"It is the place, where the history of mankind has changed forever"

A comprehensive 2-days trip through Chernobyl Zone with a visit to the internals of the Chernobyl NPP.

 

A visit to Chernobyl NPP, without overestimation, brings to some completely another level of understanding what happened in 1986. From inside this facility looks like a labyrinth.
And a mind refuses to comprehend that all this was created just to produce energy. Because it is a place, that produces history

Our main advice — take it not as an enterntainment, but as a chance to get detailed answers to your questions from the experts. So use this chance well.

Features & Itinerary

  • See on your own the places, where the history of mankind changed!
  • Nearly 200 kilometers in the Zone by rough roads and hours on foot.
  • 2 days of exploration with maximum flexibility and learning new.
  • We take care of all legal paperwork for permits and arrangements.
  • Data: hundreds of pictures in our databases and hours of stories.
  • Transfers with reliable vehicles and with skilled drivers. You can also use your own car, but we will need one or two seats for us.
  • Different pick-up and drop-off options — Kyiv or the main checkpoint of Dytiatky.
  • Comfortable accommodation in hotel STALKER in Dityatky village.
  • Restaurant-quality meals.
  • Our team speaks English, Slovak, Ukrainian, or Russian.
  • You can request that one of our special experts or advisors accompany you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Due to certain permanently ongoing technological operations, certain locations or areas within the Zone may be closed for admission for few hours without further notice or announcement. 

This means, that the timing of tours is adjusted based on this. We strongly advise considering an overnight extension on the day before the tour in order to make your experience better (and richer — as overnight programs are longer).

Itinerary with an overnight stay
Itinerary without an overnight stay

Detailed itinerary (WITH an overnight stay before the tour)

Day 1 — Evening transfer and an overnight stay

Kyiv — Hotel STALKER

We pick you up in Kyiv near your hotel or at the desired meeting point at 06:00 PM in the evening and transfer with a comfortable vehicle to the village of Dityatky, where the main checkpoint of the Zone is located. In two hours, we arrive at the STALKER hotel complex, where you meet our team. The hotel's name refers to the A. Tarkovsky eponymous movie, based on the Roadside Picnic novel. In Ukrainian, the word stalker exclusively means a person, who explores the Zone. 

We check you in and have dinner together. After this, we have an introductory briefing, give safety instructions, check the documents, and set up the plan for the next two days.

After this, you can have a good rest — as you will need a lot of power the next day.

Day 2 — Into the Zone.

Hotel STALKER — Checkpoint Dityatky

At 07:30 in the morning, we have breakfast, and after we move to the checkpoint Dityatky — the main gate of the Chernobyl Zone, which is 1.5 km away from the hotel. You get your personal dosimeters, sign a paper that you are acknowledged with rules and regulations. Then we pass the entry control, enter the Zone and our adventure begins!

Checkpoint Dityatky — Bypass road of Chernobyl — Checkpoint Leliv  — PRLRW Red Forest

We take the main highway towards the Chernobyl NPP. It is a long road that takes around 40 minutes and one more control at the checkpoint Leliv of the 10-km subzone for operations with radioactive materials. On our way, while we pass few abandoned villages, neglected fields, and dense forests, we give you an introductory overview of the area, its history, and modern life. 

Shortly after the Leliv checkpoint, the landscape changes, and from time to time on the sides of the road, you will notice radiation hazard signs standing in the grass. This is the original way to Pripyat — the one, which now is in the Red Forest. It is a territory, that faced extreme contamination from the western fallout track. Being an old and dense forest, it mostly had pine trees, which naturally have a high level of radiosensitivity. After fallout covered them, few zones of damage were formed — from minimal to lethal. In the lethal zone, all the trees and undergrowth died and got a distinctive rusty color, that gave a modern name for the area. During the winter of 1986, original trees were bulldozed and then buried in the ditches on site, and the new forest was planted.

PRIPYAT welcome sign in the red forest

Since then, the area is a major research spot of ecological processes. After a couple of forest fires in recent years, many modern trees got practically the same look as the original — so although it is not related to irradiation anymore, it allows us to imagine, how did the original Red Forest look like.

