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Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova Tour
TOURCODE: JHMK
Duration: 23 Days Countries Visited: 3 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova Tour
23 Days
TOURCODE: JHMK

Minsk City tour; Lviv: Cozy streets, fascinating monuments, "Horseshoe" Castle tour; Carpathian Mountains; Noble, historic Odesa; Little-known Moldova; Danube Delta; Chornobyl tour Mir Castle exploration; Kamianets-Podilskyi fortress; Chisinau city tour and wine tasting; Kyiv city touring

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
Countries Visited: 3 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

This itinerary is an expanded variation on our long-standing program (JHBU), which seeks to add a bit more variation in the "church, fortress, monastery" routine that typifies comprehensive explorations of this venerable and complicated reqion. To do so, in this version, we add some variety in the form of a visit to the beautiful Carpathian Mountains, where we experience some of area's natural attributes and rural village culture. We also explore the Danube Delta region, with a boat cruise on the channels and a visit to Vylkove, known as the 'Venice of Ukraine.'

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

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Optional Single Supplement: $988 USD (number of singles limited).



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Minsk
Welcome to Belarus!

Belarus, part of the Newly Independent States (N.I.S.), is a vast country with stretches of unbroken birch groves, large forested marshlands and gently sloping green fields amidst wooden villages that time forgot in the 18th century. Belarus borders Russia in the north and east, Poland in the west, Latvia and Lithuania in the northeast and Ukraine in the south. Minsk is the capital of Belarus and was completely rebuilt after the Second World War.

Overnight in Minsk.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Minsk: City Tour & Dudutki Folk Museum
In a country rich in war memorials, Minsk is the greatest of all testimonies to the atrocities of the Great Patriotic War. It's estimated that nearly half of the city's population perished during WWII. Today, Belarus is striving to balance the preservation of its independence with the need for economic partnership with neighbouring Russia.

Today we have a city tour including Independence Square with the House of Government and "Red" Krasny Roman Catholic Church; Victory Square with its tall grey obelisk and eternal flame honouring the heroes of World War II; Troitskoye Predmestye (Trinity Suburb) -- restored buildings of the 19th century, Holy trinity Cathedral and St.Catherine's Church -- architectural monuments of the 17th century.

Our attention then shifts to Belarus as an ancient country with rich history and folklore. We visit the Dudutki Complex, created in order to present the oldest forms of culture and daily routine of the medieval people of Belarus to younger generations and foreign visitors of the state. The founders of the complex pursued the goal to restore a 19th century Belarusian manor with all the subsidiary services and workshops that existed here only decades ago. These include stables, pottery, forge, cheese dairy and several others – all in full order and operational. In the course of the tour you will hear about the development of the Belarusian village and the history of folk crafts that were practiced by the local peasants to improve their standard of living.

Overnight in Minsk.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Minsk: Khatyn National Memorial Complex
We get the morning off to a somber start with a visit to the Khatyn National Memorial Complex.

In January 1966, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus built the memorial complex in memory of the hundreds of Belorussian villages destroyed by Nazis during this period, making it the most significant war memorial in Belarus. Sadly, the Khatyn massacre was not an unusual incident in Belarus during the second World War. At least 5,295 Belarusian settlements were burned, destroyed by the Nazis and some or all their inhabitants were killed as a punishment for collaboration with partisans. Altogether, over two million people were killed in Belarus during the three years of Nazi occupation, almost a quarter of the country's population.

The Khatyn complex has 26 chimneys with bells -- one for each of the houses in the village -- which ring out every minute. Each chimney has a plate where listed family members who died. 6m bronze statue called "The Unconquered Man," stands at the center of the memorial complex as an homage to Joseph Kaminski and his son. There is also a small museum with photo gallery on the territory.

We also visit the Mound of Glory and Museum of Great Patriotic War.

