Ukraine cultural tour

“Our only two week tour of Ukraine, traveling with a small group in a wonderful circuit of this fascinating country. Staying in small, locally owned accommodation. Plus two overnight train journeys. ”

Highlights

Kieve | Lavra cave monastery complex | Lviv | Two sleeper train journeys | Zhovkva | Krekhiv | Kamyanets-Podilsky | Carpathian Mountains | Ivano-Frankovsk | Odessa | Uman | Sofiyivka Park

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Toll free 1-866-821-6866

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
26 Aug 2018
£ 2455
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Aug 2018 departure
26 May 2019
£ 2455
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 May 2019 departure
25 Aug 2019
£ 2455
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Aug 2019 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ukraine cultural tour

Environment

We spend time walking in pristine environments such as the Carpathian Mountains, and our guides are careful to brief travelers on appropriate behaviour and the importance of taking all rubbish with us.

This trip takes advantage of the good rail network that exists within Ukraine, and instead of using private transport where possible we make use of trains, thus reducing the carbon footprint of our travelers.

The village guesthouses and local homes that we stay in use predominantly local produce in the preparation of meals, avoiding as much as possible bringing food from far away and thus reducing carbon footprints.

Ukraine does not see the same numbers of visitors that many other countries experience and as such some practices which we take for granted in other parts of the world may not be found here. We work closely with our suppliers to introduce concepts of environmental responsibility to the communities that we travel through. This can include asking hotels to implement practices such as asking guests if they need fresh cleaned towels each day, and reminding guests to turn off lights when they leave the room – small things that are standard practice in many places in the western world but not necessarily elsewhere. Most of the places that we stay in on this tour will take advantage of the excellent local produce, not only sustaining traditional communities but ensuring that unnecessary food miles are not made.

Community

One of the highlights of this tour is the two night stay in the Carpathian Mountains, where we stay on a local farm. We believe that staying small village guesthouses and family homes not only gives travelers an authentic and very special insight into the lives of Ukrainian people, but brings tangible benefits to small communities that may otherwise be overlooked by the tourism industry. Spending time with local hosts enables far more cultural interaction than travelers would experience when staying in large hotels.

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

1 Reviews of Ukraine cultural tour

2 out of 5 stars
SHOW
0
0
0
1
0

Reviewed on 17 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The visit to a real ex-intercontinental ballistic site that was in use till early 2002.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The farm experience should be avoided as there are health and safety issues that should not have been allowed to pass inspection by the people of
Undiscovered Destinations. The overnight on the train has made me strike off from my list of things to do both the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian
journeys. I got one hours sleep on the first overnight between 22:00 and 23:00 and three hours on the second between 01:00 and 04:00 and that only by
finishing off a whole bottle of wine by myself.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not by very much. The people on the farm benefited but they were burning wood for cooking and if there had been heating in the rooms, radiators were not
working, then that would have been using wood also. The only conservation project seen was the missile site and at the fortress where they were doing
archaeological work. Most of the historic buildings seen needed renovation and a small part of our entrance fees would have gone towards that work the rest
of the money would have gone in paying wages and the profits would mostly go to the government.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The rest of the vacation with the exception of the items mentioned was good but the van used for transport was a bit small and none of the hotels had anti-slip
materials in the baths so that made them dicey especially where there was soft water which makes it hard to wash off soap from the soles of the feet or any
part of the body. The sightseeing was mostly OK but the guides were not fully conversant with English and needed our resident tour manager/guide to
translate.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Baron-Vahl

Thank you for your feedback regarding our tour in Ukraine. There are a number of issues that you have raised that we would like to address.

The farmstead stay is, for the majority of our clients, a highlight of their trip in Ukraine. You get to stay with a local family in their own home and experience a real way of local living. The health and safety of our clients is always our top priority. We had a member of staff staying at the farm only a few weeks before your stay and no issues were raised with regards to health and safety. In your more detailed feedback you provided directly to us, you complained that there was nobody at the farm stay to carry your bags, but it is clearly stated that this service is not provided. We cannot see this as being a health and safety issue. You were also asked to remove your shoes as is polite and hygienic, when entering the farm house and you have suggested that this was dangerous due to the slippery floor. This is something we will look in to and see if any type of slippers or soft footwear can be provided in future.

We are sorry that you couldn’t get much sleep on the overnight sleeper train trips. They are a reasonably comfortable, economic and environmentally friendly way of traveling but they may not be to everyone’s liking.

The tour employs a number of different local guides and we do not send a UK tour leader with you. This is part of the ethos of our company as we want your tourist spend to benefit the local communities as much as possible. Some of these local guides may not have perfect English but we believe it is important for us to support them and encourage their development. The tour leader will be fluent in both languages and so is used to translate where and when required as happened on your trip.

This tour visits some of the most remote and poorest regions of Europe so your expectations when traveling need to be tailored to this. Wood burning is used in almost all of the rural areas that we visit as a means of heating and cooking. Many of the home and homesteads do not have a fixed gas or electric supply. We would prefer to support these communities whose environmental impact is minimal rather than avoid their services.
Traveling in the countries that we do, trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible and supporting local communities who have little contact with mass tourism means that at times we have to forfeit some of our Western privileges.

We understand that parts of this tour have not met your expectations but we are relieved that with the exception of the items mentioned, you say the vacation was good.

Popular similar vacations

Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova holidays

Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova vacations

Stunning scenery, historic cities and traditional cultures

From £2635 16 days excluding flights

Moldova and Ukraine tours

Moldova and Ukraine tours

Explore little visited Moldova and Ukraine

From US $1475 - US $1515 8 days excluding flights

Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour

Ukraine and Moldova cultural tour

Ukraine and Moldova cultural highlights, Kiev to Odessa

From £2595 14 days excluding flights

Eastern Europe small group tour

Eastern Europe small group tour

Explore the best of Eastern Europe's least visited regions

From US $2890 - US $3035 22 days excluding flights

Convert currencies