Ukraine
A Journey Through Ukraine

Ukraine – A Journey Through Ukraine Tour – a 14 day Small Group Tour from £2625 per person.


Even now, though the dissolution of the Soviet Union took place in 1991, Ukraine is still making history, notably through the Euromaidan Revolution of 2012-14 and the even more recent annexation of its territory in Crimea by an avaricious Russian neighbour.

An immense country of beautiful cities, rich cultural sights and wild landscapes there’s a lot of ground to cover. As well as private road transport, this journey allows active participation in the reality of being in Ukraine, taking overnight sleeper trains, exploring cities by tram and walking. As well as the cultured cities of Kiev and Odessa, time is spent among the Carpathians’ rural mountain communities, allowing a glimpse back in time to when life was simpler but undoubtedly harder.

In all, a fascinating fortnight.

One of Europe’s least visited nations; Ukraine has been in the Soviet shadow for decades, hidden from the rest of the world with the result that few are aware of its charms. This trip will astound travellers with the varied delights of this charming nation and make you wonder why you have never visited before. Starting in Kiev we explore the rich cultural heritage and exquisite monuments of this important city, before heading to Lviv, one of the most elegant cities and a delight to explore.

But you haven’t really experienced Ukraine until you’ve spent time in its glorious countryside. We stay in the Carpathian Mountains, a treasure house of traditional culture and spectacular scenery, with impressive wildlife and colourful customs. Staying in a local home allows us to really gain an insight into rural life and is one of the highlights of this tour. We then travel to Odessa, rich in revolutionary history, where we also have a chance to sample the excellent local wine.

Ukraine has so much to offer that it is a wonder it has not been discovered by mass tourism. Enjoy the feeling of being a true travel pioneer in your discovery of this captivating country.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Moderate

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in Kiev and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending upon flight arrival schedules there may be time to explore the city independently. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar.

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

This morning we head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kiev Pechersk Lavra cave monastery complex and its remarkable churches and underground tunnels. In the afternoon we visit Maidan Nezalezhnosti and learn about the Euromaidan Revolution of 2013-2014. Later we take dinner at a Crimean Tatar restaurant (payable locally) before heading to the railway station and boarding the overnight sleeper train to Lviv. (B) 

Please note: Train compartments are allocated on a twin share basis and are not single sex. If you would like to guarantee sole occupancy of a compartment, a supplement will apply. This is subject to availability. Please contact us for more information. 

Please note: Doors of train compartments can only be locked from the inside. Therefore, if you have solo occupancy and need to leave your compartment, you will not be able to lock the door, and your luggage/valuables may be at risk of theft. Tour guides cannot be responsible for passengers’ belongings on this journey.

After an early arrival in Lviv there’s a little time to freshen up before exploring 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 city’s 413m highest point. The afternoon is free to relax or explore independently. Overnight George Hotel or similar (B)

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)

Today we drive to Kamyanets-Podilsky, an attractive town dramatically situated on a rocky island amid the Smotrych River. We visit the 11th century castle, one of Ukraine’s most impressive fortresses, as well as the Old Quarter known for its colourful architecture. Later we drive to Chernivtsi for the night. Overnight Bukovyna Hotel or similar. (B)

This morning we take a brief tour around Chernivtsi, once an elegant city but now delightfully ramshackle where its student population keeps things lively. Highlights include the City Hall Square and the State Chernivtsi University, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards we drive towards the Carpathian Mountains, stopping en route at Kolomyia to visit the Pysanka (Easter eggs) Museum, and at Nyzhni Verbizh to see the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to legend the church was built with the money collected by a ‘Carpathian Robin Hood’ in the 18th Century. In 1990 the structure was entirely was covered in tin as funds did not exist to restore the original wooden tiles. Later we continue to Verkhovyna, a picturesque and very typical Carpathian village, a superb base for exploring the mountains and their communities. Overnight local hotel. (B)

Today we explore this spectacular region. Staying in the village is like stepping back in time to a rural idyll far from the stress of urban life. Age-old traditions are still followed in this remote but beautiful corner of Ukraine. We visit the Museum of Roman Kumlyk, for its ethnological collection, and nearby workshops which both showcase a way of life that has long since disappeared elsewhere in Europe. Overnight at the local hotel. (B) 

Please note: Visiting the Museum of Roman Kumlyk requires a short 500m walk up the mountain, ascending approximately 75 metres.