Overnight in Minsk.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Minsk - Belovezhskaya Puscha National Park - Brest
Today's (full-day) journey takes us to Brest via Belovezhskaya Puscha, the largest remnant of a "primeval plain forest" with an area of 3,086 km². It is also the oldest reserve in Europe; the first written records of Belovezhskaya Pushcha are dated 983. By decision of UNESCO, the reserve is included on its World Heritage List.

Here reside more than 1,000 plant species, 59 different mammals, and more than 250 species of bird. The park is famous for its ancient oaks, aged 500 years, and Zubr-European bison, an extremely rare species and a symbol of Belarus. Our visit here gives us a chance to experience some of the region's natural attributes as we drive through the park, making several stops at places of interest, including the Natural History Museum and Folk Museum.

We continue to Brest, first mentioned in 1019 as Bierascie. It is believed that ancient city's name comes either from the word "bierast" -- a species of elm, or from the word "bierasta" meaning birchbark. The city's name was changed several times during its history. In the beginning of the 18th century the city's ancient name was changed into Brest-Litowsk. New name lived till the beginning of the 20th century when its second part was discarded and the city has become simply Brest.

Overnight in Brest.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Brest: City Tour
This morning we tour Brest, including Brest Fortress, founded on the 1st of June in 1836. The territory of the old town was given for its construction; the Citadel is the main fortification of the fortress. It was placed in the central island and the Volyn, the Cobrin and the Terespol fortifications surrounded it. The fortress isn't merely a remarkable military construction; it is also an interesting architectural complex. The Brest fortress got universal fame during the Great Patriotic war and one of the most important Soviet WWII war monuments marking the heroic resistance of the Red Army against the surprise German attack on June 22, 1941. The ruins of the White Palace are visible from the fortress and mark the site where the 1918 Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed. Our visit will also include a walking tour of the city centre.

The afternoon is free for independent exploration.

Overnight in Brest.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Brest - Nesvizh Palace & Mir Castle - Minsk
Today we depart by road for our journey back to Minsk.* En route we stop at Nesvizh Palace, the architectural, residential and cultural complex of the Radziwill family, the source of some of the most important personalities in European history and culture.

We also visit Mir Castle, also a UNESCO listed monument, with its gorgeous grounds and impressively restored interiors that have been converted into a museum with beautifully done displays on the life and times of the Radziwills.

We continue to Minsk.

* Looking at a map, it might seem more logical to continue overland to Lviv rather than circling back to Minsk. We choose to fly from Minsk to Lviv in order to avoid certain complications presented by Belarusian visa limitations. In order to avoid having to acquire this visa in advance (a major hassle), we need to depart the country by air, not via a land border. If we fly in and out of Belarus, we qualify for a visa on arrival in Minsk, avoiding a major headache and extra expense.

Overnight in Minsk.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Minsk, Belarus - Fly to Lviv, Ukraine
Today we fly to Lviv, Ukraine.

Lviv is the "capital" of Western Ukraine and one of the country's most impressive cities. Founded in the 13th C. by King Danylo Halytckyj, it was named in honour of his son Lev (Leo). Through centuries of Polish, Austrian, and Soviet occupation, Lviv was the gateway to "the East", but with independence in 1991, Lviv is finally free to develop its own Ukrainian identity.

Flight time permitting, we may begin our sightseeing program upon arrival.

Overnight in Lviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Lviv: City Tour
Lviv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a rich and impressive history. Numerous historical events are concerned with the city and Lviv buildings still keep the spirit of past centuries; cozy streets and fascinating monuments make it a unique attraction among the Ukrainian and Eastern European cities. Lviv's architectural landscape joins the monuments of numerous styles and different epochs.

We will have a 3-4 hour walking tour of the centre of L'viv that will include an orientation of the traditional limits of the old town. We will view the Renaissance-style Bernardine Monastery, the Armenian Church and the Cathedral of Dominicans, amongst other important architectural marvels that give this city its character.

Typically we finish our tour close to the Opera House (exterior) which is located nearby to your hotel. With your free time in the afternoon you may choose to take the opportunity to visit the many small museums, including the Old Pharmacy Museum, Lviv Historical Museum, and the Museum of Ethnography and Crafts. There is also a chance to climb the many steps up to the viewpoint above the central Rynok Square at L'viv City Hall.