We drive by the old road here, without stops and open windows, passing the Torch of Prometheus — a monument, that once was a welcome sign of the Chernobyl NPP, and eventually stop near the famous entrance sign of Pripyat. From this spot, you will be able to see the Forest Village, created in 1970 to house the first builders of NPP. 

PRLRW Red Forest — City of Pripyat

We arrive at our major destination, the city of Pripyat — the satellite of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, established in 1970 and 16 years old only at the time of disaster. Designed for ~50000 residents it consists of 5 districts and more than 180 structures. As it faced very intensive decontamination, the levels of radioactivity there generally are not high except for minor small hotspots. Approximately up to 2000 some facilities in the city were used by many organizations and companies of the Zone. Few facilities still operate in Pripyat.

We leave our car at the central square and explore the city on foot for 4-5 hours — it is the best practice to walk there, not drive. We may take any route you would like, or go from oldest part to newest, covering major sights. 

An average list of locations includes (depends on actual constraints, such as the size of the group, weather conditions, and how much you can physically walk):

  • Avenue of Lenin, the central street of Pripyat, where we stop near one of I. Litovchenko's monumental mosaics.
  • Yards of District 2, that represent typical architecture and urban planning technics of the 70-s
  • The grocery store of the District 2
  • Liquor and furniture stores of District 2
  • School of the District 2
  • Kurchatova street
  • Voskhod (Sunrise) store
  • The "White House", an apartment complex where lived the highest staff of the NPP, including Victor Brukhanov.
  • School of the District 1
  • Hospital complex
  • Riverport and cafe Pripyat
  • Prometheus movie theatre and the music school
  • Hotel Polissya
  • Governmental office, where the government task force (in which participated Valery Legasov and Boris Scherbina) has been deployed
  • The central square of Pripyat
  • Palace of culture 'Energetik', a multifunctional community center for leisure and sports
  • Central Park and the infamous Ferris wheel.
  • Shopping center, which was one of the very first soviet supermarkets.
  • Central Stadium
  • Kindergarten in the District IV
  • Unfinished part of Pripyat
  • Left behind vehicles
  • Firefighters station.

Please note, that especially in Pripyat it is officially forbidden to go inside structures, as after 35 years of it is really unsafe and some collapses happened, often unexpected. However, a lot of buildings are well-exposed (like on the pictures below), so the program will be very rich. 

Pripyat

Pripyat 

City of Pripyat  — PTLRW Kopachi

Do you remember, how hours before you noticed radiation warning signs appearing around the road? It is hard to believe, but this place once was densely populated. A field with some randomly growing trees is all that remained from Kopachi village. It, along with the villages of Chystogalivka and Yaniv had a sad fate — it faced extreme contamination, so during the decontamination works 99% of structures were buried underground.

Apart from remained kindergarten, there is not much to see, but very much to think about. In that, now not even recognizable hills rest everything, what belonged to inhabitants — including their houses. Now, for them, there is no place to return to remember the past, and to the name of their village is added the acronym PTLRW — Polygon of Temporary Localization of Radioactive Waste.

PTLRW Kopachi — Checkpoint Leliv — Town of Chernobyl

We head to the town of Chernobyl. First, we arrive at the Leliv checkpoint, where we pass contamination check-up using automatic beta-radiometers.

In few minutes after we come to the town of Chernobyl. It is an ancient town — there is no clear information about its age, however, the first known historical records mention it in 1193. Being a center of the Chernobyl district of the Kyiv region, it was a regular town with approximately 14000 residents which, contrary to popular beliefs, was never related to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. However, it gave its name to NPP as the closest town that existed in 1970 when the construction started.
Before the disaster, the town was a resort and an important port on the river of Prypiat. After the evacuation in 1986, Chernobyl was converted to the administration center of the Chernobyl Zone and is a home for many organizations and facilities. Its regime life did not change its original Soviet look.

We make few stops here at the major landmarks:

  • Exhibition of real robotic equipment, that was in use during clean-up operations on NPP rooftops.
  • Monument to Those, Who Saved the World near the operating firefighters' department. We participated and coordinated the restoration of the monument in 2020.
  • Bay of ChREB (Chernobyl Vessel Repair Plant), where we can see original cargo ships that were used to transport construction materials for Shelter Object. If you played S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, then it will be in particular interesting, as this location was a prototype of Zaton with Skadovsk and Shevchenko vessels.
  • Jewish district — as Chernobyl had a massive Jewish diaspora in the past.
  • Central square with the Wormwood Star memorial and a large concrete map of the Zone.
  • Welcome sign of the city and restored Soviet police checkpoint.

