Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia - August 30, 2020 - Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter

Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia

from $4,225 USD per person for 11 days, 10 nights
See Dates and Prices
  • Max Group Size: 12
  • Moderate
  • Road Trip

Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Ukraine, Transnistria, and Moldova, a region historically known as Bessarabia, one of Europe’s most fascinating—and drastically underrated—regions. We’ll delve deep into local cultures and traditions, Soviet history, and contemporary politics, and journey into the incredible Exclusion Zone created in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Accompanied by a team of experienced guides, we’ll see beautiful Orthodox monasteries, underground tunnels, breathtaking monuments, and abandoned landscapes. Along the way, we’ll also find plenty of time to enjoy fantastic food and drink, good company, mischief, and mystery. Our adventures together will be breathtaking, surprising, and occasionally challenging, but always memorable.




  • Soviet history and 21st-century culture
  • The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  • Self-declared republic of Transnistria


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
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Chernobyl and Transnistria—most likely the most epic experiences of any trip I've had.
—Krister C. (August 2018)

Additional Info

Activity Level

Some elements of this tour will be physically demanding. Our two-day exploration of Chernobyl involves no more than walking, but there will be a lot of that, and over rough ground, so be sure to bring proper walking boots or other outdoor footwear. Long sleeves and full-length pants are also required inside the Zone. Be aware that this tour also involves a good amount of driving time.

Arrival & Departure

You should aim to arrive in Chișinău by 5 p.m. on August 30 and depart from Kyiv anytime on September 9. Chișinău International Airport (KIV) and Boryspil International Airport (KBP) are both well-connected flight hubs. If you'd like to extend your stay on either end, we’re happy to help in extending hotel nights and providing tips on additional things to see.

Dates and Prices

Aug 30–Sep 09, 2020
Shared Room
$4,225 USD per person
Single Room
$4,950 USD per person
The total cost of this trip is $4,225. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space. The deposit is non-refundable after three days. The final payment of $3,725 will be due by May 22, 2020. All reservations will be final after this date and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip’s Terms & Conditions. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations during the trip, an additional $725 will be due at the time of the final payment.
  • Ten nights of accommodation in comfortable and often historically significant hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner.
  • The company of two trip leaders throughout, in addition to several different local guides, each stepping in to tell you about their specialist subjects.
  • Private transport throughout the trip, in a comfortable minibus.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and events, including museums, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and the Odessa Catacombs.
  • Transportation and flights to Chișinău and from Kyiv, including airport transfers. Note that the tour begins in Chișinău, Moldova and ends in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including lunches and alcoholic beverages.
  • If applicable, applying for a Ukrainian visa.

Additional Dates

Trip FAQ

In a word: bureaucratic. You can never be sure how long it will take for our group to cross a certain border, or what the border security staff will request in order to grant us access. Be flexible, bring a book, and consider it all part of the adventure.