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      I just returned from a 42 day trip to the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldovia with JC Travel Ukraine. The trip was absolutely fantastic. The Company offers various options so I took the one with Car and Driver. I put together my own itinerary and used Lonely Planet for Ukraine and Moldovia and Bradt for Belarus. Both were adequate although a little bit more info would have been nice. For me to consider a trip a complete success it must meet certain requirements. First the driver must know where every city and site is located. Time is precious when traveling (even if its 42 days) and I dont want to waste time getting lost. Well, my driver-Alex – never got lost and thanks to his car GPS and his smart phone he found every site I wanted to see in a particular city. When I say a particular site I dont mean just the main Cathedral or historic house but places off the typical tourist path such as a memorial to those who died in the “Great Patriotic War” or memorials dedicated to the unbelievable number of Jews who died during after that war. Some of these sites were not very obvious but Alex found them whether they be located on a private farm or behind a gas station. He was wonderful. I have taken many tours with car and driver and never have I been with a driver who was so much concern about me seeing every sights I requested in my itinerary. You need to understand that in some cities I listed 25-30 sites and he found them all. The second factor that I consider important in determining a trip’s success is the reliability of the vehicle. We drove close to 9,000 kms and NOT once was there any problem with the vehicle. Moreover Alex was a very good and safe driver. Thus I never once felt uncomfortable about his driving abilities. Finally as an American –and you know we have to be pampered–I requested clean rooms and bathrooms throughout the trip. I told Julia that I would leave it up to her to find me good 3 or 4 star hotels. I can now say that every night –with no exceptions- I stayed in wonderful hotels. While sometimes the room was a little small, the bed was very comfortable and all had good lighting. Also the bathrooms to my pleasant surprise were absolutely clean, bright, with showers that had strong hot water. Likewise, the breakfast in the vast majority of hotels was excellent. As stated earlier I opted for the tour with car and driver and I have no regreats. However, I was curious concerning other option offered which includes a local guide in each city. So one day I took such a guide offered by JC Travel Ukraine. Since I only did this one time please understand that this is not a very scientific method of evaluating the local guides in all three countries. But during this one time I found the young lady spoke excellent english, was very informative, and polite. She added some interesting points that were not in my guide books but on the whole I felt I did the right thing not getting more local guides. However, if you feel that you would enjoy such a guide by all means do it. I don’t believe you would regret it–although it will add to the price of the trip. After 42 days I believe that I have a good idea about this region of the world and also about JC travel. This is a young company that first and foremost wants you to understand and appreciate the history, culture and food of this region. Second, they want you to have a very enjoyable expierence in their country and in this area of the world. And only lastly are they interested in making a profit. I truly believe you would be making a big mistake not to consider this company if you wish to see this interesting area of the world. Save yourself the time, energy, and money and go with JC travel. You won’t regret it.

    • Ken Carrano, Washington, D.C., USA
      Destination:
    • For many years I had the dream of traveling to Ukraine. It was never much of a possibility for me. This last year conditioned changed for me and I was able to consider making the trip to Ukraine a reality. I began to research the possibility. That is when I had the fortune to find JC Travel Ukraine and their offer for a tour of Western Ukraine. (I have a great interest in the Carpathian Mountains) I requested more information on their website and was answered almost immediately by Julia. She was able to offer me a customized tour on the dates that were available for me. She was also able to quickly put my mind at ease that JC Travel was a very viable way to see Ukraine and I did!
      So about my trip: I visited 7 cities over 11 days. Each city had a guide that lived in the city and had great pride and knowledge of their city and shared with passion the history and heritage of their area. I cannot say that I liked any one guide or city more than another each had highlights I enjoyed. Including fortresses from hundreds of years ago and modern churches with incredible architecture. Between each city we traveled by van thru the country side. For me this was a highlight of the trip as I was able to have a glimpse of normal life in Ukraine.
      I enjoyed seeing cows tethered along the road for grazing, farmers pulling their wagons with hay on them, and the most impressive, the well manicured yards. Keep in mind the yards were not manicured with grass as we may imagine, but with fruits, vegetables, small stacks of hay from the grass areas, and a variety of other things that were very cool. I have to say I also enjoyed observing the people in the cities the hustles of everyday life, but a people that as a rule will have a smile for you.
      I haven’t included a lot of details about my trip because I truly believe it needs to be seen rather than imagined. I highly recommend using JC Travel Ukraine for a trip to Ukraine. Julia and Alex have great experience, go out of their way to provide personal service and are capable of handling all situations. To add to that Alex is an excellent driver, it is necessary! haha
      I would be happy to answer any questions to anyone interested in visiting Ukraine and/or using the services of JC Travel.
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    • Sam Gunter, California, USA
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • In July of 2015 I went on a wonderful minivan tour of Western Ukraine with JC Travel. I was already vacationing Kiev with my husband, who was working there on a 3 week project, when I called JC Travel to see if there was a trip through Western Ukraine that I could join. Julia answered the phone and said yes, a trip starts tomorrow!

