Moldova and Ukraine tours

“Week-long overland tour of Moldova and Ukraine as part of a small group (max 16 people) featuring 6 nights in comfy hotels and 1 night on a sleeper train.”

Highlights

Chisinau | Ohrei Monastery | Transnistria | Odessa | Lviv | Kyiv | Optional Chernobyl tour |

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Date
Price
Basis
06 May 2018
US $ 1475
excluding flights
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10 Jun 2018
US $ 1475
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15 Jul 2018
US $ 1475
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12 Aug 2018
US $ 1475
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09 Sep 2018
US $ 1475
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23 Sep 2018
US $ 1475
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05 May 2019
US $ 1515
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09 Jun 2019
US $ 1515
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30 Jun 2019
US $ 1515
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14 Jul 2019
US $ 1515
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11 Aug 2019
US $ 1515
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08 Sep 2019
US $ 1515
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22 Sep 2019
US $ 1515
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Moldova and Ukraine tours

Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend six nights in comfortable hotels and one overnight on a sleeper train. All of our accommodations employ local staff which has a positive effect on local employment levels and the economy. Where meals are provided, ingredients will be sourced locally as much as possible. On day 2 we visit a traditional rural home in Moldova and enjoy a meal cooked by the family. This is likely to be Invârtit? – meat or pulped pumpkin wrapped in a light puff pastry. There’s usually time to have a go at making this yourself if you’re keen! Moldova wine making is a key part of Moldova’s small economy and we will visit one of their largest wineries giving you the option to buy direct from the cellar.

Local Crafts and Cultures:
We offer a full variety of cultural excursions on this trip, and many sites take very few visitors. By paying for entrance, guided tours or souvenirs here, we are really contributing to the longevity of these places. At Ohrei Monastery there is the opportunity to buy small handmade gifts made by the resident monks these including small boxes, jewellery and pray sheets, all are very cheap, but offer a little money to support this historical site, which receives almost no government funding.

Through local market visits, clients can become accustomed with traditional Moldavian and Ukrainian handicrafts, like embroidered clothing, wool socks and scarfs, hand painted Matryoshka dolls and wooden Christmas decorations. Locals will often be selling home grown fruit as well as honey, jam, sweets, bread and cakes, which are perfect for long train journeys and help elderly locals top up their small pensions

A Fair Deal:
All of our staff and suppliers are locally employed from Moldova and Ukraine, meaning all income generated remains in the country and benefits the economy. Our local guides are trained in responsible tourism issues, which come across in briefings to clients on environment and community. Our optional tours, bike hire and boat rides, all bring business to local companies.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

1 Reviews of Moldova and Ukraine tours

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Aug 2017 by

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


Although the three cities seen in Ukraine (Odessa, Lviv, Kiev) were all beautiful, Transnistria and Chernobyl were the most unique and consequently the most memorable.

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


Be sure to book Chernobyl (optional day tour) in advance if interested.

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


Not particularly, though I certainly don't think it was harmful in any of those areas.

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


Highly - the trip was very much as I expected and I was fully satisfied.

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