Pop-Up Tour : Ukraine / Transnistria / Moldova

Ukraine / Transnistria / Moldova
Includes Overnighter in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
and Independence Day in Transnistria
26th August 2017 to 5th September 2017 – 11 days

Pop-Up Tour Easternmost Europe is a proud collaboration between Yomadic and The Bohemian Blog, the fourth in a limited series of innovative “Pop-Up Tours” of Eastern Europe. This is truly the most unique Eastern European experience you could join, and for sure, a once-in-a-lifetime travel journey.

Commencing in the incredible metropolis of Kiev, Ukraine, we have selected the most iconic Soviet-era modernist hotel on the planet for your accommodation. hotel salut kiev tour chernobylBy day, you will be guided through a curated selection of the best that Kiev has to offer – through the incredible array of architecture, exploring sites and sounds within a visually alluring network of downtown streets, and viewing local neighbourhood life in one of Eastern Europe’s most important and captivating cities.

After our Kiev immersion, a private tour of the exclusion zone at Chernobyl commences. Transported into a region that has captured the worlds imagination for several decades, we will be accommodated at Chernobyl overnightChernobyl-Tourism-27-boWithout the restrictions of day-tripping package tourists, our private tour – guided by an experienced local expert – will provide the time and opportunity for our small group to comprehensively explore and photograph the abandoned nuclear city “Pripyat”. Additionally, we’ll meet with some of the steadfast locals of “the zone”, visiting remarkable sites that were until recently, strictly off-limits.

Returning to Kiev, our accommodation will directly overlook Maidan Square, a grand Soviet-era hotel towering above the site of the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution – at the very heart of Kiev.

As was the case with our former Ukraine Pop-Up Tour’s, there will be “secrets” to show you. We will included an exclusive guided visit though the secretive mansion of the former president of Ukraine – including hidden tunnels, extensive grounds, and his over-the-top living quarters.

After leaving Kiev, we will travel overland through Ukraine, via the port-side city Odessa, exploring one of the most important historical, and contemporary, cities of Eastern Europe. Then, it’s on to incredible nation of “Transnistria” – a self-declared but unrecognised republic.  The absolutely fascinating Independence Day parade and festivities will be the highlight. Here, Soviet nostalgia runs deep – expect dancing in the streets of the capital city Tiraspol, plenty of food and local tipples, military parades, plenty of medals, the occasional statue of Lenin, and perhaps even a ceremonial bridal auction. Together, we’ll explore the smaller towns of Transnistria, showing you a side of this unknown part of the world that very few tourists will ever see.

Chisinau, the Moldovan capital, is an underrated gem, and where we end our journey. You’ll get to know it well – from the Socialist Modernist state circus, to the Neoclassical cathedral and beyond. We’ll admire Brutalist housing blocks and visit the striking Victory Monument.

Our 11 days in Kiev and Bessarabia – the historical name for these regions of southern Ukraine, Transnistria and Moldova – will be breathtaking, bizarre, and truly unforgettable.

Limited places are available now, your seat can be confirmed using any major credit card.

We would like to invite you to join the people behind Yomadic and the Bohemian Blog, for one of 2017’s most incredible travel opportunities – our fourth“Pop-Up Tour” of Eastern Europe, but by far the most incredible.


Book Now  Eastern Europe TOUR 2017 – LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE


More information, including the itinerary and list of inclusions, below.

Typical Metro Station Interior, Kiev, Ukraine
Typical Metro Station Interior, Kiev, Ukraine



Day 1 – Saturday 26th August: Welcome to Kiev

Kiev is pre-tourist-boom. Home to 3.5 million people on the banks of the Dnieper River, this historic Eastern European capital combines the legacy of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, centuries of important regional history, rich cultural heritage, and now, an urbane cosmopolitan modernity – there is no city quite like Kiev. Chernobyl-Tourism-16-boOnce you arrive, we’ll get you checked into Hotel Salut, an icon of mid-century Soviet Modernism. As we await arrivals, our central location will allow easily exploration of the local sites and sounds of Kiev.

In the evening, join us for our first group dinner at a traditional Ukrainian restaurant.


Day 2 –  Sunday 27th: Kiev, Ukraine – A Brief History

We begin our exploration of the city, taking in the historic ‘Pechersk Lavra’ monastery and visiting the catacombs beneath. We’ll marvel at the colossal Motherland Monument nearby, and visit the Great Patriotic War Museum to learn about Ukraine’s role in WWII. kiev ukrainian institute ufo building After lunch on the scenic Andriivsky Uzviz, you’ll hear about Kiev’s 2014 Maidan Revolution – on a guided tour of conflict sites, led by Ukrainians who took part in their country’s recent struggle for independence.

Evening, optionally join us for dinner, before returning to your mid-century Sov-mod pad.


Day 3 – Monday 28th: Chernobyl

We’ll travel early from Kiev to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and the abandoned city of Pripyat. Needing little in the way of introduction, Pripyat was once a thriving city of workers and families until being rapidly evacuated in the wake of the 1986 nuclear accident. Chernobyl-Tourism-16-bo Accompanied by an experienced guide, our overnight stay will ensure we have the ability to really immerse ourselves in our surroundings – perfect for photographers, we’ll explore the ‘Zone and its landmarks at a leisurely pace.

Evening: overnight accommodation in the Chernobyl Zone.


Day 4 – Tuesday 29th: Pripyat/Chernobyl 

Waking up in Chernobyl, we’ll head straight out to see some of the lesser-known sites of this area – including Reactors 5 and 6, some abandoned villages and the massive radar installation known as the Russian Woodpecker.Chernobyl-Tourism-16-bo Most of the day will be dedicated to Pripyat, though. We’ll have time to walk the empty streets of the city, exploring apartments, schools and leisure complexes, as well as stopping to check out some rooftop views along the way.

Finally we’ll return to Kiev, this time staying at Hotel Ukraine: a grand, Soviet-era hotel overlooking Maidan Square.

Overnight accommodation – Kiev.


Day 5 – Wednesday 30th: The Presidential Palace

Up until his exile in 2014, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych lived a life of unimaginable luxury. Today we’ll visit his old hang-out, the palace at Mezhyhirya. Prepare to be amazed by an extraordinary display of tasteless wealth. We’re back in Kiev by afternoon, to check out the Chernobyl Museum. Focusing on the human stories connected to the tragedy, it’s a fitting epilogue after any visit to the ‘Zone.

Evening: Kiev, optional group dinner – traditional Ukrainian banquet, served at an ethnographic village tucked away in a city suburb.


Day 6 – Thursday 31st: Odessa

Today we take the train – travelling almost 300 miles to Odessa, on the Black Sea coast. Ukrainian trains are an experience in themselves, and a great way to take in the scenery. We’ll pack a picnic lunch, some beers, and make a day of it.

On arrival we’ll get checked into our local hotel, and then hit the streets for an evening walking tour. From the legendary Potemkin Stairs to the beautiful Cathedral Square, we’ll explore the highlights of Odessa by dusk and then settle in for a good evening meal.

Evening: Odessa, Ukraine


Day 7 – Friday 1st September : The Catacombs

The Odessa Catacombs are the longest network of tunnels in the world: reaching an estimated total length of 2,500km. This morning, we’ll dive straight into the labyrinth… accompanied by an experienced local guide, of course.

Exploring the catacombs is hungry work, so we’ll come back topside in time for lunch in the city. Then we’re on the train again – heading across the border into the unrecognised republic of Transnistria. After finding our lodgings at Hotel Russia, we’ll get settled and prepare for the big day ahead.

Evening : Tiraspol, Transnistria


Day 8 – Saturday 2nd September : Independence Day

2nd September is Transnistrian Independence Day… expect Soviet-style military parades, marching bands and pompous speeches from a podium decked in flags. The streets fill with crowds of spectators, while bands perform late into the night. Along the riverfront meanwhile, we’ll find food stalls selling nothing but shashlik – huge, grilled kebabs – and plastic glasses of vodka. We’re going in deep today: mingling with the locals, getting lost in the noise and chaos of the parades. It’s going to be one hell of a party.

Evening : Tiraspol, Transnistria


Day 9 – Sunday 3rd September : Transnistrian Day Trips

Most Western visitors to Transnistria get no further than the capital, Tiraspol. They come in, photograph some Soviet monuments, then leave. We want to show you more, though. so, we’ll head into rural Transnistria, to check out the local attractions – including the stunning Orthodox monastery at Chițcani… and at Bendery, we’ll visit a bizarre military museum inside a Soviet-era steam train.Later, we’ll return to Tiraspol to enjoy one last group meal in this wonderfully peculiar little region.