Town of Chernobyl — Rudnia Veresnia — Kazkovy Pioneers camp

We head to the place, that played a major role in the early post-disaster history — the pioneer's camp of the Chernobyl NPP. On the way, the first place we pass is the Rudnia-Veresnia village, which age estimated to be at least 200 years. In old times, the river Veresnia that passes through the village has been used as a source of bog iron, that was collected for further processing at iron-production manufactures. This specialization of the village is reflected in the word Rudnia that refers to ore in Ukrainian. The lands here are exceptionally sandy, so this neighborhood is relatively low-touched by sprawling vegetation and we find it very picturesque.



Next, we drive to the Kazkovy ("The one from a fairytale") camp. Initially, this camp was built as a summer resort for kids of NPP workers. It features the same architecture style as Pripyat — up to streetlights. After the Chernobyl disaster, it became the first temporary camp for those employees of the power plant who were involved in the liquidation process. We have some archive footages from the times it was still alive — so you will be able to check them out.

Kazkovy Pioneers Camp — Checkpoint Dityatky — Hotel STALKER

We leave the camp and drive to the Dityatky checkpoint, where we pass once more the contamination check-up (this time — with a stricter threshold) and exit the Zone. In few minutes, we arrive back at the hotel STALKER for dinner and rest. In the evening, it is a good idea to have a free time for talks and drinks. We will be happy to answer your questions and cover some specific subjects you became interested in. You will also have a chance to take a look at various artifacts and documents that we will bring for you from our archives.

Day 3 — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Hotel STALKER — Checkpoint Dityatky

At 07:30 in the morning, we have breakfast, and after we move to the checkpoint Dityatky, where we pass the entry control.

Checkpoint Dityatky — Cherevach — Zalissya — Checkpoint Leliv — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

We take the familiar main highway towards the Chernobyl NPP. This time, behind the village of Kopachi, we turn right and enter the industrial site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, following the exhaust water channel that used to connects the NPP with the cooling pond.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Generally, people hardly imagine how huge this site is and how many structures are here. We pass the cooling towers of Units V and VI, ISF-2 storage for spent nuclear fuel, and stop at the turn of the road. Here opens the most impressive view to the main facilities of Chernobyl NPP. From here you can see the giant main structure, both operated and unfinished units, and the New Safe Confinement of Unit IV. This place is good to explain how organized the NPP's compound as well as to look at few historical images.

Facilities of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, including Units III and IV.

We park at the NPP ABK-1 administrative building and meet the officers of the Chernobyl NPP. This part of the program takes approximately 5 hours and includes multiple important locations. We ask you to take this visit seriously — as you are going to attend a functioning nuclear facility, where many good people lost their health and sometimes lives to overcome the results of Soviet mistakes. You will meet the true experts in the subject, so use this chance well and do not hesitate to ask questions to learn more — who knows, will you get such an opportunity again? 

  • ABK-1 Administration building
    This is the head office of Chernobyl NPP. Here you pass SICh (spectrometry of body), an ID, and security clearances.
     
  • Clothes changing facility
    Here you have to change clothes to an internal one to proceed to the maximum-security area.
     
  • Golden corridor (Г-301)
    A 600-m long corridor that connects all the units. It has walls lined with anodized aluminum panels, the color of which gave the nickname for this place.

    Pripyat
  • Central control room - CSchU (ЦЩУ)
    Control room for the energy distribution switchyard of the power plant. As the power plant continues to operate as an energy hub, this room allows controlling ongoing operations.

    Pripyat
  • SKALA (СКАЛА) mainframe computer system 
    Reactor control computer system from 1973, based on ES EVM mainframe — a Soviet architectural clone of the IBM/360. While nowadays it is exceptionally hard to find devices like high-speed data tape reel drives or punch tape readers, here you can see them preserved in a perfect shape in their original machine hall equipped with an airtight dust-free zone.
     
