Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend

Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend
Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend
Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend
Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend
Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

On the night of 26th April 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant experienced the world's worst nuclear meltdown. More recently, following the runaway success of HBO’s miniseries, the tragic history of Chernobyl's nuclear disaster has been brought back to the spotlight. This comprehensive weekend-tour ventures deep into the heart of the abandoned Exclusion Zone, which seems to have remained frozen in time with eerily empty amusement parks, homes, hospitals and schools dotting the vast wasteland area. Our expert guide will lead us safely around the nuclear disaster site and the town of Pripyat, telling the story of how the disaster unfolded and the consequences it had on the people, villages and countries around. This is no ordinary tour however as, unlike many of the standard Chernobyl excursions available elsewhere, we include a permit to enter the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and visit some impressive buildings such as the imposing nuclear control room. We will be also spending the night within the Exclusion Zone – the restricted space, 19 miles in radius, which surrounds the blast area – and conclude this memorable, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience with a visit to Kiev’s city highlights.

Highlights
  • See Kiev's main heritage sites including UNESCO Lavra Monastery
  • Spend one night within the abandoned Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone 
  • Includes special permit to enter the Nuclear Power Plant
  • Visit the ghost town of Pripyat and the disaster site Reactor No. 4 
Food

Ukrainian cuisine stems from peasant dishes based on the plentiful grains and vegetables grown in the country. Staple crops include sugar beets, potatoes, grapes, cabbages, and mushrooms. These are often key ingredients in soups and salads. The most popular dish is 'borscht', a hearty soup made in a variety of ways. Other vegetable dishes include holubtsi (stuffed cabbage) and kartoplia solimkoi ("straw potatoes"). Kotlety Po-Kyivskomy (Chicken Kiev), a chicken breast stuffed with a buttery filling, is a well-known dish outside Ukraine, but tastes very different locally. During our stay in Chernobyl, we will consume simple but hearty meals. They are cooked from ecologically safe products, brought from outside the Zone. Vegetarians options are available on request. Please note that during the stay in Chernobyl you are not allowed to smoke, eat and drink in the open spaces. You are not allowed to eat any berries or drink water from open sources such as wells.

Destinations
  • Ukraine
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • 18-30 somethings
  • Singles
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Small Group

Location: Kyiv

This trip starts in Kiev, Ukraine's mighty and fast-evolving capital city. A sightseeing tour of Kiev will be offered on the last day of the trip before departure but those wishing to spend more time exploring this eclectic city and its many interesting heritage sites such as the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, may wish to extend the trip by a day or two. After check-in, we meet our local tour leader for a welcome briefing and group dinner. Overnight in Kiev.  

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Dinner,

Location: Chornobyl

This morning we leave for Chernobyl and travel by comfortable private minibus for approximately 2 hours to Dytiatky, the main check point before entering official Exclusion Zone. After passing passport control and learning about some essential safety rules we start our comprehensive sightseeing tour by vehicle and on foot. On the way to the power plant we stop at  the almost fully buried Kopachi village, which was highly contaminated by the high-level of radioactive fallout after the nuclear blast and subsequently bulldozed. A macabre and desolated kindergarten and one other brick building are the only structures that remain standing. We continue towards the third stage of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, driving by the uncompleted reactors 5 and 6, the unfinished cooling towers, and reach the main disaster site, Reactor 4. It was right here that, on the on the fatal night of 26th April 1986, two large explosions took place following a failed safety test, releasing tons of radioactive substances into the air to an altitude of 1.5km. We will learn of the catastrophic consequences of the largest nuclear energy disaster in the history of mankind, while observing the mighty New Safe Confinement ('Arch') from a safe observation point at distance of 270 metres. Our tour continues with a special private visit inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station (Usually Unit 3). We will be provided with a special protective gown of an NPP employee, shoe covers and dosimeter and enjoy a 3-hour long tour of the still functional parts of the power plant. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a visit to the control room, where you have the chance to fill the shoes of those who once stood here during the tragic event. We also see the hydraulic pump system, the ‘golden corridor’, and finally the room enclosing the main circulation pumps. We may also meet and listen to fascinating explanations from the current employees of the Chernobyl NPP and enjoy lunch with the station workers at the main canteen (where ecological cleanliness of products is guaranteed).  Later, we continue our exploration of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with a visit to one its most mysterious sites. In 1975 the grand construction of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant drew the attention of thousands but few would have known that a gigantic, top secret radar was also being erected a short distance away. This fascinating and complex defence system was built to protect Soviet citizens in case of nuclear war and the giant antennas, still visible today and known as Duga-1, were supposed to watch the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is a lot of speculation around the history and purpose of this site, and we will hear some of the theories during our visit. Tonight, we enjoy the unique opportunity of staying in a basic but comfortable hotel within the Exclusion Zone end conclude our busy day with a warm traditional Ukrainian meal in a cafe near our accommodation. Please note that the order of activities and choice of buildings visited within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone may vary depending on weather, time available and local restrictions.