We include lunch instead of dinner today to free you up for the opera or theatre, or just a night off. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your evening.

Overnight in Lviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 9 Lviv: Lychakivsky Cemetery & Zhovkva
Today we will drive out to the Lychaivsky Cemetery. With the same sort of overgrown grounds and Gothic aura as the famous Parisian necropolis, Pere Lachaise, is the the final resting place for more than 400,000 people. A trip to Lviv wouldn't be complete without a wander here. Initially opened in 1787 in compliance with an Austrian law to move burials from the centre of town, the cemetery soon became one of Europe's finest. Generations of Lvovians were laid to rest here: intelligentsia, bourgeoisie and nobility.

After a break for lunch, we'll also visit the town of Zhovkva and Zhovkva Castle, which occupies the principal square of the town. It was founded by the Pole Hetman Stanislaw Zolkiewski as his fortified residence; construction began in 1594 and was mostly completed in 1606. We then travel to small village located 12km Zhovkva. Here we see a wooden church
(built in 1724) with an interesting iconostasis and a wooden bell tower. Southeast from the village we see Vasylian Monastery, first founded in 1618. Here we see monastic cells (1755-1902) and also a defensive bell tower. Return to Lviv.

Depending on our timing today, we may have dinner in the town of Zhovkva before returning to Lviv for our overnight.

Overnight in Lviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Lviv - Ivano-Frankivsk - Yaremche, Carpathians
This morning we leave Lviv for Ivano-Frankivsk, arriving around midday.

On arrival we'll have a lunch break before starting our tour of the town's historical center. Ivano-Frankivsk is one of the few native cities that retains its historic character, with its iconic golden-domed city hall and market. We'll see the Paraphial Roman-Catholic Church of Our Lady, Armenian church, Stanislav Fortress and Potocki Palace, and the Monument to Adam Mickiewicz.

We then continue to Yaremche, located in an extremely picturesque mountain hollow by the bank of the Prut River, encircled by the high Carpathian Mountains. Already in the 19th century, well-off citizens of Vienna, Warsaw and Krakow arrived at Yaremche to rest and to improve their health. In the Soviet period, the town was famous for its numerous vacation houses and sanatoriums, accepting thousands of people for treatment. Its health resorts are most useful to those who wish to get rid of respiratory illnesses, as Yaremche’s unique climates stimulate the process of recovery.

Overnight in Yaremche.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Yaremche - Carpathians - Chernivitsi
Today's scenic journey takes us through the Carpathian Mountains.

There's no region in Ukraine more saturated with natural wonders than the Carpathians. Its incredible mountain lakes, fresh air of dense pine forests, and adorable alpine villages beckon travellers from all over the world. This is the land of the Hutsuls, whose colourful folk culture is reflected in villages stretching languidly along wide valley floors. It's also rural Ukraine at its best, where tiered wooden churches dot hillsides and horse-drawn carts clip-clop along potholed roads.

Our day is somewhat free-form, with numerous stops at points of interest along the way, including at Verkhovyna, called the center of Hutsul culture. This region is rich in legends, natural, and architectural sights. We will make a short tour around the village and visit the private museum of Hutsul life and ethnography.

Our destination is Chernivtsi, the heart of green Bukovyna. This picturesque city is the
regional center of Chernivtsi oblast, located along both riverbanks of the twisting Prut. Chernivtsi is the city with unique attitude towards traditions in life, art and culture.

Overnight in Chernivitsi (charming cottages).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Chernivitsi Touring - Khotyn Castle - Kamianets-Podilskyi
Today we do some on-foot touring around Chernivitsi before continuing our journey.

The city of Chernivtsi contains many of Ukraine's most impressive sights and is considered one of the country's centres of education and culture. Chernivtsi has even been nicknamed "Little Vienna" for its combination of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Hungarian architecture.
Here we find 706 monuments of cultural heritage, 20 of which are of national value.
We will see the majority of Chernivtsi's historic attractions in the old town and a large pedestrianised zone.

