Contact Us

Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova: Undiscovered Europe

Group Tour

14 Days From £3,345

Overview

Of the 44 officially recognised countries in Europe, few if any are less well-known from a travel perspective than Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. Yet all three have much to offer those looking for a truly fascinating and enlightening travel experience much nearer to home than you might otherwise have expected to be possible.

From stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mir and Lviv to the traditional Hutsul people of the Carpathians and the vast wineries of Cricova, this journey traverses ...
Read More

HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

13 x Breakfasts
12 x Lunches
13 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, train and domestic flights.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in a combination of mainly small hotels and simple guesthouses. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE/HIGH: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-4hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-5 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 5-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova: Undiscovered Europe
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MINSK (BELARUS)

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MINSK (BELARUS)

The tour starts this evening in Belarus’ capital where we’ll meet for an initial group chat before heading out for dinner.

Monastyrski Hotel or similar
Dinner

DAY 2: MINSK

DAY 2: MINSK

This morning we’ll head out to immerse ourselves in the history of Minsk, and explore some of the most impressive Soviet architecture found anywhere in the world, including the National Library, Victory Square, and the KGB office amongst many others. Later we’ll visit a factory that produces the world’s largest truck, the incredible Belaz which can carry an impressive 450 tonnes. This is probably Belarus’ most famous export and makes for a fascinating, albeit slightly offbeat, visit.

Monastyrski Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: MINSK - KYIV (UKRAINE)

DAY 3: MINSK - KYIV (UKRAINE)

This morning we will visit two of Belarus’ four UNESCO sites starting with the 16th century Mir Castle which combines elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles making it one of the most impressive castles in Europe. After lunch we will also visit the 16th century Nesvizh Castle and Gardens of the noble and prominent Radzivill family. Later in the afternoon we will transfer to the airport to catch a short flight to Kyiv, Ukraine’s vibrant capital where we plan to arrive in time for a late dinner.

Premier Hotel Rus or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KYIV - CHORNOBYL - KYIV

DAY 4: KYIV - CHORNOBYL - KYIV

This morning we drive north for a full day’s visit of Chornobyl. In 1986 this Nuclear Power Plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown releasing 400 times more radioactive material into the air than was unleashed by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima 40 years previously. The plant, and the nearby town of Pripyat, have been deserted ever since, however the area has for several years now been deemed safe for visitors. As such we will be able to enter the Exclusion Zone to witness the stark remains of this famous old soviet ghost town for ourselves.

Premier Hotel Rus or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KYIV - LVIV

DAY 5: KYIV - LVIV

We’ll spend most of the day taking in some of Kyiv’s better known sights including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. Sophia Cathedral, Independence Square and the gigantic Motherland Statue before heading to the railway station for our late afternoon intercity train journey (approx. 5hrs) all the way to Lviv in the country’s west. On arrival, we’ll transfer to our downtown hotel which will be our base for the next two nights.

Modern Art Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: LVIV

DAY 6: LVIV

We have the whole day to discover Lviv, considered to be Ukraine’s most charming city and one of Europe’s last undiscovered architectural gems. We’ll explore its UNESCO historic centre and atmospheric cobbled streets with ample free-time to enjoy the many coffee shops, street musicians and art galleries which have made this city their home. Today we will also enjoy a culinary masterclass with a local resident of Lviv and then enjoy lunch with her in her home.

Modern Art Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: LVIV - VERKHOVYNA

DAY 7: LVIV - VERKHOVYNA

This morning we depart Lviv and head to Kolomyia, the cultural centre of the Hutsuls. Hutsuls are an ethno-cultural group of highlanders who live in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains and who have against-the-odds managed to retain much of their distinctive culture and traditions. Here we’ll visit the town’s famous if rather eclectic Easter Egg Museum (with over 6,000 beautifully decorated Easter eggs from all over the world) and have an opportunity to meet some local village women who are famous for their craftsmanship in painting traditional Easter eggs. Later we’ll drive further on up into the mountains to spend two nights in Verkhovyna, deep in the heart of the Carpathians at an altitude of 600m above sea level.

Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: VERKHOVYNA

DAY 8: VERKHOVYNA

Today we will gain an introduction to the unique lifestyle and culture of the Hutsuls by visiting the local museum and also planning a walk in the highlands. The walk (approx. 2-3hrs) enables us to meet some of the local shepherds who spend their summers in the hills tending to their flocks and making their delicious brynza cheese. This afternoon there’ll be the opportunity to join our host family making a traditional Hutsul dinner or to just relax and take in the beautiful mountain scenery. Please note the walk today can be quite steep in some places.

Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: VERKHOVYNA - KAMYANETS - PODILSKY

DAY 9: VERKHOVYNA - KAMYANETS - PODILSKY

This morning we’ll drive to Chernivtsi to visit the hugely impressive architectural tour de force from the late 19th century, UNESCO-listed Residence of Bucovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. Later we’ll continue on to Khotyn with its majestic 14th century Fortress and stunning views out over the Dniester River, before we arrive at our night stop at Kamyanets-Podilsky.

Reikartz Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: KAMYANETS-PODILSKY – SOROCA (MOLDOVA) - BUTUCENI

DAY 10: KAMYANETS-PODILSKY – SOROCA (MOLDOVA) - BUTUCENI

Today we will have the whole morning to enjoy the charms of Kamyanets-Podilsky and its historic castle before heading for the border with Moldova and crossing over to the town of Soroca where we will have lunch. We will visit Soroca’s fort and ‘Candle of Gratitude’ monument, which offers great views out over the Nistru River, before continuing our journey south to the bucolic village of Butuceni, which will be our base for the night.

Eco-Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: BUTUCENI – CHISINAU

DAY 11: BUTUCENI – CHISINAU

Before we head to Moldova’s soviet-style capital, we will first take a tour of the open-air museum complex known as Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei). This is the country’s most important historical site and includes ruins, fortifications, baths, caves and monasteries some of which date back over 2000 years. Later we’ll transfer to the Cricova winery. With over 60kms of bottled-laden underground tunnels, this is one of Europe’s biggest underground wine cellars and is one of the country’s hidden (literally) secrets. We continue our journey to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, we will take a short city tour to get to know the history of this fantastic city before enjoying dinner at a traditional cafe.

Jumbo Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: CHISINAU – TRANSNISTRIA – ODESSA (UKRAINE)

DAY 12: CHISINAU – TRANSNISTRIA – ODESSA (UKRAINE)

Today should be one of the most fascinating of the tour as we cross into Transnistria, one of the oddest parts of Europe and a true ‘wild frontier’. Considered by some to be an independent mini-state (supported by Russia) and by others to still be a part of Moldova, it sits in a strategic east-meets-west location and has often been referred to as the place where time has stood still. After some border formalities, we’ll visit the impressive Ottoman-era Tighina fortress as well as Tiraspol, Transnistria’s bizarre ‘capital. From here we’ll continue to the Palanca border and eventually (after one final border crossing) we’ll arrive back in Ukraine and head for Odessa on the Black Sea coast.

Premier Geneva Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: ODESSA

DAY 13: ODESSA

Odessa is Ukraine’s fourth largest city and a major sea port. With the loss of Crimea in recent years to Russia, its importance has only grown. Founded in the 18th century, it has an enchanting mix of Italian, French and Russian architecture and is a vibrant energetic place. We’ll have a guided tour around the main sights of the city and the afternoon will be free for personal exploration before we meet up for our final dinner.

Premier Geneva Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: TOUR ENDS IN ODESSA

DAY 14: TOUR ENDS IN ODESSA

The tour officially ends after breakfast but those on the suggested group flights will have a few hours more to enjoy Odessa before being transferred to the airport for connecting onward flights.

Breakfast

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Eating locally in Lviv

On this tour we will visit a local resident of Lviv, who will show us how to make a traditional homemade meal with locally sourced and organic produce. During our visit you will get the chance to sample popular dishes including syrnyk (Ukrainian cheese cake), deruny (potato cakes), pyrogy (filled dumplings) and golubtsi (stuffed cabbage)! You will get a chance to hear about her life and role within the community before tucking into the delicious dishes that have been created. Please note that this visit is dependent on the host's availability on the day and could be substituted for a lunch at a nearby restaurant. 

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.

If travelling to/from the start/finish of the tour from another European country you might also want to consider reducing your carbon footprint by travelling there by train. We are unfortunately not (yet) in a postion to help with you with the actual booking of the train tickets but lots of good information can be found here - www.seat61.com 

 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
LO 286 London Heathrow (LHR) 06:30 Warsaw (WAW) 10:00
LO 705 Warsaw (WAW) 11:55 Minsk Airport (MSQ) 14:05
LO 770 Central Airport (ODS) 18:05 Warsaw (WAW) 18:55
LO 285 Warsaw (WAW) 20:00 London Heathrow (LHR) 21:45

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require visas for Ukraine, Moldova or Belarus (if arriving and departing by air)

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

All three countries experience a typical continental climate meaning typically hot dry summers and harsh cold winters. As such for this departure we should expect many hot sunny days with temperatures in their late 20’s to early 30’s (C) but please come prepared for all types of weather especially when in the Carpathians.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional. However, please don’t come expecting Western European standards throughout the trip. This is very much Eastern Europe and especially in the mountains and in Moldova, please come expecting some simple accommodation.

Patience and a good sense of humour are essential!

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £500 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 2660 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

WF SIGNATURE VIDEO

In this short film Wild Frontiers founder and MD explains the ethos behind the award-winning travel company.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP