Ukraine, Moldova & Romania

13 Days, 3 Countries. Soak up the culture, tastes, sights and sounds of three fascinating countries in eastern Europe
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Summary

Carl Cronje

Welcome to a travel experience to the exotic eastern reaches of Europe. Meet in Kiev and discover Ukraine’s incredible capital. Discover the pristine shores of the Black Sea and the port town of Odessa. Head off the grid to the least visited corner of Moldova, the independent state of Transnistria. Be charmed by the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. Try authentic Moldovan wine in the world’s second largest wine cellar! Finish off with with an unforgettable exploration in Romania as you set foot in Iasi and Bucharest, the ‘Little Paris of Eastern Europe’. This is a tour that is as entrancing as it is captivating and charming.

I will be joining this exciting itinerary myself; I hope to experience the very best that these incredible countries have to offer with you!

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Photos of the Tour

Why this Trip

  • All tour dates are guaranteed to depart
  • Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees
  • Modern air-conditioned coach transport
  • High quality accommodation
  • Escorted by Expat Explore tour leader

Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here

Start in: Kiev

Kiev, 15:00 - 17:00 hrs
End in: Bucharest

Bucharest, 10:00 hrs
Duration: 13 Days
Ages: 10 - 75+
Places: 3 Countries
17 Experiences

DAY 1: Arrive in Kiev

Laskavo prosymo! Welcome! Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe, outside of Russia. Kiev (also spelled Kyiv) is its magical capital and it’s here where your journey kicks off. Arrive this afternoon and settle into your hotel room. Meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby to ask any questions or get sightseeing advice. This evening, sit down for a welcome dinner with your fellow travellers.

DAY 2: Kiev city tour - Free afternoon

Kick off the day with a guided tour of the city for the perfect overview of the history, culture and lifestyle of the Ukrainian capital. With free time after the tour, stroll the main avenue of Kiev, Khreshchatyk street - known as one of the most expensive streets in Europe. Or visit Andriyivskyy Descent (Uzviz), a famous creative street often compared to Montmartre in Paris. While there, visit the famous literary and memorial museum of Mikhail Bulgakov. Kiev’s beautiful parks (like Feofaniya or Maryinsky) are the perfect spot for some people watching and downtime.

DAY 3: Kiev - Free day

Another free day in Kiev with the option to join a full-day outing to the residence of Ukraine's former president, Victor Yanukovych. After being ousted and fleeing the country, the Museum of Corruption, became Ukraine’s latest travel attraction. The excursion includes a visit the National Museum of Folk Architecture in Pirogovo to experience traditional Ukrainian architecture and folk traditions.

DAY 4: Kiev - Free day

Today is yours to explore as you wish. Spend the day at your leisure and explore more of Kiev. Or choose a fully guided trip to Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the location of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Before 1986 the deserted town of Pripyat was home to more than 40,000 people connected to the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl. The full-day optional excursion gives you the opportunity to explore with the guidance of a local expert and see the most iconic sights in the area. Before you leave Kiev, make sure to enjoy a few traditional Ukrainian dishes like chicken Kiev and sweet vareniki (dumplings).

DAY 5: Kiev - Strategic Missile Force Museum - Odessa

An early departure takes you southwest through the Ukrainian heartland towards Pervomaysk. Enjoy the rare opportunity to visit a former top-secret Soviet nuclear missile base. Walk with a local guide to learn all about this command post and launch bunker that was retained as a museum. Explore the grounds, and encounter an open-air exhibition of nuclear missiles. Once this experience comes to an end, you’re off to Odessa, the Pearl of the Black Sea.

DAY 6: Odessa

Time to see what the fuss is about! Odessa is a major cultural centre in eastern Europe and also the biggest commercial trading port along the Black Sea. Start the day with a walking tour alongside your tour leader. Famous sights you’ll see on your way include the Mother-in-Law Bridge, Duc de Richelieu Monument, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral and Odessa Passage. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. Soak up the sun as you visit Arkadia, Lanzheron or Otrada, Odessa’s beautiful beaches. Head underground to the Odessa Catacombs, walk down vibrant Deribasovskaya Street with cafes and gift shops, or taste everyday Odessa life at a local market like Privoz.

DAY 7: Odessa - Tiraspol - Tighina Fortress - Chisinau

This morning, take a drive to the Moldovan border and prepare to experience the cultural overlap between two closely-related countries. Cross the border from Ukraine to Transnistria, an unrecognised state located between Moldova and Ukraine. This mysterious piece of land is a forgotten remnant of the Soviet Union. Visit the capital, Tiraspol, to see and explore the major attractions. After a traditional lunch, cross over to Moldova and visit the Bender fortress. The final experience of the day takes you to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Here, you’ll be acquainted with the city on a walking tour of central Chisinau upon arrival.

DAY 8: Curchi Monastery - Cricova wine cellar - Chisinau

Venture out of the city to visit the Curchi Monastery. It is one of the most beautiful and iconic monasteries in the region. Experience the splendour of Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei), a centuries-old natural amphitheater. After sitting down for an authentic Moldovan lunch, you're invited to world’s second largest wine cellar, in Cricova! This evening you’re free to explore Chisinau at your leisure.

DAY 9: Chisinau - Iasi

Enjoy a free morning to further explore Chisinau . This afternoon we cross the border from Moldova to Romania and soon arrive in Iasi, a vibrant university city in eastern Romania. Iași, pronounced ‘yash’ is an important cultural and economical hub for both Moldova and Romania. On arrival, stretch your legs for an informative walking tour of the city.

