Visit Chernobyl – the site of the world's biggest nuclear disaster
Admire wondrous architecture
Enjoy free time in Lviv – the gem of Western Ukraine
Beautiful landscapes, charming old towns and a fascinating history: Ukraine is often underrated. Our tour showcases two of the best-known cities, Kiev and Lviv, as well as Chernobyl, whilst exploring the ancient town of Kamianets-Podilskyi and the Hutsuls ethnic group along the way.
Following our arrival, we’ll transfer to the hotel before our welcome drink and dinner in local restaurant with wine tasting.
Ukraine’s rich historical tapestry has fascinated travellers for years, from the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl that forced 234,000 citizens to flee the surrounding areas amid radiation fears, to the ancient city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, home to an 11th-century Old Town that stands on a tall, sheer-walled rock ‘island’, connected to a picturesque fortress.
After breakfast we will set off on a full-day guided city tour (bus and walking) of Kiev which takes us past many of the great sights, including Khreschatyk Street which is the city’s most famous and well-trodden street. At weekends the busy road closes to traffic, which is when it really comes to life with wacky street performers and musicians. After strolling this famous street, we will proceed to Maidan Independence Square – a must-see in Kiev for its historical and modern significance.
Today we will go on a full-day tour to Chernobyl, which is Ukraine’s most famous phenomenon. We will see landmarks including the power plant, Kopachi Village and its abandoned kindergarten and Reactor #4. We will head to Pripyat town, which is now silent, and see collapsed schools, run-down hospitals and derelict cinemas. After lunch, we’ll pay a visit to the secret Duga military radar station.
This morning we will head to Kamianets-Podilskyi and get acquainted with this ancient city. We will discover the cultural and historical importance and visit the Kamianets-Podilskyi fortress which contains restored buildings and towers that provide great viewing positions of the surrounding river canyon. We will also see impressive religious buildings such as Cathedral of the Saint Peter and Paul and St. Nicolas Armenian Church. In the evening we will enjoy our dinner in a local restaurant.
Today our tour continues into the Carpathian Mountains with stops at the Khotyn fortress, which was founded in the 13th century, and Chernivtsi – a cosy European city situated where the roads from Europe and Asia cross. After lunch in a typical Bukovinian restaurant, we’ll visit one of the highlights of the city – the National University. We will have dinner in a restaurant nestled in the Carpathian Mountains on the way to Bukovel.
This day is dedicated to the mountains and its people – the Нutsuls. We will see the traditional mountain village of Verhovyna and find out about the Ukrainian ethnic group who live there – the Hutsuls who inhabited the Carpathians. Living in desolate mountain areas, they preserved their long-time traditions, handicrafts and way of life. We will visit local private museums to learn about how local people lived and still live there, their culture and traditions.
We will visit the Hutsul Everyday Life and Musical Instruments Museum, which is located on a hill (hiking is required or you will be taken up and down by a Soviet jeep). Here, you will have the chance to find out about Ukrainian embroidery and its different meanings in the unique museum of Vyshyvanka.
This morning we will have some free time in Bukovel before transferring to Lviv. If you think about Lviv, cosy coffee houses and magnificent churches should come to mind. Mysterious and architecturally lovely, this UNESCO-listed city is the country’s least Soviet and exudes the same authentic Central European charm as Prague or Kraków once did. It’s also a place where the candle of Ukrainian national identity burns brightest and where Russian is definitely a minority language.
Today our half-day tour includes a visit to the High Castle Hill (walk along the hill), where a castle once stood from the 1300s to the 1770s to protect the residents of Lviv during attacks. The hill now offers the best views of the city. We will discover the former Austrian casino, presently called “The House of Scientists”. The casino was a meeting place for the aristocratic elite. We will also visit St. George’s Cathedral, which serves as a great example of rococo architecture and was built between 1744-1760. Lunch is included.
Today is free for you to spend however you wish.
Lviv is a compact and walkable city (although the cobbles can make it hard underfoot), with the historic Old Town at its centre. The city has less of the concrete Soviet block buildings and more of the colorful facades and charm of old Europe. A walk through central Lviv, especially during sunset, means repeated exclamations about how beautiful the city is and plenty of stops for photos. Cafes and restaurants are extremely quirky in Lviv and must to visit.
After breakfast we will have some free time before we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
British citizens are allowed to enter Ukraine without a visa for visits of up to 90 days within a 180 day period. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a visa. For more advice on entry requirements contact the Ukrainian Embassy in London or Consulate General in Edinburgh.