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner,

Location: Kyiv

After breakfast we drive 20 minutes to Pripyat, the once lively town that was home to the Chernobyl workers and their families. Incredibly, the inhabitants were evacuated in just three hours on the day of the disaster. Over three decades later, this ghost town is now a freeze-frame of the Soviet Union in 1986. Communist propaganda still decorates the walls, personal belongings litter the streets and the abandoned buildings and toys are strewn around a schoolhouse where they were last dropped by children before escaping. All clocks are still frozen at 11:55, the moment the electricity was cut. We will walk by many derelict and desolated buildings, including a fish farm, the cinema, the music school and the athletic stadium, as well as some filming locations of the popular HBO TV series. After lunch we will also hopefully get the chance to meet one of the so-called self-settlers, the locals who went against the order issued by the governement and chose to return to their homes within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone soon after the tragic accident. This is a special opportunity to hear some interesting and touching stories of what life in Chernobyl was like before and after the explosion. In the afternoon, time permitting, we head to the Red Forest, the 10-square-kilometre area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that take its name from the ginger-brown colour of the pine trees that died following the absorption of high levels of radiation. To date, it remains one of the most contaminated areas in the world, but we will approach it from a safe distance. There will also be time to pay a visit to the Monument to the Chernobyl Liquidators, dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of firefighters, engineers, military troops, police, miners, cleaners and medical personnel who took part in the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster and prevented apocalyptic consequences for Europe, sacrificing their lives or health for the sake of saving others. A we leave the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and make our way back to Kiev (approx. 2 hours) by private transport. Overnight in Kiev.

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,

Location: Kyiv

This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Kiev's main sights starting with the amazing view of two golden-domed monastery complexes while walking along Sophiiska and Mykhailivska Squares. We continue along Andrew Street and pass St Andrew Church before entering Arsenalna subway station, currently the deepest in the world at 105.5 metres. Travelling by metro, we head to the UNESCO Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, founded in AD 1051, and visit the stunning interior and complex of caves housing mummified nuns. The tour usually ends early afternoon so to those not travelling on the group flight, we suggest booking a flight that departs Kiev not earlier than 6 pm in order to enjoy the full sightseeing tour. Alternatively, you may choose to fly back the following day and enjoy more time in Kiev for further independent sightseeing. Please note that we will check-out from the hotel in the morning but we will be able to leave our luggage safely stored during the included sightseeing tour. * *

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Included
  • Transfer for group flights 
  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • Special entrance permit to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Not Included
  • Tips for staff
    -
  • Travel insurance
    -
  • Visas & vaccinations
    -
  • Single supplement
    -
Yes,Transfer for group flights
Minimum 18 Years old people can go on this tour.
UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.
5* An amazing visit to a special place.
We had an long weekend in Ukraine visiting Pripyat and the Chernobyl nuclear facility.The excursion into the control room and wreckage of reactor #3 (#4 is the one that blew up) was very special and, frankly, I am amazed that we were allowed such extended access inside the plant. I'll post some pictures to give you a flavour of the trip.Wandering around the 'ghost town' of Pripyat was also something of an epic experience. As you spend the previous night nearby in Chernobyl, you're one of the first visitors to arrive and have a really atmospheric experience before the crowds arrive (And they do!). The huge radio antenna is also somewhat overwhelming.
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Touring with Exodus

With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.

Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.

Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.

Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!

When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.

Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.

At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

3 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Kiev
Finish:Kiev
Group size:5 - 16
Suitable for: 18 to 99
Physical rating:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners.
Diets:Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements
Tour operated in: English
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