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Day 1: Arrive in Krakow, Poland
You are met on arrival at Krakow International Airport and transferred to our hotel in Krakow. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore on your own before our orientation meeting and dinner.
Day 2: Krakow Sightseeing
Krakow is often nicknamed the New Prague because of the architectural splendor, cultural significance and historical importance. Krakow, seat of the Polish kings for over five centuries, is without a doubt the most picturesque town in the country.
Day 3: Oskar Schindler's Factory, WW1 Cemetery, Rural Hike
Today we make our way to Wysowa. Our first stop is at Oskar Schindler's factory. Schindler, a German industrialist, is credited with saving the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. Only the entrance office building is preserved in its original state.
Day 4: Hucul Horses, Carriage Ride, Forest Hike into Slovakia, Medieval Bardejov (UNESCO), return to Poland
This morning we will drive towards the village of Regetow (Poland). Here we will visit a horse farm which is famous for the small Hucul horses originally from the Carpathian mountains. We will have the opportunity to explore the area during our carriage ride.
Day 5: To Uzok, Ukraine via Slovakia’s Dukla Pass
Today we leave Poland to enter Slovakia (unchecked border), then back to Poland and eventually end up in Ukraine where we will stay for the duration of our adventure.
Day 6: Uzhok Pass Hike, Scenic Soviet Train Ride
We start our morning from the picturesque village of Sianki for a short hike and end up at the train station where we board an old Soviet style electric train with wooden seats for a 45 minute journey (please note that the order of events may change if train schedule changes). Our local Soviet-style Carpathian train takes us over the Uzhok Pass (2800 ft/850 m) and slowly winds through tunnels and viaducts until arriving at our village station in Volosianki. For those with a desire for cold beer or shot of vodka, we can stop at the local (and we mean local!) pub.
Day 7: Ukrainian Carpathian Scenic Hike & Villages
We start our hike in Scerbin ascending through beautiful beech forest and coming out to pastures with great panoramas before decending to the rural village of Verchovina Bystra. Along our hike today we pass a wooden church which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8: Village of Pylipets
We journey towards our next Carpathians base: a small town called Pylipets. Our first stop is the town of Uzghorod which is the capital of Carpathian district of Ukraine. We will have a walk through the historical center and Jewish cemetery, the world’s largest Jewish cemetery with over 50,000 tombs.
Day 9: Main Range Hike - Pylipets
Today, we travel by ski lift, close to the main range. We walk up to Mt. Gemba at 1490m. Those who wish to hike up to Mt. Magura (1530m), can enjoy the incredible panoramic views before returning to the ski lift for our descent. It also also possible to continue hiking down to the village where our hotel is and where we will all enjoy a well-earned dinner.
Day 10: Synevyr Pass Hike, Soviet City of Mizhiria
This morning we start our hike right from our mountain hotel in the Synevyr Pass which has a incredible view of the main range, valley and town below. The views are spectacular with rolling hills and our slow decent will take us to back to Mizhiria. After our hike, we can visit this typically Soviet looking town.
Day 11: Synevyr Polana Hike to Kolochava Village & farm house Visit
This morning, we walk to Synevyr Polana village where we will have lunch and visit with one of the local inhabitants at his home. The picturesque village only has 40 inhabitants and is not accessible by road. We will visit with Fyodor and his family at their home in a most serene and beautiful setting.
Day 12: To Lviv, Opera or Symphony
This morning we will continue with our journey to Lviv, the center of Western Ukraine and according to many, the heart and soul of the country. The old Medieval town with cobble stone streets is nothing short of beautiful and charming with great and varied architecture.
Day 13: Lviv (UNESCO)
We continue our exploration of medieval Lviv today and enjoy the colourful buildings, cozy coffee houses, rattling trams and lively streetscapes. In High Castle Park, the mountaintop ruins of a 14th-century castle provide panoramic views of the city’s green-domed churches and the surrounding hills. The whole of Lviv’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site which we will explore in depth today.
Day 14: Train to Kiev
We have a free morning to explore Lviv before we make our way to the train station. We travel to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, by fast train. The journey will take approximately 6 hours and we will enjoy a picnic lunch on the train enroute before arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 15: Chernobyl (optional but recommended) or Kiev Sites
It is hard to imagine that Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, could now offer and reveal an insightful, safe and intriguing tour to the very place that saw overwhelming tragedy, deception and bravery. Today, Reactor 4 (site of the nuclear meltdown) has been contained with concrete and a massive monetary contribution from the EU. Thousands risked their lives to secure the surrounding area and rid it of radiation, or at least remove any radiation risk by walking and exploring in designated safe areas. The tour is a full day and gives a very comprehensive overview of the events leading up to and afterwards. Visit towns and cities now overgrown with trees in a unique, bizarre and fascinating tour unlike any other you have ever taken!
Day 16: Explore Kiev
Kiev is more than 1,500 years old. Antiquity and the present amazingly co-exist on its streets. During this tour you will have a chance to see the most interesting sights of the city, which, like the landmarks of time, designated the pages of its history: the Old-Kiev hill, where the old-Russian land descended from; the famous Golden Gate, the deepest subway in the world, St.-Sophia Cathedral with the largest greatest collection of frescoes in the world, St.-Vladimir Cathedral, St.-Andrew Church and St.-Michael Church.
Day 17: Depart Kiev
After breakfast, we say goodbye to Kiev, Ukraine and our new found friends and journey back home.
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