Belarus – Ukraine – Moldova (20 days)
Minsk – Nesvizh – Mir – Brest – Tunnel of Love – Lviv – Ivano-Frankivsk – Yaremche – Vorokhta – Verkhovyna – Bukovel – Kolomya – Chernivtsi – Khotyn – Kamenets-Podilskyi – Chisinau – Orheiul Vechi – Akkerman fortress – Odessa – Uman – Kyiv – Chernobyl – Kyiv
Day 1: Minsk
Arrival in Minsk. Check-in at hotel.
Welcome dinner. Overnight.
Day 2: Minsk
Breakfast. Minsk city tour. Minsk – the capital of the Republic of Belarus, its political and cultural centre. Today, it is a dynamic city with expansive boulevards, modern and historical buildings, endless parks and well-developed infrastructure. Sightseeing tour of Minsk includes the main avenues (Independence avenue, Victory avenue) and the architectural monuments of the XVIIth – XXth centuries (the Upper Town with the City Hall, Holy Spirit Cathedral and the Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary, old streets of the Trinity Suburb). The Victory Monument and the National Library (included into the list of the most outstanding buildings of the world) are waiting to be explored. Lunch.
Transfer to Dudutki museum – a former country landowner’s estate, where life as it was in the XVIIIth – XIXth centuries is impressively recreated. Today it is a popular open-air museum, displaying all the traditional Belarusian crafts. Beside the working farm with different animals, it includes an original working windmill and lots of functioning workshops, presenting to visitors carpentry, pottery, braiding, blacksmithing, bakery and even cheese-making. The craftsmen will be happy to show off their skills and guests will be invited to try! And do not miss a chance to have some training in horse-riding or try some splendid traditionally cooked meal accompanied by homemade moonshine (samogon).
Dinner and overnight in Minsk.
Day 3: Minsk – Nesvizh – Mir – Brest
Breakfast. Transfer to Nesvizh – a delightful historic town, one of the oldest in the country. You will visit the magnificent Nesvizh Palace – former residence of the aristocratic Radzivili family, which also includes beautiful park and Farny Roman-Catholic Church of the XVIth century.
Departure to Mir, which is a small town 90 km to the south-west from Minsk. It is most famous for the fairy-tale Mir Castle, still known today as the “medieval flower”. Castle is an impressive architectural monument, included into the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Arrival to Brest. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Brest
Breakfast. Panoramic city tour of Brest – traditional "western gate" of the country. It is a calm and relaxed city, with famous Sovetskaya Street and alike boulevards, which are perfect for promenading. But the main attraction of the city is the Brest fortress, which is of course included into the city tour. The fortress made a prolonged defense against the Nazis in 1941 and was ruined in the result of severe battles. Only a handful of men had survived but citizens all over the USSR had been inspired by the heroism of the Brest fortress defenders. Today it is a giant deeply-affecting memorial.
Optional excursion to the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This world-famous park, which is included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has recently celebrated its 600th anniversary! Excursion includes the tour around Pushcha and visit to the Museum of Nature.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Brest – Tunnel of Love – Lviv
Breakfast. Departure to Ukraine. After the border passing we will visit The Tunnel of Love which is definitely one of the most romantic and outstanding places not just in Ukraine, but also in the whole Europe. It is an old mysterious narrow-gauge railway, forming a really magical tunnel of leafy trees that grow alongside the way. The railway is still operating, so trains pass here few times a day.
Departure to Lviv. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Lviv
Breakfast. Lviv is a very beautiful city with its narrow medieval streets paved with stones, architectural decoration done in different styles preserved in its original form. This is an ancient picturesque city founded by Prince Danylo Halystky in the middle of the 13th century. During the panoramic tour you will have an opportunity to admire St. George Cathedral (1765) in baroque-rococo style with unusual ornamental entry, National University Ivan Franco – one among the oldest in Europe founded in 1661, Lychakiv memorial cemetery – most beautiful necropolis in Ukraine, which is rather a sculpture garden or a museum under open air than just a cemetery; High Castle from where you can enjoy the whole panoramic view of the city and surroundings beyond.