Evening : Tiraspol, Transnistria


Day 10 – Monday 4th September : Moldovan Socialist Modernism

Chisinau, the Moldovan capital, is an underrated gem. You’ll get to know it well today – from the Socialist Modernist state circus, to the Neoclassical cathedral and beyond. We’ll admire Brutalist housing blocks and visit the striking Victory Monument.

You’ll also learn about Chisinau’s Jewish heritage, as we walk through the city’s former ghettos and visit the overgrown Jewish cemetery on its outskirts.

Evening :dinner and an overnight stay in Chisinau, Moldova. 


Day 11 – Tuesday 5th September – Departure.

Final breakfast together. Tears. We will be on-hand to arrange any transportation requirements. You can fly out from Chisinau airport, or optionally join us on a cheap flight back to the larger transport terminals in Kiev.

BONUS: throughout the whole trip, there will be more than what is listed in this itinerary.



Book Now  Eastern Europe TOUR 2017 – LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE


Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine


About the “Pop-Up Tour” concept

Destinations in Europe often move rapidly from being relatively unknown, to being firmly on the tourist radar. Much of Eastern Europe, right now, is pre-tourism boom. Visually alluring, emotionally fascinating, safe, warm, with friendly locals, thriving creative industries, and a genuinely extensive list of sights and attractions. However, even at the peak of the European summer, there are relatively few tourists in this part of the world For now.

Our Pop-Up tour concept takes advantage of this perfect moment. A genuinely fresh and innovative approach – as small, professional independent, tour-operators, we have drawn upon our on-the-ground experience to create a travel-concept unmatched by any other organisation.

We’re really not fans of typical organised group tours. However, we appreciate the benefits of local knowledge and planning – especially with limited time. Our curated Pop-Up Tour is a contemporary approach to resolve an enormous problem with tourism. Modern travellers are seeking to maintain the spirit of independent travel, but prefer a like-minded “expert” to sift through and select only those sights and experiences worth seeing – and take care of all the logistics.

Many people really don’t enjoy the concept of typical package tours – neither do we. We won’t be ticking off UNESCO heritage lists, or seeing “must sees” for the sake of completion. Surrounded by a small group of new friends, we’ll forge our own path – well paced, never rushed.

This is the “Pop-Up Tour”, and there is nothing quite like it.


Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine


About the Collab – Yomadic x The Bohemian Blog

Once again, I’m working with Darmon from the Bohemian Blog – an experienced and professional tour-operator, and trusted friend. Our tastes are similar, we have a track record of exploring and writing about unknown and mis-understood – but spectacular – sights and destinations around the world. We’re both passionate about travel, and tourism done right. We’ve previously travelled around Eastern Europe together, several times. We’re both based in Eastern Europe, spent years on the ground here, visited Ukraine and Chernobyl on multiple occasions, and explored Transnistria together. Not to mention, the list of major publications that have featured the acclaimed Bohemian Blog, would make him blush.

We are both focused on offering a unique selection of exclusive and ground-breaking “Untours”, and have a love of creating profound experiences.

Our long term readers will not be surprised in the slightest to see us joining forces once again.


Book Now  Eastern Europe TOUR 2017 – LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE

More questions/answers/information about the tour, below.


Maidan Square, Kiev, Ukraine


Why Put Your Trust In Us?

We’re experienced tour operators, with a history of successful and consistently sold out tours. Since 2014, we have personally organised and run small groups through Ukraine, Iran, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. These are not “easy” destinations – however, our tour success is confirmed by the huge number of previous guests who have already booked in for another.

Although we’re small and independent, we act with utmost professionalism, and only collaborate with organisations and individuals that have a verifiable history of travel professionalism. Our reputation is of critical importance – our track record stands as evidence of our commitment to unique, high value, quality, “Untour” experiences.

Plus – we’ve already completed two highly successful tours of Kiev and Chernobyl. Our guests loved it, we loved it, and we can’t wait to do it again. We’re happy to put you in touch with those previous guests, if you’d like to have an unsolicited opinion on our tours.

(BTW I spend around half of each year on-the-ground in Kiev – we don’t run tours unless we know the place well)


More information on inclusions and tour policies, below…


Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine


Why is there a closing date? 

