Day 1: Arrive in Minsk [D]
Welcome to Belarus! Meeting guide and transfer to a hotel for check-in. Tonight, enjoy your welcome dinner at a restaurant – it’s time for getting to know each other!
Day 2: Minsk Sightseeing [B,L]
Discover Minsk: from the moment of foundation to nowadays.
We start our 3-hour walking tour with meeting the local guide in the hotel lobby. You will see the architectural monuments of the 17th – 20th centuries, the Upper Town with the City Hall, the temples and monasteries, a visit to Holy Spirit Cathedral and the old small streets of Trinity Suburb. Continue and visit «The Isle of Tears» with the famous chapel that commemorates soldiers who perished during the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980’s. Explore the Victory Monument; Independence Avenue and Victory Avenue. Then after lunch, we continue to visit the National Library, which was included in the list of the most remarkable buildings in the world! Then drive to the Dudutki museum – the open-air museum of folk architecture; there you will get an idea of the traditional village life. Back to the hotel and free time.
Day 3: Minsk – Mir – Nesvizh – Brest [B,L]
We drive to Mir Castle Complex which was founded in the early 16th century. The castle was rebuilt into a magnate palace and became luxurious apartments of the noble family, filled with works of art. Next, we continue to Nesvizh Palace which includes a visit to the museum inside the Palace and a landscaped park in the English tradition. Both palaces are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Day 4: Brest Sightseeing [B]
In the morning we explore Brest, which is considered to be the “western gate” of the country. We drive to see the Brest Fortress, which became a shrine to all the terrible and heroic events, that happened there. Them we come back to the city center and walk along the central part, where you will find out about the history of the city itself. Free time.
Day 5: Brest – Lviv [B,L]
In the morning we drive to Lviv, crossing the borders and stopping for lunch in Lutsk city. Upon arrival you have free time in Lviv.
Day 6: Lviv Sightseeing [B,L]
During our 6-hour walking tour we will see the architecture of Rynok Square, typical Austrian streets, as well as f modern dwellings. Together they narrate Lviv’s glorious history. We will walk along the Medieval part of Lviv and will see Rynok Square, Armenian church and quarter, Dominican church, Boim Chapel, and many other impressive sites in the historical city center.
Highlights of this tour include visits of the Opera House, built in the classical tradition with Neo-Renaissance details (subject to change). Your lunch will be served in a place where you can be inspired for new ideas!
Day 7: Lviv Sightseeing [B]
Today your tour includes a visit of the High Castle Hill (walk along the hill), where a castle once stood during 1300’s to the 1770’s to protect the residents of Lviv during attacks. The hill now offers the best views of the city. You will discover the former Austrian casino, presently called “The House of Scientists”. The casino was a meeting place for the aristocratic elite. You will also visit St. George’s Cathedral, which serves as a great example of rococo architecture and was built between 1744-1760. Today St. George’s Cathedral is the main Greek-Catholic church. Back to your hotel, free time.
Day 8: Lviv- Yeremche [B, L]
We drive to Yaremche – the Carpathian Mountains, and on the way will visit Ivano-Frankivsk city. Enjoy a 2-hour walking tour of the city which is often called “a small Lviv”. You will see the Market square and the City Hall, will stroll along the main pedestrian street which locals call “a Hundred meters street”, will see the Armenian church and much more. Then we will have lunch in a restaurant-museum of Galician way of life owned by a family. After continue driving to the Carpathians, Yaremche town. Check-in and free time
Day 9: Carpathians sightseeing- Yeremche- Verhovyna [B,L]
This day is dedicated to the mountains and its people – Нutsuls.
We drive to Verhovyna – the capital of hutsuls. You will see traditional mountain villages, find out about people who live there: Ukrainian ethnical group – Hutsuls. We will visit the Hutsul Everyday Life and musical instruments museum, which is located on a hill (hiking required, or you will be taken up and down by a soviet jeep 5 mins ride) and will find out about Ukrainian embroidery and its different meanings in the unique museum of Vyshyvanka. A home-made lunch will be served in a private house of one of the museum’s owners to let you feel the life of locals. Back to the hotel and free time.
Day 10: Carpathians – Chernivtsi [B,L]
During your free time in Yaremche, the pearl of Carpathians, you can shop in one of the local souvenir markets. Then we continue to Chernivtsi – the real cozy European city, situated on the spot where the roads from Europe and Asia cross each other. We will have lunch in one of the local Bukovenian restaurants and then we visit the National University – it will be a real highlight! Then enjoy a 2-hour walking tour in the historical city center, walk along the main pedestrian street – Kobylyanska, will see the City Hall, Teatralnaya square and many others.
