- A private tour of Lviv’s elegant opera and ballet theatre and an evening performance of the Lviv Philharmonic
- A performance at the spectacular Kiev Opera House
- The scenic costal drive from Odessa to Yalta
- Visit Livadia Palace, built by Czar Nicholas II and the setting for the Yalta conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin
- Viewing the valley where the Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War.
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your overnight flight bound for the Ukraine.
Day 2 Welcome to the Ukraine
Upon arrival in Lviv you are met by your guide and escorted to your hotel. Lviv is situated in the Western Ukraine and was founded as a hilltop fort in the 13th Century. It has grown over the years with buildings representing most of the western styles of architecture from Gothic through the neoclassical. You have a chance to relax before enjoying dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 Discovering the Heritage of Lviv
After breakfast, you begin your day with a walking tour of this charming city. During your exploration, your guide will show you the Jewish quarter, the ancient Armenian cathedral and Boimiv chapel. You will also visit the pharmacy museum which occupies a 16th century building on Market Square, the best preserved urban area in the Ukraine. After lunch at a local restaurant your guide will take you out to the countryside to Shevchenkivsky Hayve Park which covers 120 acres and offers close to 100 old wooden buildings including farmsteads, blacksmiths, windmills, churches and schools representing the main ethnic groups of western Ukraine. Your last visit will be to High Castle Hill, site of the original hilltop fort and offering 360 degree panoramic views of the city. This evening, be our guest for dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4 A Day of Culture and Music
This morning, your guide will take you on a personal tour of Lviv's elegant opera and ballet theatre. After lunch, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening you will enjoy a performance of the Lviv Philharmonic followed by a post-concert supper.
Day 5 Kiev, the Mother City
Your guide is waiting at the hotel to take you to the airport for the short flight to Kviv (Kiev, in the West) which is not only the capital of Ukraine but also the mother city of Kyivan Rus from which all of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus people are descended. Upon arrival in Kiev you will be met by your guide who will take you to lunch and an orientation tour of the city. You will then be taken to your hotel where, after a chance to freshen up, dinner awaits.
Day 6 The Caves of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at the hotel and take you to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, one of the oldest monasteries of Old Rus. It is the most sacred place in the city, the spiritual centre of Ukraine and a second Jerusalem for Orthodox Christians. The Lavra was built more than a thousand years ago as a labyrinth of caves. Golden-domed temples were erected above ground while the caves, stretching for miles, were made into a necropolis for Orthodox saints. There are 123 saints in the caves and, despite a lack of embalming they have not decayed, defeating explanation by scientists. After an exploration your guide will take you to lunch followed by some of the other highlights of the city. This evening you will have a tour of the Kiev Opera House followed by a performance and dinner.
Day 7 Odessa, Gateway to the Crimea
In the morning you will be taken to the airport for the flight south to Odessa. From 1526 to 1789, this area was controlled by the Ottoman Turks, but during its expansionist campaign in the 18th century, the area came under the control of Russia. The Russians constructed a new port at Odessa and named it Odessa after the ancient Greek colony of Odessos which is thought to have been located in this area. Upon arrival you are met by your guide who will take you to lunch and a brief orientation tour of the city. This evening take a stroll in this charming city before dinner at the hotel.
Day 8 Historical and Cultural Highlights of Odessa
Today your guide will take you on a comprehensive tour of the city both on foot and in the car. The city was designed from a classical plan with wide tree-lined streets stretching south from Prymorsky Boulevard. It beauty lies in its early 19th Century buildings, the shady promenade, the park sloping down to the sea and the sweep of the Potemkin Steps. The 193 steps, built between 1837 and 1841, descend from a statue of the Duc de Richelieu, dressed in a roman Toga. At the Eastern end, a stature of Pushkin and a British Tiger Gun captured during the Crimean campaign face the Odessa City Hall. After lunch, your guide will take you on a trip through Ukrainian history as displayed in the fifteen room art museum. Dinner is at a charming local restaurant this evening.
Day 9 The Journey to Yalta
After breakfast, your guide will meet you and you will begin your journey south along the coast to Yalta stopping for lunch in a scenic spot along the way. Yalta lies between the gently curving shore of Yalta Bay and the Crimean Mountains. Its scenery and climate remind travelers of Cornwall and Windermere in England, the Costa del Sol in Spain and the French Riviera. It is not surprising that the communist elite used it as their favorite vacation spot. You arrive at your hotel where you have a chance to relax and enjoy the Black Sea view.
Day 10 The Livadia Palace and the Home of Chekhov
Your personal tour of Yalta starts with a visit to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral built early in the 20th Century in a neo-Byzantine style. You then go to the home of Anton Chekov the famous Russian writer which has now been turned into a museum housing many of his original works. After lunch you will go to the Livadia Palace which was built by Czar Nicholas II in the early 1900's. It is also called the White Palace and your private tour will be preceded by a lecture in the music room. This was the summer palace for the Czar as was also the site of the final conference of the war between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin in 1945. You will also have the chance to visit the exquisite gardens which predate the palace by about a hundred years. In addition to rich Mediterranean vegetation and unique arbors the gardens feature ornate fountains and an eighty foot sunblind decorated with roses.
Day 11 The “Forbidden City” of Sevastopol and the Charge of the Light Brigade
After breakfast, your guide will take you to the town of Sevastopol which was a closed city during Soviet times since it served as the base for the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Although now part of Ukraine the Russians still maintain their naval base under a long term lease. Lying near the entrance to the port of Sebastopol are the ruins of Chersonesus, a Greek colony founded in 422 BC. Later it passed into Roman, Byzantine and Genoese control and it was from here that the Christian faith began to spread all over the Ukraine. After an extensive visit to the excavated ruins, you will have lunch and then visit a more contemporary historical site where in 1854 the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean war. On the way back to Yalta you will stop at Balaklava Harbour the location of the main British base.
Day 12 The Home and Harem of the Khans
This morning, a two hour scenic drive takes you to the small town of Bakhchisaray the home of the ruling khans from the 15th through the 18th Centuries. Built around a courtyard its wooden construction is very typically Eastern in design and feel. Of particular interest are the hundred plus fountains scattered throughout the palace and fed by underground streams. In the former harem, the rooms are furnished in the style of the time and provide an interesting glimpse into the life of the Crimea Tatars. After lunch you return to Yalta where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 13 Nikitskiy Gardens and the Wines of Massandra
Even if you're not a gardener your first visit today will be sure to inspire you. The Nikitskiy Gardens were created in 1812 and currently have over 28,000 species and varieties of flora including 2,000 varieties of roses. After a guided tour, you will continue to the Massandra Palace which was completed in 1802 as a hunting lodge for Czar Alexander III and his court. The palace, designed by French architects in the style of a French Chateau, contains a collection of fine arts and furniture. Surrounded by beautiful parkland, it offers stunning views of the coastline. For lunch we take you to the Swallow's Nest built in 1912 as a cozy castle situated at the top of a hill. After lunch you are taken to Vorontsov Palace considered to be the most exotic palace and park complex on the whole coast. Designed and built between 1828 and 1846 by English architects for Count Vorontsov the palace is a bizarre combination of Scottish castle on its landward side and an Arabian fantasy facing the sea. Your last stop will be the Massandra Winery where you have a chance to sample some of the fine wines being created in the Crimea. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
Day 14 Return to USA
This morning your guide will take you to the airport for your connecting flight to the USA where you arrive later the same day.
Available Year Round
Private Luxury Tour - Cultural Highlights of Ukraine ULUK01 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Lviv, Kyiv (Kiev), Odessa, Yalta