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Ukraine's Jewish Heritage

This sample 10 day (9 night) itinerary covers many of Ukraine's Jewish heritage highlights. The services we provide as part of our comprehensive packages include accommodations, private transfers, tickets for trains, buses, and intra-European flights, airport, bus, and train station transfers, and a rich program of activities, from historic synagogues and traditional Jewish treats to beaches, catacombs, and potentially Chernobyl itself, to ensure your European vacation is memorable. All of our tours are custom and this is just a sample meant to give an idea of what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.

One of our team members in the region will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, and spacious apartments. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.

Route for Lviv, Kyiv, Odessa tour

3 Nights in Lviv

3 Nights in Lviv

4 days in Lviv
4 days in Lviv

3 Nights in Lviv

Lviv is a picture-perfect Central European city. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is by no means the only place where you can get in touch with traditional Ukraine while you visit. Lviv’s unique atmosphere emanates from all of its elegant houses and cobblestone streets. You’ll have a wonderful time exploring this atmospheric destination, the heart of Ukrainian culture. The most popular tourist destination in Ukraine, Lviv is a cosmopolitan city with a long history of Jewish, Polish, Austrian and Hungarian influences. European history buffs, or anyone who likes to experience Old World elegance and sophistication will love it here.

Lviv is a picture-perfect Central European city. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is by no means the only place where you can get in touch with traditional Ukraine while you visit. Lviv’s unique atmosphere emanates from all of its elegant houses and cobblestone streets. You’ll have a wonderful time exploring this atmospheric destination, the heart of Ukrainian culture. The most popular tourist destination in Ukraine, Lviv is a cosmopolitan city with a long history of Jewish, Polish, Austrian and Hungarian influences. European history buffs, or anyone who likes to experience Old World elegance and sophistication will love it here.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Lviv

A driver will be at the airport to greet you and transfer you to your centrally located Lviv accommodation.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Lviv

Lviv Private Jewish Heritage Tour

Lviv Private Jewish Heritage Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

This tour is the best way to experience Lviv's rich Jewish history. You'll start with a two-hour walking tour in the center of the city where the Jewish Quarter once stood. Then you'll enjoy a two-hour transport tour in other parts of Lviv. You'll see the Holocaust memorial, the building where Sholom Aleichem lived, the former Jewish museum, the former Yaniv concentration camp and more. The last hour will be dedicated to the "Territory of Terror" Memorial Museum.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5 hours

Private Chocolate-making Class

Show Your Love With Chocolate

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

What can be more romantic than a heart? Especially if it's handmade by yourself out of delicious chocolate? "The chocolate capital of Ukraine" may not sound impressive, but Lviv excels at decadence, from alcohol to coffee to chocolate, and its master chocolatiers are known throughout Eastern Europe. With a private chocolate-making class, you can learn to make various sweets in different forms, or even write a poem in chocolate, while naturally tasting quite a few sweets along the way!


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 1 hour

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Lviv

Three Castles Day Trip

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Leave Lviv, and explore the history of its neighboring villages, castles, and towns. No matter the tour, you'll get a taste of the area's sheer historic and architectural diversity.

Private Castles Tour around Lviv

Private Castles Tour around Lviv

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

This tour will allow you to experience some of the majestic history of the Lviv region by touring its most impressive palaces and castles. You'll start in the picturesque hills of Olesko, where a fortress still shows the marks of past battles. In this area there are several easily accessible sites. You'll also see a fairy tale palace with slender towers, shining mosaic tiles and playful decorations. The past will come alive for you as you tour these castles with an expert guide. You'll love learning more about the royal past of this region.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 7 hours

Zhovkva and Krehiv Monastery Private Tour

Zhovkva and Krehiv Monastery Private Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

On this fun trip you'll come to a better understanding of the region's history and culture. Zhovkva is a real pearl of local architecture, and the nearby village of Krekhiv is also an epicenter of important buildings, in this case churches and monasteries. You'll have a guide with you for the day, so you'll learn all about the interesting history that shaped the region.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 6 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Kyiv by Train

It's time to leave Lviv behind and head to Ukraine's capital Kiev. There are several direct trains a day but only two fast trains that leave either very early in the morning or in the later afternoon and gets to Kiev just over 5 hours later. We'll have you picked up from your accommodation in Lviv, where you can store your luggage while enjoying your last day in the city if you choose the late afternoon options, and taken to the train station. First class tickets for the train will be provided too. If you'd prefer to leave at a different time, the 7-9 hour hour journey time trains are an option or for more flexibility and the chance to see the famous "Tunnel of Love" along the way, a private transfer can be arrange at an additional fee.

