VIP- tour “Christmas 2017 in Carpathian mountains”
Orthodox Christmas is on Jan 6 and Orthodox (old calendar) New Year is on Jan 13. We invite You to visit our VIP-tour of the Carpathians.
Seats in the group – 10 persons using the minibus – Mercedes Sprinter (15 seats, so plenty of space to stretch out).
Duration – 14 days
Arrival point option 1 – arrival at the international airport “Borispol” in Kiev.
1 day / 4 January – transfer and settlement in the best hotel in town, and tour of the best Ukrainian themed food restaurants and rest overnight.
At your request, we will show you the latest and best variety of nightclubs and entertainment.
2 day / January 5
7.30-8.30 – Breakfast
8.30-12.00 – City tour Kyiv
12.00-13-00 – Lunch
13.00-14.00 – Transfer to the airport “Borispol”
14.25-15.45 – flight to Ivano-Frankivsk
16.00-18.00 – excursion in Ivano-Frankivsk
18.00-22.00 – Dinner (19.00 hrs.), Move to Verkhovina.
Verkhovina is the capital of the Hutsul ethnic tribe of the Carpathian mountains and perfectly preserves their traditions. It’s located high in the mountains of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. It’s surrounded by forests, mountains and other unique scenery. Where perfectly preserved the best traditions of the Hutsul regio
22.00 – Stay in a private cottage overnight.
3 day / January 6 – Celebration dinner in Hutsul style, learning the best traditions of the region.
Hutsuls – a Carpathian mountain people who devoutly honor God and a mix of Christian and pagan religious traditions. For centuries, Hutsul celebrated Christian holidays, which are closely intertwined with ancient pagan knowledge and rituals, Because this was a far flung corner of the Soviet Union it survived communism’s destruction of culture and is the best place for authentic knowledge of Ukrainian rituals and traditions.
Celebration Dinner – Christmas Eve is one of the biggest Christian holidays in the world. This is not just dinner with local food, this is – a day spent in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, alone and thinking about this great event. For Hutsul Christian followers they don’t eat meat and dairy foods on certain days from November and no meat or dairy on this day. Moreover, Hutsuls fast all day and sit at 16-18 o’clock for joint family dinners, which comprise of 12 meatless dishes, prepared very early in the day. So it a true feast in celebration of Christ’s arrival.
Therefore, we invite you to spend the day helping the hostess in the preparation of the 12 meatless dishes for the Holy Supper, and thus learn all the secrets of these ancient cooking traditions.
Of course, in order for you to experience the real Ukraine, on this day we will not be offering you meat and dairy foods – You will feel like a Hutsul!
16.00 – Holy Supper. Enjoy your evening experiencing the 12 dishes.
4 day / 7 January. Christmas. We visit a church service and experience Christmas carols.
Experience the festive Divine Liturgy in an old wooden church, which is an architectural monument.
Inauguration caroling. Carol – a song which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. In Verkhovina the old tradition of “caroling from house to house” in national clothes, with musical instruments and interesting rituals is still preserved.
Free time to participate in the caroling or just observe.
Here you can choose: 1) a quick lunch and visit to museums in Verkhovina, or 2) continue to celebrate Christmas singing.
5 day / January 8 “Active Carpathian winter”.
Staying at “Bukovel” Ski resort on Bukovel mountain for 4 days, 8-11 January.
Breakfast. Transfer to the ski resort “Bukovel”. Stay in the best hotels in the region.
The ski resort “Bukovel” was recognized as the fastest growing mountain resort in the world: 60 km of prepared trails, 100% are equipped with snow cannons; 63 ski runs of all difficulty levels; 16 lifts with a capacity of 34700 persons / hour; ski schools including a specialized one for children.
Look forward to a lot of entertainment catering for every taste:
– For active recreation – skiing / snowboarding with plenty rental equipment to choose from; Dog sled; horseback riding or horse and sleigh; rent ATVs, snowmobiles, scooters or just party at the nightclubs, discos and bars all over the mountain.
