Travel | June 23, 2019 12:56 pm

Is This Your Year to Visit Chernobyl?

An Expansive Tour Package Is Now Available

Exclusion Zone
The DUGA radar installation, located in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
AcquaClara/Creative Commons

Sometimes, you might want to on vacation to a place known for its inspirational history or stunning natural beauty. But there are other times when the idea of traveling to a living monument to human error, disaster, and the horrors of unchecked technology might sound downright appealing.

Atlas Obscura is now offering a tour package which will let participants visit Chernobyl as part of a larger tour of the region.

First things first: it’s safe to visit, and has been since it was opened to tourists in 2011. Experienced tour guides carry Geiger counters; as long as you’re not staying near the site for too long, you should be fine.

The tour begins in the capital city of Kyiv, and involves two trips to Chernobyl. The first is to the area around the reactor itself, including the containment structure built in 2016 to store radioactive material. The second takes travelers to the ghost town of Pripyat, which housed workers at the plant until it was evacuated after the disaster.

The remainder of the trip involves immersion in the region’s history and culture, including trips to Chișinău and Odessa.

All told, it sounds like a fascinating way to spend 11 days — though the price may be steep for some. (Fares begin at $4,225, not including flights.) But given the significant role Chernobyl continues to play in the history of the 20th Century — to say nothing of the rampant critical and commercial success of the recent miniseries about the 1986 disaster — the appeal of seeing the site firsthand is undeniable.

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