Book your 2-day private tour to Chernobyl

"You know, there is a special road here. That one, that goes to origins."

A comprehensive 2-days trip through Chernobyl Zone — a land, where a thousands years old civilization twisted with a nuclear epoch.

 

This tour is your opportunity to see the real Chernobyl Zone, understand its scale and diversity, and it is well far from any standard touristic experience.
We made a careful selection of locations — so you will visit famous places (though, much deeper) as well as wild outskirts, where human is a guest. And we added some secret sauce of data, stories, knowledge and equipment.

We will work with you as one team. Teach you new. Help to understand details. And decode, like a spiral, this surreal place that cannot be compared to anything else.

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Features & Itinerary

  • Nearly 200 kilometres in the Zone on rough roads and hours on foot.
  • 2 days of exploration with maximum flexibility and learning new.
  • We take care of all legal paperwork for permits and arrangements. Insurance included.
  • Transfers with reliable vehicles and with skilled drivers. You can also use your own car, but we will need one or two seats for us.
  • Different pick-up and drop-off options — Kyiv or the main checkpoint of Dytiatky.
  • Accommodation in Chernobyl, guesthouse in a nearby village or at
  • Data: hundreds of pictures in our databases and hours of stories.
  • Meals: dinner, breakfast, and coffee in Chernobyl.
  • Our team speaks English, Slovak, Ukrainian or Russian.
  • You can request that one of our special experts or advisors accompany you.

 

Detailed itinerary

 

Day 1 — A way to origins.

Kyiv — Checkpoint Dityatky

We pick you up in Kyiv near your hotel or desired meeting point 8-00 in the morning and do passport check-up, after that we start driving to Chernobyl Zone.

It takes approximate 2 hours to get to the master checkpoint of the Zone, located at the village of Dityatky, 110 km north from Kyiv.  Normally on our way we stop at gas station for snacks and coffee.

On approximately 10-00 we enter the Zone and our adventure begins!

Rudnia-Veresnia village

We take the main highway of the Zone, and relatively soon after the main checkpoint we turn to Rudnia-Veresnia village, which is located 24 kms away from Chernobyl NPP. It is not known when it was founded, however, its age estimated to be at least 200 years. In pre-Soviet time, a river Veresnia that passes through the village, was a source of bog iron, that was collected and transported via small-gauge railway close to Dityatky, where an iron-production manufacture was located. There are no remains of railway anymore, but this specialization of the village reflected in the word Rudnia that refers to ore in Ukrainian.

The lands here are exceptionally sandy, so this neigborhood is relatively low-touched by sprawling vegetation and we find it very picturesque.

Town of Chernobyl — The bridge over the river of Pripyat

Next, we return back to the main highway and pass the villages of Cherevach and Zalissya, and in few minutes come to the town of Chernobyl.
Chernobyl is an ancient town — there is no clear information about its age, however first known historical records mention it on 1193. Being a center of Chernobyl county of Kyiv region, it was regular town with approx. 15000 residents and, contrary to popular beliefs, was never related to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. However, it gave its name to NPP as the closest town existed in 1970, when the construction started.
Before the disaster the town was a resort and important port on the river of Prypiat. After the evacuation in 1986, Chernobyl was converted to administration center of Chernobyl Zone and is a home for many organizations and facilities of it. So it still has that Soviet landscape that forever gone.

The town itself does not feature significant landmarks, so we use it mostly as a technical hub during our trip. So we exit it and turn to the bridge over river of Pripyat to cross to its left bank. During driving, it will be possible to see giant silhoette of the power plant over the horizon.

Paryshiv-2 — Koshivka — Starosillya — Kryva Hora — Zymovysche — Krasno and back

We pass checkpoint Paryshiv-2 and drive to the north, to the places where not so many people go, but that sill keep the authenthity of Chernobyl region.

These places, located on the left bank of Pripyat river, are quite special. Being clamped between rivers, endless swamps and dense forests, for centuries they were a site for ancient neighborhoods. As physical access here was obstructed, a traditional, pretty archaic way of life continued here, making these lands an epitome of Chernobyl Polissya culture, still in the focus of interest of ethnographists and adventure seekers.

Our major stops here are villages of Starosillya with its traditional houses; Zymovysche, that used to be a center of a very huge farm — so here is possible to find a lot of neglected agriculture machinery; and, of course, Krasno — a tiny village, where among other sights, a gem of traditional architecture located — a majestic St. Michael church, built from wood in 1800.

Paryshiv-2 — Leliv — Chernobyl-2

We drive to the inner, so-called 10-km Zone, that separate by internal checkpoint named Leliv after nearby village.

Shortly after 10-km Zone checkpoint we turn to the military concrete road and drive approximately 6 kms to Chernobyl-2. This formerly supersecret town is hidden in dense forests and was one of 6 components of Duga (eng. "Arc") over-the-horizon radar complex, designed in 1970s to detect launches of U.S. ICBMs to Soviet Union. 
The main point of interest there is breathtaking antenna array of 2 antennas — 148 x 500 m and 98 x 250 m as well as surrounding facilities.

When we come to Chernobyl-2, we leave the car near its checkpoint, and go on foot to visit antennas, cabling tunnel, go around data processing center and other facilities, like vehicles service depot, firestation, and so on. All together, it is few hours of detailed walking and exploring one of the most spectacular sites of the Zone.
As Chernobyl disaster caused a contamination of Chernobyl-2, being followed by end of Cold War and collapse of Soviet Union, the fate of Duga project was dark - it was cancelled and all the components destroyed, except array of Chernobyl-2. 