      I spent nearly a week traveling with Julia and Alex in their very comfortable minivan. They took great care of us, stopping every couple of hours at some very impressive gas stations with good coffee and some great barbequed chicken! While some of the roads needed a bit of repair, Alex is a great driver, and it was always smooth sailing in the minivan. I discovered that I could put the seat back and sleep or read in comfort during the drive.

      We went to cities with long, interesting, political, social, and architectural histories, and Julia provided local English speaking travel guides in each city. The guides spent the day and sometimes the evening with us, giving us incredible personal tours of their beloved cities. The 3 star hotels were always comfortable and provided nice, filling breakfasts that included some Ukrainian fare such as fresh sauerkraut and usually had spas and massage available. I also enjoyed trying Ukrainian dishes, and became a big fan of every regional style of beet borsht. Both the food and the cultural and political history of Western Ukraine were especially meaningful to me because of my Jewish roots. Jewish history and culture have deep roots in Western Ukraine.

      Although I am not generally a great fan of military history, visiting Kamenyets Podilsky was one of the highlights of my trip to Ukraine. Their fortress-castle built in the fourteenth century is spectacular, and our guide, Maxim, was full of interesting and fun information and kept the military history from being dry.

      For me, one of the best parts of traveling with Julia and Alex was that they made travel so easy, especially for someone traveling ‘on her own’, not having to be alert to secure my belongings and not worrying about getting lost.

      I can heartily recommend JC Travel, and I would be happy to talk with anyone thinking of using their services.

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    • Sue Pickgrobe, Portland, USA
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • Julia and Alex, I would first like to say THANK YOU! I had a stay of just about two weeks in Ukraine just recently. I had contacted Julia prior to my trip to make arrangements for Hotels and intercity travel. Certainly I was a little concerned, initially, working with unknowns in a land so very far away. However, my concerns quickly vanished up my arrival in Boryspil, to see that Julia and Alex were there to meet me, and were ready to take me on my journey, despite my later than planned arrival. The vehicle was incredible, and comfortable. Julia and Alex were accommodating, and very sociable. It made the many hours in the “van” so much more pleasant. My journey took me to Cherkassy, Kremenchug, Zaporozhe, Sumy, and Kiev. AND, as a result of a problems with the rail system (due to the conflict I think), Julia and Alex took care of a side trip to Kharkov for me as well, with only 24 hours notice. All of my accommodations in Kremenchug, Zaporozhe, Sumy, and Kiev were wonderful, and taken care of in advance of my arrival! So nice. The hotel rooms were a little smaller than I am accustomed to but, they were clean and well serviced. Besides, I only slept there. Every time I needed Julia and Alex, there were there! They were on time! They were ready to go!

      My final experience with them was a tour of Kiev. Amazing!! Olga, the guide, was very easy to understand, took me to many historical, as well as fun locations. She was so well versed on her knowledge of the area, yet was able to deliver it with the enthusiasm of telling it for the first time! Thank goodness there was not a quiz! So much more than I could absorb in our time together!

      Incredible service, no problems what so ever, and they even went above and beyond the call of duty a couple of times, helping with translation during some purchase I made, and making sure I got to my destinations (other than hotels).

