– Chernobyl: Spend 2 days and 1 night in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, explore the ghost town of Pripyat, visit the “Russian Woodpecker” and the site of the disaster Reactor No.4.
– Kiev: Walking tour, enjoy the city’s many highlights visiting the Chernobyl museum, the 100 meter tall Mother Land Statue along with the National Museum of the History of Ukraine.
– Pechersk Lavra: Know as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, a fascinating place to visit. Explore the expansive catacombs where the many monks from this Orthodox Christian Monastery have been laid to rest over the years.
Upon your arrival at our hotel “Tourist Hotel Complex, Kiev” we will get you checked in and settled into your room before we meet up as a group for the first time. We choose to hold our welcome meetings in a relaxed environment over some delicious local cuisine, it’s a great way to break the ice and for you to get to know us and your fellow travellers.
Tourist Hotel Complex 3* – Breakfast
The town of Chernobyl is located around 90 kilometres northeast of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, in normal circumstances it would have been unlikely to have ever come to worldwide prominence, but on the 25th – 26th April 1986 an event occurred that would cause the name Chernobyl to be known around the world. On that date reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered a catastrophic failure during a supposedly routine test. The immediate failure produced a destructive steam explosion and later an open-air graphite fire. The fire sent plumes of fission products into the atmosphere which, in turn, led to radioactive fall-out over a large part of the western USSR and Europe, the effects of which are still being experienced today. Chernobyl would prove to be the most significant nuclear power plant accident in history. The immediate blast effects at the power plant caused two deaths and twenty-nine firemen and employees died in the following months from acute radiation syndrome.
Three kilometres from the power plant the city of Pripyat was built for the plant workers and their families, at it’s peak the city had a population of 49,360 inhabitants. Pripyat was not evacuated immediately, it would take days to organise the two thousand buses needed for the evacuation.
By December 1986 what remained of the reactor No.4 reactor was encased in a large concrete sarcophagus which acted as a radiation shield to protect the crews still working at the undamaged Chernobyl reactors, some of which were still producing electricity well into the 21st century.
Up bright and early for a 7:45am pickup, our journey to Chernobyl begins. We should hit the exclusion zone checkpoint around 10:30 am, this is the main entry checkpoint where you will need to present your passport to the military to gain entry.
Through the checkpoint on our way to Pripyat. Before we arrive in Pripyat we will make several stops, visiting abandoned villages, the Chernobyl fire station for a photo opportunity of the amazing statue “To Those who Saved the World”. Not forgetting the machinery scrapyard to see the very equipment that helped in the clean-up of Chernobyl.
Next, we will head to the town of Chernobyl, this is where our hotel is located. A quick stop for lunch which is typically traditional Ukrainian food at the hotel then back on the coach on our way to Pripyat.
Exploring Pripyat you will see the main square, Lenin Street, the Polissya hotel, the palace of culture, the supermarket, etc. All so ordinary, but now extraordinary because of the way they have been left behind from the rest of the world. Perhaps most poignant place in Pripyat is the town school, where you can see the half-marked registers and schoolbooks abandoned in the rush to get out once the order to evacuate was given. You will also see the ferris wheel from the fairground which was due to open only hours after the disaster, but which was never used, and has instead become a symbol for the abandoned town, and the impact of the Chernobyl disaster.
Basic Accommodation (Basic Hotel or Hostel) – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Another early start, today you will be visiting Chernobyl 2 aka “The Russian Woodpecker” (Duga radar) which was a top secret “over the horizon” early detection radar station against the threat of ballistic rockets. Chernobyl 2 is an immense structure that you need to see to believe it.
Next up we will head off to the unfinished “Chernobyl Cooling Tower” once inside of this massive structure the acoustics are truly unbelievable with the slightest sound echoing around its concrete walls.
Making our way to reactor No.4. By December 1986 what remained of the reactor No.4 was encased in a large concrete sarcophagus which acted as a radiation shield to protect the crews still working at the undamaged Chernobyl reactors, some of which were still producing electricity well into the 21st century.