On Friday 11th August, at 4pm London time, bookings will close. This date cannot be extended under any circumstance. Our unique Chernobyl experience requires the early submission of paperwork to local authorities in advance, with your full name. Therefore, as much as we would like to accommodate last-minute bookings, this time around we simply can’t.


Is Chernobyl Safe?

A wealth of information exists about the current safety of the Chernobyl area. You may easily search for information – and independently verify the safety of this region. When sticking with the instructions of our professional and experienced guide (we will have a full induction), the radiation levels are many times smaller than what you would receive on a trans-Atlantic flight (for example). However, there are other dangers – including collapsing urban infrastructure –  we will ensure your safety is our priority at all times. All official guidelines with regards to safety, will be strictly adhered to.


Is Kiev Safe?

Kiev is a safe city by any global standard. It’s a major European metropolis, and the people are some of the most welcoming you’ll meet. Sure, the country still has some issues to work out – but the chance of any of it affecting our tour is extremely low.


How do I pay, what is the refund policy?

Payment is via any major credit-card, giving you all the protections and benefits you would normally receive. We offer this money-back guarantee – outside of an unexpected force-majeure event, this tour is 100% guaranteed to go ahead. However, we incur real costs from the moment you book, and due to the timing of this tour, we cannot offer standard refunds – but – if you do cancel prior to December 30th, and we find a replacement for you, we promise to refund 90% of your full ticket price.


When should I arrive in Kiev?

Aim to arrive in Kiev during the day on Friday 13th. We can arrange a transfer from Kiev airport directly to your hotel, or you can organise your own taxi/public transportation – we can give you information on these options. If you wish to arrive early, or depart late, we can organise additional accommodation for you. Hotel check-in time on day one, is after 1pm.


Is there a “single-supplement” option or charge?

Unless you prefer your own room, we won’t charge you a “single supplement”. Shared twin-rooms have a maximum of two guests in total. If you would like to ensure your own room, this option is available on the checkout page for an additional cost of 300 Euro. Please note, although we will try to offer your own room for the night at Chernobyl, we cannot guarantee this.


What if I get bored of hanging out with you guys?

Of course, you will have 100% freedom to do as you wish. We are happy for you to join us at all times in Kiev, we’re equally happy to provide guidance and direction for you to do your own thing. Each night, dinner is completely optional.


What’s really included?

  • * all accommodation – iconic, well-reputed, architecturally significant, Soviet-era hotels
  • * accommodation at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  • * all transportation necessary for the duration of the trip, including throughout Kiev, comfortable transportation to and from Pripyat/Chernobyl, train to Transnistria and Moldova
  • * all breakfasts are included, including the departure day
  • * guides from Yomadic, the Bohemian Blog, and local guides from Ukraine
  • * meals at the Chernobyl Exclusion zone will be included (dinner, lunch, breakfast)
  • * plus much more…


What’s not included?

  • * airfares or transportation costs to Kiev (we are happy to assist with this)
  • * transportation costs from the airport to your hotel, on arrival and departure (however, we can arrange private airport-pickup, or provide you with taxi/public transportation information)
  • * alcohol, mostly, is not included, but we would feel awkward not buying you a drink
  • * most dinners and lunches are not included – except when specified as inclusions in the itinerary


Further questions/other information:

  • * many nationalities can easily obtain a visa-on-arrival at Kiev airport – including most European nations, USA, Canada, UK, most South American nations, Australia, and New Zealand
  • * Internet speeds in this region are generally fast, WiFi is commonplace
  • * travel insurance is a requirement of this tour (we don’t recommended any specific provider)
  • * all major credit cards are accepted at most ATM machines in Kiev, currency exchange is commonplace
  • we reserve the right to change the itinerary (unlikely, just being a bit “legal” here)
  • * TO CONTACT US  –  please use this page to send us an email – also, we are happy to speak to you via telephone/Skype, or reply to your inquiries via email or social media


And now, it’s over to you…

This is the travel invitation you could wait your whole life for. We promise, based upon our history of previous guests, that you will certainly experience one of the most memorable trips you could ever imagine.

We really hope you can join us, please don’t delay – group size is limited, and the closing date is fixed.

Sure, we could have announced this well in advance, but then, it wouldn’t be so special.

Book Now  Eastern Europe TOUR 2017 – LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE



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Nate Robert, YOMADIC