By Train to Kyiv

You can upgrade your transfer

Upgrade to By Private Transfer with Stops
By Private Transfer with Stops

Upgrade for an additional cost
We also offer the following excursions in Lviv

Coffee Degustation Private Tour
Easy2 hours
Liqueur Degustation Private Tour
Easy1 hour
Lviv Private Walking Tour
Light2 hours
Private Cooking Class with Traditional Ukrainian Dinner
Light3 hours

3 Nights in Kyiv

3 Nights in Kyiv

4 days in Kyiv
4 days in Kyiv

3 Nights in Kyiv

Kyiv is a modern city steeped in history, where high-end shops and colorful restaurants are surrounded with classical architecture. It is the source of Eastern Slavic culture and Kyiv still keeps a firm hold on history. The city’s famous buildings include Saint Sofia, a church that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled in the hills, Kyiv feels spread out and can be a bit of a challenge to take in if you’re trying do so on foot but an excellent public transport system and very inexpensive taxis make getting around a breeze. There’s no shortage of unique things to do here, like touring the grounds of the opulent villa of former President Victor Yanukovych, complete with a huge collection of cars and private zoo. Another must-see, the Monastery of the Caves or Pechersk Lavra, is unlike anyplace else. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of a large complex of churches and chapels but most striking is a series of underground caves where you can see mummified monks from the 11th century. It’s just one more thing that makes Kyiv special.

Kyiv is a modern city steeped in history, where high-end shops and colorful restaurants are surrounded with classical architecture. It is the source of Eastern Slavic culture and Kyiv still keeps a firm hold on history. The city’s famous buildings include Saint Sofia, a church that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled in the hills, Kyiv feels spread out and can be a bit of a challenge to take in if you’re trying do so on foot but an excellent public transport system and very inexpensive taxis make getting around a breeze. There’s no shortage of unique things to do here, like touring the grounds of the opulent villa of former President Victor Yanukovych, complete with a huge collection of cars and private zoo. Another must-see, the Monastery of the Caves or Pechersk Lavra, is unlike anyplace else. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of a large complex of churches and chapels but most striking is a series of underground caves where you can see mummified monks from the 11th century. It’s just one more thing that makes Kyiv special.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Kyiv

When you arrive at Kiev's train station, we will have a driver there to meet you and take you to your accommodation.

Our representative will then meet with you to answer any questions you have and to get you settled for the rest of your trip.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Kyiv

Jewish Heritage and Babiy Yar Private Tour

Jewish Heritage and Babiy Yar Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

The history of Kyiv is closely connected to the history of its largest Jewish community, which has left its marks on the city's architecture, art, and scientific advances. On this tour, you will delve into the city's Jewish heritage, including its nadir, Babiy Yar, the site of one of the Holocaust's most infamous massacres.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

Kyiv Urbex Private Tour

See the City From Underground

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Kyiv is impressive from the surface, and from the top of the Motherland Monument, but its endless underground spaces are attractive in their own way. We offer an urban exploration tour that covers tunnels ranging from sewers to an underground river, as well as a Soviet nuclear bunker, and the rooftop of an abandoned building. Be prepared for something special, and to get a bit dirty (boots, gloves, and flashlights from a Soviet soldier's kit are provided!)


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 3 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Your Second Full Day in Kyiv

World War II Private Tour

Explore Ukraine's Darkest Moment and Greatest Triumph

Included in your vacation package price.

The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War is a memorial complex commemorating World War II, located on a ridge above the Dnipro River, which offers excellent views of the city on the opposite, low-lying bank. Here you'll find the Motherland Monument, which is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty, and more heavily armed. The statue of located above a museum devoted to Ukraine's contribution to World War II and its defeat of Nazism, with its collection of rare documents, photographs, transport, weapons, aircraft, and tanks of both domestic and German production. The complex includes the museum itself, Motherland Monument, a sculptural gallery dedicated to the heroes of the front and rear, the Cup of Glory, and tanks, other vehicles, and cannons from the war itself (as well as several modern captured Russian vehicles, displayed of proof of the Russian support of the rebels to the east.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 hours

