Our tour with Vika was informative and educational. We visited all the main sites that we wanted to see and had a great day surrounded by a sad part of history. Vika was a bundle of energy and knowledge. There were 9 of us in total which made the tour intimate and friendly I would highly recommend!
This has to be one of the best day trips anywhere in the world, but be prepared to feel sad for the people who suffered and annoyed at how the authorities dealt with it.
Very well organised right from the beginning, good friendly English speaking guide and English speaking driver from Solo-East Travel.
WiFi in the mini bus worked well, although it can't always pick up the required 3G signal for the whole journey.
It was good to have a comfort break at a petrol station on the way there and back, it's over 2 hours each way. The roads are poor in places and the mini bus rarely gets over 45mph.
It's a long day, 8.15am till nearly 8pm when we got back to Kiev. My iPhone says I walked 6.5 miles.
The videos on the journeys are well worth watching, lots of information I hadn't seen before.
I can't believe how close they get you to the reactor, although in hindsight it would have been best to visit last year before the new sarcophagus was moved into place in November 2016.
Expect some delays for old Soviet style beaurocracy and paperwork, all dealt with efficiently by the guide. Lunch was good, but for me a bit rushed due to these previous delays.
You must take your passport and wear suitable clothes which cover arms and legs, no hats required it was already quite hot in early April so choose clothes carefully. There was no need to throw away clothes and footwear afterwards if you follow the advice of the guide. Probably best to wear boots as there is a lot of broken glass and debris everywhere, especially if is wet.
I found the amount of time spent at the DUGA-3 radio tracking station and at the abandoned city of Pripyat too long, enabling us to return to Kiev by the published 6.30pm time.
It's a shame there has clearly been so much vandalism over the past years, as it seems the original explosion didn't physically damage many of the buildings to the extent you now see.
Excellent on all counts - left on in fact before time. Nice coach with a very professional driver.
Guide was excellent - worked hard and kept us informed. He had very good attention to Health and Safety matters: some of the guests were less relaxed about this issue than I was, but the guide was able completely to allay their fears: ones radiation exposure on this tour is truly minimal: WAY below that incurred on a single tran-Atlantic flight!
The included lunch, in a former workers' canteen in the Chernobyl site, was surprisingly good - a four course meal with a drink.
The places visited were all really interesting - and the guide kept things well paced. Pripyat was an extremely atmospheric place to visit - it showed how quickly nature reclaims man-made structures.
Seeing some informative videos en route was both fascinating and very efficient.
In short, this is a very interesting albeit long day out - my understanding of how serious an incident this could have been was greatly enhanced by this tour. I would recommend it without reservation - on this occasion, I went with my son but I am seriously looking into a further visit to Kiev later this year with my partner: and taking this tour again would be the prime focus of this return visit!!
I really enjoyed this trip. Sad but fascinating. Its a longer day excursion but absolutely worth it.The documentaries shown on the drive out were an informative introduction to the visit. We stopped first at a community centre, a missile-detection facility one of the strangest constructions I have ever seen, a park, and a kindergarten. Had a tasty lunch. Afterwards, visited the reactor site. I am amazed by the scale of the efforts necessary to still manage the radioactive waste. Also visited Pripyat. Saw the amusement park, a coffeeshop, small stadium, gymnasium with basketball court and a pool. My favorite was the school and was glad to have had extra time to explore the halls, cafeteria, classrooms, etc. Overall the tour was interesting and well-managed. The tour company, and in particular the guide, Sergei, did a great job!
A highly recommended tour. The guide was very nice and knowledgeable about the Exclusion Zone and everything in it. I imagined the zone to be a dangerous place, but if you follow the instructions given there's nothing to be afraid of, as radiation is low in almost all places the tour takes you to, and the guide makes it pretty clear where the dangerous places are. The tour took almost 10 hours, almost 3 of them travelling to/from the Zone, and 30m-1h or so for lunch, and we visited a lot of places:
- Zalissya, one of the 80 deserted villages.
- The Kopachi kindergarten.
- Chernobyl Town.
- The Lenin Statue.
- The 3rd Angel Statue.
- The Bridge right next to Chernobyl with the largest catfishes I've ever seen.
- Chernobyl, from a prudent distance 200m from the sarcophagus of reactor 4.
- Pripyat the amusement park, the pier, etc..
- The DUGA-1 radar.
- A couple of other things I'm probably forgetting.
- Not the Red Forest, definitively not, as it is one of the highest radiated places in the Exclusion Zone.
It was an eye-opening experience. A desolated, dangerous but somehow beautiful place.