And because we're sure you haven't yet had your fill of castles, and because it's on the way, we'll stop at Khotyn Fortress en route, considered by many as the finest in the country. Eastern European filmmakers love to use this massive fort overlooking the Dnister River as a location; indeed it served as Warsaw Castle in the highly controversial Russian-language blockbuster movie Taras Bulba (2009). With walls up to 40m high and 6m thick, today's stone fortress was built in the 15th century, replacing an earlier wooden structure.

We continue to Kamianets-Podilskyi, which, despite the twists in history, has managed to preserve its priceless buildings almost unchanged.

Overnight in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine - Soroca, Moldova
This morning we'll embark upon a visit of Kamianets-Podilskyi town and, of course, its fortress. No epithet is able to describe fully the splendour of this venerable city, which no other city can match, even in Europe. An incredible quantity of amazing 11th-19th centuries monuments and landmarks are concentrated on the territory of the Old City. They are a big reason why this city is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Later today we cross into Moldova. Although not well-known, Moldova offers some attractions that would surprise even the most seasoned traveller. Little Moldova has a landscape covered with vineyards, pristine forests and lakes, medieval monasteries and fortresses, wine caves stretch for miles, a rich history, and eight ethnic nationalities. A chronicler once called Moldova "a country on the way of all disasters". Indeed the territory of Moldova is located on the boundary of Eastern and Western Europe and has been populated from ancient times.

We continue to Soroca and, time-permitting, we may accomplish some of our sightseeing today upon arrival.

Overnight in Soroca.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Soroca Touring - Orheuil Monastery - Chisinau
Soroca is famous for the impressive walls of its fortress, whose historical interest is reflected in its walls preserved since the Middle Ages. Gypsy Hill is a Unique Quarter of the Gypsies, settled purely by the Roman people led by a gypsy baron in Moldova. During Soviet times they managed to successfully combine their customs with those of local inhabitants. Later the hills of Soroca town got the name "Hill of Gypsies" where the elegant houses and buildings under the name "Swallow's nest" were built. We'll finish any sightseeing left from yesterday before heading off to the capital, Chisinau.

En route we'll visit Orheuil Monastery. Among Moldova's greatest wonders are its monasteries, and we visit the most famous. This 13th century church was excavated from a limestone cliff by Orthodox Christian monks who believed the cave would be resilient against invaders. Archaeologists have recently discovered ruins of Turkish baths and a protective wall built in the 15th century, which surrounds the religious complex. Stefan the Great erected a fortress in Orhei Vechi in the 14th century, destroyed by Tartar invaders in 1499. The monastery was inhabited until the 1th century; closed during Soviet times, it was reopened in 1996 and services are now held regularly.

We continue to Chisinau.

Overnight in Chisinau.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Chisinau & Cricova
The history and life of Moldova through the centuries is best presented in the History and Regional Lore Museum, a beautiful Turkish-style complex, which we will visit during our walking tour of the city centre.

A visit to Moldova would not be complete without a trip to the Moldovan wine country. We visit Cricova, the world's largest wine cellar. It is actually a subterranean city with winding streets extending for 60 kilometres (37 miles). The street names orient visitors toward Str Cabernet, Str Pinot or Str Merlot. There are over one million bottles of white wines -- 648 types are stored in the cellars at a uniform temperature of 12C (54 F). A tour of Cricova is one of the best ways to sample the wide variety of Moldovan wines and champagne, which are gaining great popularity outside Moldova's borders, including Western Europe and North America.

Overnight in Chisinau.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 16 Chisinau - Bendery - Tiraspol
We depart Chisinau for the town of Bendery, the site of a fortress commanding the Dneister crossings since the second century BC. The original 12th century fortress wall was built by the Genoese who traded actively with Black Sea ports and fell to the Turks in the 16th century. The rectangular fort with its citadel was built by the Turks in the 1530's and was besieged several times by the Russians in the 18th century as part of their drive for Bessarabia. It was all but destroyed in the German retreat of 1944.