Witness the Zenith and Nadir of Kyiv's Jews

Suggestion to explore on your own

For centuries, Kyiv hosted one of Eastern Europe's largest and most thriving Jewish communities. While the number of Jews in Kyiv has shrunk to 20,000, the community has been busy reopening synagogues and erecting monuments. Relive the glory days by visiting Kyiv’s grandest synagogues. The charming Great Choral Synagogue, a Neo-Moorish building painted in dark red with white trim, stands out even among the beautiful buildings of Podil, Kyiv’s historic center. It’s no surprise Ukraine’s chief rabbi chose to make it his seat. There are good kosher restaurants nearby. Near the Golden Gate, you can find the Kenesa, the Moorish temple built by Karaites, people descended from medieval Crimean Tatars who converted to an offshoot of Judaism. The Brodsky Choral Synagogue is the most grand synagogue in the city, and closer to its modern center. Here you’ll find the city’s main Jewish museum.

Nearby you'll find a plaque devoted to Golda Meir, located on her birthplace and childhood home, while a short walk will take you to the Sholem Aleichem Museum and memorial, devoted to the writer whose works inspired "Fiddler on the Roof." The final place to visit is also the city's most infamous: Babi Yar, the ravine where tens of thousands of Kyiv's Jews were tortured, murdered, and buried in two days, shortly after the Nazi arrival, followed by over 100,000 Jews and other Soviet citizens over the following years. A fittingly macabre Soviet monument anchors the site, but nearly a dozen other monuments can be found on Babi Yar’s grounds.

Day 7

Day 7 - Traveling to Odessa by Airplane

The fastest way to get to Odessa is by air. There are several flights throughout the day, some departing Kiev's smaller Zhuliany airport located closer to the city center. The flight time is around 1 hour 20 minutes, so door-to-door should take between 4 and 5 hours. We have included economy class tickets in your package. While it is possible to go by road with a private transfer, it's a very long day and the only interesting stop is at a decommissioned missile base, now a museum.

By Air to Odessa
We also offer the following excursions in Kyiv

Chernobyl Group Day Tour
Moderate12 hours
Chernobyl Private Day Tour
Moderate12 hours
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Private Walking Tour
Moderate2 hours
Kyiv Private Walking Tour
Moderate3 hours

3 Nights in Odessa

3 Nights in Odessa

4 days in Odessa
4 days in Odessa

3 Nights in Odessa

It’s no surprise that Odessa has been featured in so many famous works of art and literature; it has been a cultural center with a unique energy since it was founded in the 18th century. Today it is a lively destination with an engaging variety of restaurants, shops, and unique architecture. One of the city’s most famous buildings is the Opera House, which is both beautiful and very affordable to visit. A port city on the Black Sea, Odessa is also known for its beaches. The famous Potemkin Stairs lead down to the port and are definitely worth seeing. It’s easy to have a wonderful time just strolling though this scenic, very walkable city. Odessa’s catacombs are a famous sight, and along just about any avenue you can admire brightly colored neoclassical buildings. Gourmands will love exploring the city’s dining scene, which boasts some of the best cuisine in Ukraine.

It’s no surprise that Odessa has been featured in so many famous works of art and literature; it has been a cultural center with a unique energy since it was founded in the 18th century. Today it is a lively destination with an engaging variety of restaurants, shops, and unique architecture. One of the city’s most famous buildings is the Opera House, which is both beautiful and very affordable to visit. A port city on the Black Sea, Odessa is also known for its beaches. The famous Potemkin Stairs lead down to the port and are definitely worth seeing. It’s easy to have a wonderful time just strolling though this scenic, very walkable city. Odessa’s catacombs are a famous sight, and along just about any avenue you can admire brightly colored neoclassical buildings. Gourmands will love exploring the city’s dining scene, which boasts some of the best cuisine in Ukraine.

Day 7

Day 7 - Arrival in Odessa

A driver will be at the airport to greet you and transfer you to your centrally located Odessa accommodation.

Catacombs Private Tour

Another City: Explore Europe's Largest Catacombs

Included in your vacation package price.

Did you know there's another Odessa, with its own history? Explore an unusual aspect of WWII by delving into Odessa's catacombs, the largest such network in Europe. We offer a private tour of the tunnel network, and the lives of the partisans that lived in and fought from its chambers. When you exit the tunnels, you'll visit a museum dedicated to World War ll and Odessa’s Nazi occupation.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 3 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Your First Full Day in Odessa

Jewish Odessa Private Tour by Car and on Foot

Jewish Odessa Private Tour by Car and on Foot

Included in your vacation package price.

