre, similar to those the Russians are using nowadays
  • The abandoned super-secret over-the-horizon radar system, the main part of the Soviet anti-ballistic missile early-warning network called Duga
  • Explore the deserted ghost-city of Prypyat and Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Tour Essentials

Accommodation: Mix of comfortable hotels 
Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunches (L) and dinners (D) as shown in the itinerary
Group Size: Maximum 12
Start Point: Kyiv
End Point: Lviv
Transport: Private minibus/car, overnight train
Countries: Ukraine

Tour Itinerary Notes

While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in. Overnight stops may vary from those suggested and on occasions alternative accommodation, of a similar standard to that named below, will be used.

Tour Guide

Our guides are a key strength, chosen for their knowledge of and passion for the areas in which they work. All of our guides are carefully hand-picked, and are not just passing through these countries, but are usually locally born. Unlike some companies it should be noted we do not send a guide or tour leader from Undiscovered Destinations in the UK as we have every confidence in our locally appointed representative who is responsible for operating the tour on our behalf. On this tour you will have different local English-speaking guides; one in Kyiv, one in Chernobyl and one in Lviv. The overnight train is un-escorted.

Day 1 – Arrive Kyiv

Arrive in Kyiv and transfer to your hotel. En route enjoy a short 1-hour tour of Kyiv. Overnight Hotel Park Inn Kyiv or similar.

Kiev 

Kiev is one of the oldest cities in the region, founded back in the 5th century and becoming an important centre of Slavic culture. Falling under the rule of the Varangians sometime later it became the capital of Rus, benefitting from its position on the trade routes between Scandinavia and the Byzantine Empire and becoming infused with a wide variety of cultural influences which remain today. Over its time, Kiev has been sacked by the Mongols, incorporated within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then absorbed into Russia and the Soviet Union. Straddling the banks of the Dnepr River, Kiev is Ukraine’s most cosmopolitan city, and a real mix of old and new. With a historic old quarter, the city is packed full of monuments, the most famous being the Lavra cave monastery, a collection of underground chambers and spectacular churches dating back to the 11th century. Kiev is a city with an enormous amount of churches and cathedrals, with a particular style that looks almost Russian but is unique to Ukraine, and in many areas these dominate the skyline, reminding visitors of the intense respect that ordinary Ukrainians have for religion. But perhaps one of Kiev’s greatest delights is simply walking around the city and seeing where you end up, discovering for yourself its corners, streets and cafes and immersing yourself in Ukrainian culture.

Day 2 – Kyiv – Chernobyl – Kyiv (total travelling – 320km, approx. 8 hours)

Early in the morning we go to the largest restricted abandoned area in Europe – the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Life here stopped in 1986 after an accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station. All the neglected land looks exactly the same as if the Cold War had become hot, being the best ‘horrible’ example of a real-world nuclear war result. During the tour you will see the remains of a ruined nuclear station and visit the ghost city of Pripyat. Here you will be surprised to learn that all these facilities to a great extant were built for the Cold War purposes, and you will see the over-the-horizon radar system, known as Russian Woodpecker or Duga2 object, part of a super-secret Soviet anti-ballistic missile early-warning network. We return to Kyiv in the evening. Overnight Hotel Park Inn Kyiv or similar (BL)

Day 3 – Strategic Missiles Museum (total travelling – approx. 8 hours)

We leave Kyiv this morning and travel to the Strategic Missiles Museum (approx. 4 hours, expected arrival time 1200hrs), which used to be a secret nuclear rocket base during USSR. We take a tour of the museum where you can still go 32 floors down to the command centre where the order to launch rockets were given. We travel back to Kyiv (approx. 4 hours) where you will have some time for dinner (own arrangements/expense) before transferring to the train station for your overnight train to Lviv, departing at 2237. Overnight on board, second class sleeper, 4 people per compartment (B)

Day 4 – Lviv

Early arrival into Lviv (approx. 0600hrs) where you will be met and taken to your hotel (early check-in included) for breakfast. Later this morning, around 1000 we start our city tour. During this walking tour, we will see the architecture of Rynok Square, typical Austrian streets, as well as modern dwellings. Together they narrate Lviv's glorious history. We will walk along the Medieval part of Lviv and will see Rynok Square, the Armenian church and quarter, the Dominican church, Boim Chapel, and many other impressive sites in the historical city centre. Highlights of this tour include visits of the Opera House, built in the classical tradition with Neo-Renaissance details (subject to change). You will also you will experience a unique chocolate master class (Lviv is proud to be the capital of best handmade chocolate in Ukraine), and will enjoy a delicious coffee tasting in one of the local coffee shops. Overnight Panorama Lviv or similar (B)

Lviv

Lviv is a fantastically eclectic city with a wide variety of architectural styles combining to create a place with a split personality, but which somehow definitely works. Founded in the 13th century, Lviv is almost dripping with history, and walking around its wide boulevards and large squares you will see Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture among many other types. Its medieval atmosphere harks back to days when Lviv was at the forefront of regional events, and it was once a wealthy trading centre. Unlike many other cities in Ukraine, it mainly escaped the terrible destruction wrought by Nazi bombers in World War Two, and its charming streets make it one of the most exciting places in Ukraine to explore. Lviv has been named as the best place in Ukraine to live and wandering around its historic centre it is easy to see why.

Day 5 – Lviv Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight from Lviv (B)

If you wish to extend your stay in Ukraine, we can organise pre and post tour arrangements. Please contact us for details.

Inclusions 

Arrival and departure transfers
All accommodation in standard rooms with breakfast
Services of an English-speaking local guides
Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
All transport for the tour
Chernobyl tour (private for a group of 10+, join-in group for less than 10)
Early check-in in Lviv

Excluded
International flights
Any airport taxes
Travel Insurance
Visas
Drinks


Other tours in Ukraine

Ukraine - A Journey Through Ukraine »

Ukraine - Echoes of the Cold War »