Yough Pioneer Tours

Soviet Europe

From the YPT office in Varna, Bulgaria, and with our specialist knowledge and language skills gained from a decade of working in the region, YPT can really get you from the heart of Russia and Eastern Europe out to the corners where the action is. Through our Soviet tours and travel packages, we have pioneered travel in Chernobyl and the Unrecognised Countries of the former Soviet Union and we run regular trips to the Balkans, Albania, Ukraine, Belarus, Kaliningrad and Russia itself, from Chechnya and Stalingrad to the Siberian summer in Magadan and Lake Baikal.

In fact, there’s not one country in the former Eastern Bloc that we don’t go to! We have also added much more in the Caucasus where we now run tours to not only Georgia and Armenia but also Azerbaijan including the Nakhchivan exclave. We can also organise bespoke independent travel to any location in the former Eastern Bloc; click here for more information on private tours.

All our international tours are run in accordance with YPT’s branding and ethos: a super price, expert guides, and most importantly an adventure that will stick with you for life. We run tours for people who hate group tours, and we do not run groups larger than 25 people (at 26 we split into two. Average size 10 people). All groups are led by expert guides that know the destinations and are passionate about what they do. We also strongly believe in value, and our prices are generally unbeaten.

If our group tour dates to Chernobyl don’t fit your plans, then you can go on an independent tour at any time. We generally need ten days to organise the relevant permits, and there is a choice of day trip or overnight trip. See more about Chernobyl independent tours here.

In fact, we can arrange independent travel to any of our Soviet Europe destinations. Whether you want a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a holiday in Chechnya, to hire Tito’s train in Serbia or visit Ceausescu’s grave in Romania, we can design the dream itinerary for you!

Likewise, if you want to travel on the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway but can’t join us on the Eurasian Adventure, you can still get train tickets through YPT. If you want to break up the trip in Irkutsk or Novosibirsk, then you can get train tickets to fit your specific plans.

Is it safe to visit Chernobyl?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to visit Chernobyl. The famous quote is that you will get less radiation from a day tour to Chernobyl than you will from taking a long-haul flight. Parts of the Chernobyl exclusion zone are closed to visitors however, for this very reason.

Can we visit reactor number 4?

No, the reactor where the main explosion happened is off limits to tourists, and in general, we cannot wander around away from the tour group in Chernobyl.

Can we stay the night in the exclusion zone?

Yes, on a YPT group tour to Chernobyl you will spend one night in the exclusion zone at Chernobyl Hotel. For independent tours, you can go on a day trip from Kiev or do an overnight trip staying in the hotel.

Can you help with the Russian/Belarusian/Ukrainian visa?

Yes, YPT will provide you with visa support for any country on any tour we go to. We will help with a letter of invitation if you need one for Russia, Ukraine or Belarus though there is an extra cost for this. If you are not on one of our tours but still want visa support this is something we can also help with.

Can you book tickets for the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian train?

Yes, YPT can book tickets on the Trans-Siberian/Mongolian railway to suit your exact travel plans.

Can I cross from South Ossetia into Georgia?

Not really. It’s not impossible, but from our experience it is not something worth trying and definitely not something to plan a trip around.

Can I enter North Korea from Russia?

Yes, YPT can book Air Koryo flights from Vladivostok to Pyongyang and you can also cross the land border by train if you join our DPRK Scuba Diving tour.

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  • €795

Chernobyl & Transnistria Nuclear Winter Tour

Experience atmospheric winter in the former Soviet Union on a journey through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the unrecognized Soviet time-warp country of Transnistria!

  • Start Date : November 6th 2020
    End Date : November 14th 2020
  • Duration: 8 nights, 9 days
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  • €895

Balkan Badlands Tour

A winter journey through the fascinating Balkan Peninsula. Natural beauty and hospitality contrasted with the horrors of war and the unspeakable atrocities of brutal political regimes.

  • Start Date : November 17th 2020
    End Date : November 29th 2020
  • Duration: 13 Days, 12 Nights
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  • €495

Kosovo and Albania winter tour

Journey into the lands of blood feuds and bunkers and experience an untouched corner of Europe!

  • Start Date : November 18th 2020
    End Date : November 23rd 2020
  • Duration: 6 Days, 5 Nights
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Enjoying the view of Cyprus
  • €695

Northern Cyprus Tour

Explore Turkish controlled Northern Cyprus with war-torn ghost towns, arms dealers mansions, stunning beaches and Roman relics!

