An In-depth Study of Three Unsung Countries and Transdniester

Traverse a little-known region that has changed hands from its earliest history. Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova are three of the least frequented and least familiar countries in Europe. Time slowed drastically here after the devastation of WWII, but these beautiful countries are emerging from the shadows. Visit an artist in Kiev, share a meal with a Chisinau family, and take a day trip to the Transdniester region, a narrow strip of Moldovan land where separatists have declared a disputed independence.

14 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Relish a home-cooked Moldovan meal
    Savor a home-cooked Moldovan meal in a private home....
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  • Dine with a rural family in a private home
    Dine with a rural family in the Belarusian countryside...
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  • 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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  • 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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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • More than 30 years of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova 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 and Northwestern universities have chosen MIR to guide them to this region
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-3: Minsk, Brest

Begin in Minsk, capital of Belarus, for a fascinating glimpse into the socialist past. At the Great Patriotic War Memorial, remember the half of Minsk’s population that perished during WWII. Visit the Gallery of Russian and Modern Belarusian Art, and stop at the manor house of Polish and American hero (and friend of Thomas Jefferson) Tadeusz Kosciuszko. In Brest, admire the massive UNESCO-listed stone Brest Fortress, built by Czar Nicholas I in the mid-1800s.

Highlights

  • Minsk’s main street, the animated promenade, Nezavisimosty Avenue
  • Visit to a rural farmhouse for lunch with a local family
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Days 4-6: Lviv

Crossing the Ukrainian border, arrive in Lviv, founded in the 13th century. Conquered by the Poles in 1349, Lviv feels very Central European. Wander its lovely UNESCO-listed Old Town Square, surrounded by 16th-18th century merchant dwellings, then travel by train to the capital, Kiev.

Highlights

  • Lviv’s lovely Old Town, with Prospekt Svobody, Ploshy Rynok (Market Square), and the Town Hall
  • Pharmacy Museum, its walls lined with old shelves stacked with little boxes, antique bottles, vessels and scales
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Days 7-9: Kiev

In Kiev, visit some of Ukraine’s most important sites, including St. Sophia Cathedral, the Caves Monastery and the Chernobyl Museum. Stroll and shop on the cobbled descent down Andreevsky Street, filled with galleries, shops, cafés and artists’ studios. Fly to Odessa, renowned seaport on the coveted Black Sea coast.

Highlights

  • Golden Kiev, capital of Ukraine and mother city of Eastern Slavic peoples
  • Pecherskaya Lavra, or Caves Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 1051
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Day 10: Odessa

Explore Odessa, climbing its much-filmed Potemkin Steps and touring its Partisan Caves, where resistance fighters hid during WWII.

Highlights

  • The Potemkin Steps, immortalized in Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin
  • The stately Odessa Opera House, a baroque symbol of the city
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Days 11-14: Chisinau, Transdniester

Next is Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, a tree-lined city of more than 700,000. Survey some of Moldova’s ancient monasteries and sample the deep red wines the country is gaining a reputation for. Embark on a day trip to the Transdniester region, a narrow strip of land bordering Ukraine where separatists have declared a disputed independence.

Highlights

  • Stefan cel Mare Park, a luxuriant and open green area in the center of the capital
  • Visit to Milesti Mici Winery’s “Golden Collection,” noted by the Guinness Book of World Records
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 14 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 5-16 Travelers $7,195
  • Plus Internal Air $220
  • Single Supplement $1,295

2018 Dates

  • May 6-19 - All departures are one day longer in 2018 than 2017, and 2018 tour now includes Transdniester, please call for details!
  • May 20-June 2
  • August 12-25
  • $7,195
  • Max 16 Travelers
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Group Size

Small Groups – Never more than 16 travelers. Guaranteed!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located first class hotels in the major cities and best available hotels elsewhere.
  • 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 10 dinners, per the itinerary. Some lunches and dinners are not included so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private coach or van (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters and other service personnel.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application and instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in Minsk before the tour begins, or after it ends in Chisinau. We can also arrange for an extended program in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Baltics, or Central or East Europe at either end of your tour.

It is also possible to combine this tour with a small group tour or choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

The accommodations vary from basic hotels in Belarus to very comfortable four and five star hotels elsewhere in the itinerary. It is important to keep in mind that the countries of Central Europe are, in general, not up to the standards North American travelers expect.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour is given in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

  • Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova with MIR Traveler James Burch

    Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova with MIR Traveler James Burch

    An In-Depth Journey of Three Unsung Countries

    In the spring of 2017, MIR traveler James Burch set off on MIR’s Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova small group tour. It’s an in-depth tour of three countries that used to be republics in the Soviet Union: Belarus (Byelorussian SSR) between Poland and Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova (Moldovian SSR) between Ukraine and Romania. Following is the day-by-day account of his adventures in these unfamiliar countries.... Read More

  • St. Petersburg Seminar: Living – and Loving – Russian Culture

    St. Petersburg Seminar: Living – and Loving – Russian Culture

    From November 13-20, 2011, three MIR colleagues - Jenelle Birnbaum, Liz Tollefson and Meaghan Samuels - traveled to St. Petersburg in order to try out a new Custom Group trip, a week-long seminar with an in-depth look at St. Petersburg's illustrious literary and arts traditions, momentous history and inspired culture.... Read More

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MIR in the News
  • In It For the Long Haul

    August 16, 2017

    If you need to get away from it all, and you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, take a peek at Luxury Travel Magazine’s recent round-up 10 extended vacations sure to relax and recharge your spirit. Two of MIR’s o... Read More

  • Go Big on the Silk Route

    August 10, 2017

    A recent article on the GoBanking Rates blog featured MIR’s Silk Route by Private Train luxury rail journey in its round-up of “The Most Amazing Luxury Travel Experiences You Can Buy.” The epic 21-day rail journey allow... Read More

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From the Blog
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