Moldova & Ukraine

Overview

Discover one of the least visited regions of Europe on this exciting new group tour. Moldova may be small, but it's a proud nation, keen to show off their world-class viticulture. While Chisinau, is a quirky little capital like no other on the continent. Ukraine, once the bread basket of the Soviet Union, has seen its fair share of troubles, but the Western regions have always looked to Europe. While the capital Kyiv (Kiev) offers a wonderful mix of ancient and modern architecture.

Your time in Ukraine will give you the opportunity to visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

The tiny nation of Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is one of the least-visited countries in the world, but people are finally starting to give it the credit it's due. The capital, Chișinău, is
not a traditionally pretty European city, but its communist relics and friendly people more than compensate.

South of the capital is the breakaway republic of Transnistria, an idiosyncratic region that has retained a strong Soviet character and whose people hark back to the days of the USSR. The Cricova winery, located in a town of the same name, is home to the world’s largest wine cellar and offers a fascinating insight into Moldova’s long and impressive viticulture.

Tour Duration: 10 days

Tour Highlights:

  • Wine & caviar tasting in Moldova
  • Explore ‘independent’ Transnistria, with its strong soviet character
  • Visit the Unesco world heritage city of Lviv
  • Optional excursion to Chernobyl
Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Chisinau

Fly to Chisinau, via Kiev, with Ukraine International Airlines. Transfer to the City Park Hotel (or similar) for 3 nights. Welcome drink.

Day 2: Chisinau, Orheiul Vechi, Cricova

Morning walking tour of Chisinau, taking in the main cultural and historical sites. Enjoy a culinary masterclass at Butuceni guesthouse before lunch and then travel to Orheiul Vechi, an ancient cave monastery. Late afternoon visit to the world’s largest wine cellar at Cricova for a tour and wine tasting.

Day 3: Transnistria

Full-day excursion to the self-declared republic of Transnistria, stopping en route at Tighina Fortress. Tour of the ‘capital’ Tiraspol, including Lenin’s statue and tanks from the second world war, before heading to the Aquatir Complex for caviar tasting. Evening visit to the Asconi winery for dinner and wine tasting.

Day 4: Balti, Chernivtsi

Leave Chisinau today and travel to Chernivtsi in western Ukraine. En route, stop for lunch in Balti, Moldova’s second city. Visit the Barza Alba brandy factory and taste some of their fine cognacs. Overnight in Chernivtsi at the Allure Inn (or similar).

Day 5: Chernivtsi, Lviv

Explore Chernivtsi, often referred to as ‘Little Vienna’, and once ruled by the Habsburg Empire, including a visit to the Unesco-listed Chernivtsi National University. Continue to Lviv via the 13th-century Khotyn Fortress. Stay for 2 nights at the Astoria Hotel (or similar). 

Day 6: Lviv

Full day to explore the Unesco-listed city of Lviv, Ukraine's cultural centre and best preserved urban area in the country. The morning walking tour will take in numerous Catholic and Orthodox churches, Jewish quarter, ancient Armenian Cathedral, Boimiv chapel, the oldest functioning Pharmacy-museum in the city, which occupies a 16th century building on the Market Sq. - the hub of Lviv life from the 14th to 19th centuries. Pop into the famous Chocolate Factory and taste a cup of freshly handmade hot chocolate (take away service). Photo stop near Opera and Ballet Theatre, the architectural gem of Lviv built in the Neo-Renaissance style in 1901. The afternoon is free to explore Lviv independently. 

Day 7: Kiev

Transfer by high-speed train to Kiev, Ukraine’s mighty capital. Afternoon city tour taking in the Golden Gate, Michael’s Cathedral and the Unesco-listed Saint Sophia Cathedral. Stay at the Radisson Blu Yaroslaviv Val (or similar) for 3 nights.

Day 8: Kiev

Morning visit to the Kiev-Caves Lavra Monastery, founded in the caves above the Dnipro river in 1051. Afternoon visit to the Lower Town and Chernobyl Museum. Time at leisure to explore further.

Day 9: Kiev, Chernobyl or Mamaeva Sloboda Cossack Village

Day at leisure in Kiev or choose between two optional excursions: visit Mamaeva Sloboda Cossack Village open-air museum or the abandoned city of Pripyat and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, site of one of the most infamous disasters of the Soviet period. (Both excursions are at an additional cost, to be paid at the time of booking.) Farewell dinner in a traditional Ukrainian restaurant.

Day 10: Fly home

Transfer to the airport and fly home.

Dates & Inclusions

If you’d like us to quote on a tailor-made Tour for anytime in 2019/20/21 then just get in touch and we’ll do the rest.

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