You don’t need to complete an immigration card. Immigration officials may require you to scan your fingerprints as part of biometric data collection at border crossing points. For more details, visit the website of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine
Proof of financial means
You may be asked to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support you during your stay. The Ukrainian authorities accept the following as a proof of sufficient funds: cash, bank cards along with bank statements, accommodation bookings, tourist vouchers, a letter from the person or company you’re visiting stating that they will cover your expenses, a return ticket or onward travel ticket. You can find more information on the websites of the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK and State Border Service of Ukraine.
If you’re travelling without a visa, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. If you’re applying for a visa, your passport may need to have an additional period of validity. Check with the Ukrainian Embassy in London for further details. More info
The transfer from Kiev Airport to the hotel is approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic and local conditions.
A sightseeing programme is included in your touring package.
Important info about your full day tour to Chernobyl
From 08:00 to 20:00. Enjoy your full day to Chernobyl from Kiev. Following an introductory briefing, you will head past a Checkpoint and into Chernobyl town, visit the secret Duga military radar station. You will see landmarks including the power plant, Kopachi Village and its abandoned kindergarten and Reactor #4. Head to Pripyat town which is now silent and see collapsed schools, run-down hospitals, and derelict cinemas. After lunch, visit the secret Duga military radar station.
1) During Chernobyl tour you must have a valid passport with you (perhaps keep in a sealed plastic bag during your visit) and follow your local guide and their instructions at all times.
2) Please do not eat any berries or drink water from open sources such as wells etc. (bottled water is fine), smoke, eat or drink in open spaces.
3) You are allowed to take photographs and videos of everything except the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the checkpoints which are guarded. Your guide will be able to offer full advice on this.
4) Please wear shoes with closed toes (no flip flops or sandals) and with good grip. It is recommended these are shoes that are older and can be easily washed or thrown away afterwards.
5) Please wear full length trousers (no skirts or shorts) and long sleeves avoiding clothes with many zips. We advise to wash your clothes (or throw them away) and shower after the visit.
6) Do not sit on the ground, put your belongings on the ground or touch the vegetation or any objects you find on the ground or take any artefacts you may find on the ground.
7) It is advisable to bring along for the trip: your personal first aid kit, water, sandwiches and/or some snacks to eat in the bus. In the middle of the tour there is a lunch for the participants of the trip. If you need a vegetarian lunch, please let us know when getting on the bus.
8) Individuals who are intoxicated with alcohol, or in a state of alcohol/drug hangover are not allowed to enter the Zone. It is forbidden to use alcohol and drugs during a trip. It is prohibited to enter the Zone with any weapon and/whether ammunition.
9) Please be prepared for a long day, some long drives, walks, and not modern restrooms.
In Lviv there will be possibility to attend a local handmade chocolate master class with a Varenyky master class (subject to availability, all information will be given locally).
There is often confusion on the question of gratuities, since it frequently depends on the type of holiday, location and, of course, your attitude towards tipping, as to what is normally expected. In order to give you a rough idea, we have given appropriate guidance below.
Your Tour Leader will be on hand to offer advice or suggestions if required but gratuities are offered entirely at the sole discretion of the individual. We suggest a group collection to cover drivers, porters and hotel staff of £50.00. Your Tour Leader will collect this on your behalf and distribute it accordingly, thus relieving you of the burden of who, when and how much to tip. The tipping of housekeeping will be left to your individual discretion (a small amount left in your room on departure should cover this and would be much appreciated). As is customary, ‘the hat’ will be passed around for the driver and guide on all optional excursions. For any meals that are not included in your itinerary, or taxi fares, your Tour Leader can advise of an appropriate % add on.
Ukrainian hryvnia. You can take cash in Euros and Pound Sterling and exchange locally but please note that your notes will need to be in pretty good condition. Alternatively you can use the ATMs (known locally as bankomats) in Kiev and Ukraine.
Casual daytime medium-weight “layers” are recommended. Comfortable shoes are a “must” for sightseeing. Smart, casual wear for the evenings would be acceptable.
|Month(s)||Highest temperature||Lowest temperature|
|January||-2 °C||-7 °C|
|March||6 °C||-2 °C|
|April||14 °C||4 °C|
|May||20 °C||9 °C|
|June||23 °C||12 °C|
|July - August||24 °C||13 °C|
|September||19 °C||8 °C|
|October||12 °C||3 °C|
|November||4 °C||-1 °C|
I was so nervous about embarking on my first Solos Holiday, but I shouldn’t have been – it was the best thing I have ever done!
Wow! Got to see the famous shipwreck beach in Zakynthos with Solos. Can’t wait to discover more of their destinations!
Our tour leader Monica was exceptional! Had such a good time and will be rebooking with Solos. Thanks for a great holiday!
Had the best time with Solos! Discovered beautiful destinations and met some lifelong friends.