Join YPT this summer in a land that we know and love, the nuclear wasteland of Chernobyl and some of the lesser seen sites of Ukraine, inclusive of tanks, guns and lots of dark tourism.
Our first night takes us to Palata No 6, one of our favourite places and recently featured in the list of “10 places to drink in before you die”.
We then venture for 1 night and 2 days within the the nuclear exclusion zone of Chernobyl, featuring the ghost city of Pripyat. Led by our guide who was born inside the exclusion zone, we can guarantee access to places that most visitors never see. We will spend our final night of the first part of the tour in the eerie silence of the exclusion zone in a Soviet hotel in the safe area of Chernobyl town.
For those extending their experience with us for our Group B Ukraine extension, you begin the day with some sightseeing around Kiev, which is particularly beautiful in summer, inclusive of one of the best war museums, as well as the chance to buy Soviet kitsch. We then finish the day by firing AK-47s and driving tanks, or as we like to say a classic day in Kiev.
We then head south exploring the infamous Stalin line and surrounding area, before heading to the recently decommissioned Soviet nuclear missile launch base (ICBM). This is where you’ll have the chance to push the button that would have ended the world as we know it.
We then finish back in Kiev, with YPT able to offer additional activities, or help with onward transport and accommodation.
We meet up in the evening at 6:00pm and go out for dinner and drinks at Palata No 6, one of our favourite places and recently featured in the list of “10 places to drink in before you die”. Be sure to try the shot requiring you to wear a straitjacket and be set on fire…
Overnight in Kiev.
Saturday 17th July – Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Wake up nice and early and board our comfortable AC minibus to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. On the way we will stop for breakfast at a well stocked gas station as well as watch a documentary of the Chernobyl disaster. The journey to the first checkpoint will take around two hours.
On arrival, we go through the entry procedure and processing of our permits. This can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to one hour.
Visit the village Zalissya, the main square of the town of Chernobyl, “Fukushima” memorial, Statue to Lenin, the abandoned Synagogue and the only active church in the zone.
Lunch at the Workers Cafe (no produce is grown on site).
Visit the Dock, local shops, Monument to the Firefighters, exposition of the remotely operated machines, hills of the buried village Kopachi, rustic kindergarten, panoramic angle of NPPA and existing sarcophagus, the construction site of the new sarcophagus, the Stone Road sign of Pripyat, Bridge of Death, Lenin Street, the main square of Pripyat, supermarket, Amusement Park, School #3 (with gas masks), and the Olympic swimming pool.
We will also try our best to visit some sights we cannot mention online.
Transfer to the Chernobyl Hotel for a classic Soviet experience. We will head for dinner and a sampling of vodka back at the hotel.
Overnight in the Chernobyl exclusion zone
Sunday 18th July – Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Wake up early with breakfast at the hotel, before we head back into the zone.
Visit Duga 3, nicknamed the “Russian Woodpecker,” a Soviet “over-the-horizon” radar at its base “Chernobyl 2.”
We’ll visit the abandoned Soviet army base and radar control centres.
Visit the unfinished cooling towers on the side of the unfinished reactors 5 and 6. Visit the “Red Forest.”
Visit the Panel buildings with Soviet emblems, Palace of Culture and “Jupiter” factory.
Visit the ruins of the School #1 and the infamous Pripyat hospital.
Pripyat passenger boats on River Port, “Prometheus” cinema, music school and athletic stadium.
Laboratory in the former kindergarten, abandoned village and palaces of culture.
After a long day of exploring we board our bus for the drive back to Kiev.
On arrival back at the capital we’ll enjoy some Georgian food as we prepare for the next day of the tour.
Group A members tour concludes
Group B members continue tour and overnight in Kiev
Monday 19th July – Tank driving and shooting
After breakfast, we’ll begin a city walking tour of Kiev, seeing where the revolution raged, where Lenin fell and talk about what has changed and what the future holds for Ukraine.
We will then head to one of Europe’s greatest war museums, the vast National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War which is topped with the gigantic Rodina Mat statue and boasting many awe-inspiring and colossal Soviet war memorials, tanks, aircraft and nuclear missiles. Inside the museum is a hive of rare WWII relics and amazing displays and dioramas of critical WWII events. If weather conditions allow, we will climb to the top of the Rodina Mat statue for a bird’s eye view over Kiev. There is also the chance to climb inside and explore the cockpit of the world’s only assault gunship, the feared Russian hind.
Lunch in a Soviet canteen with great hearty food on offer.
We’ll then drive out of the city for a trip to a shooting range where we are able to experience firing some high calibre, military-grade Soviet-era guns.
Then, it’s time for tank driving. You will then meet the Ukrainian troops who will be accompanying us and the 15-ton war machine that we will be riding before taking turns tank driving. The adrenaline-filled, off-road driving that follows will take us through the Ukrainian wilderness, through acres of scenic forests and steppe. You can take as many photos and as much video as you like.
Return to Kiev for dinner and drinks.
Overnight in Kiev.
Tuesday 20th July – Stalin Line
We grab breakfast and head out of Kiev into the countryside on a tour that is a dream come true for WWII history buffs.
The day will be spent exploring the lesser-seen part of the Stalin line surrounding Kiev from preserved to battle-scarred Red Army bunkers, tunnels, and hideouts. Our guide will provide some harrowing stories of the vicious fighting and brutal last stands that took place here during the Nazi invasion of Ukraine.
Our final destination will be a bunker in the middle of a lake, which can be reached by boats we’ll hire.
We will have some kebabs overlooking the lake and can cool off in the water afterwards.
Then we’ll head to a mass of Soviet aviation in Ukraine featuring attack jets, presidential jets, and some rare examples of surviving Soviet planes.
Return to Kiev
Overnight in Kiev
Wednesday 21st of July – Former Soviet ICBM Base
Early wake up and breakfast
Drive on the Kiev-Odessa Highway for approximately two hours.
Possible visit to a rural shooting range owned by an eccentric local who sometimes allows tourists inside to fire a range of heavy weapons and machine guns. This is confirmed on the day
Arrive at the former Soviet ICBM base. We’ll first visit the museum where we will meet the manager who is the ex-officer of the base. He will take us for a briefing on the history of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Basein a pavilion with many exhibits.
Head on down into the hidden passage through a 150 meters long underground corridor. Take a lift 12 floors down to the bottom of the Unified Launch Control Centre.
Visit the rest area of the officers and climb one floor up to the control centre, where the launching equipment with “THE BUTTON” which would have simply ended the world is located. You are free to push it and initiate the firing sequence, luckily, no rockets will be fired.
See the guards’ bunkers, tanks, artillery, missile trains, silos, trucks and the infamous SS-18 “Satan” Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Everything can be climbed on, and many can be entered, such as Soviet military helicopters.
Return to Kiev to enjoy some farewell drinks and dinner.
Overnight in Kiev.
Thursday 22nd of July – Kiev
Tour concludes. We are able to arrange additional excursions, accommodation or transportation for you.
• Letter of Invitation and visa support
• All transport (except transport to Bucharest before tour, onward travel from Kiev after group 1 and onward travel from Kiev after the tour finishes)
• Lunches within Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
• Entrance fees and 50 rounds of firing weapons
• English Speaking local guides and YPT tour leader