The Chernobyl exclusion zone and its ghost city of Pripyat was once a gem in the crown of the Soviet Union, today they stand as an eerie reminder of the consequences of nuclear disasters. Despite being an irradiated shell of its former glory, Chernobyl is beautiful, fascinating, and unique in regards to its flora and fauna. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and surrounding areas are safe to visit. The levels of radiation on guided tours are very small; radiation levels in most places are less than those of a trans-Atlantic flight.
Reserved for the most adventurous of travelers, the exclusion zone boasts the chance to experience a Soviet world trapped in 1986, it’s inhabitants now replaced with the animals of Chernobyl who have slowly taken over the abandoned areas and found a radioactive paradise for themselves. Inside you can explore shipwrecks, abandoned military bases, and cities and gigantic radar systems which once acted as a safeguard against nuclear warfare during the cold war and much more. Chernobyl today is now the poster child for what is often termed “dark tourism”.
We have been safely taking people into the Zone for over eight years. We understand that a visit to Chernobyl is a bucket list travel item for many clients and we ensure an experience that doesn’t disappoint. We work together with trusted local contacts who have been guiding tours around the zone for almost a decade and know it inside and out. Their stories from life around Chernobyl never fail to fascinate. We tailor make all of our trips and ensure the ultimate, isolated, nuclear wasteland adventure that you won’t get on generic group tours.
All travel to Chernobyl begins in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and all of our many group tours make the most of this, by not only seeing the best sites but also taking you on a few crazy nights out in Kyiv including the infamous hospital bar. All of our group tours to Chernobyl offer the opportunity to visit the breakaway unrecognized country of Transnistria, or if our dates do not match yours, then let us tailor-make the perfect independent trip to Chernobyl. For those with a specialist interest in nuclear power and the Chernobyl disaster, we can arrange private tours from one to five days long with our private guide focusing on specific areas of your interest. We can also arrange permits to enter inside one of the Chernobyl reactors, the layout of which is identical to that of the infamous reactor 4 where the original meltdown occurred.
The following is a sample itinerary for a two-day tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone to provide an idea of what is in store on our epic adventures to the area:
- Around 8 am, you will be met at your Kyiv hotel or a destination of your choice in the city by our Geiger carrying Chernobyl guides and comfortable minibusses.
- We then head out of Kyiv and stop at a gas station/supermarket en-route to pick up snacks and supplies. After around two hours, we reach the outer checkpoint of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, if we are lucky, there will be a Soviet tank on guard. When entry procedures are complete and the Ukrainian army checks our passports, we will be granted entry to the zone.
- We will then visit the village Zalissa, Chernobyl town, the memorial to Fukushima, the statue of Vladimir Lenin, the abandoned Synagogue, and the only church still active in the exclusion zone.
- We then have lunch at the cafeteria used by the Chernobyl workers, the food is great and wholesome. Don’t worry, no produce is grown on-site.
- We then continue our exploration by visiting the docks with shipwrecks, long-abandoned supermarkets with shopping carts still in the aisles, the monument to the Chernobyl firefighters, an exhibition of the remotely operated machines used in the disaster, hills of Kopachi which was once an entire village but buried during the disaster, abandoned kindergarten, panoramic view of the Chernobyl power plant and sarcophagus, the entrance sign to Pripyat, the bridge of death, Lenin street, the main square of Pripyat, the abandoned amusement park and Ferris wheel, we round off the day with a look at the former Olympic swimming pool in Pripyat.
- We then head back to our hotel in Chernobyl town and have dinner and vodka and spend the night in the zone.
- We have an early start and grab breakfast at the hotel.
- We then board our minibus and continue our tour of the exclusion zone.
- First, we will visit the Duga also known as the “Russian Woodpecker,” a gigantic Soviet radar system that was designed as an early warning detection system against nuclear missiles, it now lies eerily abandoned surrounded by a deserted Soviet army base.
- We then walk down the railway track and visit the Cooling towers on the side of the unfinished reactors 5 & 6.
- We visit the red forest and the fish farm.
- Visit the buildings with Soviet emblems, Palace of Culture and Jupiter factory, Pripyat hospital and morgue.
- We will see the Pripyat passenger boats on River Port, the Prometheus cinema, and both the music school and the athletic stadium.
- We round off the day by seeing the Laboratory in the old kindergarten and Pripyat bus station.
- We then board our minibus, bid farewell to Chernobyl, and drive back to Kyiv, passing radiation control on the way back out of the zone.
- End of tour with additional options to carry on to Transnistria.
All of our Chernobyl tours include:
- Lunch at the Chernobyl workers restaurant
- Breakfast and dinner inside the zone if taking part in a two-day tour
- Overnight hotel on our two-day tours
- Professionally trained, English Speaking Guide appointed by the Ukrainian government
- Return transport
- Obligatory Insurance
- Registration and Permits for entry into the exclusion zone