Day 11: Chernivtsi – Khotyn – Kamiatents Podilskyi sightseeing [B,L]
In the morning we head to Kamianets-Podilskyi with a stop in Khotyn fortress, which was founded in 13th century and had Moldavian, Polish and Turkish influence. Then continue to Kamianets-Podilskyi. After lunch we explore this beautiful town. Why does this city seem to be a phenomenon of the cultural and historical importance? You’ll discover the history from the moment of town’s foundation till recent times. You will see the Cathedral of the Saint Peter and Paul, St. Nicolas Armenian Church, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Smotrich River Canyon and of course, the highlight will for sure be a visit to the Kamianets-Podilskyi fortress.
Day 12: Kamianets Podilsky – Chisinau [B,L]
This morning we drive to Chisinau, Moldova. Crossing the border. Stop for lunch in Balti town. Continue to Chisinau. Evening walking 2,5-hour tour of Chisinau where you will see both the historic and the modern faces of the city. Who Stephen the Great was and what did he do for the city? You will listen to the cultural, historical facts and legends, while we walk along the central part of the city. On Stephen the Great Boulevard there are many elegant administrative buildings – the Presidency, the Parliament, and the City Administration. There are cultural centers such as the National Theatre M. Eminescu, the Organ Hall, Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Well-known architects and poets such as Bernardazzi, Sciusev and Pushkin gave Chisinau a unique character.
Day 13: Chisinau – Cricova – Orhei Vechi [B]
We go to the Cricova Winery for the wine tasting of 4 types of wine. Then drive to Orhei Vechi – a unique natural and historical complex in the open air. It organically combines the natural landscape and vestiges of ancient civilizations, it is known for the ancient monastery and eco-village resorts.
Day 14: Chisinau – Transnistria – Odessa [B]
We drive to Odessa via the country that officially doesn’t exist. Exploring its capital, Tiraspol city. It will take you back in USSR: Feel the atmosphere of this disputed territory, which has always been a battlefield between the major powers of the region. This place is full of contrasts.
Day 15: Odessa [B,L]
Start your day with a walking 3-hour tour around downtown visiting its historical places and strolling the age-old streets: Deribasovskaya, Pushkinskaya, Rishelievskaya and Landzheronovskaya. You will see masterpieces of architecture and art of buildings, Opera and Ballet Theatre, and historical buildings, where the archeological and marine museums are situated. Strolling along the Primorsky Boulevard it’s your chance to see an ancient building of municipal Duma, count Vorontsov palace with colonnaded entrance and the monument to Duke de Richelieu and the famous Potemkin stairs. They are the main entrance to Primorsky Boulevard from the seaside from where you witness the fascinating view to the marine terminal and the seaport. After lunch – free time.
Optional** tour to Odessa Catacombs, which are some of the longest in the world and played an important role during the WWII as a shelter for the partisans.
Day 16: Odessa – Kyiv [B,L]
We drive to Kyiv with a stop on the way: visiting a Cold War era nuclear missile base. We’ll travel back to the USSR!, Cold War era nuclear missile base. Once top secret, the base is today a museum and you can experience a bit of what it was like to serve here. You’ll walk down a 150 meter long underground corridor and take a lift 12 floors down to the “Red” button of the Unified Launch Control Center. Overnight in Kiev.
Day 17: Kyiv sightseeing [B,L]
Our walking tour will start from exploring ancient part of Kyiv city center. You will enjoy seeing Bessarabskyi market, Golden Gates, walk along Volodymyrskaya street and explore St. Sophia Cathedral, will discover secrets of St. Andrew church and descent, will discover St. Michael Golden-Domed Church. After lunch, we continue with a walk along Khreshchatyk street-the shortest yet the widest main street in the world, Maidan- the square where all of the Ukrainian revolutions started and many more! Back to the hotel, free time.
Day 18: Kyiv sightseeing[B,D]
We visit Kyevo Pecherska Lavra with its caves – the most ancient monastery and UNESCO Heritage site, then exploring the Motherland Statue complex and WWII museum. During the tour you will also see impressive administrative buildings, House of a crying widow, Chocolate House and Red Castle, stone jungles and many others. Back to the hotel. Free time.
Optional*** tour to Mezhyhirya Residence – a house of Ukrainian former president.
5:45 pm Meeting in the hotel lobby and walk to a restaurant for dinner. After dinner – walk back to the hotel or a guide can assist with getting a taxi.
Day 19: Departure from Kyiv [B]
Pick up from the hotel and transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Saying goodbye to your new friends… We will be glad to see you again!
End of services.
** Odessa Catacombs tour: Catacombs are underground labyrinths created during the period of the city construction over 200 years ago. They are situated mainly in Nerubaiskoe village (15 km from Odessa), originally created during mining of hardware materials as shell rocks that were used to build the city. Odessa Catacombs are some of the longest in the world and played an important role during the WWII as a shelter for the partisans.
*** Mezhyhirya tour: Have you ever wondered how corrupted presidents live? Here is one of the examples and it’s a great opportunity to visit the residence where former Ukrainian president Yanukovich lived. This place is now called the museum of corruption, which is stunning by its impressive luxury life, incredibly vast territory and nonsense of human greediness.