Put the ‘u’ in Ukraine on a journey of its essentials.

Ukraine may be off the tourist trail, but it certainly piques your interest – a confronting nuclear history, beautiful natural scenery and a charm that permeates through each place you explore. Spend time on this eight-day exploration of Ukraine to meander your way through laneways and boulevards teeming with history, culture and traditional cuisine. You’ll see Chernobyl’s abandoned ghost towns, the Carpathians’ charming villages, and two cities similar in spelling but unique in style: Kiev and Lviv. Put the ‘u’ in Ukraine while you journey the essentials of this far-flung nation.


Start
Kiev, Ukraine
Finish
Lviv, Ukraine
Destination
Ukraine
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
WMSU
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Have time to explore Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, at your own pace. With so many museums, cathedrals and historic neighbourhoods to explore, pick and choose to suit your day.

  • Wander the eerie streets and among the buildings of the ghost town of Pripyat in the abandoned and devastated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, on a guided tour.

  • Visit Ukraine’s section of the sprawling Carpathian mountain range. Head up high to spot the traditional Hutsul cottages dotted in the fields.

  • Interact with a local family on a two-night guesthouse experience in the hills of the Carpathians – staying in traditional accommodation and learning Ukrainian specialties at a cooking class.

  • Lviv is a cultural heartland of Eastern Europe – stroll through the cobblestoned Rynok square and appreciate the Polish and Austro-Hungarian influences in its architecture and history.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please remember that on the Chernobyl day tour you will be exposed to some radioactivity. Given the short amount of time you'll spend in the area, radiation levels shouldn't be harmful or unsafe (just don't go touching lots of stuff). Long-sleeved clothes and closed shoes are essential. Still, if this is of concern to you, you are free to opt out of this activity. Please also note that the army effectively regulates visits to Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone, so last minute alterations can impact the itinerary.

  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in this region (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • While we have thoroughly researched this area of the world to put together this adventure, please be advised that this is a new trip for Intrepid. To be frank, things may not always go to plan. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If this concerns you, we recommend you wait a year until the trip has been ironed out.

