Join YPT for a tour in a land that we know and love, the nuclear wasteland of Chernobyl and unrecognised country of Transnistria!
The tour kicks off in Kiev and finishes in Bucharest with much to see and do in between. We can help and advise travel arrangements to and from these two cities.
We have split the tour into two groups with the options of doing either one part or combining the two. Group One will be visiting not only Pripyat (Chernobyl), but also doing the extreme missile base tour, as well as sampling the night time delights on a bar crawl. Our contacts in Pripyat mean, we can usually sneak in some secret sites that we are not allowed to blog about! This is an exclusive private tour that will be strictly capped at ten people to ensure we see all that we are not supposed to.
After Group One leave us in Kiev, Group Two will continue firstly to Odessa, then onto Tiraspol, Capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria. If you do not know anything about the place, Google it. If you want off the beaten track, this is it. We really mix it up here by having one night in a very, very Soviet hotel before transferring to a slightly more luxurious offering in the countryside… a true Soviet time warp. Following a few nights here, we visit Moldova, the only ex-Soviet republic to vote the communists back in, before taking the overnight bus to Bucharest for a Ceausescu tour of one of our favourite cities. Bucharest is also a flight hub which will make it easier to arrange onward flights.
We offer discounts to all returning customers; contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to book your place today!
Group drinks and dinner at the legendary Hospital Bar, a Kiev favourite, with some medically themed, entertaining shots!
Overnight in hostel.
Saturday 10th November
Day in Pripyat, ghost town of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Lunch on site. During the trip, we will be visiting some extra secret sites that cannot be mentioned here!
Return to Kiev and head out for some dinner and dancing at a local 24 hour bar.
Overnight in hostel.
Sunday 11th November
Extreme Missile Base (ICBM Rocket Base) Tour in Ukraine.
If the Missiles were launched from this top secret Soviet base, the target cities were New York, Chicago, London and Paris and after about 30 min and one button the world as we know it would have been gone!
Take the bus back to Kiev and end of Group A.
Continue onto Odessa where we check into our hostel.
Monday 12th November
Breakfast in Odessa, followed by tour of the Catacombs (extra cost).
Early evening departure for the 3-4 hour train ride to Tiraspol, capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria.
On arrival in Tiraspol, we register with immigration at the train station before transferring to the local version of the Soviet Inn tourist hotel. This is the quintessential Soviet experience in the region’s original tourist hotel.
We go for dinner locally with drinks afterwards in the country’s only nightclub.
Overnight in Soviet Hotel.
Tuesday 13th November
We get up early to check out and transfer to a slightly different experience, the first private hotel in post-Soviet times, located in the countryside with its own brandy distillery, sauna, basketball court and private rooms.
City tour of Tiraspol.
Pobedi Park (across the street from the hostel). Chance to ride the 50′s style amusement park.
Walk down October 25th Street (the main drag) which has a large billboard of former President Smirnoff (real name) standing with the Presidents of 2 other Soviet breakaway Republics of South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
University of Tiraspol to speak with students learning English.
October 25th St. to City Hall (government). It has a large bust of Lenin for great photos.
Russian Orthodox Church of Tiraspol. Newly renovated with golden domes. Guests can buy inexpensive Russian Icons here. We will go inside. Women must wear a scarf on their head and men must take their hats off.
Statue of Russian General Suvorov.
The Eternal Flame Independence War Memorial.
Parliament, housing the biggest statue of Lenin outside Russia.
We walk to the river park. There is a walking bridge here for great panoramic photos of the river and downtown Tiraspol.
Lunch at Andies Pizza, somewhat of a PMR icon of a restaurant.
Convenient store in the centre of town with $3 for a bottle of one of the most prized Cognacs in Europe (outside France of course). During Soviet times, this was the brandy.
Pobedi Park. There is a famous 24-hour beer and vodka stall here. A great place for people watching.
Overnight at Countryside Hotel.
Wednesday 14th November
We leave the hotel for Bendery via mini-bus number 20. We arrive in Bendery within 20 minutes.
We arrive in Bendery center. We enter one of the largest outdoor markets in all of Transnistria. Guests will be able to shop and buy anything they want at very, very low prices. Also, many opportunities for old world type photos.
We leave the market and continue walking down the main street until we reach the big white church in the center, well renovated and a favorite place for couples to get married.
We continue walking down the main street until we arrive at Lenin park. We view the main fountain and the bust of Lenin.
We continue to walk down the main street until we reach the train station, renovated and well maintained. It seems like a ghost town because only a few trains stop here, and there are almost no passengers.
Beside the train station is an old Soviet train from WII with the hammer and sickle on the front. Inside is a museum of the civil war between Moldova and Transnistria.
There are many war relics and great photos to take. (It is 100% free.)
When finished with the museum tour, we walk back past the park until we arrive at the city hall. The city hall has been left exactly as it was during the civil war still filled with bullet holes. Great for photos.
Lunch in the town.
We continue our walk to the river. There are statues and old amusement rides such as bumper cars here. It looks right out of the 1950′s, but the rides are still operated and are very cheap.
After a stroll down the river, we walk back to the bus stop to catch our mini-bus back to Tiraspol.
We check out of our hotel and go to the train station for the short ride to Chisinau.
Check into centrally located Chisinau Hostel.
Free evening and overnight.
Thursday 15th November
City walking tour of Chisinau.
World War II Memorial and Military Museum.
Central open air market, great place for kitsch souvenirs.
Government buildings and parliament.
Main Square + Central park.
Traditional Moldovan Dinner at La Plicente.
Night of bar crawling in the city.
Overnight in Chisinau Hostel.
Friday 16th November
Morning trip to Cricova Winery to see the wine making process and to of course sample some of Eastern Europe’s best wine! This is one of the most amazing wine cellars you are ever likely to see.
•All Transport (except transport to Kiev before tour, onward travel from Kiev after group 1 and onward travel from Bucharest after the tour finishes)
•Some local tours (unless otherwise stated)