  • Control room of Unit III - BSchU-III (БЩУ-3)
    Control room of Unit III. For its original purpose, it operated up to mid-December 2000, when Unit III was shut down. Technically, the control room of the infamous Unit IV used to look the same.
     
  • CZ-3 Unit III Reactor central hall (ЦЗ-3)
    Reactor III hall, the main place for technological operations. Here a famous mosaic-like cover of the upper biological shield is located, and you will be able to walk over it!

    Pripyat
  • Unit III 3GCN main circulation pumps (3-ГЦН)
    Gigantic pumps were used to provide circulation of water through the active zone of the reactor of Unit III.
     
  • Valery Khodemchuck memorial
    A plaque installed on the wall separates Units III and IV in memory of V. Khodemchuck — operator of circulation pumps, that died during the explosion and whose body was never found. This place 
     
  • The room, where the history has changed — the Control room of Unit IV — BSchU-IV (БЩУ-4)
    The Control Room of Unit IV — a place from which Unit IV was controlled. Here remained the original control panel — the same, like at #3, but rusty, with marks of decontamination. In the dim light, it is possible to recognize the radiation level writings left on equipment by technicians in the past — that time when one had to spend as little time as possible here.

    Pripyat
  • Canteen #19
    You pass one more spectrometry of your body after the visit to the maximum-security area and have a transfer with internal transport to the canteen for a lunch. Then, you continue to two more locations.
     
  • Observation point of NSC
    A square in ±200 m distance from the New Safe Confinement.
     
  • Information center of Shelter Object/NSC
    A place where you will learn very much new about the original Shelter Object, its design, and operation, as well as about the New Safe Confinement.

After this program, we continue on our van.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant — Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH Radar Site

We return to the main highway and drive to the south. At some point, we turn to the military concrete road and drive approximately 6 km to Chernobyl-2. This formerly supersecret town is hidden in dense forests and was one of 6 components of Duga (eng. "Arc") over-the-horizon radar complex, designed in the 1970s to detect launches of U.S. ICBMs to the Soviet Union.

Duga OTH Radar

This place is the only, where you can see such a huge antenna installation straight in front of you. Moreover, being a relic of the Cold War, a visit here is a superior opportunity to learn about this period of history from the side of the USSR, Soviet military, and computer technologies of the Socialistic Block.

When we come to Chernobyl-2, we leave the car near its checkpoint, and go on foot to visit antennas, go around the data processing center and other facilities, like vehicles service depot, fire station, and so on.
As the Chernobyl disaster caused a contamination of Chernobyl-2, being followed by end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fate of the Duga project was dark — it was canceled and all the components destroyed, except the array of Chernobyl-2. 

Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH Radar Site — Checkpoint Leliv — Bridge over the river of Pripyat  — Paryshiv-2 checkpoint — Paryshiv

We pass a contamination check-up at the Leliv checkpoint and then turn in front of the town of Chernobyl to take a road to the east. It was built in 1989 as a new connection to Slavutich — the city, built as a replacement for the abandoned Pripyat. On this way, we will pass an impressive bridge, from which you will be able to see the river of Pripyat with the Chernobyl NPP on the horizon. Shortly after, we arrive at the checkpoint Paryshiv-2 and head to the Paryshiv village.

These places, located on the left bank of the Pripyat river, are quite special. Being clamped between rivers, endless swamps, and dense forests, for centuries they were a site for ancient neighborhoods. As physical access here was obstructed, a traditional, pretty archaic way of life continued here, making these lands an epitome of Chernobyl Polissya culture.

Paryshiv — Town of Chernobyl — Zalissya

We return to Chernobyl and then make an optional stop at the village of Zalissya. This village is the biggest in Zone, as it was a home for more than 2800 residents and a host of a huge collective farm called "Druzhba" (eng. "Friendship"). While all rural neighborhoods we visited before are more traditional, Zalissya represents a typical Soviet village from the 70-s-80-s.

Zalissya — Checkpoint Dityatky — Museum

We head to the exit. At the Dityatky checkpoint, we pass an already familiar contamination check-up. After this, we arrive at our secret museum — a carefully restored radiation control outpost from the Ilovnitsa village that operated in 1986-87, during the active phase of liquidation of consequences of disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Here you can see various artifacts, operating equipment and immerse into the atmosphere of that time.

