Kamianets-Podilskyi — Khotyn — Chernivtsi

Duration: 4 days
Location: Kamianets-Podilskyi, Khotyn, Chernivtsi

For many centuries, Kamianets-Podilskyi, known as the “Pearl on a Stone” or “Flower on a Stone”, has been the political, economic and cultural centre of Podillia. The mighty walls and towers of the Old Fortress rise on the steep cliffs. The shores of the canyon offer a unique “omega”-like view of the Old Town. A church with a Turkish minaret, a town hall and an Orthodox church are found side by side on the rocky island, keeping inside interesting stories about the events of past centuries.

Day 1: Arrival to Kamianets-Podilskyi

Transfer to “Reikartz Kamianets-Podilskyi” hotel and check-in.

Day 2:

Breakfast at the hotel. Then the sightseeing tour “Ancient Kamianets-Podilskyi” begins, where you can see all the emblematic buildings – Novoplanivskyi Bridge, Town Hall, Polish Magistrate, Triumphal Arch, The Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral, Turkish Bastion, Wind Gate, the first commercial bank in Podillia, Dominican Church, Potocki House – and feel the special atmosphere of the Old Town.

The fortress city has gained worldwide fame: it has long been located between the ancient and Proto-Slavic worlds, between West and East. It has brought together different worldviews, cultures, nationalities and religions. The city-museum and cultural-tourist centre of Podillia, Kamianets-Podilskyi is considered one of the oldest historical cities of Ukraine and belongs to the outstanding phenomena of European culture. Everything here – air, stones, buildings – has so much of the Middle Ages, preserving the secrets of millennial history.

Next, you will have a tour in an armoured reconnaissance and patrol vehicle.

You will be able to experience unforgettable emotions aboard the BRDM-2 (armoured reconnaissance and patrol vehicle) and see the picturesque landscapes of the Smotrych River canyon, have a look at the fortress from an unusual angle and see historical monuments that are hidden from ordinary tourists, but are an important component of an architectural ensemble of the Kamianets fortress.

After an eventful walk, we suggest having lunch at the “Veselyi Sazhotrus” (Merry Chimney Sweep) tavern, a thematic institution with its own legend. They say that a magic chimney sweep brings good luck – just touch his buttons, each with its own character. Here, you can have a delicious meal and taste your own liqueurs (recommended).

In the evening, a real fairy tale is reserved for you. You will take part in a night theatrical excursion to the Old Fortress. The excursion in the towers and dungeons of the fortress is conducted by the Kamianets “elder” and his “entourage”, who by means of interesting stories, songs, and dances not only introduce tourists with the history of the castle and weapons, but also create a unique feeling of travel in time. The guests will be able to ride horses, shoot crossbows and bows, and make a commemorative coin with their own hands.

After the tour, we recommend visiting the ambient restaurant “Coffee from the police chief” (optional).

Day 3:

Travel to Khotyn

After breakfast, you will go to Khotyn – an ancient city that occupies a prominent place in medieval European history. Founded by the Eastern Slavs near an important crossing on the Middle Dniester, the city developed rapidly and became one of the most important defence and trade points of the region. For several centuries, two different cultures – Muslim and Christian – coexisted on these lands. The construction of churches was replaced by the construction of mosques, on the ruins of which churches were built again.

Tour to Khotyn Fortress

You will visit Khotyn Fortress – a monument of fortification art of the 11th century, one of the most beautiful fortresses in Ukraine, built in a picturesque area on the banks of the majestic Dniester.

Khotyn Fortress was once one of the most powerful in Eastern Europe, with numerous armies often converging under its walls. Due to its strategic border location, the Fortress has been a part of various states for centuries: Kyiv Rus, Galicia–Volhynia and Moldavian kingdoms, as well as the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. This largely determined its architectural style, which was formed under the influence of general European trends.

During the tour to the Fortress, you can see the buildings of the courtyard – warehouses, barracks, as well as external bastions and towers. There is also a small museum of tortures, which presents the most common medieval instruments of torture. In the centre of the castle yard, there is a huge well, 65 m deep and almost 3 m wide, which still has water.

Today, the State Historical and Architectural Reserve “Khotyn Fortress” is located on the territory of the Fortress.

Lunch will be served for you at “Four Taverns” restaurant (optional).

The lunch will be followed by transfer to Chernivtsi – a city with an amazing history, the charm of unique architecture and multiculturalism.

To visit Chernivtsi means:

  1. To climb a huge tricycle, forgotten by a Gulliver on Turkish Square, to see the highest point of the entire level part of Ukraine – Mount Berda. By the way, it is best seen from the Turkish bridge.
  2. To check your clocks against the sundial on the side wall of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross local which has been shown local (or Viennese) time for more than 200 years – of course, if the weather allows it.
  3. To play the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt, who came to Chernivtsi with concerts, on the grand piano installed on Philharmonic Square.
  4. To come to the Central Square at 12 o’clock and hear the melody of “Marichka” song which is played from the balcony of the Town Hall tower to all four corners of the earth by a trumpet player in Bukovynian folk costume every day at noon.
  5. To hold on to the rose monument, which is installed on the facade of the Art Museum on the Central Square, so that it looks like you are sweeping Chernivtsi pavement with the flowers. By the way, they say that once the streets of Chernivtsi were really swept with bouquets of roses.
  6. To sit in a forged carriage in the middle of Olha Kobylianska Street and at the same time not to pay the “smooth” guys, whose pigeons are sitting on this carriage, for the photos they are trying to make money for.
  7. To find the star of Volodymyr Ivasiuk on the Alley of Stars at the Theatre Square and whisper or sing aloud the legendary “Red Flower” song, cherishing his memory.
  8. After visiting the former Residence of the Bukovynian Metropolitans, to enter the Seminary church so that the Maltese cross does not fall on you.

Check-in at “Bukovyna” hotel.

Dinner at “Bukovyna Inn” restaurant (recommended).

Day 4: Chernivtsi

After breakfast, you will go on a tour to famous Yurii Fedkovych National University – a unique monument of world architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, once the residence of the Metropolitans of Bukovyna and Dalmatia.

After the tour, have lunch at one of the most vivid and popular restaurants in the city – “Panska Huralnia” (optional). Folk traditions, delicious dishes, tinctures and liqueurs of their own production – all this creates an interesting tandem of history and modernity.

This might be followed by a city tour, during which you will see the architectural, historical and natural sights of Chernivtsi.

At the end of your trip, we invite you to visit the cosy “Vienna Café” for dinner (recommended). This is one of the most popular cafes in the centre of Chernivtsi on the legendary pedestrian Olha Kobylianska Street. The interior is in a refined Austrian style, and the menu has 300 items: from the usual omelette to exclusive dishes.

Transfer to the station.

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