Excursion in the ancient part of the town (pedestrian). You will walk through the cozy streets of Lviv where each building is an architectural masterpiece with a rich history. You will discover The Opera House (1900) – an architectural masterpiece with gorgeous paintings and sculptures in the interior; Taras Shevchenko’s monument; Rynok square (16th century) – the heart of the city listed by UNESCO World Heritage Site; Armenian quarter with a splendid Armenian Virgin Mary’s Dormition Church (1370), Dominican Cathedral (1798); Baroque style Jesuit Cahedral; the Latin Cathedral and the Transfiguration Church; Jewish quarter with the remains of the Golden Rose synagogue; etc.
Day 7: Lviv – Ivano-Frankivsk – Yaremche
Breakfast. Departure to Ivano-Frankivsk – the gateway to the Ukrainian Carpathians. Short city tour including Market Square with the Town Hall, Egg Fountain, Holy-Pokrovsky Orthodox cathedral – former Armenian Church, Church of Virgin Mary , Church of the Holy Resurrection etc. Lunch.
Departure to Yaremche. Visit the mysterious waterfall Probiy, souvenir market, selling handicrafts made from natural materials. You will feel the fresh mountain air, rich aromas of mountain rivers, grasses and trees that grow only in this area, see the original architecture and feel the atmosphere of picturesque town with a distinctive culture of the indigenous population of the region Yaremche – hutsuls.
Dinner in the restaurant Hutsulshyna.
Day 8: Yaremche – Vorokhta – Verkhovyna – Bukovel
Breakfast. Departure to Vorokhta where you will see The largest stone railway arch bridge. Next, noving Verkhovyna (the meaning of the highland city situated 620 meters above sea level). Visiting the museum of Roman Kumluk where are exposed old Hutsul clothing, old money, collection of musical instruments etc. Departure to Bukovel – famous ski resort in Carpatians. Dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Bukovel
Breakfast. Free time. We propose optional activities:
Day 10: Bukovel – Kolomya – Chernivtsi
Breakfast. Transfer to Kolomyya – peculiar corner of Ukraine, who combined in himself the Austro-Hungarian character development and atmosphere of a European town. Visiting Pysanka Museum – one of the most interesting museums in the whole Ukraine. And the aura of its building, unique 13,5 m high stone egg, fills everyone with joy and gladness. The funds of museum have an abundant collection of pysanky, over 12,000 examples of this unique art, from every region of Ukraine and abroad. Visiting the museum Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttia where collected the largest collection hutsul life and art.
Departure to Chernivtsi – a wonderful city is spread out at the foot of Carpathian Mountains, on the picturesque hills of the Prut River. It fascinates with its eclectic architecture, rich cultural heritage and the spider-web like labyrinth of ancient European streets and squares. Breakfast. Panoramic city tour including St. Nicolas Cathedral, Holy Virgin Nativity Church. Visit Chernivtsi University – the former residence of Bukovinian metropolitans. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Chernivtsi – Khotyn – Kamenets-Podilskyi
Breakfast. Transfer to Khotyn – that was a trade hub in the Middle Ages, fortunately situated at the crossroads of trade routs. Visiting Khotyn Castle constructed in the 13-15th centuries.
Departure to Kamenets-Podilskyi - a town that has preserved the spirit of the Middle Ages. Its impressive fortress is a landmark in the history of construction of fortified places and strongholds. Excursion: “Flower on stone” – historic-architectural complex of the Old city and fortress (14-18th century). The town`s scenic beauty is enhanced by the Polish and Russian Gates, Armenian Bastions, Turkish Bridge (enigma of centuries), Dominican Roman-Catholic Church (14-17century), Trinitarian Roman-Catholic Church, Petropavlivska (Peter and Paul’s) Church, Mykolayivska Church (14th century), Polish and Armenian Market Squares, and other ancient monuments.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Kamenets-Podilskyi – Chisinau
Breakfast. Departure to the Ukrainian-Moldovan border. Arrival to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, a small architectural hodgepodge, which is mainly composed of Russian, Italian and Soviet elements.
