Price

$3538 AUD per person twin share

$526 AUD single supplement

Inclusions

  • Return airport transfers
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • Services of an English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • 1st class train tickets
  • Transportation in a private vehicle

Exclusions

  • International and Domestic flights
  • Drinks unless otherwise mentioned
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Inoculations
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

A jumble of traditions in a magical Slavic hinterland, the Ukraine is one of Europe's last frontiers. Join us as we embrace off-the-map experiences and tangle ourselves in colourful time old traditions. From discovering the local and lesser known side of Ukraine's quaint cities still tying to wriggle free of its former Soviet legacy, to getting active and exploring the Carpathian Mountains, Europe's Green Pearl, you will encounter unexpected travel experiences with local village clans as you are welcomed warmly into their homes as they share with you their raw history in such a spectacular setting of life under post war communism.

Day 1 - Arrive Kiev

Welcome to the Ukraine! Upon arrival in Kiev, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, after you have checked in, set out for a city tour. As well as visiting the UNESCO listed St Sophia’s Cathedral, St Michael’s golden-dome monastery and taking in the views of the Dnipro river as you learn about the recent history of Maidan revolution, your expert local guide will lead you to discover the lesser known sights of this fascinating city known only by the locals.

3 nights Oselya Hotel or similar

Day 2 - Chernobyl

This morning after breakfast, you will make your way to the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.

On 26th April 1986 reactor number 4 at the nuclear power plant exploded. The initial explosion and the massive radioactive fallout (thirty to forty times the amount released at Hiroshima) that spread over a massive geographical area lead to many deaths and harmed thousands more in the following years.

Over three decades later, the levels of radioactivity have dropped to safe levels and we can now explore the site to learn about Europe’s largest technological disaster and discover the impact it has had on the local population and wildlife. (B)

Day 3 - Mizhrichynsky National Park

Today you will visit Mizhrichynsky National Park – one of the largest regional landscape reserves in the country. Part of the Polissya region (one of the largest swamp areas of Europe) the park is full of wildlife and covered by lush forests and swamps.

The park relies heavily on the work of volunteers to help keep it pristine. You will be introduced to some of the team members who work within the park and join them in helping to maintain one of the three eco-trails. Tasks may include helping build bird houses, clearing tree roots and keeping pathways clear.  (B,L)

Day 4 - Kayaking in Kiev

This morning after breakfast you will take to the water as you kayak around Kiev’s islands and learn about the cities growing construction and its struggle with the ecological balance of its numerous waterways.

This afternoon, take an afternoon train to Lviv (approx. 5hrs). Lviv today is a hidden gem of European elegance. With origins as the capitol of the Kingdom of Galicia in 1272 and surviving Soviet and German occupation in WW2, this is a truly fascinating city with a unique combination of eastern and western culture, architecture and food. (B)

2 nights Swiss Hotel or similar

Day 5 - Lviv

This morning after breakfast you will set out to explore the UNESCO listed old town. Walk its cobblestone streets dotted with beautiful cathedrals, enjoy street music and sit back and relax with a coffee in a quaint courtyard.

This evening you visit the Lviv Opera Theatre and enjoy a world-class performance. (B)

Day 6 - Kosmach

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some free time this morning to discover Lviv on your own.

Late morning you will take scenic back country roads to the historic city of Ivano-Frankivsk, stopping for lunch at Urban 100 Cafe, a community owned cafe where profits are used for social projects such as city parks and cycle-ways as part of a ‘warm city’ initiative.

Continue on towards the Carpathian Mountains. Considered to be the Green Pearl of Ukraine, it is rural Ukraine at its best, with tiered wooden churches dotting the hills and horse-drawn carts clip-clop along potholed roads. Arrive at the village of Kosmach, where you will meet your host family at your homestay. (B,D)

2 nights in a family run guesthouse

Day 7 - Meeting the shepherds

Today you will immerse yourself into the daily life of a typical Hutsul village. Hutsuls are an ethnic group of highlanders in the Carpathians, who largely maintain their traditions and customs. Venture into the highlands and visit the shepherds who spend their summers tending to their flock. Purchase freshly made cheese, and collect fresh berries and herbs founds on the hills.

Return to your homestay for lunch, where you will help  prepare a traditional meal using the ingredients you have bought back. Spend your afternoon participating in your host family’s daily routine – you may find yourself working in the field, feeding the animals or helping to stack hay. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Meeting Hutsul artisans

Today you will learn about traditional Hutsul crafts, and visit some of the artisans who earn their living continuing their family traditions. Join a Hutsul elder as she teaches you how to make your own Easter egg with intricate local designs, or learn how to make a traditional wedding wreath. Travel to Yavoriv, where you will meet a local woman who makes beautiful woolen rugs. On your way, you will stop by the 18th century wooden church in the small village of Kryvorivnia.

This afternoon, transfer to Chernivtsi, one of the most incredible cities in Central Europe, a true multicultural gem with stunning architecture. (B,L,D)

2 nights Allure Inn Hotel or similar

Day 9 - Chernivtsi

Spend your day exploring the charming town of Chernivtsi, considered one of Ukraine’s most important educational and architectural sites. Discover beautiful parks and squares and enjoy its cultural heritage as you are surrounded by Habsburg empire architecture, there is no guessing why this city is known as ‘Little Vienna’.

Visit the UNESCO listed Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans, which is currently occupied as the Chernivtsi National University. The beautiful complex boasts exquisite architecture with intricate ornamentation and a lovely park.

This evening, take the overnight train back to Kiev. (B)

Day 10 - Departure

Upon arrival back into Kiev, you will be met and have time at leisure to explore the city or relax in one of the many parks. You will then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)