Arrival in Minsk. Check-in at hotel
We warmly welcome you in Minsk – the capital of the Republic of Belarus, its political and cultural center. It was first mentioned in the chronicles of the XIth century. Today, it is a dynamic city with expansive boulevards, modern and historical buildings, endless parks and well-developed infrastructure. Being an impressive example of the Soviet planning on a grand scale, Minsk however has a number of outstanding historical sights, proving city’s rich history.
Transfer to the hotel (45 km) without assistance
Overnight in Minsk.
3-hours sightseeing tour of Minsk
Sightseeing tour of Minsk includes the main avenues (
Independence Avenue, Victory Square) and the architectural monuments of the XVIIth - XXth centuries ( Upper Town with the City Hall, Holy Spirit Church and the Cathedral of Blessed Virgin Mary, old streets of the Trinity Suburb). The Victory Monument and the National Library(included into the list of the most outstanding buildings of the world) are waiting to be explored.
Excursion to the open-air
Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle
(entrance), which shows the authentic character of the typical Belarusain village of the XIXth century. Farmsteads, wooden churches, schools, public barns, mills, smithies, stables – all elements have been brought here from different ethnic regions all over Belarus and were carefully restored. Visitors will also enjoy a wide collection of various household, trade and handicraft items which are all exhibited at the museum.
Overnight in Minsk.
Nesvizh Palace & Mir Castle
You will visit the magnificent
Nesvizh palace (entrance) – former residence of the aristocratic Radzivili family, which also includes beautiful park and Farny Roman-Catholic Church of the XVIth century. The complex once numbered around 170 rooms, with a series of underground passages connecting it to the town’s monasteries. Today the exposition of the Palace includes more than 30 exhibition halls, including Prince's apartments, Golden and Star halls, Hunter’s hall and others.
Mir, which is a small town to the south-west from Minsk. It is most famous for the fairy-tale
Mir castle (entrance) , still known today as the “medieval flower”. Castle is an impressive architectural monument, included into the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It was erected at the end of the XVth century and today it is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture that makes Mir Castle so unique. This red brick castle is also a historical monument, which used to belong to several aristocratic families, who have left their mark in the history of the town and of the country in general.
Overnight train to Kiev.
Arrival to Kyiv by train
Breakfast, following with the city tour (before check-in).
This ancient city is the capital of Ukraine and one of the biggest cities in Europe. It has been standing on steep hills overlooking the Dnipro River for more than 1,500 years. 10:00 – 14:00 Kiev city tour. You will have a tour to St. Sophia Cathedral and Monastery Complex, a real pearl of the world architecture. Inside, you will view the largest frescoes and mosaics collection in the world. Further on you will move to St. Andrew’s Church, the Ukrainian Baroque church designed in 1754 by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. You will also see The Golden Gates of Kiev that is a major landmark of the Ancient Kiev and historic gateway in the ancient city fortress, located in the capital of Ukraine and currently serves as a museum. Afternoon tour to the golden-domed Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Monastery, the most famous sightseeing object in Kiev, which has been included in UNESCO World Heritage Register. This twenty-eight hector functioning monastery contains caves, numerous churches, towers, a printing works, miles of maze like underground tunnels containing numerous churches and some of Kiev's riches museums.
From the walking distance from Lavra you can see famous Museum of the Great Patriotic War that is a memorial complex commemorating the German-Soviet War.
Night at the hotel.
Tour to Mezhygirya
Breakfast at the hotel.
Tour to Mezhygirya - the former residence of ex-President Victor Yanukovich who rented that area from 2002 till 2014, which is a huge and luxury complex and park. With a guide we will go inside Honka club house (big wooden cottage), will visit "Galleon" barge restaurant, private zoo, canine centre, undeground sport complex, golf club, helipad, lots of monuments and nice pavilions and gardens.
Afternoon tour to Ethnographical Museum Complex “Ukrainian Village”, that is 30 km from Kyiv. The complex introduces the visitors to the culture and life of the Ukrainians of the 18th -19th centuries. Here you can come into genuine ancient houses, which had been brought from different regions of Ukraine, you can visit the wooden Church of ST. Demetrios, see and feed domestic animals, take part in master classes (clay modeling, pysanka (painted eggs) writing, wood chopping, moonshine home brewing, candle making).
We stay for a night here in an ancient ethnic hut having all the facilities. Having spent a night in the hotel in the woods, on a fir-tree bed with a comfortable pillow-top mattress, you will wake up in the morning with the song of birds, feeling well rested with the energy for the whole day.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning departure to Odessa by bus (500 km)
On the half way to Odessa we have a stop at Strategic Missile Force Museum.
