The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations.
Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.
A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your holiday. Whilst the trip price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in.
Tour to Mezhygiria - four hours including transport, local guide and entrance fee, 3200 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Tour to Pyrohiv Open Air Museum - three hours including transport, local guide and entrance fee, 1600 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Lavra Monastery Complex visit - includes the caves, Museum of Miniatures, Museum of Historical Treasures and Holy Trinity Church, 1500 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Odesa Catacombs - 2.5 hours including local guide, 1100 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Number 411 Coastal Defence - three hours, 1100 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Day trip to the Dniester National Park - includes three- to four-hour bird watching boat trip, local guide, transport and entrance fee, 2,625 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Entrance to the Army Museum in the Centre of Culture and Military History, 40 Moldovan Leu (MDL) per person.
Full day excursion to Verkhovyna, includes transport (the drive is around two and a half hours each way), a short hike with a local guide, Hutsul Museum entrance and seeing cheese made by a local family. 3100 UAH per group plus 300 UAH per person for lunch.
Full day excursion to the Caves of Ternopil, includes transport (the drive is around three hours each way), local guide, lunch and visiting three caves - Crystal, Verteba and Monastyrok. 2650 UAH per group plus 200-250 UAH per person. The caves are lit and there's no need for special equipment for this visit. The temperature in the caves year round is about 11 Celsius, so you should dress accordingly.
Brewery visit, 100 UAH per person.
Lytschkiv Cemetery - about two hours, including a local guide, 950 UAH per person (based on 2 people).
Please note that all optional excursions listed above are subject to change and availability.
July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures can be lower or drop during the evenings and there is also a stronger possibility of rain, so pack layers. Rainwear may be needed at any time of year. A warm fleece/jacket is recommended for cooler evenings. During winter you should be prepared for snow and very cold temperatures, so it's advisable to dress in warm layers of breathable fabrics. You'll need waterproofs and plenty of warm clothing including a warm waterproof jacket (such as a ski jacket), jumper, fleece, gaiters or ski trousers, thick socks (including spare pairs in case your feet get wet) and thermal underwear.
All visitors to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone must wear full length trousers (not shorts or skirts) and long-sleeve shirts/jackets and please avoid clothing with lots of zips or metal poppers. It's advisable to wash your clothes and to shower after your visit. We also recommend that you take old clothes that can be easily washed or even thrown away if necessary and a plastic bag to keep them separate from the rest of your clothing following the visit. Upon leaving the Exclusion Zone you will go through a monitor to check the radiation level on you, occasionally this reading may come back too high, and in which case, you may have to leave an item of clothing behind, as you won't be able to take anything that gives too higher reading outside of the zone.
Women should bring a headscarf for religious site visits.
Luggage: On tour
One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
This trip is at a full on pace, including a train journey with shorts walks and/or stairs between platforms, stations and accommodation, so for this reason please take care to make sure you can comfortably carry your own luggage throughout the trip.
We advise taking a water bottle, and in sping or summer, sun glasses, sunscreen and a sun hat are all essential. An umbrella may also be useful at anytime of year and gloves, a woolly hat and scarf if you are travelling in autumn or winter.
Whilst in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone we recommend carrying hand sanitiser, toilet roll and mosquito spray. We would also recommend buying any bottled water required before entering the Exclusion Zone or carrying a Water to Go filter bottle with you. Please remember that you must keep your passport with you at all times, so you may find keeping it in a sealed dry bag useful. For the overnight stay in Chernobyl it is best to take a small overnight bag with you and to leave your main bag padlocked in the luggage storage facility at our hotel in Kyiv.
During autumn and winter especially, the evenings can be cold and the heating at the hotel in Chernobyl is limited, so we'd recommend bringing warm nightwear and perhaps a blanket and hot water bottle.
In case of emergency we also recommend that you carry a torch with spare batteries and sufficient medical supplies including a first aid kit and several days extra supply of any specific prescription medications that you require.
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. We recommend an amount of approximately 8-10% for restaurant staff and taxi drivers, 5 - 15 Euros for local guides (depending on whether they give a half-day or a full-day tour), and in Chernobyl guides usually receive approximately 20-50 Euros for their two-day service, depending on the number of people they are guiding.