Chisinau panoramic tour. On Stephen the Great Boulevard are many administrative buildings like the Presidency, the Parliament, and the City Administration. There are cultural centers such as the National Theatre M. Eminescu, the Organ Hall, Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In the historical zone there are more than 700 houses from the 19th century arranged in Estates. There are more than eighteen old churches and the main Cathedral.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Chisinau – Orheiul Vechi – Chisinau
Breakfast. Visit the Cricova Winery, Moldova ‘s premier winery and one of Europe ‘s biggest. Sample wine which is internationally acclaimed. Wine tasting 4 types of wine.
Then departure to Orheiul Vechi – a unique natural and historical complex in the open air. It organically combines the natural landscape and vestiges of ancient civilizations.
Return to Chisinau. Dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Chisinau – Akkerman fortress – Odessa
Breakfast. Departure to the Ukrainian-Moldovan border. Crossing a border.
Visit the Akkerman fortress in Bilgorod-Dniestrovsky – one of most grandiose fortress in Ukraine dating 13-15 centuries.
Arrival to Odessa. Dinner and overnight.
Day 15: Odessa
Breakfast. City tour through the ancient city of Odessa Opera House – built to a design by the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer, palace with a colonnade of counts Voronzov, Philharmonic Orchestra of Odessa, a monument to the Duke de Richelieu, old town streets: Derebasovska, Puschkinska, Lanzheronovska, Richelievska, marine station, Potemkin stairs and others.
Afternoon excursion to the Catacombs of Odessa - during the Great War on Land was in the catacombs partisan staff, and now here is an underground museum. After the request evenings visiting the Opera House (optional). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 16: Odessa – Uman – Kyiv
Breakfast. Departure to Kyiv. On the way visit the park “Sofievka” in Uman. It is the park of 150 hectares of extraordinary beauty. Each detail of the park has an aesthetic and functional meaning: artificial caves, water jets and cascades, tops of hills, channels, and labyrinths crowned by fountains, houses, small temples, sculptures and marble statues of gods, goddesses, philosophers and poets.
Arrival to Kyiv. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 17: Kyiv
Breakfast. Panoramic City Tour including Khreschatik Avenue, Independence square, Golden Gate, Opera House, St. Vladimir’s Cathedral, Dnieper river lookout, St. Michael Gold Domed Monastery, Kyiv Founders’ Monument, Podil historical area.
Visiting St. Sofia’s Cathedral (optional).
Departure to the ethnic House-Museum called Khata Savky (Savka's House). Its hospitable owner collected inside it numerous ancient household items and made a museum out of it. You can not only see what items Ukrainians used traditionally, but also try to hammer some iron thing. Savka’s wife will offer you rich Ukrainian dinner with traditional borsch, vareniks and pies and you will listen to the stories how Ukrainians lived, celebrated holidays and worked before.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 18: Kyiv – Chernobyl – Kyiv
Breakfast. One day trip to Chernobyl zone and Pripyat-town. Chernobyl is the most famous Ukrainian phenomenon. The Chernobyl Disaster has changed the trajectory of our civilization development, it is the most evident contribution of Ukraine into the global history. You will have a hearty and ecologically-clean lunch at the Chernobyl canteen.
Return to Kyiv. Dinner and overnight.
Day 19: Kyiv
Breakfast. Visiting the Holy Kyiv Pechersk Lavra – the Orthodox Christian monastery that is the holiest place of pilgrimage in Ukraine. It was founded in times of Yaroslav the Wise in XI century and is one of the most ancient monasteries in Old Rus. Trinity Church, the Assumption Cathedral (renovated in 2000), the Refectory Church and the labyrinth of the Near and Far Caves, with their relics of saints, are real masterpieces of world architecture.
Visiting museum of historical treasures.
Visit the museum of the Second World War. The complex combines the Museum building and the Motherland statue (62 meters high), a gallery of sculpture commemorating the heroes of the battlefields, the Glory Cup (16 m diameter), and an exhibition of arms from World War II.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 20: Kyiv
Optional Mezhyhirya Tour. The residential area of the ex-president of Ukraine – Yanukovich which is stunning by it’s impressive luxury life, incredibly vast territory and nonsense of human greediness.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to back home.
The price includes:
The price does not include
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