We continue our journey, traversing the valley of the Dneister River with its orchards and vineyards. Our destination is Tiraspol, 'capital' of the disputed Transnistria (or Transdniestria) region. The city was founded as a stronghold by General Suvorov in 1792 but named after the ancient Greek colony of Tiras. Built in the grid pattern of 18th century "new towns", Tiraspol retains traces of the original fort. Some of the older houses, with their traditional Moldovan balconies, betray a Turkish influence. Our tour will also include a visit to the famous "cognac" factory.

Overnight in Tiraspol.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 17 Tiraspol, Moldova - Vylkove & the Danube Delta, Ukraine
Today we cross back into Ukraine and continue to the small town of Vylkove (Vilkovo), one of the most picturesque places in the country, located in the delta of the Danube. This unique gem the lower Danube is located on the border of Ukraine and Romania at the picturesque confluence of the Danube and the Black Sea. Here the river breaks into several branches into multiple forks, giving the village its name ('vylka' means 'fork' in Russian). Due to the many waterways that take up almost half of the town, Vylkove was nicknamed the "Ukrainian Venice"; indeed Ukrainian versions of gondolas can be seen here more often than cars!

This afternoon/evening we'll have a cruise on the delta, taking in the scenery and culminating in an atmospheric dinner (with an excellent fish selection) in the area before returning to town and our hotel.

Overnight in Vilkovo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 18 Vilkovo Touring - Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky - Odesa
This morning have a walking tour along authentic village streets. Vylkove is known as a town of fishermen and winemakers; the latter grows a unique varietal – ‘Novak' – from which the delicious eponymous wine is made. The wine makes for a fantastic souvenir to bring home to friends and relatives! The locals also like to treat guests with amazing herbal tea from wooden samovars.

Vylkove's main attraction is the Danube Bioreserve, which takes up almost 50,000 hectares and is considered to be the biggest swamp land reserve in Europe. The Romanian part of the reserve is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Protected here are hundreds of species of rare plants, exotic animals, birds, and fish, many of which are on Ukraine's endangered species list.

Later today our journey continues to Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky. After our brief fortress break yesterday, we get back in the groove with a stop at the impressive fortress on the banks of the Dnister River en route. Stefan II of Moldavia founded the 13th century fortress, one of the Ukraine's largest, on a strategic spur of land overlooking the Dnister estuary. The drive to get here is picturesque, taking us through a rural region of quiet villages, farmland, rural communities, and providing us with an occasional view of the Black Sea.

Continue to Odesa.

Overnight in Odesa.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 19 Odesa: City Touring
From ancient times, Odesa (Odessa) was inhabited by Scythians, Sarmats, Greeks, and Slavs. In the times of Kyiv Rus it was a part of this huge Slavic state. In the 13th century it was annexed to the Tartar-Mongol empire, the "Golden Horde". At the beginning of the 15th century it was annexed to Lithuania, and in some 50 years, to Turkey. In 1791 the territory became a part of the Russian Empire.

Today we enjoy a half-day city walking tour, including many architectural sites of 19th & 20th centuries, many of them designed by world famous architects and engineers. Most notable are the Opera House (resembling the Vienna Opera and the Dresden Court Theater built in 884-87); the Marine (Potyomkin) Stairway (1837-41) – one of the largest stairways in the world; and the heart of Odesa and immortalized in Sergei Eisensteins's 1925 film, Battleship Potemkin; Deribasivska (Deribasovskaya) Street with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants. We will also visit the five-domed Uspensky Cathedral.

There will be some free time in the afternoon; Odesa is a great city for walking and this free time will give you a chance to do some exploring on your own.

