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One day trip > Castles and Fortresses (Kiev – Kamyanets-Podilsky - Khotyn - Bakota – Kryvche - Kiev) tour

 
     
Photo 1. Panoramic view of Kamyanets-Podilsky Photo 2. Fortress in Kamyanets-Podilsky  Photo 3. Bakota Rock Monastery, founded in 12th century.

                                                     

 

Day 1 - Kiev

 

Meeting at the airport. Transfer to hotel. Check-in. Dinner

 

 Day 2 - Kiev

 

Kiev City tour - St. Sophia’s Cathedral - Kiev Fortress - Transfer to Kamyanets-Podilsky

 

Kiev City tour:

St. Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Sofia’s belltower, former governmental offices, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral, Monument to Princess Olga, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, St. Andrew's Church, souvenir market, St. Andrew's Descent, monument to Pronya Prokopovna and Svirid Golokhvastov, Old Kiev Hill, Maidan (Independence Square), monument to lampposts in love, "Glory to Ukraine" obelisk , Musical Academy of Ukraine, the European Square, Ukrainian House, Philharmonic Hall, Dynamo stadium, Grushevsky’s Street, Cabinet of Ministers Building, Parliament of Ukraine Building, Halperin’s, Zaitsev’s, Polyakov’s mansions, Mariinsky park, monument to the "Arsenal" plant workers, garrison barracks, the Kyiv-Pechersk fortress, monument to Pushkin, the Park of Glory, the memorial to the victims of Holodomor, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra cave monastery, monument to soldiers fallen in Afghanistan, the memorial complex of World War II, Soviet Motherland Statue, City Botanic Garden, Dnepr River embankment, monument to the founders of Kiev, Vladimir’s Hill, monument to Grand Prince Vladimir, Podol (Lower Town), Nativity Church, Arch of Friendship, River Port Terminal, Postal Square, cable car, Sahaidachny’s Street,  Balabukha’s mansion, Guest Yard, Kontraktovaya Square, monument to Sahaidachny, Kiev-Mohyla Academy, monument to Skovoroda, Contract House, Pyrogoscha church, Samson’s fountain.

St. Sophia’s Cathedral

m of 11th century original mosaics in the cathedral. This is the largest collection of the 11th century mosaics all over the world. 

Kiev Fortress

Kiev

 

Transfer to Kamyanets-Podilsky by night train.

 

 Day 3 - Kamyanets-Podilsky

 

Kamyanets-Podilsky fortress - Bakota rock monastery

  Arrival to Kamyanets-Podilsky by night train
 

Kamyanets-Podilsky fortress

Walking tour in Old Town: Kamyanets-Podilsky fortress of the 15th – 19th centuries, Polish and Russian gates; Armenian bastions, Catholic and Orthodox churches, a town hall, Polish and Armenian market places. Visiting the Old Fortress museum: towers and underground areas, debtors’ prison, New Castle, Castle Bridge. Visiting the Catholic Cathedral: Arch of Triumph, Turkish minaret, Laura’s gravestone (marble works masterpiece).

The Turkish traveler and geographer Evliya Chelebi wrote about the Kamyanets-Podilsky fortress as the reliable and powerful one as it was set on the cliff. He hadn’t seen anything of that kind in the countries he visited: Poland, Czechia, Sweden, Holland and Germany.

Kamyanets-Podilsky is one of the most unusual towns in Ukraine. It is believed to be founded about two thousand years ago. The geographer of the 2nd century A.D.  Ptolemy wrote about five Dakka towns situated on both banks of the Dniester River exactly in that area. One of those towns was called Klepidava, a “fortress on cliffs”. You need one glance at the present day Kamyanets-Podilsky to realize how properly the name of the town has been given to Kamyanets-Podilsky . There is a drawing of an arched bridge on the relief covering the well known Trayan’s column in Rome that looks exactly like the Turkish Bridge in Kamyanets-Podilsky. The construction of the town was started with the construction of that bridge. It is the only bridge on the planet which is built not across but along the river. The domes of churches and cathedrals are dominating features of the town centre panorama. You can see the Virgin Mary’s statue on the Muslim minaret, romantic ruins of the Armenian court and the oldest town hall in Ukraine… Houses built in the previous centuries are squeezed over the mighty canyon which seems to be designed by nature in order to protect the town. The panorama of the town is inimitable. The castle and the old town of Kamyanets-Podilsky are considered the best historical complex in Ukraine.

 

 Transfer to the Bakota rock monastery of the 12th -13th centuries. It is the oldest cave monastery in Podillya region.

 

Bakota rock monastery

Bakota is a picturesque site where relic plants and medicinal herbs owing to mild climate as the area is protected against  northern cold winds. Dozens of species of birds, plants and insects are sheltered there. Some of their species are included into the Red Book. There is also one of the oldest Christian monasteries of Ukraine there. It is the oldest one in the Podillya area. It is said that Bakota was famed by deeds of Antoniy Pechersky who was known as the founder Kyiv Pechersky Cave Monastery. In the 14th century the monastery was neglected. The legend about the monastery founded in rocks was popular from generation to generation of local people. In 1883 the renowned archaeologist V. Antonovich began to study chronicles and legends about the Bakota monastery. His activity assisted the revival of the monastery. Some of the legends are still very popular. You can hear about the Tatar princess who was drowned in a barrel with pickled cucumbers. You can hear about curing qualities of the monastery springs. You can hear about the awful things that can be seen near the monastery cells at midnight.

120 m high White Hill dominates the river. There are old cells with burial niches, three healing springs with very tasty water there. There is 850 ha big horse-shoe shaped bay there. You will of course enjoy the magnificent mountainous landscape and the air which smells with medicinal herbs and flowers.