(Optional extra) Dinner at STALKER hotel restaurant

If you wish, we can have a dinner and summary talk in the restaurant.

Dityatky — Transfer to Kyiv

After that, we drive to Kyiv back, where we will arrive approximately at 07:00...08:00 PM.

Detailed itinerary (NO overnight stay before the tour)

Day 1 — Into the Zone

Kyiv — Checkpoint Dityatky

We pick you up in Kyiv near your hotel or at the desired meeting point at 09:00 AM in the morning and transfer you with a comfortable vehicle to the village of Dityatky. In two hours, we arrive at the main checkpoint of the Zone is located. You get your personal dosimeters, sign a paper that you are acknowledged with rules and regulations. Then we pass the entry control, enter the Zone and our adventure begins!

Checkpoint Dityatky — Cherevach — Zalissya

We take the main highway towards the town of Chernobyl. On our way, while we pass few abandoned villages, neglected fields, and dense forests, we give you an introductory overview of the area, its history, and modern life. Eventually, we stop in the village of Zalissya. This village is the biggest in Zone, as it was a home for more than 2800 residents and a host of a huge collective farm called "Druzhba" (eng. "Friendship") and represents a typical Soviet village from the 70-s-80-s.

Zalissya — Town of Chernobyl

We head to the town of Chernobyl. It is an ancient town — there is no clear information about its age, however, the first known historical records mention it in 1193. Being a center of the Chernobyl district of the Kyiv region, it was a regular town with approximately 14000 residents which, contrary to popular beliefs, was never related to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. However, it gave its name to NPP as the closest town that existed in 1970 when the construction started.

Before the disaster, the town was a resort and an important port on the river of Prypiat. After the evacuation in 1986, Chernobyl was converted to the administration center of the Chernobyl Zone and is a home for many organizations and facilities. Its regime life did not change its original Soviet look.

We make few stops here at the major landmarks:

  • Exhibition of real robotic equipment, that was in use during clean-up operations on NPP rooftops.
  • Monument to Those, Who Saved the World near the operating firefighters' department. We participated and coordinated the restoration of the monument in 2020.
  • Bay of ChREB (Chernobyl Vessel Repair Plant), where we can see original cargo ships that were used to transport construction materials for Shelter Object. If you played S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, then it will be in particular interesting, as this location was a prototype of Zaton with Skadovsk and Shevchenko vessels.
  • Jewish district — as Chernobyl had a massive Jewish diaspora in the past.
  • Central square with the Wormwood Star memorial and a large concrete map of the Zone.
  • Welcome sign of the city and restored Soviet police checkpoint.

Town of Chernobyl  — Bridge over the river of Pripyat  — Paryshiv-2 checkpoint — Paryshiv

Once we leave the town, we turn right and take a road to the east. It was built in 1989 as a new connection to Slavutich — the city, built as a replacement for the abandoned Pripyat. On this way, we will pass an impressive bridge, from which you will be able to see the river of Pripyat with the Chernobyl NPP on the horizon. Shortly after, we arrive at the checkpoint Paryshiv-2 and head to the Paryshiv village.

These places, located on the left bank of the Pripyat river, are quite special. Being clamped between rivers, endless swamps, and dense forests, for centuries they were a site for ancient neighborhoods. As physical access here was obstructed, a traditional, pretty archaic way of life continued here, making these lands an epitome of Chernobyl Polissya culture.

Paryshiv — Checkpoint Leliv — PTLRW Kopachi

We arrive at the Leliv checkpoint, where we pass one more control and enter the inner, 10-km subzone. Shortly after the Leliv checkpoint, the landscape changes, and from time to time on the sides of the road, you will notice radiation hazard signs standing in the grass. It is hard to believe, but this place once was densely populated. A field with some randomly growing trees is all that remained from Kopachi village. It, along with the villages of Chystogalivka and Yaniv had a sad fate — it faced extreme contamination, so during the decontamination works 99% of structures were buried underground.