This morning we leave the hotel and visit Tatariv village and the nearby waterfall of Zhenetsky. Afterwards we continue Mykulychyn where it’s possible to taste one of the best draught beers in Ukraine. On arrival in Ivano-Frankivsk we head to the railway station and board the overnight sleeper train to Odessa. (B) 

Please note: The walk to the waterfall is a fairly flat 6km round trip along a forest road that follows the river. 

Please note: Train compartments are allocated on a twin share basis and are not single sex. If you would like to guarantee sole occupancy of a compartment, a supplement will apply. This is subject to availability. Please contact us for more information. 

Please note: Doors of train compartments can only be locked from the inside. Therefore, if you have solo occupancy and need to leave your compartment, you will not be able to lock the door, and your luggage/valuables may be at risk of theft. Tour guides cannot be responsible for passengers’ belongings on this journey.

Upon arrival we explore the historic city, located on the Black Sea, for centuries an important trading centre. Highlights include the legendary Potemkin Steps, the formal entrance to the city from the sea, made famous by Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent epic, The Battleship Potemkin, as well as the Opera House, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. The afternoon is free to explore the city independently. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note: Today a packed breakfast is taken when leaving the train

Today we visit the famous Privoz farmer’s market, the largest in Odessa, which sells a wide variety of produce. We travel by tram and soak up the atmosphere, trying local food specialities and watching people going about their daily lives. In the afternoon we visit Shustov Cognac Winery Museum, visiting the cellars and tasting the brandy. Later we return to Odessa for the evening. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar. (BL)

Spend this morning at leisure in Odessa. This afternoon we visit Odessa Catacombs anda cold war nuclear shelter. The day ends with a farewell dinner of traditional Odessa cuisine. Overnight Alexandrovskiy Hotel or similar (BD)

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)

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

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-02
    Start Sunday August 23, 2020
    End Saturday September 5, 2020
    Contact us for Availability
     

    Trip Extras:

    A Journey Through Ukraine (ULC) Single Supplement
    £ 325.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 20-03
    Start Friday September 25, 2020
    End Thursday October 8, 2020
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 2 - 12 Pax ) £2,450.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    A Journey Through Ukraine (ULC) Single Supplement
    £ 325.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-01
    Start Sunday May 23, 2021
    End Saturday June 5, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,815.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    A Journey Through Ukraine (ULC) Single Supplement
    £ 325.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-02
    Start Sunday August 22, 2021
    End Saturday September 4, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,815.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    A Journey Through Ukraine (ULC) Single Supplement
    £ 325.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 3 travellers.

Single Supplement £325 – This does not cover the overnight train journeys. On overnight trains in Ukraine travellers will be allocated twin share accommodation. Please note that on overnight trains compartments are not divided by sex; single male and female passengers may be required to share the same compartment.

If you are travelling alone and wish to guarantee a private compartment on the overnight trains for sole occupancy please contact us. An additional charge will apply. Subject to availability.

Return flights from London to Kiev start at £199. Contact us for a quotation as there are low cost operators also available.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

We know that for many of our destinations flying cannot be avoided. But we believe that for some of our tours, taking the train is a practical, affordable and most of all a very enjoyable alternative. Even flying in just one direction will have a very positive benefit on the environment. To compare the emissions for your next trip take a look at this easy to use emissions calculator – https://uic.org/ecopassenger.

One-way fares from London to Kiev or vice versa start at £200.

For a quote to travel from a European city other than London please contact us. We will advise you of the options, including routes and fares.

Contact us for further details about how we can help you plan the perfect environmentally friendly addition to your holiday. As well as train tickets, we can arrange stopovers along the way, including hotels and guided tours.

If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.

Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please get in touch with Rhia so we can tailor your perfect Ukraine tour.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Ukraine - A Journey Through Ukraine Tour map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking guides
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  • Overnight train journeys Kiev – Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk – Odessa

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

Diana in Lviv was the best guide we’ve ever had. Sergei – best of all our drivers. Can’t say enough good about him. Very warm and personable. We have so appreciated your help in planning our tour.

Kathleen and Garth Holyoak, USA