This special tour is a great way to learn about the contrasting history of Jewish Odessa. At the dawn of the 20th century the city housed the third largest Jewish settlement in the world. The Jewish history of Odessa is absorbing and packed full of fascinating and at times controversial facts: 19th-century Odessa welcomed Jews and yet the first pogrom in the Russian Empire happened here. Odessa enthusiastically embraced the Haskalah movement, and yet later became home to Zionism and Hasidism.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours 30 minutes

Odessa Private Walking Tour for History, Culture & Food Lovers

Local Cuisine From Everywhere

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

With its cosmopolitan mix of Jews, Ukrainians, Russians, Romanians, and more rare ethnicities, and visiting sailors from around the word, Odessa's food is a strange mix of influences, which we'll be happy to help you explore on a tour. If you'd rather explore the city on your own, be sure to check out the Privoz food market, and stroll down Derybasivska Street.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5 hours

Day 9

Day 9 - Your Second Full Day in Odessa

Explore Beyond the Cty Limits

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Ready to step outside Odessa and explore beyond the city limits? We suggest taking a packed full day tour with a private driver and guide who can show you the highlights of the region. You'll see more of the Black Sea coastline, the town of Belgorod-Dnestrovksy and the "White Fortress", one of Ukraine's largest fortresses. You'll also visit the Shabo winery and wine culture center, with a VIP tour and tasting.


For something truly unique, you can also head to Transnistria, a part of Moldova that declared independence when the Soviet Union broke up, and which remains firmly in the past. Here, you'll find the hammer and sickle flying proudly above statues of Lenin. With a private day trip, you'll learn about this strange land's unique history and see its best architecture

The Akkerman Fortress Private Tour and Local Wine Tasting

The Akkerman Fortress Private Tour and Local Wine Tasting

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Here's one of our favorite day trips outside of Odessa. You'll get to see an ancient fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic vineyard! An expert local guide will tell you exciting stories about the region as you take in the Black Sea coastline and the countryside, as well as the town of Belgorod-Dnestrovksy and the ”White Fortress,” one of the largest fortresses in Ukraine. The tour continues with a visit to the Shabo winery and Ukraine's center of wine culture. You'll explore cellars built two centuries ago, once visited by the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and King Carol ll of Romania. Of course there will be time to sample some of the vintages.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 10 hours

Transnistria Private Day Trip

Transnistria Private Day Trip

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

Transnistria might just be the strangest non-country you'll ever visit. A self-declared republic on the territory of Moldova, this former Soviet territory just can't let go of the past. If you'd like to come to a better understanding of this unique region while seeing some of its most important architecture, we recommend this nine-hour tour with an expert local guide and driver.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 9 hours

Day 10

Day 10 - Departure Day

Based on your departure time, we'll arrange for a driver to pick you up from your accommodation and transfer you to the airport for your flight.

We also offer the following excursions in Odessa

Odessa Driving and Walking Private Tour
Light6 hours
Odessa Opera House Private Tour
Easy1 hour
Private Sailing Tour
Moderate3 hours
Secrets and Splendors of Odessa’s Landmarks Private Walking Tour
Light4 hours
What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Lviv

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Lviv Airport Transfer
Lviv Private Jewish Heritage Tour
Lviv Train Station Transfer
Lviv - Kiev Train

Kyiv

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Kyiv Train Station Transfer
Jewish Heritage and Babiy Yar Private Tour
World War II Private Tour
Kyiv Airport Transfer
Kyiv - Odessa One-way Flight

Odessa

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Odessa Airport Transfer
Catacombs Private Tour
Jewish Odessa Private Tour by Car and on Foot
Odessa Airport Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.

Glowing Reviews from Our Guests

5 / 5

Average of our Guest's Ratings of vacation packages including these destinations
Review by Angela & Bill

Angela & Bill

Tennessee

JayWay Travel was excellent in that they kept in touch with us for many months exchanging ideas and making the best plans. We have taken 10 JayWay Travel trips since 2007 so that says enough!! Looking forward to the next one. Health and the Lord willing!

JayWay Travel was excellent in that they kept in touch with us for many months exchanging ideas and making the best plans. We have taken 10 JayWay Travel trips since 2007 so that says enough!! Looking forward to the next one. Health and the Lord willing!

Year : 2018
Visited : Ukraine, Moldova
Itinerary : Lviv, Kiev, Odessa, Chisinau
Rating :
5 / 5
Year : 2018
Visited : Ukraine, Moldova
Itinerary : Lviv, Kiev, Odessa, Chisinau
Rating :
5 / 5
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