Apart from remained kindergarten, there is not much to see, but very much to think about. In that, now not even recognizable hills rest everything, what belonged to inhabitants — including their houses. Now, for them, there is no place to return to remember the past, and to the name of their village is added the acronym PTLRW — Polygon of Temporary Localization of Radioactive Waste.

PTLRW Kopachi — PRLRW Red Forest 

We take the original way to Pripyat — the one, which now is in the Red Forest. It is a territory, that faced extreme contamination from the western fallout track. Being an old and dense forest, it mostly had pine trees, which naturally have a high level of radiosensitivity. After fallout covered them, few zones of damage were formed — from minimal to lethal. In the lethal zone, all the trees and undergrowth died and got a distinctive rusty color, that gave a modern name for the area. During the winter of 1986, original trees were bulldozed and then buried in the ditches on site, and the new forest was planted.

Since then, the area is a major research spot of ecological processes. After a couple of forest fires in recent years, many modern trees got practically the same look as the original — so although it is not related to irradiation anymore, it allows us to imagine, how did the original Red Forest look like.

PRIPYAT welcome sign in the red forest

We drive by the old road here, without stops and open windows, passing the Torch of Prometheus — a monument, that once was a welcome sign of the Chernobyl NPP, and eventually stop near the famous entrance sign of Pripyat. From this spot, you will be able to see the Forest Village, created in 1970 to house the first builders of NPP. 

PRLRW Red Forest — City of Pripyat

We arrive at our major destination, the city of Pripyat — the satellite of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, established in 1970 and 16 years old only at the time of disaster. Designed for ~50000 residents it consists of 5 districts and more than 180 structures. As it faced very intensive decontamination, the levels of radioactivity there generally are not high except for minor small hotspots. Approximately up to 2000 some facilities in the city were used by many organizations and companies of the Zone. Few facilities still operate in Pripyat.

We leave our car at the central square and explore the city on foot for 2-3 hours — it is the best practice to walk there, not drive. We may take any route you would like, or go from oldest part to newest, covering major sights. 

An average list of locations includes (depends on actual constraints, such as the size of the group, weather conditions, and how much you can physically walk):

  • Avenue of Lenin, the central street of Pripyat, where we stop near one of I. Litovchenko's monumental mosaics.
  • Yards of District 2, that represent typical architecture and urban planning technics of the 70-s
  • The grocery store of the District 2
  • Liquor and furniture stores of District 2
  • School of the District 2
  • Kurchatova street
  • Voskhod (Sunrise) store
  • The "White House", an apartment complex where lived the highest staff of the NPP, including Victor Brukhanov.
  • School of the District 1
  • Hospital complex
  • Riverport and cafe Pripyat
  • Prometheus movie theatre and the music school
  • Hotel Polissya
  • Governmental office, where the government task force (in which participated Valery Legasov and Boris Scherbina) has been deployed
  • The central square of Pripyat
  • Palace of culture 'Energetik', a multifunctional community center for leisure and sports
  • Central Park and the infamous Ferris wheel.
  • Shopping center, which was one of the very first soviet supermarkets.
  • Central Stadium
  • Kindergarten in the District IV
  • Unfinished part of Pripyat
  • Left behind vehicles
  • Firefighters station.

Please note, that especially in Pripyat it is officially forbidden to go inside structures, as after 35 years of it is really unsafe and some collapses happened, often unexpected. However, a lot of buildings are well-exposed (like on the pictures below), so the program will be very rich. 

Pripyat

Pripyat

City of Pripyat  — Checkpoint Leliv — Town of Chernobyl  — Checkpoint Dityatky

We drive back, which takes around 40 minutes. On this way, we pass contamination check-ups at the Leliv and Dityatky checkpoints and exit the Zone.

Checkpoint Dityatky — Hotel STALKER

In few minutes, we arrive at the hotel STALKER for dinner and rest. The hotel's name refers to the A. Tarkovsky eponymous movie, based on the Roadside Picnic novel. In Ukrainian, the word stalker exclusively means a person, who explores the Zone.  

In the evening, it is a good idea to have a free time for talks and drinks. We will be happy to answer your questions and cover some specific subjects you became interested in. You will also have a chance to take a look at various artifacts and documents that we will bring for you from our archives.

Day 2 — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Hotel STALKER — Checkpoint Dityatky

At 07:30 in the morning, we have breakfast, and after we move to the checkpoint Dityatky, where we pass the entry control.

