Undiscovered Destinations and Belarus/Ukraine/Moldova

Responsible Travel and also Warsaw to Bucharest and Belarus/Ukraine.Moldova

Cox & Kings

Day 1 – Kiev

Arrive in Kiev and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar.

Day 2 – Kiev

This morning we explore some of the key sights of Kiev, including the ancient ‘onion-domed’ St Sophia Cathedral, its bustling main boulevard Kreschatyk, and the Golden Gates, the only remaining section of ancient Kiev’s original fortifications. This afternoon we visit the Pyrohovo Museum of Rural Life and Architecture, a recreated village which contains excellent examples of traditional Ukrainian buildings in an open-air setting. Overnight Hotel Rus or similar. (B)

Day 3 – Kiev - Lviv

This morning we head the Lavra cave monastery complex, with its stunning churches and underground tunnels. This afternoon visit Maidan Nezalezhnosti and learn about the Revolution of 2013-2014. You will be taken to a Crimean Tatar restaurant for dinner (payable locally) before being transferred to the train station where we board the overnight train to Lviv. (B)

Train compartments are allocated on a twin share basis and is not divided by sex; solo male and female travellers may be required to share one compartment. If you would like to guarantee a compartment for solo occupancy, a supplement will apply. This is subject to availability. Please contact us for more information.

Please note that the doors of the train compartments can only be locked from the inside. Therefore, if you have solo occupancy and need to leave your compartment for any reason, you will not be able to lock the door, and your luggage/valuables are at risk of being stolen. The tour guide is not responsible for guarding your belongings or for any damage/loss occurred on these journeys.

Day 4 – Lviv

Early arrival into Lviv where we have a little time to freshen up before heading out to explore the city. Lviv is renowned as one of the prettiest towns in Ukraine and its historic centre has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We take in some of its highlights including the Opera House, the Dominican Church and Lviv High Castle, located at the highest point in the city at 413m above sea level. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Overnight George Hotel or similar (B)

Day 5 – Olesko and Pidhirtsi

Today we head east out of Lviv into the countryside to Olesko and Pidhirtsi to visit two palaces. The first at Olesko dates back to the 18th Century but was built on the site of a medieval fortress which was destroyed by Tatar in 15th Century. The second palace, Castle de la Fartin, located in Pidhirtsi is a chateau type residential castle fortress. Spend the day exploring these picturesque palaces before returning to Lviv. Overnight at George Hotel or similar (B)

Day 6 – Kamyanets-Podilsky – Chernivtsi

Drive to Kamyanets-Podilsky, an attractive town dramatically situated on an island of rock and surrounded by a river. We visit the 11th century castle, one of Ukraine’s most impressive, as well as the old quarter with its colourful buildings. We then head to Chernivtsi to spend the night. Overnight Bukovyna Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Chernivtsi – Carpathian Mountains

This morning we take a brief tour around Chernivtsi, once an elegant city but now is a delightfully ramshackle city with the student population keeping it lively. Visit the City Hall Square and the State Chernivtsi University, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue towards the Carpathian Mountains, where we stop en-route in Kolomyia and visit Pysanka (Easter eggs) Museum, and then visit the St. Virgin church at Nyzhni Verbizh. According to legend, this church was built with the money that was collected by a ‘Carpathian Robin Hood’ in the 18th Century. The church was covered with tin in 1990 since the local community did not have enough funds to restore the old, wooden tiles, therefore the most interesting perspective is from inside the church. We continue our journey to Verkhovyna, a picturesque and very typical Carpathian village which is a superb base for exploring the mountains and the intriguing communities that live here, where we stay in a local sadybah (BD)

At the sadybah single rooms are available but facilities are shared.

Day 8 – Carpathian Mountains

We spend today exploring this spectacular region. Staying here is like stepping back in time, to a rural idyll far from the stress of urban life, and we can see how age-old traditions are still followed in this remote but beautiful corner of Ukraine. During our time here we enjoy typical home cooked Hutsul dinners in our cottage. This is an incredible way to experience a way of life that has long since disappeared from the rest of Europe. Overnight again on local farmstead. (BD)

Today we visit the museum of Hutsul Life and Music, which is a 500m walk up the mountain with a rise in altitude of 75m.

Day 9 – Carpathian Mountains – Ivano-Frankivsk - Odessa

This morning we leave the farmstead and visit Zhenetsky waterfall at Tatariv village. We then continue to Ivano-Frankivsk. En-route, there is an option to stop at Mykulychyn, where you can taste on of the best draught beers in Ukraine. On arrival into Ivano-Frankivsk, you will be taken to the train station to take the overnight train to Odessa (B)

The walk to the waterfall is 3km each way, total of 6km, along a forest dirt road by the river, with no notable ups and downs.

Day 10 – Odessa

Arrive in Odessa, and after breakfast explore this historic city. Odessa’s location on the Black Sea has meant that it has sat astride important trade routes and been a crossroads of cultures for centuries. We visit the legendary Potemkin Steps – pivotal in the 1905 Russian Revolution, as well as its Opera House, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. The afternoon is free to explore this vibrant seaside city. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 11 – Odessa

Today we visit the famous farmer’s market Privoz, which sells a wide variety of local food. Travel by tram and soak up the atmosphere, observe the locals going about their daily lives, and even try some of the local food. This afternoon we visit Odessa Cognac distillery Shustov, where we visit the cellars and museum, and take part in a brandy tasting. We then return to Odessa for the evening. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 12 – Odessa

Spend this morning at leisure in Odessa. This afternoon we visit Moldavanka, the old district of Odessa, where you will hear the stories of the smugglers and criminals, whose lives were so colourful and romantic that they have been described by many famous authors. These stories are not known to be real or the author’s fantasy. You will see the old courtyards where these smugglers and criminals lived, made their business and entertained. The day ends with a farewell dinner of traditional Odessa cuisine. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar (BD)

Day 13 - Odessa – Kiev

This morning we leave Odessa to begin the drive back to Kiev (approx. 6-7 hours with stopovers). En route we stop at Pobuzske Museum, the former location of the Strategic Missile Forces regiment. We arrive in to Kiev early evening and check-in to the hotel for our last night in Ukraine. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar (B)

Day 14 – Departure

After breakfast at a suitable time you will be met and transferred to the airport for your departure (B)