Way back to Chernobyl.

We drive back to Leliv checkpoint where we pass first contamination checkup using special automatic devices. After that we arrive to Chernobyl. If we spend overnight at Chernobyl, we have dinner here (just for case — all the food in Chernobyl being supplied from Kyiv, so it is safe. Of course, our chef can roast you a local boar, but it will be very expensive... just kidding!). If we stay outside the Zone, we can have here coffee, and then drive to master checkpoint, and have dinner shortly after we exit.

 

Day 2 — A way to the Core.

We have breakfast, check-out from accommodation and continue our exploration — so we again drive to north.

Chernobyl — Leliv — Kopachi village

This village, along with village of Chystogalivka had a sad fate — being built of wood, it faced extreme contamination, so during the decontamination works 99% of structures were buried underground. Therefore, the area looks like a forest with lot of small hills over the initial houses. 

After decades, levels of radioactivity there lowered significantly, but it is a very good point to see for the first time how to measure intensive exposure, learn about contamination, etc. So we make here a short stop.

Cooling Pond and Fish Research Radiological Facility

We enter industrial area of Chernobyl NPP and make a stop close to its cooling pond — a 26 sq. kms reservoir created for passive cooling of reactors 1-4. Since this pond was all-the-year warm, it was used for raising fish. After the disaster, the dedicated facility was converted to research lab to study radioactivity effects. It was in operation aproximately up to 2000.

Cooling Towers

We walk by railway initially created to transport nuclear waste, and approach massive cooling towers of Phase III of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. As construction of Units V and VI stopped in 1988, they stay untouched since then, yet not becoming less impressive.

Around NPP and New Safe Confinement of Unit IV

We drive along the water intake channel and pass storage for spent nuclear fuel #2 and unfinished Units 5 and 6, and come closer to Phases 1 and 2.
Next, we drive around NPP and stop at the observation point of New Safe Confinement (the Arch) — the superstructure that on November 29, 2016 covered Shelter Object (the Sarcophagus) for 100 years.

Red (Rusty) Forest Site

We make a stop on the road near famous enrance sign of city Pripyat, located at the ground zero of so-called Rusty Forest. Once this area was an old and dense pine forest, that was covered with intensive contamination shortly after disaster. Since pine-trees are particulatly vulnerable to irradiation, they died and became dry in few months, getting the rusty color. The forest was almost totally demolished in 1986, making visible the so-called Forest Village, created in 1970 to house first builders of NPP. However, few of that trees still stand...

We stop at the safe point on the road, which is good for observation. 

City of Pripyat

Shortly after Rusty Forest we come to city of Pripyat — the satellite town of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, established in 1970 and 16 years old only at time of disaster. Designed for ~50000 residents it consists of 5 districts and more than 180 structures. As it faced very intensive decontamination, the levels of radioactivity there generally not high except minor small hotspots. Approximately up to 2000 this city was mostly used in pretty the same way like Chernobyl now — as a host for many organizations and companies of the Zone. Few facilities still operate in Pripyat.

We leave our car at the central square and explore the city on foot for the rest of the day — believe, it is the best practice to walk there, not drive. We may take any route you would like, or go from oldest part to newest, covering major sights. 

Average list of locations depends on actual constraints, but normally we have time to cover as famous locations as well as completely non-touristic places. We are flexible with this very much.

Please note, that especially in Pripyat it is officially forbidden to go inside structures, as it is really unsafe (and, honestly, Chernobyl-2 is much more rich in the scope of internals, so we prefer to go there). Anyway, in fact in Pripyat there are numerous places where you can perfectly see internals even without entering them.

Way back to Kyiv

We exit the Zone and drive towards Kyiv. On the way make a stop in Ivankiv in restaurant for afterparty dinner. In around one hour after we arrive to Kyiv to initial pick-up point.

Notices:

  • If you need help with airport transfer or booking your hotel, let us know.
  • In the price included: processing of all documents, accomodation, meals (dinner on the 1st day, breakfast and dinner on the second), guiding in English, obligatory insurance, transfer from Kyiv, within the Zone and back, tons of good emotions and nice experience :)
  • Acomodation type is a subject of availability. Normally, we can offer either accomodation in Chernobyl in original hotel of the town, or outside the Zone in nearby village in private guesthouse. Second option is more comfortable and not a subject of Zone's curfew after 20-00.
  • In order to maximize the time for exploration, we have meals in the evening. It is always possible to buy snacks in Chernobyl. If you stay outside the Zone overnight, we can provide much better meals that available by cafe in the Zone.
  • This program can be extended with NPP internal visit, to 3 or 4 days with more locations. Contact us, if you are interested.
  • Normally, it is needed at least 10 calendar days to issue the entry permit for a trip. It is legal procedure that normally cannot be shortened. In order to issue a permit, we need your full and accurate passport information and all details discussed before that time.
  • We work only in private tours format and do not offer group tours, because we do not want to lower the quality of our programs.

When, who and how


E.g., 14.11.2018
Permit requests are accepted by authorities in 10 calendar days advance for processing and security clearance.
Select the start day of the tour.
Please select a transfer type.
Please note, that if you select "Own vehicle", you MUST provide brand, numberplate and a name of a driver in advance along with passport details of the group.
Price per 1 visitor:
€835
As more visitors go with you, as lower the price.
We will apply 10% discount for the tours booked for December, January and February.

Still have doubts? Take a look to testimonials