Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova Tour

Pre-Tour Option St. Petersburg-Kaliningrad
Follows our Baltic States Immersion Tour

Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova Tour is a wonderfully diverse exploration of these former Soviet countries.

Belarus is located in the geographic heart of Europe. The Belarus tour is a fairly in-depth immersion of the important historic and cultural cities including the marvelous capital Minsk and the cities of Vitebsk (where Chagall was born and lived), Polotsk and Brest.

Our tour starts with arrival in Minsk, capital city of the ancient Slavic country of Belarus.

A drive from Brest takes us across the Ukraine border and into Lviv.¬† Located in south-eastern Europe, Ukraine is the second largest country of the continent after Russia, but one of the least-known. Traveling in Ukraine, we enjoy the delights of L’viv, Kiev and Odessa.

We arrive in Chisinau, capital of Moldova after a short pleasant drive from Odessa. Moldova is a very small country, north of the Balkans, surrounded by Romania to the southwest (across the Prut River) and Ukraine to the northeast.

During the tour of Moldova we enjoy a delightful exploration of Chisinau’s ¬†historic, architectural and cultural sites. Embark on day excursions to surrounding villages where we enjoy the beauty of the countryside, meet the local people and taste their fabulous wines!

Moldova is fairly new to tourism, so you will be among the first to catch a glimpse of traditional lifestyle still at the crossroads with modernity.

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Colorful Kyiv: Jewel of the Ukraine

  • 1
    Day 1: Arrival in Minsk

    A short flight from Kaliningrad if coming from Pre-Tour; fast train from Vilnius (our Baltics Tour) OR international flight in mid day. After time to refresh, an early dinner.

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    Day 2: Minsk

    A full day tour of Minsk's most notable buildings, monuments, parks and the National Art Museum.

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    Day 3: Khatyn-Vitebsk

    On the way to Vitebsk, we stop at the Khatyn Memorial, symbolic sculptural composition and monuments to commemorate Belarusian citizens who died during World War II. It is quite a moving experience.

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    Day 4: Vitebsk

    Enjoy an informative tour of Vitebsk's main highlights including the 12th century Annunciation Cathedral with its Golden Domes, the classical architectural style of the Governor's House a monument to Marc Chagall, the famous Vitebsk People's Art School building (originally organized in 1918 by Marc Chagall, Kazemir Malevich and Alexander Romm).

    In the afternoon tour continues including a visit to the Art-Centre of Marc Chagall to see the artist's original works and also the Museum-House of Marc Chagall where the artist spent his childhood and youth.

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    Day 5: Excursion to Polotsk

    Polotsk, (100 km from Vitebsk), is one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs. An archaeological expedition of the Institute of History of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus suggests that Polotsk already existed in the first half of the 9th century.

    City tour of Polotsk includes a visit to the Savior Ephrosiniya Convent where one can see miracle-working relics of the Saint that have been kept for more than 900 years, St. Sophia Cathedral and other remarkable buildings of the past.

    Return to Vitebsk for overnight.

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    Day 6: Vitebsk-Minsk

    On the return to Minsk we stop for a quick look at the new cathedral in Minsk called the Church of All Saints. It is a striking architectural design all sparkling white stone with several spires topped by golden domes and steeples.

    Afterwards, we stop at the National Library of Belarus and go up to the observation deck for the marvelous panorama of Minsk.

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    Day 7: Minsk-Mir-Nesvizh-Brest

    We shall depart at 8 am for our excursion to Mir and Nesvizh, culminating in Brest.

    In Mir we visit the ancient castle, an example of a purely Belarusian stone defensive architecture of the 16th century. We continue to Nesvizh to see a magnificent Catholic Cathedral of the Divine Body of the Christ built in 1593. The Cathedral is famous for a family burial-vault of the many generations of the historically influential Radziwills with it's beautiful frescoes.

    Next, the tour visits Nesvizh Palace (the historical residence of the Radzivills) which includes a museum inside the Palace and a landscaped park in the English tradition. Both the Palace and Park are included in the Heritage List of UNESCO monuments.

    We then continue to Brest, arriving for dinner.

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    Day 8: Brest-L'viv

    After a guided city tour of Brest, our group is driven to L'viv the capital of Western Ukraine, known as the "City of Lion." Founded in the 13th c. by King Danylo Halytckyj, it was named in honor of his son Lev (Leo).

