Ukraine - Land of the Cossacks


Ukraine - Land of the Cossacks

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 14 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Itinerary

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 Folk 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 enjoy some leisure time in Kiev before we board the overnight train to Lviv. (B) 

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 the fascinating Lykachivsky Cemetery, one of the oldest graveyards in Europe. Overnight George Hotel or similar (B)

Day 5 - Zhovkva and Krekhov

This morning we travel to Zhovkva, which was declared a heritage site in 1994, and view Zhovkva Castle, the town's oldest and largest building as well as the wooden Holy Trinity Church, listed in 2013 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We continue to Krekhiv, a popular pilgrimage site where the Basilian Monastery dates from the 16th century. We then return to Lviv. Overnight George Hotel or similar (B)

Day 6 – Kamyanets-Podilsky – Ivano-Frankovsk

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 Ivano-Frankovsk to spend the night. Overnight Nadiya Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Ivano-Frankovsk – Carpathian Mountains

This morning we take a brief tour around Ivano-Frankovsk, the economic centre of the Carpathians before we head into the mountains. We stay on a local farmstead in Verkhovyna, a picturesque and very typical Carpathian village which is a superb base for exploring the mountains and the intriguing communities that live here. (BD)

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)

Day 9 – Carpathian Mountains – Lviv - Odessa

Spend the morning exploring the area further before we transfer back to Lviv to take the overnight train to Odessa (B)

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 - Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky

Today we will take a short drive from Odessa to Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky. This town is remarkable due to its age - Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky has recently celebrated its 2500 year anniversary, which puts it in the list of the oldest existing towns of the world. In the afternoon the excursion continues to Shabo. The Shabo vineyards have been around since the 12th century. We visit the vineyards, the factory and discover the complete cycle of the wine production as well as having the chance to taste the wine. We then return to Odessa for the evening. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 12 – Odessa – Nerubayskoye

We start this morning visiting the Alley of Glory with the Eternal Fire and the Monument to a Sailor in the centre of Odessa, before continuing to a network of abandoned caves and tunnels created by limestone excavations beneath Odessa. After a short ride, you will arrive in Nerubayskoye village and we visit the Museum of Partisan Glory. Discover the every-day life of the partisan resistance group that was hiding in this area of catacombs during WWII. We return to Odessa in the early afternoon and have the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar (B) 

Day 13 - Odessa – Uman – Kiev

This morning we leave Odessa to begin the drive back to Kiev. On route we stop off at Uman and visit the famous Sofiyivka Park. We arrive in to Kiev early evening and check-in to the hotel for our last night in Ukraine. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar. 

Day 14 – Departure

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