– For a relaxing holiday – have massages and swim in vats of very warm mineral water with herbal infusions; Stay in hotels with pools, saunas, Jacuzzi and spa; Experience Carpathian wines, cordials, liqueurs cheese, honey and many other interesting dishes
9 day / January 12
Breakfast then bus to the highest ski resort in Ukraine, the “Dragobrat” Hiking and Camping ski resort.
Transfer to Yaremche – a bustling Carpathian resort town, visit river gorges and rapids, purchase Hutsul souvenirs and stay in the best hotel in town. You’ll experience Bathing in real fire heated hot tubs “Chan”, and immerse yourself into outdoor saunas. We’ll then take dinner in a Ukrainian themed restaurant then retire to the hotel overnight
10 day / January 13
Breakfast. Tour Yaremche, the Dovbush rocks and mountain trail, and visit the nearby waterfall and mini-zoo. Then we take an off-road trip up the mountain and return for dinner.
We then move to Coloma, the middle two ethnographic regions – Hutsul and Pokuttya. We visit two interesting museums – one of a kind museum “Pysanka” (A huge painted egg building showcasing many hand crafted painted eggs or Pysanky) and “Museum of Hutsul culture and life and Pokuttya.”
Moving to Chernivtsi. Dinner at the best restaurant of the city. Check-in to our hotel and sleep overnight. Optional – visiting the best nightclub of the city.
11 day / January 14
Breakfast and departure for the winter festive carnival “Malanka Fest”.
Along the route we visit the oldest stone church in Bucovina. Officially, the church is considered to be from the 15th century but there is strong evidence that this holy site was founded in the 12-13th centuries and even possible predated as a pagan place of worship.
After we make numerous stops at boom gates manned by masked children and teenagers for mock frivolity and highway robbery (Donations are optional) We arrive at the carnival.
January 14 – a day on which the old Ukrainian calendar celebrate New Year, so the people that day are called the “Old New Year” observers. Also on this date falls celebration of the religious holiday of St. Basil. Ukrainian people formed a tradition to celebrate the new year (old style) in hand made costumes and welcoming all “from house to house” and in Bukovina, this tradition evolved into a carnival.
During the tour you will visit two unique villages and compare the Malanka celebration in Hutsul and Romanian styles. You will experience the colorful costumes, exciting songs and exclamations, greetings and jokes. Don’t be shocked at the men in bear suits wrestling in the snow, that’s just two tribes of beers fighting!
You will receive a blessing for the whole year, indulge in Bukovinian delicious cuisine, have fun and experience unforgettable moments, take a lot of pictures and and leave the festival with a lot of positive impressions!
We bus back to Chernivtsi and stay overnight at the hotel. Or optionally, dine in restaurants or party in nightclubs (We recommend to you the best places).
12 day / January 15
Breakfast then we take a walking tour of Chernivtsi. This is a clean and comfortable city with cozy streets and unique architecture. It is often compared with Paris and Vienna, and it is a city that truly represents the European chic of yesteryear. A must experience for romantics.
Thanks to UNESCO this extraordinary building is preserved – The National University. We tour this architectural wonder.
The Malanka festival party has not stopped. You’ll experience the second part of the carnival. On this day in Chernivtsi, representatives from all settlements in Bukovina show costumes, modified car floats, sing songs, play music and dance. In this unforgettable parade, you’ll leave with good emotions and impressions of Bukovinian culture with a modern twist.
We return to the hotel and you sleep overnight in Chernivtsi.
13 day / January 16
Breakfast then excursion to the fortresses of the region, the best in Ukraine -Khotyn and Kamenetz-Podolsk in and walk along this wonderful medieval town.
We bus back to Chernivtsi to take dinner, stroll the town and stay overnight.
14 day / January 17
Breakfast. All day – rest or ski on the best ski resort in Chernivtsi Oblast (Bukovina).
Departure for Kyiv. We bus overnight to Kyiv.
15 day / January 18
Arriving in Kyiv. Breakfast then we transfer to the airport “Borispol”. For departure from Kyiv to your homeland.