The original sarcophagus would only have a 30-year shelf life, at the end of 2016 a gigantic new sarcophagus was built on-site and placed over the old failing sarcophagus. It’s believed to be the largest movable structure in the world today.
We will get to within approximately 100 meters from reactor No.4. Reactors 1,2 & 3 are viewable along with the unfinished 5 & 6
Before leaving the area, we will have the unique opportunity to have lunch at the onsite canteen which is close to the reactor, the canteen serves the workers working across the site. Again, the food served is traditional.
Once we leave the reactor site will start to make our way back to Kiev, making a few more stops along the way before we leave. We will pass through a number of checkpoints where we will all be required to go through radiation detection machines to make sure we are not taking any trace amounts out of the zone.
Tourist Hotel Complex 3* – Breakfast & Lunch
Today you will enjoy a walking tour of Kiev, it will be another busy day as we visit many of Kiev ‘s most popular historical sights with our local guide. From our hotel we will take the metro into the city centre which is a short ride, approximately 5 stops. Meeting our local guide we will make our way to Kiev’s oldest church St. Sophia’s Cathedral with its iconic golden domes and 76 meter tall wedding-cake bell tower setting the scene. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking with large parts of the mosaics and frescoes dating back to 1017-31.
We will also visit the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum, which houses many artifacts and visual media relating to the 1986 disaster. See the colossus Motherland Statue, towering 100 metres high the statue was built to honour the hero’s of the former Soviet Union.
After lunch we will make our way to the Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve, we will make use of the metro again to Arsenalna which is believed to deepest station in the world. Continuing on the metro to the Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve where we will visit the fascinating Pechersk Lavra, know as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves. Within the expansive catacombs lie the mummified remains of monks, what is remarkable is that the remains were never embalmed.
Tourist Hotel Complex 3* – Breakfast
Trip ends. Checkout time at the hotel is around 10:00am.
3 nights at the Tourist Hotel Complex, Kiev a comfortable 3 star hotel in a good location with a plentiful supply of restaurants, bars and shops, the metro is a couple of minuets walk away.
1 night accommodation in Chernobyl consists of basic hotels/hostels. Some have shared bathrooms, some have no hot water. You may also need to share a room with someone else on the trip. Single room supplement does not apply in Chernobyl.
Travel from Kiev to Chernobyl will be on our own private coach or minibus, they are generally comfortable, often with a TV.
This is a busy trip as we cram in as much as possible while in Chernobyl with long days and lots of walking. While the walking is not too demanding the walking conditions are not always the best with glass, bricks, stones, uneven surfaces etc.
You will need to have your passport in hand to enter Chernobyl. Failure to provide your passport to the checkpoint guard will result in you being denied access into the Chernobyl zone. We will remind you before we leave Kiev to have your passport handy for inspection.
It’s safety first. You must wear clothes that cover all parts of your body. So pants (no shorts, 3 quarter pants, skirts, dresses) a long sleeve top, appropriate footwear (no sandals, flip-flops etc and a hat to cover your head. Failure to follow these rules will result in your non-admission to the tour.
No drinking before or on the tour. Alcohol is only permitted between the hours of 7pm till 9pm in our hotel, it’s the law.
Really goes without saying that any type of weapon if not allowed. If caught with any type of weapon on the tour you could face criminal prosecution as its illegal.
No smoking in the open air. We will have designated smoking stops on the tour. If it doubt always as your guide.
Food and Drink while outside
You are not allowed to eat in the open air. You are not allowed to drink from any water source (lakes, wells, rivers, etc.) other than bottled water. Showering in the hotel water is safe.
Do not touch anything
For your safety the touching of objects, structures, vegetation, or the ground is not allowed. Do not sit on the floor or put anything on it (bags, camera equipment etc)
Photography / Video
You are allowed to take photos and videos. Please be mindful never to put any of your equipment on the floor. Never take photos or video near any checkpoint or of any guards.
Do not bring anything out
They are very strict on this and you will be caught as you need to pass through 3 radiation detection machines when leaving the zone.
Listen to and follow the instructions of your guide. They are there for your safety and enjoyment.
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