Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova vacations
This 16 day small group tour takes you overland from Minsk to Moldova with a homestay in Belarus and an overnight train to Ukraine adding to cultural and natural highlights.
Minsk Brest Belovezhskaya National Park Njasvizh Kiev Chernobyl Lviv Carpathian Mountains Chernivtsi Chisinau Cricova Orheiul Vechi Transdniestr
£2799To£2899 excluding flights
Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine
Up to 12 people
Description of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova vacations
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5 Reviews of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova vacations
4.5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 13 Oct 2019 by Sondra MarkThe caliber of the guides was memorable. They went out of their way to meet special requests. We learned so much about the history and culture of the places we visited. Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Sep 2019 by Nanko DubbelboerEach country we visited was unique. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Sep 2019 by Ronald ZentekThe most exciting part of the trip was Crackovia wine caves Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Jun 2016 by Hannah JoverIt was tops! Good pace for all ages, all drivers were on time so it was SO smoothly run, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything in the countries we saw at all! Read full review
Reviewed on 31 Jul 2016 by Anil KashyapThe "banya" Russian style sauna was fantastic. Running out of the sauna having vodka and salo and running back into the sauna was a great experience. Read full review
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
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. All three 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. Therefore it is quite common for local people to dispose of rubbish simply by throwing it out of the window. We work to educate our drivers and other service providers so as to avoid contributing to this problem.
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 Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova are still really in the early stages of dealing with tourism we hope that they can become ingrained into the culture.
Where possible we make use of public transport, notably the overnight train from Minsk to Kiev, which 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.
In the Carpathian Mountains and in Disna we stay in small guesthouses 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.
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. On this tour we include a number of stays in smaller communities that are outside the mainstream tourist industry. In Disna and in the Carpathian Mountains we stay in a homestay and a farmstay, respectively, rather than just stop to visit and then move on elsewhere – this means that these communities are able to benefit financially from our presence.
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.
Elsewhere we stay at locally owned guesthouses and hotels and where appropriate 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, rather than just being ‘exhibits’.
When visiting the smaller communities, in particular in the Carpathian Mountains, we encourage our travelers to spend money locally and perhaps purchase some of the fine handicrafts on sale here.
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 travelers 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.