Checkpoint Dityatky — Cherevach — Zalissya — Checkpoint Leliv — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

We take the familiar main highway towards the Chernobyl NPP. This time, behind the village of Kopachi, we turn right and enter the industrial site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, following the exhaust water channel that used to connects the NPP with the cooling pond.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Generally, people hardly imagine how huge this site is and how many structures are here. We pass the cooling towers of Units V and VI, ISF-2 storage for spent nuclear fuel, and stop at the turn of the road. Here opens the most impressive view to the main facilities of Chernobyl NPP. From here you can see the giant main structure, both operated and unfinished units, and the New Safe Confinement of Unit IV. This place is good to explain how organized the NPP's compound as well as to look at few historical images.

Facilities of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, including Units III and IV.

We park at the NPP ABK-1 administrative building and meet the officers of the Chernobyl NPP. This part of the program takes approximately 5 hours and includes multiple important locations. We ask you to take this visit seriously — as you are going to attend a functioning nuclear facility, where many good people lost their health and sometimes lives to overcome the results of Soviet mistakes. You will meet the true experts in the subject, so use this chance well and do not hesitate to ask questions to learn more — who knows, will you get such an opportunity again? 

  • ABK-1 Administration building
    This is the head office of Chernobyl NPP. Here you pass SICh (spectrometry of body), an ID, and security clearances.
     
  • Clothes changing facility
    Here you have to change clothes to an internal one to proceed to the maximum-security area.
     
  • Golden corridor (Г-301)
    A 600-m long corridor that connects all the units. It has walls lined with anodized aluminum panels, the color of which gave the nickname for this place.

    Pripyat
  • Central control room - CSchU (ЦЩУ)
    Control room for the energy distribution switchyard of the power plant. As the power plant continues to operate as an energy hub, this room allows controlling ongoing operations.

    Pripyat
  • SKALA (СКАЛА) mainframe computer system 
    Reactor control computer system from 1973, based on ES EVM mainframe — a Soviet architectural clone of the IBM/360. While nowadays it is exceptionally hard to find devices like high-speed data tape reel drives or punch tape readers, here you can see them preserved in a perfect shape in their original machine hall equipped with an airtight dust-free zone.
     
  • Control room of Unit III - BSchU-III (БЩУ-3)
    Control room of Unit III. For its original purpose, it operated up to mid-December 2000, when Unit III was shut down. Technically, the control room of the infamous Unit IV used to look the same.
     
  • CZ-3 Unit III Reactor central hall (ЦЗ-3)
    Reactor III hall, the main place for technological operations. Here a famous mosaic-like cover of the upper biological shield is located, and you will be able to walk over it!

    Pripyat
  • Unit III 3GCN main circulation pumps (3-ГЦН)
    Gigantic pumps were used to provide circulation of water through the active zone of the reactor of Unit III.
     
  • Valery Khodemchuck memorial
    A plaque installed on the wall separates Units III and IV in memory of V. Khodemchuck — operator of circulation pumps, that died during the explosion and whose body was never found. This place 
     
  • The room, where the history has changed — the Control room of Unit IV — BSchU-IV (БЩУ-4)
    The Control Room of Unit IV — a place from which Unit IV was controlled. Here remained the original control panel — the same, like at #3, but rusty, with marks of decontamination. In the dim light, it is possible to recognize the radiation level writings left on equipment by technicians in the past — that time when one had to spend as little time as possible here.

    Pripyat
  • Canteen #19
    You pass one more spectrometry of your body after the visit to the maximum-security area and have a transfer with internal transport to the canteen for a lunch. Then, you continue to two more locations.
     
  • Observation point of NSC
    A square in ±200 m distance from the New Safe Confinement.
     
  • Information center of Shelter Object/NSC
    A place where you will learn very much new about the original Shelter Object, its design, and operation, as well as about the New Safe Confinement.

After this program, we continue on our van.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant — Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH Radar Site

We return to the main highway and drive to the south. At some point, we turn to the military concrete road and drive approximately 6 km to Chernobyl-2. This formerly supersecret town is hidden in dense forests and was one of 6 components of Duga (eng. "Arc") over-the-horizon radar complex, designed in the 1970s to detect launches of U.S. ICBMs to the Soviet Union.

