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Please help!!

New Delhi
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219 posts
161 reviews
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Please help!!
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Me and my wife planning to visit Ukraine in September. We have been to many countries in Europe, but Ukraine to us is mystical.

We have around 10/12 days in hand. Please suggest an itinerary. We are fond of nature (beach, mountains and villages) and cuisine.

Also suggest transportation to and from cities. Can you please suggest any reliable travel agent who can do the booking for us.

Lastly, I have been hearing about crime stories in Ukraine. How far is this true? Is it advisable to travel to Ukraine?

Thanks.

Kiev, Ukraine
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123 posts
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Hi Srimanta,

My name is Yuriy, nice to meet you :) During 10-12 days you can see a lot.

Basically, Wikipedia can give you a lot of valuable information about the country.

Since you are planning to visit Ukraine in September, you can go for the following activities:

- touring old cities - Lviv, Kiev, Uzhgorod,

- mountain hikes in Carpathian mountains,

- sea rest in Odessa/Yalta, Sevastopol etc (these towns are in the Crimea peninsula)

- visit traditional Ukrainian towns and villages - Poltava and others

You can enjoy Ukrainian cuisine during any of these activities and it is up to you to decide, what you will choose.

However, it is your first time in Ukraine and even though there is no serious problem with crimes - most cities and places are very safe, you could be at a loss, if you visit a lot of places at once.

I suggest that you choose no more than 3 destinations and spend 3-4 days in each of them. I would recommend you Kiev, Lviv and Odessa (or some town in Crimea). This way you can get a lot of impressions about the country. And if you have questions about particular places in Ukraine, I will gladly advise you on that.

Best regards,

Yuriy

Edited: 8:59 am, April 05, 2012
Kyiv
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Hi Srimanta and welcome to Ukraine forum! :)

Ukraine IS a mystical place ;) but you got to spend some time here to feel it...

Anyway, for these preferences of yours, it seems like your choice should be Crimea and Carpathians/Transcarpathians, amazingly scenic. But much depends on when exactly in September you will be travelling - say, Carpathians in rainy period is not my fave place to be in. And, of course, since you will most probably fly into Kyiv, there’s surely no missing it.

Transportation should better be discussed when you define your itinerary. But we have an extensive rail network in Ukraine http://uz.gov.ua/en/ and bus connections are widely available http://ticket.bus.com.ua/ Most domestic flights connect via Kyiv, though.

Sorry I can’t help you with the travel agent, but perhaps you will be able to pick up some ideas from our Trip reports? tripadvisor.com/…28348864

As for the crime stories, name me the country that you’ve heard none about, please :) May I invite your attention to the upper right corner of this page - among Top questions about Ukraine, please, read through the threads in FAQ: Ukraine - How Safe? Hope they set your mind at ease.

Odessa, Ukraine
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Dear Srimanta M, in the addition to all above mentioned I'd like to talk about transportation. The quickest but the most expensive way is a plane, then, the private\tourist car with personal driver (and guide if needed). Then, the train (we have overnight trains with 4 or 2 people in the compartment). And, of course, the public busses.

Don't hesitate to ask any questions, I will try to be helpful.

New Delhi
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Thanks Yuriy C, Cora_v and Odessa Guide,

Your inputs are very valuable. Thanks so much.

We are planning something like this: Kyiv - 2 nights, Yalta - 2 nights, Odessa - 2 nights, Lviv - 2 nights and Carpathian - 3 nights.

What I need to know, is Yalta and Odessa similar? Then can we cut down on one of the destination. We don't want to spend many nights on train.

Is 3 nights in Carpathian too much?

Should we increase 1 night in Kyiv?

We have decided on the places but not too sure on how many days we should spend in each of these places..

Would be glad if you can get back on this.

Thanks again,

Kyiv
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>>> Is 3 nights in Carpathian too much? Should we increase 1 night in Kyiv?

I don’t think so, considering that your travel interests are focused on nature (mountains etc).

>>> Yalta and Odessa similar?

Not a bit.

Yalta is a small coastal town with not much to see in it (compared to Odessa), very quiet in the low season and extremely crowded in high (mid/end-summer). But it gives you a terrific base to the entire southern coast of Crimea with its ample historic sights and natural wonders; all very close and reachable by taxi/public transport. Also, there is no comparison in Ukraine to amazing Crimean nature, so I can not recommend you to give it a miss, considering your travel interests as you described them above.

