Chernobyl Challenge

During the Chernobyl Challenge of 2018 we got to parts of Duga not seen before and got access to the control room of reactor 3 and ate lunch with the workers in their canteen. I really feel that I offer the premium 'rontgen experience' as our small groups allow us to go places the larger ones cannot and our guide Maxim lets us do things that are not strictly in the rule book! Also most mainstream tours do not get access to reactor 3.

The Sept 2019 trip was a great success and in 2021, it will be the same time of the year namely Sunday 26 Sept to Monday 27 Sept 2021. Also April 18/19 to cover the cancelled 2020 trip. Bookings for 2021 are now open but no need to send any ££ just yet. Simply fill in our form and email it and we will contact you nearer the time. The night in the zone is now in quite a posh place in the model nuclear town of Slavutich, accessed by rail. The cost including hotel in Slavutich and all transport and food in the 2 days, is £350. This 2 day tour is an exploration / photo fest of one of the largest abandoned areas on earth, namely the Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in Ukraine. Places to explore include the abandoned model town of Pripyat including the ferris wheel, Hotel Polisia, Hospital, Kindergarden, Jupiter Plant (Soviet military facility). Then Duga 3, the Soviet over the horizon radar facility with its huge array which can be seen from space. The facility could in theory see American ICBM launches as they happened making it a vital Soviet defense facility. A trip to see the destroyed reactor 4 and the new sarcophagus being built over it. Finally, a trip into the other reactors where you will see a control room, which is still live although no power is being generated.


Feel free to stay an extra day in Kiev and see a totally lovely East European capital city. Ukraine is a visa free country for the EU and extremely good value. Most fly out Saturday and back on Tuesday, but feel free to stretch things either way.

Is it safe? In a word: Yes. Radiation levels are actually below those on the flight to Kiev and your guide will have his own Geiger counter, but do bring your own and the roadbook will explain the best ones and the price ranges. It is possible to see hotter areas if you wish but again, doses are within safe limits. The trip is not open to those under 18.  We also require all travellers to wear long sleeve shirts and long trousers while in the zone.

The 2 day tour includes:

  • Roadbook
  • All transport from Kiev to Chernobyl and around the zone in a minibus: far better than the usual huge coach.
  • English speaking guide.
  • A night at the Slavutich Hilton (sic) where the beer is almost free.
  • Breakfasts lunches and supper in the zone, lunches at the Nuclear Power Plant canteen.
  • Tour of Pripyat, Duga 3, Reactor 3 and the sarcophagus

Not included:

  • Your flight to Kiev
  • Airport transfers (about 2 Euros on the airport bus)
  • Your accommodation in Kiev. We suggest the bizzare Hotel Salyut from where your trip will begin.

Dates are as mentioned earlier.  Price is £350. This is the best tour you can book with small numbers, access to reactor 3 which is in run down, and food and accommodation. If I deleted reactor 3 tour, it would be cheaper but worth the extra cost in my opinion.

Schedule: You fly to Kiev Borispol on the Saturday and get the airbus into town and a metro to Hotel Salyut (or Salute: I prefer the first name).  We will provide you with a roadbook with full information nearer the time.

On Sunday the minibus will pick you up at 8.30am and from now on til Monday night, all your meals and accommodation are covered in the fee.  The schedule will vary and the choice of sites in the zone is up to you, but all will want to visit a reactor in run down and reactor 4, and Pripyat. Then the Duga 3 radar facility. Hotel in Slavutich on Sunday night and Monday eve return to Hotel Salyut. Fly Tuesday or whenever you like. No visas needed for EU citizens. If Hotel Salyut is full, then Hotel Kiev the next best.

NOTE: for our 2021 trips, fill in the form and email but send no money for now. Places are going fast but our aim is to contact you in May/June and ask for payment and somehow fit everyone in. Basically, if I don’t fill the 14 seat minibus, I lose money so aiming to get 14 bums on seats for each trip and at that point you buy your airtickets.

2021 bookings  (we are aiming to run 2 trips: April & September)

  • Kevin Noble / Peter Noble / Ray Webb,
  • Stephanie Sears
  • Freda Sedgwick
  • Fergus McVey plus 1
  • Stephanie Goffe / Alexander Goffe / Karl Gimblett / Julie Gimblett / Stephanie Wainwright,
  • Harry Nowill
  • Russell McCleave  and spouse
  • Jenny McDougall / Gregory McDougall
  • Martin Stuffins
  • Miles & Jeremy Colbeck
  • Chris Davies
  • Sarah Curtis
  • Nick Williams(Sept1920)
  • Paul Cable & Roger Markham
  • Darren Lewis / Laura Williams
  • Angela and Paul Whenman
  • Angela Richter & Peter Shields
  • Brooke Nichols & Jason Aldridge
  • Gemma & Adam Taylor
  • Alan Cartright plus Charlotte
  • Craig Holdstock
  • Henry Tenby
  • Neil Campbell
  • Ed/Nick Combes
  • Sam Bunce
  • Russell Pember
  • David Noakes +3
  • Rob Deeley plus Peter Shaw: deposit paid.

Click here for the Chernobyl Challenge Application Form