      Though the main highway between Kiev/Boryspil is a great road, all the others were travelled were, well, “turbulent” (LOL). And as it is winter, the roads were icy, and had snow on them during most of our trip. I never once feared for my safety with Alex! I thought perhaps I might have to get out and help push on one icy hill, but Alex took care of the issues, and we had a great trip.

      You will have to come and make your own judgments of the country, as it is not one that everyone would like. I personally am impressed with the Ukrainian people and their generally greater creativity than my home land Americans. Their culture is rich, ancient, and full. I have come to adore this country and the people. I am reading the Kobzar. Certainly not light reading, but indicative of the times in which it was written. Kind of tragically beautiful. The cities are full of your typical soviet era, purpose over form, housing and structures. But even in this, one can find amazing beauty and depth, if you are willing to look hard enough. I am a “country” living (not cowboy) person, and found incredible beauty in the tree lined, hedge rowed, snow covered country side, with the occasional plain block constructed houses of the villages outside the cities. Within the cites is amazing intrigue and beauty with snow covered walks, monuments, parks, and frozen streams and rivers. I can only imagine spring and summer here, and hope to return to experience it first hands. Be prepared to break out your superstition handbook! So many wonderful ideas, both big and small. Pay the hedgehog, rub the cats, make a wish while you walk in the right spot, carry a few golden coins, and wish in the fountains and ponds and rivers, provide a purse with money – but only even numbers, flowers shall be only in odd quantities, and so many more. For those who know, an American $2 is highly prized, and greatly appreciated!!

      JC Travel Ukraine, Julia and Alex, and Olga, you have my appreciation and gratitude, and my most sincere and highest recommendation! Thank you again!!! Perhaps I will return in the spring or summer when there are not “so huge flakes” of snow! Incredible!!!

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    • Mark Hall, USA
      Destination: Eastern Ukraine
    • I’ve known JC travel for a few years now and I can say I have always had good experiences with them. I chose them because I felt they were different then other generic mass producing travel companies. Can I say personal service! I found that my risk was rewarded. I have been to Ukraine twice and are thinking of going again. Would not go again without them.
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    • Patrick Brophy, USA
      Destination: Southern Ukraine
    • Hi Julia and Alex,

      We are home with fond memories of our trip. It started great with the time spent with you. We thought 4 of our 5 local guides were excellent (Irene, Zoya, Marta, and Tanya). In addition to being excellent guides, Zoya and Tanya were interesting people that we wish we had been able to spend more time with just talking to them. Pavel tried, but we would not recommend him.

      Our favorite place was with Roman. While a taxi driver, not a driver/guide like we had expected, he was the highlight of the trip. Traveling with him was like traveling with a good friend, who was also experiencing the sights for the first time. We saw and learned more through him than we would have with the traditional professional driver/guide that we had expected. We will fondly remember the sites we saw, but Roman will always hold a special place in our hearts.

      We truly liked the people of Ukraine. Almost everyone was warm and welcoming. The people in western Ukraine were filled with hope for the future, tempered by concern about the present. We share the hope for the future.

      We did enjoy Medzhybizh Castle. Exploring it with Roman, we had the joy of discovery.

      One problem that we encountered at the end of our trip, was the inability to convert hryvnia back to dollars as we left Lviv. The currency exchange showed us a green receipt that we should have requested when we converted dollars into hryvnia. We had the receipts that we had been given, but not the green one. We were only able to convert back to dollars thanks to a kind Ukrainian citizen who used her passport to convert for us. She would accept no compensation for her assistance. You may want to be sure to alert future clients to this.

      You are sincere people who appear to be working hard to develop you company in a difficult time. We wish you luck.

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    • Ken & Gen Lanford, USA
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • Our trip to Ukraine with JC Travel exceeded all we could have hoped for! We booked a custom trip back in the fall 2013, before the political unrest started, so we were a little nervous about it by spring 2014, but everything was calm and peaceful. We had adopted our daughter from Ukraine in 2003 and she wanted more information about her past. We traveled with our four teens. Alex and Julia were amazing in all they did to make the trip successful. They made phone calls, appointments, and lots of preparation before we arrived. While we were in the country, they continued to help at every step. We were able to meet relatives, see family villages, and even see the house where a fire had occurred when our daughter was a baby. It was a very emotional time, and Alex and Julia handled it all with compassion and dignity. They went out of their way when one of our children became ill, taking us to the right doctor and helping with medications. We would not even have attempted this trip without help, and Alex and Julia were the best choice we could have made! We all highly recommend JC Travel, and we will certainly turn to them if we return to Ukraine in the future.

