JHMK BELARUS, UKRAINE & MOLDOVA TOUR

JHMK BELARUS, UKRAINE & MOLDOVA TOUR
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

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

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

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 the entries under the blue box below.


+
+
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").

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sat 03 Apr 2021Sun 25 Apr 2021 $5690 USD
Sat 01 May 2021Sun 23 May 2021 $5690 USD
Sat 11 Sep 2021Sun 03 Oct 2021 $5690 USD
Sat 30 Apr 2022Sun 22 May 2022 $5690 USD
Sat 10 Sep 2022Sun 02 Oct 2022 $5690 USD

This tour replaces tour code JHBU from 2021 onward

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


Tour Overview


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.'

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


+
+
What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?

Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.

+
+
Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?

Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.

Full Itinerary


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.

Overnight in Lviv.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

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.

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

On arrival we'll have a 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.

After a break for lunch we'll 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 Yeremche - 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 along with the Fine Arts Museum, which houses good examples of Russian, West European, and Moldovan paintings, sculpture and applied arts.

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 oppportunity to visit Launcheven 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.

Overnight in Kyiv

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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

Tour Map


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


Hotel List


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

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... the Belarusian National Arts Museum and Dynamo Stadium.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Hermitage

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... km from Brest Fortress.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Leopolis Hotel

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 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
... the romanticism spirit and the old city Bohemian atmosphere. The 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.

Click here to visit hotel website

Vita Park Stanislavsky Yaremche

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 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
... from Probiy waterfall. Featuring mountain and river views, the warmly decorated rooms have TVs and minifridges.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Bukobyna Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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.


Click here to visit hotel website

Reikartz Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Central

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 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
... can ensure you the best time spending.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Jolly Alon

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... Istorie a Moldovei and 4 km from Chişinău train station.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

UNO Design Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... from the Opera House and Deribasovskaya Street, and 15 minutes 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.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Ukraine Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 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
... is just steps away from all major attraction. Staying in 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.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information


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

Our April & May 2021 tours will be led by senior Tour Leader and region specialist, Jonathan Hodgson, who designed this itinerary. Dates beyond that are TBA.

Multiple drivers & local step-on guides in various locales

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

JHMK TRIP DETAILS

DURATION23 days

TOUR STARTMinsk

TOUR ENDKyiv

Can't find what you're looking for?


Our specialists can take away the stress and create a custom trip tailored to your exact interests and budget.

 

Tours you may also like

35 days from Prague to Sofia
Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovak & Czech Republic Tour from Adventures Abroad: This… Read More
31 days from Krakow to Bergen
30 days from Ljubljana to Skopje
Our Adriatic, Albania & Macedonia Tour begins in Slovenia, past glacial lakes, lush green… Read More
30 days from Rome to Dubrovnik
Italy & The Adriatic Tour by Adventures Abroad: Historical structures throughout Italy… Read More
29 days from Moscow to Petropavlovsk
Russia. The country conjures up so many images and stereotypes. Iconic architecture, vast… Read More
28 days from Prague to Bucharest
Hungary, Romania, Slovak & Czech Republic Tour from Adventures Abroad: Experience the… Read More
28 days from Bratislava to Sofia
Bounties in the Slovak Republic lie copious and abundant and we need the best part of a… Read More
24 days from Florence to Dubrovnik
Italy & The Adriatic Tour by Adventures Abroad: As one of the most atmospheric and… Read More
23 days from Budapest to Sofia
Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria Tour from Adventures Abroad: Budapest, Hungary, is the first… Read More
23 days from Krakow to St Petersburg
Poland & The Baltic States Tour from Adventures Abroad: Not too often are we presented… Read More
23 days from Moscow to Vladivostok
Russia. The country conjures up so many images and stereotypes. Iconic architecture, vast… Read More
21 days from Prague to Budapest
Czech Republic, Slovak Republic & Hungary tour from Adventures Abroad: We land in the… Read More
21 days from Bratislava to Bucharest
If we were wanting to discover what makes Eastern Europe one of the most beautiful… Read More
21 days from Vilnius to Bergen
21 days from Warsaw to Prague
Combine picturesque vistas, unsettling historical discovery and exotic urban exploration… Read More
20 days from Minsk to Kiev/Kyiv
*** For dates in 2021 onward, please refer to tour code JHMK *** This is an excellent… Read More
19 days from Krakow to Helsinki
Poland & Baltic States tours like no other! Eastern Europe holds numerous rewards for… Read More
19 days from Belgrade to Sarajevo
Our Balkan Explorer Tour is a a very special tour designed by one of our senior Tour… Read More
18 days from Istanbul to Istanbul
On this Western Turkey Tour, we will have the chance to step inside the great Hippodrome,… Read More
17 days from Ljubljana to Dubrovnik
Adriatic Tours by Adventures Abroad: what do you get when you mix villages dripping in… Read More
17 days from Hamburg to Krakow
Tours of Poland, Czech Republic & Germany like no other!
16 days from Budapest to Bucharest
Hungary & Romania Tour from Adventures Abroad: The capital city of Hungary is only the… Read More
15 days from Prague to Budapest
A little over two weeks is the duration of this stimulating Czech Republic and Slovakia… Read More
15 days from Bucharest to Sofia
Before setting foot in these two countries found in Eastern Europe, it would be easy to… Read More
14 days from Tirana to Skopje
Discerning travellers will be thrilled with this, one of our more comprehensive Albania… Read More
14 days from Bratislava to Budapest
On our Slovak Republic & Hungary Tour you'll wonder, what is better than experiencing… Read More
14 days from Baku to Yerevan
Caucasus tours are numbered among our most popular offerings! Baku, the capital city of… Read More
14 days from Kotor/Tivat to Zagreb
An Adriatic day hiking trip like no other, our Croatia and Montenegro tour offers myriad… Read More
13 days from Vilnius to St Petersburg
In the far northern region of Europe, our Russia and Baltic States tours explore a region… Read More
13 days from Prague to Bratislava
13 days from Vienna to Bratislava
Slovakia's High Tatras mountain range sits quietly in the shadow of the Alps, yet within… Read More
11 days from Krakow to Warsaw
There exists immaculate beauty and timeless history within the borders of Poland. On… Read More
9 days from Vilnius to Helsinki
Embark on this Baltic States tour that packs an incredible array of distinct culture and… Read More
9 days from Prague to Prague
On your Czech Republic tour you'll taste a sample of the exquisite sceneries, cultures… Read More
9 days from Budapest to Budapest
One of the great capital cities of the modern world, Budapest, awaits our arrival on this… Read More
8 days from Sofia to Sofia
Our Bulgaria tour reveals a land with a turbulent history that stretches back to the 7th… Read More
8 days from Bucharest to Bucharest
Standing amid the nuns who live in the Romanian monastery of Voronet while they carry out… Read More
6 days from Bratislava to Bratislava
Our Slovak Republic tour begins in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, and we will… Read More