  • Start Date : November 23rd 2020
    End Date : November 28th, 2020
  • Duration: 5 nights, 6 days
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  • €495

Chernobyl and Transnistria Ultra Budget New Year Tour

Ring in the New Year exploring Chernobyl and Transnistria with this ultra cheap package!

  • Start Date : December 28th 2020
    End Date : January 3rd, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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  • €595

Communist Bulgaria Tour

Join an action packed, communist-relic-hunting road trip through Bulgaria, the country formerly known as the "Silicon Valley" of the Eastern Bloc!

  • Start Date : March 12th 2021
    End Date : March 18, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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  • €995

Communist Bulgaria & Dark Romania

A journey through the dark history of Romania, the homeland of the king of Communism Nicolae Ceaușescu and Dracula!

  • Start Date : March 12th 2021
    End Date : March 22nd, 2021
  • Duration: 10 nights, 11 days
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A massive bust of Ceauscescu by his birthplace
  • €495

Dark Romania Tour

A communist relic hunting trip through Bulgaria and a journey from the homeland of the king of Communism Nicolae Ceaușescu to Dracula!

  • Start Date : March 19th 2021
    End Date : March 22nd, 2021
  • Duration: 3 nights, 4 days
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  • €795

Chernobyl & Transnistria (Easter) Tour

Celebrate Easter in the former Soviet Union on a journey through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the unrecognized Soviet time warp country of Transnistria!

  • Start Date : April 2nd 2021
    End Date : April 11th 2021
  • Duration: 9 nights, 10 days
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  • €1845 - €2495

Iran & Caucasus Unrecognised Countries Combo

From Iran through Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and Georgia

  • Start Date : April 6th 2021
    End Date : April 26th, 2021
  • Duration: 20 nights, 21 days
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  • €795-€1495

Caucasus Unrecognised Countries Tour

Visit the hardest to get to Unrecognised Countries in the Frozen Conflict Zones of Post-Soviet Europe

  • Start Date : April 13th 2021
    End Date : April 26th 2021
  • Duration: 14 nights, 15 days
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Transnistria parade
  • €795

Ultimate Transnistria Victory Day Tour

Celebrate Transnistrian Victory Day and witness a Soviet style military parade.

  • Start Date : May 5th 2021
    End Date : May 13th, 2021
  • Duration: 8 nights, 9 days
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  • €1695-€2595

Moscow to Pyongyang By Train Tour

Travel with YPT as we ride on the longest train journey in the world!

  • Start Date : May 24th 2021
    End Date : 10th June 2021
  • Duration: 8 days / 17 days
  • Flight option: €300 flight out
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  • €395

Belarus Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Spring Tour

Visit the recently opened and untouched sector of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, in Belarus!

  • Start Date : May 28th 2021
    End Date : May 31st, 2021
  • Duration: 3 nights, 4 days
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  • €995

The Ultimate Yugoslavia Tour

Visit the entire former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia through 7 unique countries that boast tons of dark history, bizarre sights and mouthwatering food!

  • Start Date : May 30th 2021
    End Date : June 11th, 2021
  • Duration: 12 nights, 13 days
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  • €790

Transnistria and Chernobyl (Summer) Tour

Visit our favourite Unrecognised Country : Transnistria and explore the post-nuclear disaster of Pripyat.

  • Start Date : July 16th 2021
    End Date : July 25th, 2021
  • Duration: 9 nights, 10 days
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  • €2895

Summer Siberia Combo Tour: Buryatia, Baikal and Magadan

Take in the best sites of mighty Siberia, as well as explore its darkest memories

  • Start Date : July 18th 2021
    End Date : August 1st, 2021
  • Duration: 14 nights, 15 days
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  • €995

Republic of Buryatia & Lake Baikal Siberian Summer Tour

Witness Lake Baikal in all its glory and visit Buryat settlements

  • Start Date : July 18th 2021
    End Date : July 25, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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A bear hunter with his gun in Magadan, Russia
  • €1895

Magadan Soviet Gulag Tour

Explore the Russian Far East in the Kolyma Region, infamous for its dark history and famous for its awe inspiring scenery and wildlife.

  • Start Date : July 26th 2021
    End Date : August 1st, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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Transnistria parade
  • €495

Transnistria National Day and Gagauzia Tour

Think the Cold War is over? Come to Transnistria for National Day and think again!