Duga OTH Radar

This place is the only, where you can see such a huge antenna installation straight in front of you. Moreover, being a relic of the Cold War, a visit here is a superior opportunity to learn about this period of history from the side of the USSR, Soviet military, and computer technologies of the Socialistic Block.

When we come to Chernobyl-2, we leave the car near its checkpoint, and go on foot to visit antennas, go around the data processing center and other facilities, like vehicles service depot, fire station, and so on.
As the Chernobyl disaster caused a contamination of Chernobyl-2, being followed by end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fate of the Duga project was dark — it was canceled and all the components destroyed, except the array of Chernobyl-2. 

Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH Radar Site — Checkpoint Leliv — Town of Chernobyl — Rudnia Veresnia — Kazkovy Pioneers camp

We head to the place, that played a major role in the early post-disaster history — the pioneer's camp of the Chernobyl NPP. On the way, the first place we pass is the Rudnia-Veresnia village, which age estimated to be at least 200 years. In old times, the river Veresnia that passes through the village has been used as a source of bog iron, that was collected for further processing at iron-production manufactures. This specialization of the village is reflected in the word Rudnia that refers to ore in Ukrainian. The lands here are exceptionally sandy, so this neighborhood is relatively low-touched by sprawling vegetation and we find it very picturesque.



Next, we drive to the Kazkovy ("The one from a fairytale") camp. Initially, this camp was built as a summer resort for kids of NPP workers. It features the same architecture style as Pripyat — up to streetlights. After the Chernobyl disaster, it became the first temporary camp for those employees of the power plant who were involved in the liquidation process. We have some archive footage from the times it was still alive — so you will be able to check it out.

Kazkovy Pioneers Camp — Checkpoint Dityatky

We leave the camp and drive to the Dityatky checkpoint, where we pass once more the contamination check-up (this time — with a stricter threshold) and exit the Zone. 

Checkpoint Dityatky — Museum

We head to the exit. At the Dityatky checkpoint, we pass an already familiar contamination check-up. After this, we arrive at our secret museum — a carefully restored radiation control outpost from the Ilovnitsa village that operated in 1986-87, during the active phase of liquidation of consequences of disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Here you can see various artifacts, operating equipment and immerse into the atmosphere of that time.

(Optional extra) Dinner at STALKER restaurant & grill bar

If you wish, we can have a dinner and summary talk in the restaurant.

Dityatky — Transfer to Kyiv

After that, we drive to Kyiv back, where we will arrive approximately at 07:00...08:00 PM.

Possible extensions:

  • The program can be extended to more days and locations, including those inside and outside the Zone (as there are many Chernobyl-related places too).
  • On-demand, you can meet our experts on history, radiation, dosimetry, nuclear energy, or wildlife or have them join you while you are in the Zone.
  • We can provide you with industrial-grade professional dosimeters (no cheap devices for home use).

The price and what is included:

The price per person heavily depends on the number of visitors, so please enquire using the form above. There are no hidden charges, we discuss everything beforehand. The price will include:

  • Processing of all documents for the required permits.
  • Payment of all the required fees for the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone visit and Chernobyl NPP Basic Plus program.
  • Individual dosimetry control 
  • Guiding in English based on the itinerary above
  • Accommodation for 2 nights for the itinerary with an overnight stay, or for 1 night if without (hostel rooms, or, by extra charge — hotel rooms or a cottage). 
  • Transfer from Kyiv, within the Zone, and back by a minivan with a skilled driver that knows the Zone well.

Notices:

  • A state permit is required for a visit to the Chernobyl Zone and the Chernobyl NPP. We need your full and accurate passport information and all details discussed before document submission.
  • For this very itinerary, it is required to send the information 15 (fifteen) full days before the visit to fit the requirements of the Chernobyl NPP security and legal clearance. The day of the power plant visit must be a business one. There is no way to make it faster.
  • All visitors must be 18 years old. 
  • We work only in private tours format and do not offer group tours, because we do not want to lower the quality of our programs. 

Request now


E.g., 27.09.2021

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The NPP requires 15 full days for the permit clearance.
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