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history • 11 days, 10 nights

Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia

history • 11 days, 10 nights

Kyiv, Chernobyl, and the Borders of Bessarabia

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  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Road Trip
from $4,225 USD per person
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Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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  • Implemented expansive new safety protocols
  • Reduced trip deposits to just $100
  • Made it easier than ever to reschedule your trip

To learn more:

Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Trip Overview

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.

Additional Info


The listed price of this trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $725. When booking, please select the single room package option.

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.

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.

  • 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.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue.
  • 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.
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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.

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Upcoming Departures

  • Aug 30–Sep 9, 2022
    from $4,225
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