  • Start Date : August 29th 2021
    End Date : September 5th, 2021
  • Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
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The Worker and Kolkhoz Statue in Moscow, Revolutionary Russia
  • €1490-€2790

Transnistria, South Ossetia, Chechnya and Russia Combo

Visit two post-Soviet breakaway states and explore the length and breadth of Russia from Siberia to the Caucasus!

  • Start Date : August 29th 2021
    End Date : September 18th-27th, 2021
  • Duration: 22 days to 29 days
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  • €995

Revolutionary Russia Tour

Visit the most important sites throughout Russia at a ridiculously cheap price!

  • Start Date : September 4th 2021
    End Date : September 15th, 2021
  • Duration: 11 nights, 12 days
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The statue of a horseman overseeing Tshinkval, South Ossetia
  • €795

South Ossetia Tour

Participate in the independence day celebrations of the world's youngest unrecognised Country and frozen conflict zone!

  • Start Date : September 15th 2021
    End Date : September 22nd, 2021
  • Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
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A monument in Chechnya
  • €495

Chechnya and Stalingrad Tour

A Soviet- and post-Soviet-themed adventure through the former war-ravaged Chechnya and Stalingrad!

  • Start Date : September 22nd 2021
    End Date : September 27th, 2021
  • Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
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  • €595

Kaliningrad Post-Soviet Exclave Tour

Explore Russia's westernmost exclave, the secretive Kaliningrad

  • Start Date : September 26th 2021
    End Date : September 30th, 2021
  • Duration: 4 nights, 5 days
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  • €1195-1795

Kaliningrad, Baltics & Belarus Combo

Tour the whole of the Baltics, from Kaliningrad to the Belarussian Exclusion Zone

  • Start Date : September 26th 2021
    End Date : October 11th, 2021
  • Duration: 11 to 16 days
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  • €845

Soviet Baltics Tour

An action packed and in depth road trip which kicks off in Lithuania and takes us through four countries in just over a week.

  • Start Date : September 30th 2021
    End Date : October 7th, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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  • €395

Belarus Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Autumn Tour

Visit the recently opened and untouched sector of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Explore abandoned Soviet villages, factories, police stations.

  • Start Date : October 8th 2021
    End Date : October 11th, 2021
  • Duration: 3 nights, 4 days
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  • €1995

Svalbard: Soviet Frontier Arctic Cruise

Visit some of the northernmost settlements in the world in ex-Soviet Svalbard!

  • Start Date : October 10th 2021
    End Date : October 15th, 2021
  • Duration: 5 nights, 6 days
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  • €2495

Ultimate Leaders Tour

Visit the Mausoleums of Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Lenin in one go!

  • Start Date : October 11th 2021
    End Date : November 2nd, 2021
  • Duration: 21 nights, 22 days
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  • €1995

Svalbard: Soviet Frontier Cruise (Second Departure)

A second chance to visit some of the northernmost settlements in the world in ex-Soviet Svalbard!

  • Start Date : October 13th 2021
    End Date : October 18th 2021
  • Duration: 5 nights, 6 days
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  • €395-€2995

Eurasian Adventure Tour

7 weeks, 21 post-Soviet countries or Unrecognised Countries. Taking in the whole iron curtain: The true Young Pioneer Tour

  • Start Date : October 26th 2021
    End Date : December 5th 2021
  • Duration: 2 days to 39 days
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  • €795

Chernobyl & Transnistria Nuclear Winter Tour

Explore post-nuclear disaster Pripyat and our favourite Unrecognised Country of Transnistria

  • Start Date : November 5th 2021
    End Date : November 13th 2021
  • Duration: 8 nights, 9 days
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Balkan-Badlands-Tour
  • €895

Balkan Badlands Tour

The ultimate Balkan adventure

  • Start Date : November 16th 2021
    End Date : November 28th, 2021
  • Duration: 12 nights, 13 days
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  • €495

Kosovo and Albania winter tour

Journey into the lands of blood feuds and bunkers and experience an untouched corner of Europe!

  • Start Date : November 17th 2021
    End Date : November 22nd, 2021
  • Duration: 6 Days, 5 Nights
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  • €495

Chernobyl & Transnistria Ultra Budget New Year Tour

Ring in the New Year exploring Chernobyl and Transnistria with this ultra cheap package!

  • Start Date : December 28th 2021
    End Date : January 3rd, 2021
  • Duration: 6 nights, 7 days
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