Land of Slavic Beginnings: From Kiev to the Carpathians

Ukraine

Bigger than either France or Germany, Ukraine is much less frequented and more unspoiled.  A visit to Ukraine is packed with contrasting experiences.  The glittering golden cupolas and imperial palaces of the cities, the warm Black Sea coast, the sobering Chernobyl Museum and the vivid cultural legacy of the Carpathian Hutsul people combine to make Ukraine a rewarding destination.

Why Travel with MIR to Ukraine
  • 30 years of Ukraine travel experience
  • MIR’s small group tour Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova was honored as a “Tour of a Lifetime,” by National Geographic Traveler
  • Travel programs such as Stanford University alumni and the Commonwealth Club have chosen MIR to guide them to Ukraine
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • MIR affiliate office in Ukraine
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Signature Experiences

We regularly garner applause from our travelers for the inspired opportunities we provide to help them get to know the distinctive art, architecture and accomplishments of Ukraine.  Below is just a sampling of the Ukraine experiences MIR has designed to take our clients far from the familiar.

  • Enjoy a private demonstration of egg painting
    Learn about the Ukrainian national art of egg painting during a private demonstration by a master artisan....
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    Enjoy a private demonstration of egg painting

    Ukraine

    Kiev, Ukraine

    Learn about the Ukrainian national art of egg painting during a private demonstration by a master artisan.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Visit the chilling Chernobyl Museum
    Visit the Chernobyl Museum, explaining the combination of human error and design flaws responsible for the 1986 explosion and fire at Reactor #4, only 62 miles from Kiev....
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    Visit the chilling Chernobyl Museum

    Ukraine

    Kiev, Ukraine

    Visit the Chernobyl Museum, explaining the combination of human error and design flaws responsible for the 1986 explosion and fire at Reactor #4, only 62 miles from Kiev.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Explore the UNESCO-listed Caves Monastery
    Explore the UNESCO-listed Caves Monastery, Kievan Rus' first monastery, founded in 1051; the monks dug caves and underground labyrinths, living...
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    Explore the UNESCO-listed Caves Monastery

    Ukraine

    Kiev, Ukraine

    Explore the UNESCO-listed Caves Monastery, Kievan Rus' first monastery, founded in 1051; the monks dug caves and underground labyrinths, living and studying in them, and their mummified bodies still line the walls.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Tour the old Pharmacy Museum
    Examine the pharmacy's walls, stacked with little boxes, antique bottles, vessels, scales and other instruments from years gone by when medicine was more of an art than a science...
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    Tour the old Pharmacy Museum

    Ukraine

    Lviv, Ukraine

    Tour Lviv’s old Pharmacy Museum, its walls stacked with little boxes, antique bottles, vessels, scales and other instruments from years gone by when medicine was more of an art than a science.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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Ways to Travel to Ukraine with MIR

We design every one of our Ukraine trips to help you discover for yourself how huge, diverse and friendly this country is.

Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours to independent, custom and private travel:

Small Group Tours
Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova

Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova

An In-depth Study of Three Unsung Countries and Transdniester

Travels to: Belarus, Central and East Europe, Moldova, Ukraine

14 Days / Departures in May, August 2018

Small Group land tour from $7,195, plus $220 internal air

See Trip

Rail Journeys by Private Train

At the moment, we don’t offer any rail tours that include this destination. However, we do have a variety of options for rail journeys by private train, including those that travel along the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway.

Custom and private travel is our specialty. We’ve been designing unforgettable custom itineraries from the western highlands to the eastern plains of Ukraine for 30 years; a majority of our guests travel on custom itineraries.

For ideas, peruse one of our Regional Travel Planners, a roundup of the must-sees from our savvy staff.

View our Private Journey, Essential Ukraine, or read more about how to design your own trip.  Also, consider this: You can customize our Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova small group tour to match your preferred dates of travel.

Design Your Own Custom Trip

Traveling privately on a custom program means flexibility:

  • You set the dates, the focus and the level of accommodations.
  • You are met on arrival and seen off at the end of your trip.
  • Your in-country transportation is pre-arranged hassle-free.
  • Your own expert local guides ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • And the best part? You travel at your own pace on an itinerary exclusive to you.

Check out just a handful of our Ukraine signature experiences below and then get in touch with a MIR Private Journey Specialist to craft an itinerary that suits your travel goals, budget and style.  Or get started planning now.

Suggested Itineraries for Private Travel

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR offers itineraries that are available on a private departure basis with your choice of dates. They can also serve as inspiration for your own custom itinerary.

Our itinerary, your dates – great for solo travelers, couples or small groups.

Essential Ukraine

Essential Ukraine

Lviv, Kiev, Odessa

Travels to: Ukraine

Departures in November, December 2017

This itinerary available as a private journey

See Trip
Essential Ukraine

Essential Ukraine

Lviv, Kiev, Odessa

Travels to: Ukraine

Departures in January, March, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December 2018

This itinerary available as a private journey

See Trip

Weather
Our Favorite Places in Ukraine
Ukraine

Kiev

Slavic civilization spread outward from its center in 9th century Kiev, where the Kievan Rus consolidated their territory and adopted Orthodox Christianity. There’s something for everyone in Ukraine’s capital – gilded palaces, centuries of art and architecture, streets filled with galleries, shops, cafes and artists’ studios, the 11th century UNESCO-listed Caves Monastery with its mummified monks, and the sobering Chernobyl Museum.

