Pop-Up Tour : Chernobyl & Kiev on Ice – THE FINAL TOUR

Ukraine / Chernobyl / Kiev
JANUARY 14th – JANUARY 20th 2018
Includes THREE DAYS in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Exclusive tour inside former PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
Optional (included) Kiev Underground Urbex tour
Optional (included) “Epiphany” Ice Swimming
Kiev City Tour, and more…
LAUNCH PRICE 1290 EUR – SAVE 100 EUR for a limited time

Pop-Up Tour Chernobyl and Kiev is a proud collaboration between Yomadic and The Bohemian Blog – the fifth, FINAL, most incredible, in a limited series of innovative “Pop-Up Tours” of Kiev and Chernobyl. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime travel journey.

Commencing in the fascinating metropolis of Kiev, Ukraine, we have selected the most iconic Soviet-era modernist hotel on the planet for your accommodation. We’ll show you a curated selection of the best that Kiev has to offer – including an exclusive guided visit through the secretive mansion and grounds of the deposed former president (and billionaire), with hidden tunnels and over-the-top living quarters.

With our private transport, we’ll show you around Eastern Europe’s most important and captivating city in comfort – but you’ll have some difficult choices to make – whether you prefer an underground Urbex tour of the hidden side of the city, or an afternoon of guided site-seeing with a focus on the Soviet-era history (yes, it will be hard to decide)…

chernobyl in winterAfter our Kiev immersion, a private three-day-tour of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone commences. Transported into a region that has captured the worlds imagination for several decades, we will be accommodated at Chernobyl for three full days and two nights. You’ll have your own cabin in the woods. Warm, cosy, rustic, we have the exclusive use of the same cabins that were constructed for the scientists once employed in the Chernobyl clean-up operation.

Without the restrictions of day-tripping package tourists, we’ll be guided by an experienced local expert through the exclusion zone – with the time and opportunity for our small group to comprehensively explore and photograph the abandoned nuclear city “Pripyat” in the depths of winter. Aside from Pripyat, we’ll visit some truly remarkable sites within “the zone”, places that were until recently, strictly off-limits. 

Tour to chernobyl and kyiv ukraineChernobyl-by-night we’ll eat at our cabin-hideaway, and for those who enjoy a warm Sauna, we’ll have that as well. This is by far the most incredible Chernobyl experience available – it’s taken more than a year in planning with the assistance of local experts – it’s my firm opinion that this will be *the* tour of 2018, and I’m looking forward to it just as much as you are.

Returning to Kiev, we’ve timed the tour to coincide with “Epiphany” – watching brave Ukrainians use chain-saws to create swimming pools in the frozen Dnieper River, and then jump in. If you’ve ever wanted to swim in icy waters, this is your chance. I’ll be taking photos from the sidelines, so feel free to join me there where it’s just a little warmer.

woodpecker radar duga chernobylThere will be more – we love secrets, we love to over-deliver, and we would like to personally invite you to join the people behind Yomadic and the Bohemian Blog for one of 2018’s most incredible travel opportunities – our fifth and FINAL “Pop-Up Tour” of Kiev and Chernobyl.

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



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

pripyat in winter chernobyl
pripyat in winter
Typical Metro Station Interior, Kiev, Ukraine
Typical Metro Station Interior, Kiev, Ukraine


Day 1 – Sunday 14th January: Welcome to Kiev

kiev ukrainian institute ufo buildingKiev 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. We’ll get you checked into Hotel Salut, an icon of mid-century Soviet Modernism – our central location allows easy exploration of the sites and sounds of Kiev.

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

Day 2 – Monday 15th January: Kiev/Presidential Mansion / Urbex

Photogenic decay.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, where you have options – a guided tour of the best sites of Kiev including the colossal Motherland Monument and Great Patriotic War Museum, or an Urbex extravaganza – where a local expert will safely guide you through the underground tunnels of Kiev. I know, I can’t decide either….

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

Day 3 – Tuesday 16th January: Chernobyl Day One

Original Soviet-era artwork, Pripyat, Ukraine.

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. Accompanied by an experienced guide, our three-day-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 cabins.

Day 4 – Wednesday 17th January: Chernobyl Day Two

pripyat hospital lecture theatreWaking 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. 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. Then, it’s back to your cabin in the woods – to get warm, eat BBQ, and perhaps take in a Sauna.

Evening: overnight accommodation in the Chernobyl Zone cabins.