DAY 10: Iasi - Targu Secuiesc - Brasov

Take a scenic drive through the Romanian countryside to Targu Secuiesc, a village in the Covasna county. Then head to Brasov, one of the most visited destinations in Romania and start exploring. Brasov was established as an important link between trade routes of the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe. With the Carpathian mountains as backdrop, it’s a picture-perfect city to explore.

DAY 11: Brasov - Bran Castle - Sinaia - Bucharest

From Brasov, travel towards Bucharest. Along the way, visit Bran Castle - the structure that famously inspired Bram Stoker's depiction of his fictional Count Dracula's castle. Afterward, journey through Transylvania and the scenic Carpathian mountains to Sinaia. Here, an orientation tour takes you to the town's most popular visitor attractions. Next, it’s off to the ‘Little Paris of the East’, Bucharest, where we check in and depart on a locally guided driving and walking tour of the city.

DAY 12: Bucharest - Free day

Today has been set aside for you to explore the fascinating city of Bucharest at your leisure. You have the full day to seek out all the attractions that appeal to your taste. The Palace of Parliament is always at the top of everyone’s list as one of the biggest buildings in the world. Art enthusiasts could visit the National Museum of Art to see European art dating back to the 15th century. Visit the open-air museums of Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, or head outdoors and spend some time in Herastrau Park. It covers 160+ hectares and boasts everything from an open-air theatre to an old-fashioned amusement park. Look out for most famous street-food in Romania, Covrigi.

DAY 13: Bucharest

After spending your final night in Romania, sit down for one last breakfast with your fellow travellers. The Kiev to Bucharest tour ends after breakfast.


Tour Accommodation


* Please note that we do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here

.

What's Included

  • 12 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
  • Services of an Expat Explore tour leader throughout the tour
  • 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Private air-conditioned transport
  • 17 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)

Optional Excursions

Optional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
  • Chernobyl day trip
  • Museum of Corruption & Pirogovo

Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator

How we make awesome trips affordable

  • No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
  • As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
  • We book our hotels well in advance so we get great value rates that we can pass on to you!
  • Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.

Detailed Info Pack

  • Tour start & end points
  • Pre-departure information
  • Pre-tour accommodation

For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.

Helpful Pre-Trip Info

Visa

Certain nationalities may require a visa(s) for Romania, Moldova and/or Ukraine. Please see our pre-departure information for more details. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements. We can provide support documentation upon request, please contact us for more information.

On tour costs

Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of the activities and meals that are included in the tour cost, and those that are optional/extra. We would recommend budgeting 15-35 USD per day (this figure excludes optional excursions).

Room Sharing

Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.

  • Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender. 
  • Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
  • Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Free-time

In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.

Meeting Point

Your tour starts in Kiev, Ukraine and finishes in Bucharest, Romania. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.

Passport

This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have at least two blank pages as visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.

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Have a question?

Are children allowed on your tours?

Our tours are not suitable for children under the age of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email for consideration. Expat Explore reserves the absolute right to accept or decline a booking at our discretion.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Before the tour starts, you will receive an email from us requesting your dietary requirements. There is always a vegetarian option, which is a meal without meat. We try as much as we can to offer you the traditional local cuisine.

Can you provide a triple room?

We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple room may consist of a double bed and a single bed, or a double bed and a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Do I need a visa?

Please see our visas page and the pre-departure planning section for more information.

Do I need to change money before the tour?

Please make sure you bring with you for the start of the tour the local currency(ies) you will need for at least the first three days, as there may not be an opportunity to change currency at the very beginning of the tour. You should budget for any optional excursions you wish to do in this period (see 'Optional Excursions' tab above, these are paid in cash on tour unless stated otherwise) and non-included meals. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash with you on tour; you are better off withdrawing enough cash to last you for the next 5-7 days, rather than carrying enough cash to last you for the entirety of the tour. Please refer to your pre-departure information for more information on the currencies you will require for your particular itinerary. When changing money please ensure that you are not given high denomination notes (for example €200 and €500 notes), as you will find most shops and restaurants will refuse to accept them, and your Expat Explore tour leader cannot accept them as payment for optional excursions.

How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?

Expat Explore can provide travellers requiring visas with visa support documents on a request basis. Please note that you are required to pay for your tour in full in order to receive the documents. This is an embassy/consulate requirement by law. Once you have received confirmation that your booking has been paid in full, you can request your visa support documents by emailing info@expatexplore.com - please allow up to 10 working days to receive these documents.

How many other people will be on the tour?

It depends on how many other people will book, but group sizes are generally between 15 and 25 people.

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to weight and space limitations, you are allowed to bring one main piece of luggage weighing no more than 20kg, and one small soft bag for hand luggage. On all tours, you will have to carry your own luggage (e.g. into hotels and up to your room if hotels don’t have elevators). Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to pack.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit payment secures your place(s) on the tour and the price you pay. Your deposit paid at the time of booking is non-refundable. Our full Terms and Conditions can be viewed online.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Yes, and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Passengers and their personal property travel with Expat Explore solely at their own risk. Please refer to our travel Terms & Conditions for more specific information. For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please click here

What about room sharing & single supplements?

If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.

What is the average age of your groups?

We have a very wide range of ages on our tours, and do not restrict our passengers to certain age groups or limits. A positive attitude and an open mind are more important than a number!

What level of fitness do I need to participate in these tours?

All travellers are required to carry their own bags, get on and off the coach and use public transport. Our city walking tours can last up to 3 hours and certain places involve walking up and down lots of steps. We want you to enjoy your tour, so read through the itinerary thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough.
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