Itinerary

Pryvit! Welcome to Kiev in Ukraine. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your group leader and fellow travellers. If you do happen to arrive early, why not stroll along Khreschatyk Boulevard, spending time at Maidan square, where evidence of the recent historic events (like the 2014 revolution) are still visible, and then an amble down church lined Andriivsky Descent. This street lined with vintage stalls, arts and crafts shops, small restaurants and hidden bars is sometimes called Kiev’s Montmartre, and is one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city. Kiev has great places to try Ukrainian food, and is a city that knows how to party, so get out and experience it tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Head out of town on a full-day trip to Chernobyl. At Dytyatky, which sits on the edge of the 30-kilometre exclusion zone (the circle drawn around the town after the 1986 accident), you'll pass the first checkpoint. After a short introductory and safety briefing, embark on a tour of Chernobyl town, passing the robots and vehicles used to clean the radioactive fallout. Then, after another checkpoint, hear the slight click-click of the Geiger counter while you stand in front of Reactor Number 4, now covered by the huge new sarcophagus – the largest moveable land-based object in the world. The undisputed highlight of today is the visit to the ghost town of Pripyat, where Chernobyl workers were rapidly evacuated 36 hours after the disaster. There’ll be time to explore Lenin Street, the main square, the Palace of Culture, Polissya Hotel, a supermarket, the famous ferris wheel, a school and a swimming pool. Wander the eerie, abandoned streets and get a real sense for what happened here. After lunch at the Chernobyl canteen – all ingredients are brought from outside the zone and are ecologically clean – visit the village of Paryshiv to meet the self-settlers (people who chose to come back to their homes after the evacuation), and see the once top-secret Duga 3 (the so-called 'Russian Woodpecker', a military radar). Return to Kiev for tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Day Trip to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please remember that you will be exposed to some radioactivity during today's trip. Given the short amount of time you'll spend in the area, however, radiation levels shouldn't be harmful or unsafe (just don't go touching lots of stuff). Long-sleeved clothes and closed shoes are essential. Still, if this is of concern to you, you are free to opt out of this activity. Please also note that the army effectively regulates visits to Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone, so last minute alterations can impact the above itinerary.
Today, you can choose how to spend your time exploring Kiev and surrounds. There is so much to see and do, so you won’t have a problem finding something that takes your fancy. You could go read up on the history of what you saw yesterday at the Chernobyl Museum, head to the golden-domed St Michael’s cathedral or St Sofia cathedral, spend some time in the lively Bessarabsky Rynok neighbourhood or explore the Dnipro islands with their outdoor activities on offer. Tonight, you’ll board an overnight train to the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk (approximately 9 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Motherland Monument - UAH200
  • St Sofia Cathedral - UAH70
  • Museum of One Street - UAH30
  • St Michaels Golden-Domed Cathedral - Free
  • Pirogovo Folk Architecture Museum - UAH30
  • Chernobyl Museum - UAH16
  • WWII Museum - UAH10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that check-out of the hotel today is at 12 noon. Depending on the group's size, we usually hold one or two day rooms for luggage storage, which also can be used for you to freshen up before tonight's overnight train journey. Overnight trains in Europe are a comfortable way to travel from one city to another without losing valuable time to explore the destinations. Compartments usually consist of 4 berths (2 bottom bunks and 2 top bunks) with lockable doors, communal bathroom facilities at the end of each carriage, and plenty of space for luggage.
Arrive early in the morning from your overnight train journey in Ivano-Frankivsk. Then, take a local bus deep into the Carpathian Mountains, to our guesthouse beautifully located among green rolling hills. Tonight is a special experience, staying with some local friends – you’ll be chatting and laughing with them in no time! The host mother, will lead the group in a cooking class in the afternoon where you’ll learn to make some traditional signature dishes from Ukraine, followed by the best part – eating your creations! Enjoy dinner and spend the night at the homestay.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Carpathian Mountains Cooking Class
Meals Included
  • Dinner
You are deep in the Carpathian Mountains now – a range spanning many Central and Eastern European countries, with most lying in Romania. Spend the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful countryside, admiring the lovingly decorated Hutsul houses with their private chapels and ornate wells. A traditional Hutsul expression says that a good house is one from which you cannot see the other houses, and you’ll notice these traditional thatched cottages dotted over the countryside, few and far between. Return back to our guesthouse in the early evening for dinner and another night in beautiful surrounds.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave the sprawling Carpathians behind and travel to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. This 5-hour journey will either be taken by bus or train. This charming hub is only 70 kilometres from the Polish border and its Polish and Austro-Hungarian heritage can be seen in the distinct architecture that makes up much of the city. You’ll have much to see and do in Lviv, or simply just chill out in Rynok square with some cheese crepes or a slice of apple pie. Spend the night in Lviv.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, meet a local guide for a walking tour of the Old Town. You’ll pass by Rynok Square, and your guide will point out some of the more interesting locations, like the Arsenal museum – an amazing collection of medieval weapons, armour and tools, as well as the Old Town Book Market and the famous street with seven names. Lviv is also Ukraine’s undisputed coffee capital, and so you should take a seat at one of the cafes in and around the Old Town. For a more unique experience, head to Kopalnya Kavy – Lviv’s ‘Coffee Mine’. It sure is an experience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lviv Walking Tour with Local Guide
Optional Activities
  • Lychakivsky Cemetery - UAH20
  • High Castle Hill - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
As there are no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. That does not mean your adventure has to end! If you would like to spend more time in Lviv, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Train, local bus, Private vehicle, Overnight Train

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Day Trip to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  • Carpathian Mountains Cooking Class
  • Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains
  • Lviv Walking Tour with Local Guide

Dates & availability

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Important notes

CHERNOBYL
Please remember that on the Chernobyl day tour you will be exposed to some radioactivity. Given the short amount of time you'll spend in the area, radiation levels shouldn't be harmful or unsafe (just don't go touching lots of stuff). Long-sleeved clothes and closed shoes are essential. Still, if this is of concern to you, you are free to opt out of this activity. Please also note that the army effectively regulates visits to Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone, so last minute alterations can impact the itinerary.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single rooms are not available:
- Day 3: Overnight Train
Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

NEW TRIP
While we have thoroughly researched this area of the world to put together this adventure, please be advised that this is a new trip for Intrepid. To be frank, things may not always go to plan. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If this concerns you, we recommend you wait a year until the trip has been ironed out.

Essential trip information

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