Day 5 – Thursday 18th January: Chernobyl Day Three

cooling tower chernobyl reactorOur final day in Chernobyl. We’re really at the point of cutting-edge-tourism now, and we’ll make sure that we’ve covered all the best-of-the-best in the much larger than you would expect Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Once the sun goes down, we’ll head back to Kiev, making the most of every last minute. On route, we’ll stop at our favourite restaurant in the Ukrainian countryside.

Evening: Kiev, Hotel Salut, you’re going to want a good nights rest tonight.

Day 6 – Friday 19th January: Epiphany in Kiev

sovmod supermarket kiev ukraine velikaEarly morning, we’ll head to the ‘burbs of Kiev, to experience “Epiphany”. Simply, chainsaws are used to create large “ice pools” in the Dnieper River, and devout locals jump in for a refreshing, and cleansing, dip. This is one of the most important times of year on the Orthodox calendar – and no matter what your religion (or lack of), if you want to swim, we’ll arrange it. And, if you want to stand on the sidelines, take photos, and laugh, I’ll be right there with you.

Evening : final group dinner – we’ll head out to a unique Cossack village tucked away in the middle of Kiev. 

Day 7 – Saturday 20th January: Departure

Final Ukrainian breakfast. Tears. Laughter. If you’re staying longer in Kiev, we’ll buy you a drink…

BONUS: there will be more than what is listed in this itinerary.




azure swimming pool pripyat
“Azure” swimming pool, Pripyat.
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 Ukraine, 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, 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 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.


chernobyl basketball

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 misunderstood – 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 many occasions, and run many tours in this part of the world. 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. However, we have decided to take our Ukraine tours in a slightly different direction – and this WILL be the last “YoBoHo” collaboration for 2018. We can’t say too much, we will be working together going forward (even more so), but most likely, this is the last tour ever in this form…




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 four 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 won’t run tours unless we know the place very well, and have a network of expert local professionals to assist)


More information on inclusions and tour policies, below…

chernobyl in winter
Pripyat, Chernobyl, in Winter – Peak Bleak.

Other Frequently Asked Questions…

Why is there a closing date? 

On Friday January the 5th, 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 and passport details. 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.

Ukraine in January… Won’t it be cold?

Yes, absolutely. It’ll be freezing – likely down to -10°C (that’s about 14°F). But seeing Kiev’s golden spires topped in snow, or walking the snow-crusted streets of the abandoned city of Pripyat… we believe that such a unique experience justifies packing a few extra layers. Don’t worry, we’ll be taking regular pit stops for food and hot drinks along the way, while you’ll also find the local vodka works wonders against a chill. We’ve done this before, we know how to keep you warm and comfortable.

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 – but – if you do cancel and we find a replacement for you, we promise to refund a minimum 90% of your full ticket price (if you prefer bank deposit, just ask).

When should I arrive in Kiev?

Aim to arrive in Kiev during the day on Sunday the 14th. 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 390 Euro. Please note, although we will try to offer your own cabin for the nights at Chernobyl, we cannot guarantee this – you would share with a MAXIMUM of one other guest.

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

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. At Chernobyl, we’ll stick together – but we do have more flexibility here than you would assume – with three guides and only a small group, we’ll have options, and we’ll get you to where you want to be.

What’s really included?
  • ▹ all accommodation – iconic, well-reputed, architecturally significant, Soviet-era hotel Salut in Kiev
  • ▹ accommodation at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in historical cabins
  • ▹ all transportation necessary for the duration of the trip, including throughout Kiev, comfortable transportation to and from Pripyat/Chernobyl
  • ▹ all breakfasts are included, including the departure day
  • ▹ guides from Yomadic, the Bohemian Blog, and local guides from Ukraine
  • ▹ all meals at the Chernobyl Exclusion zone for the duration of three days will be included
  • ▹ plus much more…
What’s not included?
  • ▹ airfares or transportation costs to Kiev
  • ▹ 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
  • ▹ unless specified above, dinners and lunches are not included (but again, we’d feel awkward not buying you dinner at least one more time than above)
  • ▹ Ukraine Visa costs if applicable (although we will provide advice if required)
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. If you have any questions, please ask, and we’ll give you the latest information.
  • ▹ Internet speeds in this region are generally fast, WiFi is commonplace – except (understandably) in most, but not all, of Chernobyl
  • ▹ travel insurance is a requirement of this tour (we don’t recommend 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.

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




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Nate Robert, YOMADIC
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