*Visit to Bakota is available under favourable weather conditions.

   Transfer to Kamyanets-Podilsky
 

 Check in. Dinner. Overnight stay.

 

 Day 4 - Kamyanets-Podilsky – Khotyn - Kamyanets-Podilsky

 

 Breakfast. Check out. Transfer to Okopy.

 

Okopy

Okopy is an area situated at the confluence of the Zbruch River and the Dniester River. That is the borderline of three regions. They are Khmelnytsky, Ternopil and Chernivtsi regions. In the past it was the former junction of borders of the USSR, Poland and Romania. You can see the bastion and the gate of the 17th century Polish fortress. The area of Okopy dedicated to Holy Trinity is situated on the steep bank of the Dniester River. 

Visiting the Kryshtaleva (Crystal) cave in the village of Kryvche. The length of the cave is 23 km. There is a 2800 m long tourist route. The created by nature underground halls and galleries look like a real fairy tale palace.

Kryshtaleva (Crystal) cave

Kryshtaleva (crystal) cave is a nature wonder. It is over two million years old cave. The cave is  accessible all year round. The temperature is the same there in winter and in summer. It’s not more than 11 degrees of Celsius inside of the cave. The humidity reaches 97 per cent there. The tourist route is 2.8 km long. But it is worth making efforts. There is a 500 m long gypsum tunnel leading to underground halls. There are stone stairs going down 40 m. You will be amazed with the Zoological room where you can see the nature created statues of an eagle with extended wings, a wise owl and a fox as if running along the wall. Those who like exotics can walk along a “crocodile’s spine” which is a meandering path in reality. Festival room walls are adorned with crystal ornaments some of which look like intricate amber smalt mosaics. 

  Transfer to Khotyn located in Chernivtsi region. Visiting the 1000-year-old legendary Khotyn fortress. In 1621 the Khotyn Battle took place there.
 

Khotyn fortress

Khotyn is one of the most attractive historical sites in Ukraine. There is a unique combination of the stone cape where the castle is located, the Dniester river bank and picturesque landscape of the surrounding area. The interesting history of Khotyn’s  is closely connected with the political intrigues and wars of five states. There you can hear stories about wars, victories and defeats. Most of them are full of secrets and mysteries. At present the fortress is a site well known with its beauty, might and territory. A lot of historical films, such as The Ballad about the Valorous Knight Ivenhoe, Zakhar Berkut, The Black Arrow, The Arrows of Robin Hood, The Snake, the La Rochel besiege scenes in D’Artagnan and Three Musketeers were shot there. In 2007 Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol was shot on the territory of the Khotyn fortress too.

 

 Transfer to the railway station in Kamyanets-Podilsky for your night train.

Transfer to Kiev by night train

 

Day 5 - Kiev

 

 Kiev-Pechersk cave monastery – Dnieper River Boat Trip

 

Arrival to Kiev by night train. Breakfast.

 

 Kiev-Pechersk cave monastery including the caves  

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is a unique monastery complex included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. More than a million tourists and pilgrims from all over the world visit the Monastery every year. The above-ground part (There are monastery buildings such as the Assumption Cathedral, the Great Lavra Bell Tower, the Refectory Church and the Refectory, the Holy Trinity Gate Church, the All Saints Church, the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Ann’s Church, the Exaltation of the Cross Church, the Resurrection Church, the Life-bearing Spring Church) and the underground part (the caves) are included in the monastery complex.
There are several interesting museums on the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Cultural Preserve.


There are masterpieces of jewelry made of platinum, gold, silver and decorated with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones in the museum. The gem of museum collection is Scythian gold especially the golden pectoral proclaimed the archeological discovery of the 20th century. There are Kievan Rus golden decorations, the masterpieces of Russian, Polish and German jewelers, precious church utensils and a nice set of Judaica.

Exhibition of Nikolay Syadristy’s microminiatures
Nikolay Syadristy has been creating his microminiatures  more than 40 years. Among his works There are such amazing things as a shod flea, the smallest electric engine in the world, a caravan of camels in the needle eye, portrait of Yuri Gagarin carved out of blackthorn stone; balalaika in a poppy-seed as well as the smallest book in the world. Therefore Syadristy’s masterpieces can be seen only with a microscope.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Caves
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Caves is the ancient system of underground corridors. The Monastery Caves consist of Near-By Caves and Far-Off Caves. The caves were mentioned for the first time in old chronicles in 1051. The very first monks lived in caves. Later the caves were used as burial grounds. Local Christians are attracted there by the possibility of praying at the remains of Nestor the Chronicler, the author of "The Tale of Bygone Years", of Ilya of Murom, the epic hero, and at the imperishable Lavra saints’ bodies.

 

The Dnieper river boats trip is one of the favorite types of entertainment of Kyiv residents and tourists visiting the capital of Ukraine. You will have your opportunity to enjoy again the stunning sights of Kiev such as Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Arch of Friendship, River Port Terminal, Magdeburg Rights Column, Podol (Lower Town), Mariinsky Park, Metro Bridge, Darnitskiy Bridge, Moscow Bridge, Trukhanov island and Hydropark. A cool breeze makes the trip especially pleasant on a hot summer day. 

 

 Day 6 - Kiev

 

 Breakfast. Departure from the hotel. Transfer to the airport.

 

 

 

Photo 4. Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in Khotyn

Photo 5. The interior of the Catholic church in Khotyn

Photo 6. Khotyn Fortress.

 

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Castles and Fortresses (Kiev – Kamyanets-Podilsky - Khotyn - Bakota – Kryvche - Kiev) tour


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