Ukrainian Spirit, Nature and Glory 6 days/5 nights
Day 1 Kiev
Arrival to Kiev. Meet & greet at the Borispol airport. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 2 Kiev
Breakfast at the hotel. 09:00-13:00 City tour with visit of St. Sophia
Khreschatik, the Opera and Ballet Theatre, Golden gates. St. Sophia Cathedral & Monastery are enlisted into World Heritage of UNESCO. More than 1100 years ago Kievan Rus, a powerful European monarchy, was established on Ukrainian territory. The modern centre & the remains of the old city are both on the hilly west bank of the Dnipro, third largest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube.
Sophia Square is crowned by the cupola of the cathedral of St. Sophia of Kyiv. In the 11th century, this was the venue of coronations, audiences with foreign ambassadors and the signing of international treaties. The St. Sophia of Kyiv complex is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The main of special value are wall pictures of the 11th century – 260m² of mosaics and 3000m² of frescos, which make up a unique ensemble of the Middle Age of World Culture History. Across the square, one can see the sparkling golden domes of St. Michael’s Cathedral, which was erected in the 12th century. However, in the 1930s, the Communists destroyed the cathedral. It was re-built in 2001. The tour continues to Andriivskyi Uzviz (Descent) that starts from St.Andrew’s Church will impress you with its unique atmosphere. Free time on Andriivsky descent. Andriivsky Uzviz in Kyiv is like Montmartre in Paris. It is famous for its atmosphere. Artists claim that the aura of the street itself inspires their creativity. Independently of weather conditions, you will see artists demonstrating their works. You can also buy Ukrainian souvenirs and listen to street musicians. Numerous art galleries and shops of folk and applied art make this romantic street the cultural center of Kiev. There is a place where you can see of artists displaying their works everywhere: on the fences, walls of the houses, on the ground, even on themselves.
You can found paintings and watercolours of all possible trends, from stark realism to surrealism, to abstractions, and to what you would not find a name for; amazing creations of handicrafts and applied arts; innumerable folding tables with needlework, pottery, woodwork, weaving. You’ll enjoy the colours, art, noise and music.
13:00-14:00 Lunch at a city restaurant (optional).
14:00-14:30 Free time on Andriivsky Uzviz.
15:00-17:00 The National Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve
Every town has its own sacred place and its own soul. The Acropolis of Athens or the Kremlin of Moscow, the Egyptian pyramids at Cairo of Notre Dame of Paris. Kyiv’s soul is the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra. Lavra indicates the highest status of an Orthodox male monastery. Orthodox Christians believe that the Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra is the second most important place of religious worship after Jerusalem. The monastery was founded on the basis of underground caves about a thousand years ago. Thousands of worshippers from all over the world come to pray in front of sacred relics and see the wonders that science cannot explain. Relics have been kept for centuries in the semi-darkness of the caves without embalming.
17:30 Return to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 3 Kiev
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. 10:00-13:00 The Ukrainian Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life (out-door museum)
Founded in 1969 as National reserve of culture. The area covers 159 hectares of picturesque sites, where more than 300 monuments of folk building tradition are located, filled with household utensils, working instruments, clothes, works of folk art , folk costumes, fabrics, embroidery, carpets, ceramics, articles of metal, wood, glassware, musical instruments, paintings, tools, household articles and the like. The collection of the reserve amounts to 80,000 objects. Every section features the churches, houses, household construction and workshops of the 16th-early 20th centuries, located in the natural settings.
Transfer to the airport
Flight to Zaporozhye
Check in at the hotel
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 4 Zaporozhye
Breakfast at the Hotel. Check out. Visit Khortytsia. Island of Freedom.
The island Khortytsia is one of the seven wonders of Ukraine. Now the Khortytsia National reserve includes Khortytsia Island itself and the adjacent islands and rocks: Baida, Dubovyi, Try Stogy, Blyzniuky and others. Khortytsia became famous in times of Zaporizhian Sich (initially - a fortified military camp, later on - the largest organisation of free Ukrainian Cossacs). Land and water ways from the north to south crossed at Khortytsia. Near the isle, the Dnipro rapids began, and the Viking drakkar longships and Cossack ‘chaika’ boats could not go further. For ancient Greeks who travelled in the northern direction it was also the end of the way. And how could such a strategic place remain without defence? Already Scythians (6th and 5th centuries BC) built the first fortresses here. At the end of the 15th century, Cossacks built their stronghold on the island. It was convenient because they could defend themselves, fish and keep bees, breed livestock in the steppe and hunt in the forests of Khortytsia. Here there was no oppressive serfdom and everybody was free, which was unknown in feudal Medieval Ages. Freedom in Ukraine started from here! The building of a historic and cultural Zaporizhian Sich centre began here in 2004. In the Cossack town from the 16th and 17th centuries different festivals with folk handicrafts, smiths and potters, and a performance by the Cossack horse theatre are organized. Although possibly not fully authentic, reviving the Sich during the festival gives an image of former and modern Ukraine.
Tour to Stone Grave Preserve
The Stone Grave Preserve is situated among a rich and motley collection of historic steppe grasses that compliment the unique rock formations. Weather-beaten for millions years, these rocks, different in form and fantastic in their outline, produce an impression of silent stateliness. Stone Grave is a unique geological and historical relic. It is the remains of sandstone from the Sarmatian stage which was originally the bottom of a shallow sea. The rock waste sliding along the sand, formed a peculiar hill, caves and grottoes, bearing traces of various cultures. At different times here lived ancient hunters and cattle-breeders. Waves of different nomadic tribes moved across these lands – Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Hunns, Khazars, Polovtsi. Over 3000 drawings scratched with hard stones on the rocks give insight into the economy and spiritual life of these early inhabitants. They date from up to twenty two thousands years ago. Remnants of what is believed to have been altars for sacrifices and possibly even of a temple have also been unearthed. The petroglyphs and other artifacts discovered by archeologists indicate that the people of those distant times practiced totemism, fetishism, animism and other forms of ancient religions.
Check in at the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out. Tour to Askania-Nova Reserve - Steppe Wonder
The steppe. An endless sea of grassland stretching near Zaporizhya. Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve. Today, 11,054 hectares of the reserve are covered with virgin feather grass and looks especially impressive in summer and early autumn. In spring, the reserve becomes carpeted in tulips, irises and hyacinth. More than 400 species of herbs and flowers exist in the Askania-Nova steppe area, 85 of which only grow here and nowhere else. Sheep, cows and pigs more adjusted to the hot steppe climate are still bred here.
But this is not what tourists come looking for: a large part of Askania-Nova is used as grazing land for the animals, which live close to as they would in the wild. With 2,250 species of animals in Askania-Nova, the prospect of having a great photo-safari in Southern Ukraine comes to life! Here, you can see Saiga and Oryx antelopes, American bison and Andean llamas, Shetland ponies and Kudu antelope, African waterbuffalo and zebras, ostriches and blue wildebeests. The pride of the reserve is its numerous herds of Przewalski’s horses, whose breeding started in Askania-Nova back in 1899. More than 150 species of trees and bushes grow in the beautiful park, covering 200 hectares in all. It is also a paradise for ornithologists: swans, flamingos, pheasants, peacocks and peahens, larks, pallid harriers, partridges, bustards and cranes – the total of 270 species of birds live here. Since 1985, the Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve is listed in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. Regular excursions are offered in the reserve, including visits to the local zoo and park, horseback riding and minibus tours, and much more.
Transfer to the railway station.Departure to Kiev by overnight train.
Meat and greet at the railway station. Departure transfer to the airport. Departure flight