Overnight in Odesa.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 20 Odesa Catacombs - Fly to Kyiv
Today we board our coach for a visit of the Odesa Catacombs, created nearly 200 years ago during mining of building materials that were used to build the city. Currently it is the maze of 2500 km of entrances, exits, caves, and tunnels. During the WWII campaigns, in 1941, when the German and Romanian armies occupied Odesa, the Soviet military headquarters gave the order to organized the partisan resistance, and the catacombs were chosen as the camp for the partisans. Their store of provisions and weapons allowed tham to survive underground for half a year. The partisan unit was fighting against the Nazi and Romanian army during the entire period of occupation. We will also take the opportunity to visit Lanzheron Beach to get close to the Black Sea.

We then transfer to the airport for our flight to Kyiv (Kiev).

Overnight in Kyiv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 21 Kyiv & Chornobyl
Today we embark on our full-day tour to the site of Chornobyl ('Chernobyl' is the former Russian spelling)*. Of course, Chornobyl is well known for the nuclear accident that occurred there on April 26th, 1986 at the power plant that was under the jurisdiction of the USSR. This is considered to be one of the worst nuclear disasters in history as the contamination spread across much of Europe and the western USSR.

Our tour will include access to the 30-kilometre Exclusion Zone where we will get a briefing on the practices used to de-contaminate the area and to visit the town of Chornobyl, including the Wormwood Star Memorial, the St Ilya Church, and the memorial to "Those Who Save The World". Our tour will proceed to the 10-kilometre zone where we will take in the remains of Kopachi Village and Pripyat town and a close view of Reactor Number 4 (we will not go inside).

Tours have now been running to the Chornobyl site for some time and we will be given a briefing on the site visit with regards to safety issues, but there is no reason to be alarmed for one's safety provided we follow their instructions on how to conduct the sightseeing.

* PLEASE NOTE that you must come prepared with long sleeves and trousers (no skirts) and closed shoes only for this excursion. Failure to comply will result in your non-participation.

We will return to Kyiv after a full day. We include lunch instead of dinner today to free you up for the opera or theatre, or just a night off. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your evening.

Overnight in Kyiv

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 22 Kyiv: City Tour
Today we have a full day touring Kyiv, including the cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the oldest cathedral in Ukraine. Founded in the early 11th century, and largely rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries, it is now a museum with beautiful Christian frescoes. St Sophia Cathedral is inscribed on the UNESCO list of the most important monuments of the world's cultural heritage. We also see the Golden Gate, St Andrew's Church, designed by Rastrelli, the famous architect who built the world famous Winter Palace in St.Petersburg; St Michael's Monastery, monuments to Yaroslav the Wise, Princess Olga, and the monument to Prince Vladimir.

We also visit the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Monastery where we will be able to see the famous caves, one of the most sacred places of Orthodox Christianity. The museum boasts a wealth of precious historical items and collections of ancient books and icons.

You'll have some free time this afternoon for some last minute shopping, exploring, and preparations for the journey home prior to our farewell dinner this evening.

Overnight in Kyiv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 23 Departure from Kyiv
Departure from Kyiv.

PLEASE NOTE that past travellers have commented on Kyiv's wealth of attractions and that it would be a great place to extend for some independent sightseeing.

SAFE TRAVELS!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast and most dinners (hotels & local restaurants) daily and one lunch (as per tour itinerary). All accommodation, transport (including internal flights), sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers.

Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, etc. There are no visas required in advance for this tour.


Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in the late spring when temperatures and humidity are still quite comfortable. Rain showers are possible at any time of year throughout the region.


Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have a couple of full bus days there are plenty of stops of interest.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns/cities and sites, and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours" which heavily rely on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Please note that a government travel advisory currently applies to this tour, specifically and limited to our two days in the Transnistria region of Moldova and the city of Tiraspol (this is a Canadian advisory only; the US State Dept. has no such warning). Though we expect our visit to occur without incident, we encourage all travellers (as we do for any destination) to review online government advisories that provide guidance on, among other things, issues concerning security (please also refer to our general Booking Terms & Conditions under the "resources" tab on this page). We are presently very confident that your journey will be problem-free, and want to ensure that you feel likewise before choosing to join this trip.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-upper range hotels and charming cottages in the Danube Delta region. All hotels have en-suite bath. Porter service is available but you MUST be independent with your luggage, especially at airports. Single rooms are limited in number and likely smaller than twins.

