Before you travel to the Baltic capitals, journey into the heart of Ukraine to discover Kiev, an ancient and culturally rich city of gold-domed cathedrals and historic churches situated along both banks of the Dnieper River. Considered the cradle of Slavic civilization, Kiev has emerged from the Soviet era with a vibrancy that belies its tumultuous past.
- It's Included:
- Airfare from Kiev to Vilnius, Lithuania
- Accommodations for 4 nights in Kiev
- 7 meals—4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner
- 3 small group activities
- Services of an OAT Trip Leader who speaks English and the native language
- All transfers
After an overnight flight, arrive in Kiev, where an OAT representative will greet you. Once we check into our hotel, we have a brief orientation session and a Welcome Drink. This evening, we will have a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Kiev that features Mikhailovsky Cathedral, one of the city’s most historic landmarks. Originally built in the eleventh century, this majestic golden-domed monastery was devastated during Soviet rule and restored for its cultural importance following Ukrainian independence. Our tour also includes a walk along Andreevsky Uzviz, or Andrew’s Descent, a steep, cobblestoned street lined with historic buildings and people selling unique crafts. Then we take a funicular ride to the historic Podil district, where we have lunch at a local restaurant, followed by a metro ride back to our hotel. Later this afternoon, enjoy an enlightening discussion about life and politics in present-day Ukraine. Tonight, dinner is on your own.
Today is free for independent exploration, or you may join an optional tour to a Kiev museum devoted to the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl atomic station. Along with a moving depiction of events that occurred at Chernobyl presented at the museum, you’ll listen to a firsthand account from a survivor. This optional tour includes lunch. This evening, dinner is on your own.
After breakfast at our hotel, we set out to explore the Monastery of the Caves—also under UNESCO World Heritage protection. Considered the spiritual heart of the Ukrainian people, Kiev Percherska Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) is a sprawling active monastery complex founded in the eleventh century spread out over the wooded slopes along the banks of the Dnieper River. Monks that worshipped here lived in caves where they were also buried upon their deaths—and we’ll see their mummified remains. Then, after an included lunch at a local restaurant, the rest of the day is at leisure.
After breakfast, depart for Vilnius, Lithuania, to join your fellow travelers and begin your discoveries of The Baltic Capitals & St. Petersburg.