Take an underground corridor to the massive doors which lead to a self-contained silo-based 12-storey Command Post which could function sealed from the outside world for 45 days. Sit in the Command seat and experience what Soviet officers could feel during the Cold War and being in charge of nine missiles SS-22. You can touch the button that could cause a catastrophe if pressed 18 years ago.
Look inside SS-18 'Satan' Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - equipped with up to 10 warheads and 40 penaids - it used to give Soviet Union "first strike" advantage over the U.S. - it's operating range 10,200-15,200 km, Weight 209,600 kg (462,000 lb) Length 32.2 m (106 ft) Diameter 3.05 m (10.0 ft). Continue our way to Odessa. Arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Odessa City Tour
Breakfast at the hotel Odessa orientation city tour (3h)
Today you will be introduced to the largest seaport on the Black Sea and the third largest city in Ukraine. Your morning tour will include the Prymorski Boulevard and legendary Potemkin Staircase leading to the sea, the famous Opera and Ballet Theater, Troyitska and St. Paul Churches and the Art Museum.
Departure to Chisinau. Meeting Chisinau guide at Ukrainian border and departure to Purcari estate.
Chisinau, brief orientation city tour
Chisinau, brief orientation city tour. Chisinau is considered to be one of the greenest cities in Europe. Its territory is 120 square km; population is about 1 million people. Chisinau has a rich and diverse history dating all the way back to 1436. The city is called the "White Stone Flower" because of the beautiful architecture that was built of white stone. Although Chisinau suffered two World Wars and a ruinous earthquake in 1940, the city is still beautiful with buildings.
Excursion & wine tasting in Cricova winery – enjoy the biggest winery in the world! It is situated in a distance of about 15 km from Chisinau. Founded in 1952 Cricova wine factory can complete the world wonders list. At 60-80 m underground there are drift-galleries stretching out over more than 120 km, where during the whole year there is a temperature of +10 - +12 С and a humidity of 97%, which are considered to be ideal conditions for keeping the wine and producing the champagne. The fact that it is a real town is also showed by the presence of streets, named by famous wines Aligote, Feteasca, Cabernet, Pinot, Sauvignon..The most valuable exhibit of Cricova collection is a small bottle in spacious cylinder the bottle which contains wine from 1902. It is the Red Wine of Jerusalem. Today it is the single bottle of such wine from the whole world.
Excursion to the open air museum Old Orhei. It is placed in a rocky gorge of Raut river, having a 200 m depth, at a 60 km distance from Chisinau. The medieval city was constituted in 1330, during the Gold Horde period. Millenniums old signs of the Dacian civilization, the ruins of the fortress Sehr al Djedid, built by the Gold Horde in the XlV-th century, the rupestral monastery, caves dug in stone, the St. Maria church, ruins of a Dacian fortress and of an ancient Turkish bath all of them situated between the Trebujeni and Butuceni villages make up the wonder Old Orhei. Each of them comes from different times having different stories and different architecture.
Dinner with a folk show in Trebujeni village. After excursion you will be invited to enjoy the hospitality of Moldovan people at local boarding house where you will be served with traditional dishes such as placinte, zeama, mamaliga and exceptional wines prepared by the technology passed from one generation to another. You will be able to share the sincerity of Moldovan songs and dance the unforgettable «pelenitsa» (traditional dance).
City tour Tiraspol & Bender including Bender fortress
Breakfast at the hotel
Departure to Transnistria. City tour Tiraspol & Bender including Bender fortress. Tiraspol is internationally recognised as the second largest city in Moldova, but is effectively the capital and administrative centre of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The city is located on the eastern bank of the Dniestrer River. The modern city of Tiraspol was founded by the Russian generalissimo Alexander Suvorov in 1792, although the area had been inhabited for thousands of years by varying ethnic groups. Tiraspol is like a ghost town, coming from Soviet Union times, but you will be surprised by different contrasts: one of them, football complex “Sheriff”, is the important sign in modern architecture.
Bender (also known as Bendery, or Tighina) is famous by Tighina fortress. It was built in one the most powerful of the medieval cities of Moldova – Tighina, which was an important trade outpost. Fortress is an architectural ensemble of irregular quadrilateral plan, surrounded by wide walls, 2-3 meters thick, made of limestone and brick. The fortress has 10 artillery bastions at the corners, 11 towers, and 6 gates. It is surrounded by a moat of stone. After the last battle of the Russo–Turkish War, in 1806 the city was acquired by the imperial Russian military authorities, becoming “legitimate” master here in 1812, after the occupation of Bessarabia.
Breakfast at hotel.
Transfer to the Airport. Departure