Ukraine and Moldova tour
Description of Ukraine and Moldova tour
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PlanetMuch of the time on this tour is spent in towns and cities, but we do spend time in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Europe. When exploring this area on foot we take care to stick to the trails and not to damage any of the flora, as some parts of the region are quite a fragile environment. We operate a strict no litter policy on our tours, which includes the drivers. Both of these countries were part of the Soviet Union, and as such even twenty years later western European norms regarding the environment are not so well entrenched. We work to educate our drivers and other service providers as to how we can protect the environment.
Similarly, in conjunction with our local team we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters – again in some places this is far behind what we might be used to in other parts of the world. This includes basic things like not replacing towels each day, as well as saving electricity and turning lights off – small things but as Ukraine and Moldova are still really in the early stages of dealing with tourism we hope that they can become ingrained into the culture.
In the Carpathian Mountains we stay in a small guesthouse which makes a point of using local produce for the meals it provides – local in the sense of being from the village, not from elsewhere. Not only is this a great introduction to the culinary culture of the region but it helps in a small way to cut down on food miles.
Where possible we make use of public transport, notably the train from Kiev to Odessa, and the train from Odessa to Lviv. This helps in a small way to reduce our carbon footprint. Unfortunately, the reliability of public transport in this region prevents us from utilising this more.
PeopleOn all of tours we strive to include a strong focus on local communities and we are firm believers that tourism should have a positive impact on the places visited.
In the Carpathian Mountains we stay in a small guesthouse and in Moldova we visit a local farm to experience typical local hospitality. We pay the owners fairly for our visit and the food they provide, and even though they are currently unable to provide accommodation for our groups they are also able to enjoy financial benefits.
When visiting the smaller communities, in particular in the Carpathian Mountains, we encourage our travellers to spend money locally and perhaps purchase some of the fine handicrafts on sale here.
Where appropriate we employ the services of local people in order not only to gain a greater insight into the complex traditions here but to ensure that they gain financial benefit from our visit.
We visit a number of sites and monuments on this tour that do not necessarily receive much funding from other sources – particularly the case in Moldova; the entrance fees that we include help to maintain the heritage of this country for future generations – not just western travellers but more importantly for local people to whom they have far more cultural and historical significance. We use locally owned suppliers and our partners here are deeply involved with the preservation of the culture and heritage of the countries we travel through.
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