Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour

“A two week, small group tour through two of Europe’s most fascinating countries, still almost devoid of tourism. Staying in hotels and guesthouses, with private minibus transfers. ”


Ukraine: Kiev | Chernobyl Exclusion Zone | Lviv | Kolomyia and Hutsul communities | Carpathian Mountains | Chernivtsi | Odessa Moldova: Soroca’s fort | Orheiul Vechi | Cricova winery and Transnistria

Description of Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour

This Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour is a two week, small group holiday following an itinerary that has been carefully crafted to introduce you to some of the most fascinating aspects of these two countries. Although both countries are European, they are still virtually unknown to most tourists and yet its cultural riches make for an enlightening, exciting and sometimes esoteric trip.

Starting in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, the trip has a bit of an emotional awakening as we drive north for a full day visit of Chernobyl and the deserted nearby town of Pripyat. We return to Kiev to enjoy some of the brighter sides of Ukrainian life before taking a train to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Lviv, with its splendid Renaissance architecture and elegant market squares. All overlooked by the High Castle and St. George's Cathedral . This is one of those places you think ‘Why does nobody know about this?’

Chernivtsi is another of those spots, located in the Carpathian foothills on the River Prut, and considered to be Ukraine’s cultural hub. It certainly boasts plenty more elegant architecture, café life and historical highlights. The Carpathians are also home to the traditional Hutsul people, and we take a visit to their own cultural hub at Kolomyia.

Just like Ukraine, Moldova is full of surprises, their wine production being one and the vast wine caves of Cricova are a treat to visit. We also visit the town of Soroca located on the Nistru River which forms a natural border with Ukraine, and also home to a magnificent fort dating back to 1499. In terms of esoteric, one of the quirkiest days on this trip is our time in the Moldovan self-declared republic of Transnistria, which is one of those places which seems locked in time.

Our last stop is back in Ukraine in the iconic city of Odessa, where we spend a couple of days exploring the Black Sea Port which was linked to revolution and Soviet Russia. Its place on the map has become particularly significant since the loss of Crimea in recent years to Russia and you can see many influences of Italian, French and Russian architecture from over the years.

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Responsible tourism

Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring. By having lunch in a local guesthouse on day 9 whilst we explore the Nitstru river area including the Tipova canyon we are not only supporting local communities, but also by eating locally we are also gaining educational opportunities into the ways in which those that live in the regions eat and live, without changing those habits by bringing in bus-loads of tourists.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit – particularly important as this trip visits some delicate ecosystems. An example of where this will be particularly relevant on this trip can be seen on days 5 and 6 when we spend 2 nights in Sheshory, deep in the heart of the Carpathians amongst beautiful but delicate mountain scenery. In meeting local shepherds we will have the opportunity to learn about the ways in which these people have cared for this land.

The nature of small group travel is much more environmentally friendly than private travel. The fact that we will have up to 12 clients in one minibus reduces fuel consumption. We also use local trains on this trip which reduces the environmental impact of the trip further.


In Ukraine & Moldova we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism.
On day 5 of this trip we have the opportunity to join our host family in making a traditional Hutsul dinner which is an example of direct support of and engagement with local communities on this trip.

We believe it is important to show respect for local traditions, cultures and history. For this reason we are sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of St Sofia Cathedral on day 2 in Kiev and the UNESCO historic centre of Lviv on day 3 of this trip.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.

We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.

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