Click on "Map & Hotels" for detailed information.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout. Multiple drivers & local step-on guides in various locales


Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe
Countries visited: Belarus; Ukraine and Moldova


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Minsk
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Minsk
Country: Belarus

Directly located in Minsk’s historic and cultural centre, next to Gorky Drama Theatre, this traditional hotel is just 500 metres from the Belarusian National Arts Museum and Dynamo Stadium.
Hotel Hermitage
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Brest
Country: Belarus

Set in a grand building with a colorful exterior, this elegant hotel is 2 km from Brest Railway Museum and 3 km from Brest Fortress.
Leopolis Hotel
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Lviv
Country: Ukraine

Leopolis is the only luxurious hotel in Lviv located right in the heart of historical part where you can still feel the romanticism spirit and the old city Bohemian atmosphere.
... hotel is a perfect place for rest after a vigorous tourist walk or after a business meeting. Leopolis is located in the restored building that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a great place to explore history, culture and entertainment that are vastly offered by Lev’s City.
Read More
Vita Park Stanislavsky Yaremche
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Yaremche
Country: Ukraine

Surrounded by forested mountains within the Carpathian National Nature Park, this quaint hotel overlooking the Prut River is a 7-minute walk from Probiy waterfall. Featuring mountain and river views, the
... decorated rooms have TVs and minifridges.
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Bukobyna Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Chernivtsi
Country: Ukraine

Located in Chernivtsi city centre, this hotel is a minute walk from Tarasa Shevchenka Park and Chernivtsi Botanical Garden.
Reikartz Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Kamianets-podilskyi
Country: Ukraine

A 3-minute walk from Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, this laid-back hotel in a refined building is a 12-minute walk from Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle.
Hotel Central
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Soroca
Country: Moldova

Situated in the center of town Soroca, the north part of Moldova, The Hotel “CENTRAL” is the most dedicated place that can ensure you the best time spending.
Hotel Jolly Alon
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Chisinau
Country: Moldova

Across the street from the Parlamentul Republicii Moldova, this choice business hotel is an 11-minute walk from the Muzeul Național de Istorie a Moldovei and 4 km from Chişinău train
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UNO Design Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Odesa
Country: Ukraine

UNO Design Hotel is located in the heart of business, cultural and historical part of the city, just a few steps from the Opera House and Deribasovskaya Street, and 15
... from Lanzheron Beach. Hotel is created for those, who are in a dynamic rhythm of life, always in the center of events and in harmony with his own.
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Ukraine Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Kiev
Country: Ukraine