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    Day 9-10: L'viv

    In L'viv we enjoy two full days with highlights including a walking tour of city sites, Lviv Art Gallery, visits to the Shevchenkivsky Hay (the Shvevchenko Park open air museum), the "Golden Horseshoe of Lviv," and a number of the nearby charming small towns. Evening flight to Kyiv (Kiev)

  • 10
    Day 11-12: Kyiv

    Full day tour of Kyiv where historical architecture abounds. Guided visitations to churches, monasteries and an excursion to the open-air Ukrainian Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life in the village Pyrohiv.

    We also go to Babiy Yar, a ravine and site of a series of massacres carried out by the Nazis during their campaign against the Soviet Union. We enjoy a one hour Dnipro Cruise to see the Golden Domes of Kyiv in their evening glory. Free time is allocated to explore art galleries with opportunities to see and purchase local crafts.

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    Day 13-14: Odessa

    We will depart early for the 475 km drive to Odessa. We shall stop in Uman and enjoy a refreshing time at the beautiful Sofiyivsky Park. Afterwards we drive through the Jewish neighborhood and make a brief stop at the Jewish Center and site of Rebbe Nachman's grave, a pilgrimage since 1811.

    On the 2nd day we enjoy walking city tour includes Odessa City Hall, Prymorskiy Boulevard with the legendary Potemkin Staircase leading to the sea, the monument to Duc de Ruchelieu, the Assumption Cathedral, the famous Opera and Ballet Theater, Troyitskaya and St. Paul Churches, the monument of the Golden Child and finally the Archaeological Museum.

    The evening is free for independent exploration. Take the opportunity to check out the extravagant 18th c. Paccazh corridor with a vaulted glass roof.

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    Day 15: Tiraspol, Transnistria -Chisinau

    En-route to Chisinau we visit Tiraspol, Transnistria, at the present moment the administrative center of the self proclaimed Transnistria (Moldova). Feel the atmosphere of this disputed territory which always has been a battlefield between the major powers of the region. Interesting architectural history includes the buildings of the Soviets, the monument of Suvorov and the Central Plaza.

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    Day 16:Chisinau & Milesti Mici Wine Cellar

    The city of Chisinau is beautifully surrounded by seven hills seated in the Bac river valley. A morning guided tour of "the city made of white stone" includes references to well-known architects and poets such as Bernardazzi, Sciusev and Pushkin all of whom attributed to providing Chisinau with a unique character all its own.

    This afternoon we enjoy a tour of Milestii Mici, one of Moldova's most famous natural wine cellars and one of the largest wine depositories in the world. Followed by wine tasting and a late lunch at the wine cellar.

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    Day 17: Excursion: Soroca

    A full day excursion to the historic town of Soroca. The entire city is a well-preserved example of medieval architecture, and this is because it was a stronghold of Stephen the Great (a Romanian prince of the late 15th century). We will start our visit with "The Candle of Gratitude" (aka The Thanksgiving Candle). Next is a visit to Soroca Fortress. Afterwards, we visit the old synagogue, where services are still offered. We also visit the Jewish cemetery. From here we will take a short walk around the area called Gypsy Hill to see their large and extravagant castle-like homes.

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    Day 18: Excursion: Hoginesti Village & Old Orhei (Orchey)

    Visit village of Hoginesti, known as the "pottery village," where we engage with master potter Vasile Goncear. We also visit the Old Orhei complex. A highlight here is the well maintained and still functioning Orthodox cave monastery St. Maria Dormata. Tonight, we enjoy a delicious and abundant dinner at a small family-run casa in village Trebujeni and sample Moldavian dishes and wine.

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    Day 19: Depart

    Transfer to airport.

  • Trip Length

    19 Day tour begins in Minsk, Belarus, ends in Chisinau, Moldova.

  • Dates

    September 14-October 2, 2019
    May 16-June 3, 2020
    September 5-23, 2020

  • Land Cost

    From: $4685 (USD)
    $200 discount if booking the Preceding Baltics Tour
    Price TBD in 2020

  • Accommodations

    4-5* hotels

  • Group Size

    6-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    All breakfasts, 15 lunches, 3 dinners

  • Reading List

    Suggested Reading
    Suggested Reading

  • Extend Your Trip

    Baltics Immersion
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Milesti Mici Wine Cellar



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