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Journeys that travel to Kiev

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Ukraine

Lviv

Well-preserved buildings from the 16th to the 19th centuries grace the central square of Lviv’s Old Town, added in its entirety to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. MIR knows the ins and outs of Lviv, and can lead your clients to little-known corners of this beautiful city, including to Lychakiv Cemetery, where some of Ukraine’s most renowned people, such as poet Ivan Franko, are buried and monuments are crowned with sculptures by Ukraine’s most prominent artists.

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Journeys that travel to Lviv

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Ukraine

Western Ukraine

The southwest region of Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains is the home of the Hutsul people, high mountain pastoralists whose woodcarving, embroidery, weaving and leatherwork is highly prized. Hike on the mountain trails of Carpathian National Park, visit the egg-shaped Pysanka Museum, dedicated to the painted eggs that have been a fixture of Ukrainian handicrafts for hundreds of years, and pay a private visit to traditional craftspeople and artisans.

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Journeys that travel to Western Ukraine

Contact a MIR Private Journeys Specialist at privatejourneys@mircorp.com or 800-424-7289 to plan a custom & private trip to Western Ukraine.

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Ukraine

Odessa

Multi-layered Odessa, Catherine the Great’s Black Sea port, is a vigorous center of commerce and the arts, known for its iconic Opera House and for the famed Potemkin Steps, immortalized in Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin. Unlock the secrets of its underground catacombs, where partisans fought during WWII.

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Journeys that travel to Odessa

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Ukraine

Crimea

The Crimean Peninsula is a fascinatingly diverse realm on the sunny Black Sea. Whether you are interested in the Yalta Conference at Livadia, the playgrounds of the Romanovs, the ancient Greek ruins of Chersonesus, the palace of the Crimean Khan at Bakhchysaray or the sites of the Crimean War, MIR can handle it.

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Journeys that travel to Crimea

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When to Travel to Ukraine

New Years and Orthodox Christmas, throughout Ukraine (December 31- January 7)

Christmas in Lviv, UkraineIn Ukraine Christmas is celebrated on January 7. On Christmas Eve it is the custom to gather with a family circle for the evening meal. Traditionally, 12 dishes are served. During the Christmas holidays, people set up mini-theaters, called vertep. Children dressed as kings, angels, paupers and Death go house to house and present plays. After the show they sing Christmas carols, called koliadkas. As a token of gratitude the host treats the performers to festive food, or gives them money.

Red Wine Festival, Mukachevo (January)

In January the Red Wine Festival begins in Mukachevo, where top quality wine is produced in Zakarpattya. During the festival you can sample homemade wines and factory beverages in the central square of the town and buy a bottle or even a tub of wine.

Victory Day, Kiev (May)

This is the day when the people of Ukraine and other former Soviet Union republics celebrate the victory over the German army in 1945. On May 9th there is a military parade and a march of veterans in Khreshchatyk Street. Flowers are laid on the tombs of the unknown soldiers. Veterans are honored, and the day ends with fireworks.

Day of the City, throughout Ukraine (dates vary by year)

Ukrainian cities each host their own celebrations; for Kiev this takes place on the last Sunday of May. Concerts, sports events and other cultural activities mark the festive day. Festivities take place downtown and in parks; fireworks bring the day to a close. The annual celebrations in Ivano-Frankivsk include a blacksmithing festival.

 Ivan Kupala Day, throughout Ukraine (July 7)

Ivan Kupala Day draws from pagan and Christian origins, as it is both the birthday of St. John the Baptist and Midsummer’s Night when ancient pagan customs of ritual bonfires, herb gathering and telling fortunes are common. Celebrated in Ukraine for hundreds of years, this holiday continues throughout the night with music, food and events in the cities and forests of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Independence Day, throughout Ukraine (August 24)

Official Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations include a military parade on the main street of Kiev and a Presidential address to the people. Other festivities take place throughout the country, with fireworks and musical shows as part of this celebration of the Ukrainian national identity.

Folk festivals, throughout Ukraine (August – September)

During the late months of summer, various folk music and art festivals are held around Ukraine, each one interesting in its own right. In Kiev, the International Folk Festival of song and dance, known as “Dream Country festival” is held annually, and features performers from around the world as well as Ukrainians. In Pyrohovo, the Annual Autumn Fair is held on the grounds of the “Museum of Folk Architecture and Everyday Life” during the first week of September. In the old town of Kolomiya there’s an international folk festival called “Kolomyika” that includes a huge selection of folk singing and dancing. In Rakhiv, you can taste national dishes made of brynza (sheep milk cheese) during the festival “Hutsulska brynza,” when even the cows are dressed up.