Featuring 371 renovated guest rooms, four-star Hotel Ukraine is a 14-storey skyline icon located in the heart of downtown Kiev and is just steps away from all major attraction. Staying
... one of our rooms you will have the most fabulous views of Maidan (Independence Square) and Khreschatyk. All major events in the capital happen on the main square of the country, so you will always be in the center of all events in Kiev.
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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable $500 deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Elaine D.
Coupeville, WA - US
Torres del Paine and our local tour guide were great. Also, I really was amazed at our guide's knowledge while visiting Perito Moreno glacier. Seeing it calve was fantastic. The hotels were all very good. Our tour leader was very easygoing but always aware and on top of things. His great sense of humor helps to diffuse any bumps in relations. Truly value his experience and great natural way with people. I would recommend this company and tour to anyone!
Michael N.
St Albert, AB - CA
We tried to plan a trip to Italy for several years and this tour exceeded our expectations. We never felt rushed yet we covered a lot of the major sites and museums and still had time to do a few of our own things Our tour guide Andrew was amazing and we would highly recommend him and this tour. November turned out to be a wonderful time to go because, although it did rain and was cloudy,the museums and many sites were not crowded at all. Our local guide at the Uffuzi gallery in Florence was amazed that there were so few people. He told us that he had never been in the gallery that holds the Michelangelo painting by himself.. ever! Italy is an amazing country to visit and this tour covers the highlights with a fantastic guide, delicious food and charming hotels, all arranged for you.
Alan A.
St Agatha, ON - CA
An insightful trip into a major cultural event, Day of the Dead. As well you visit significant archeological sites and churches. If you have any interest in Mexican culture, beyond beaches and tequila, this is the trip for you. You will gain so much knowledge of the history and struggles of the Mexican people. I can't recommend this trip enough.
Eleanora M.
Kingston, ON - CA
Having a narrow and perhaps stereotypical view, influenced by the media. I was blown away by what I experienced:Turkey is a beautiful country with modern, safe cities,dramatic scenery, spectacular mosques and palaces, amazing well-preserved ruins of Greek and Roman antiquity. A melting pot of Muslim, European, Greek, Roman cultures, fabulous food and warm friendly people... so many World heritage sites I would encourage others to visit Turkey.
Arleen C.
Sagamore Hills, OH - US
I had been searching for several years for a tour that included Paraguay and was delighted to find this one. The mission visits were excellent, in terms of both the sites and the explanations. The Pipore Yerba Mate tour was terrific and I loved our guide there. Iguazu Falls was spectacular and again, we had a very good guide. Our trip to Purmamarca was surprising and very good. The buses and vans were very good. The hydrofoil trip was good also. All the dinners were wonderful, with excellent food and in lovely locations. The hotels were very good. Overall it was an excellent tour, with many interesting destinations.
Erle J.
Gloucester, ON - CA
A good tour with lots of interesting sites and spectacular scenery. I really learned a lot about these 3 countries and Latin America. I most enjoyed the Jesuit Missions, Iguazu Falls, and the Safari to the Clouds. All the hotels were very good. Meals on the tour were very good. I really liked our tour leader ordering appetizers to be shared which allowed me to try more local foods. Local Guides were either very good or excellent.
Merle H.
Glenview, IL - US
We loved the whole trip and the surprises of touring in between trains. Also some of the little towns for lunch were a delight. The food on this trip was exceptionally great. All the meal choices and ordering off the menu was perfect. Our tour leader ordered tapas for us and a few planned meals were great too. If we hadn't walked as much as we did, we would have gained weight. The best thing was that all the hotels were centrally located and we could walk easily to highlight places and good restaurants. Perfect. You did an outstanding job selecting these hotels. Loved the train (and dashing for two of them). Had never done train travel before and the stations and facilities were mind blowing. First class seats were really nice. Love your guides and quality of local guides. Love AA.
Linda R.
Thunder Bay, ON - CA
We enjoyed the scenic west coast of Ireland the most. In particular, Killarney, Dingle peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands. Also the Giant's Causeway. The local guides in Dublin, Londonderry and Belfast were very good. We had a small van for our small group and it worked out very well. The meals were tasty and substantial. There was generally a good variety of selections. A very good tour.
Vera G.
Victoria, BC - CA
I loved the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and Aran Islands. Belfast, Dublin and Killarney were the best cities. The hotels were good and well located. Hotel staff were excellent and rooms were clean and comfortable. Another great Adventures Abroad trip! You never disappoint!
Steven H.
Vancouver, BC - CA
By-and-large the sights, locales, neighbourhoods, etc were extremely interesting. The bus was great! A good size for the group size. It gave us a good sense of a 'home-on-the-road'. I didn't know what to expect for meals and was very pleased with what was presented. Our tour leader, Subash's, knowledge of 'everything Indian', the customs, sights, culture, etc was inexhaustible. He was the perfect person to introduce us to the culture, people, sights and history of India. His insights into the Hindu philosophy were deep, informative and colourful. I consider myself luck to have had him as our guide (almost a mentor). I felt that the quality of the hotels were very good and more often than not, higher than expected. The uniqueness of the two 'Orchard' settings and the desert 'camp' tents were quite fun and very comfortable. Overall: Highly Enjoyable, Very Well Managed, Well thought out Itinerary, Excellent Tour Guide.
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