Odessa is a larger port city, and a character in its own. It has lots of things to do and see in the city (Opera House shouldn’t be missed, if you like classics).

Mind though that I’m biased and just love Crimea ;)

Browse for the photos of both, perhaps it will help you to make up your mind? Start with those available on TA (look for Photos in the left-hand menu on respective pages tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g313972-i7465-Crim… and tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g295368-i5302-Odes… ).

Just some suggestions for you to consider:

(a) Should you decide to give Odessa a miss (for whatever reasoning), take a look at the city of Sevastopol in West Crimea with nearby Balaklava, Inkerman, Bakhchisaray http://tinyurl.com/dypn2xq and Cave Monastery of Chufut Kale http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%87ufut_Qale It’ll be very easy to get there from Yalta.

(b) Should you decide to skip Crimea, consider adding one night to Lviv, so that you could visit its nearby castles. Say, in Olesko http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olesko_Castle , Pidhirtsi es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castillo_Pidhirtsi and Zolochiv http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolochiv_Castle This “Golden Shoe” is a minimum of what you can see; there are many others nearby tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g295377-i5799-k427… Then one more night can be added either to Kyiv, or to Carpathians.

>>> not too sure on how many days we should spend in each of these places..

Your current itinerary looks quite balanced to me if you want to quickly see the best of Ukraine.

But you are right, considering the distances and how slow Ukrainian trains are, you might, indeed, spend too much time on the road moving between Crimea, Odessa and Western Ukraine.

Odessa, Ukraine
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There is one thing on my mind for how you can reduce transportation time:

you can take a plane from Kiev to Simferopol (Crimea) and take a bus or a taxi for Yalta. Driving time will be about 1.40 hrs.

Kiev, Ukraine
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123 posts
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Hi Srimanta,

Yes, you will spend a lot of time during your journey between cities and what's more important, it may cost you a lot of money. Do you have a budget for this trip? I could advise you on planning your expenses.

Best regards,

Yuriy

Kyiv
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Sorry, I only now summed up your days in the itinerary and it made me wonder – seems like it’s inclusive of the time needed for the road between the cities, right?

If so, looks too ambitious to me, considering that upon arrival you will be exhausted after the long haul flight plus the time difference, so hardly will see much.

It only leaves you with 1-1.5 days of pure sights per each destination, and 0.5-1 day on the road between each leg (even if you take flights).

To avoid rushing around, either cut on some destinations, or try to add more days to your trip, if you can. If you can’t, I stick to my initial suggestion of Kyiv-Crimea-Carpathians (well, may be plus Lviv)…

Edited: 8:18 am, April 10, 2012
Kharkiv, Ukraine
5 posts
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I hate Odessa))

Guys! don't forget about picturesque places like Sofievka (town of Uman') which is very beautiful and romantic, a huge castle in Kamenec-Podolskiy (the most famous touristic place among foreign visitors).

You can get to this places on a bus or on a train from various cityes

New Delhi
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Dear All,

Thanks so much for the advices.

What I am thinking is something like this:

Kiev - 2 night - 3rd night we leave for Simferopol by overnight train

Yalta - 2 nights - 3rd night we leave for Odessa by overnight train

Odessa - 2 nights - 3rd morning or night we leave for Sevastopal

Sevastopol - 1 night (I believe it is near Odessa and not to be missed)

Lviv - 2 nights - 3rd morning we leave for Kolomyia by morning train

Carpathians - 3 nights

Kiev - 1 night before departure. Or we can spend 3 full nights in Kiev in the beginning of the tour. Depends on how far is the train journey from Kamyanets-Podilsky to Kiev. Then, where do we stay the whole day in Kiev as our flight is only in the evening?

TOTAL - 13 nights. By this we will get more time in between to relax before we catch the next train. What do you think?

What do we do when we take overnight trains. As hotel check out will be at 12pm, I suppose.

Do you think it will work fine now?

I have received one quote for Euro 500 pp.

Inclusions as follows:

Transportation: train transfers (2nd class compartment), transfer to Kosmach village and back to Kolomyia by private car

Meals: all overnight in the hotel are B&B, breakfast included

Guide: meet & greet with Active Ukraine representative in your hotel in Kyiv

Activities: sightseeing, hiking in Carpathian Mountains with English speaking guide

Please let know if you think this is justified.

Thanks again