      If you would like me to change any wording, please let me know!
      Thank you for everything!

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    • Kyle and Becky Fortney, USA
      Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
    • The right time to go to the Ukraine is now!! The news media made the Ukraine look dangerous but reassured by J.C. Travel, we continued to a quiet Kiev and wonderful vacation. We were in the middle of a cultural change (EU/Russia) and history being made in a most beautiful setting: The City of Kiev. Julia and Alex accompanied us our entire trip including one to the former President’s palatial home outside the city and Independent Square (Maidan). Local guides were provided in historical areas such as the world heritage sites. We visited the Chernobyl Museum and then a long, worth the trip, to the Missile Silo Museum (a site not destroyed and now a museum). A stay at the Fairmont Hotel is a must. The city of Kiev has many beautiful sites that never show on websites. We drove through the middle of the Ukraine to Kamenets-Podolsky to visit the Fortress. Then on to Chisneau Moldova and the wineries. J.C-Travel is fantstic and took very personal care of us. Transportation was good, hotel selection excellent, and Julie and Alex fantastic. For a personal reference please contact me through JC Travel who will provide my EMail address. News Media are looking for the sensation story and the U.S. Government has a warning about every place you travel. However, recommend staying in Kiev and have JC travel chart you a trip away from the current conflict. Ask JC Travel for our EMail if you have any questions.

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    • admin
      Destination: Ukraine & Moldova
    • I booked an 8 day trip to Ukraine with JC Travel during April 2014. I was a bit hesitant to go due to the current political instability, but I’m glad I went. After cancelling the visit to Crimea, the trip went smoothly.

      Ukraine is a country with a rich history that, to this day, is struggling to preserve it’s freedom, independence, and cultural identity. Historically significant places are everywhere, as are monuments erected to commemorate the victims of the countless wars it was involved in. And the recent events in Maidan remind us that the struggle is not over.

      I very much liked the historical perspective, museums, churches, monuments, etc. But really the highlight of this trip for me was Julia and Alex from JC Travel. The organization of the tour was flawless, so professionally I have nothing but good things to say about JC Travel. Everything was as we agreed, and in every place we visited, a local guide was available to provide the best possible information and services. But what made this trip unique for me was the personal involvement of Julia. We spent countless hours together, which gave me the opportunity to talk about a wide range of topics, and get a very good feeling about the life and issues in present day Ukraine. We shared many meals together, at the places that locals go, and the schedule was flexible enough.

      I have been to many countries, but except for places that I’ve visited many times, or where I have family or friends, this was the visit where I got closest to locals and their lives. This trip became more personal than is usual for me, and I enjoyed it very much.

      I would recommend JC Travel without hesitation to anyone visiting Ukraine for the first time, or wanting a more immersive experience than traditional tours give.

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    • admin
      Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
    • I had the opportunity to visit this marvelous country in a rush. Few unforgettable days in the Donbas region (Donetsk and Lugansk) showed me the open spaces, the flat lands, a modern city and an unpaired salt mine (Soledar) that are truly unique. Regardless of the cold weather, I felt immediately welcome by Julia andAlex. They were there in my trip preparation, facilitated my transfer and were always in touch to ensure I had a pleasant and safe experience. Ukraine is unique, and Julia and Alex made me feel at home. I feel fortunate I have two new friends in my life.

    • Jorge Nuñez
      Destination: Eastern Ukraine
    • I had the pleasure of travelling to Crimea with Julia Kulik’s company JC-Travel. Everything exceeded my expectations. I decided to travel at the last second and despite it being a holiday, Julia answered my emails immediately, and was very helpful in explaining the costs. Her fast, friendly and helpful responses were really fantastic and the trip went perfectly.
      My driver/guide was very friendly and helpful and went out of his way to show my things that were related to my area of interest. No task was too great and everything was done in a flexible, fun and engaging manner. In short, I recommend JC-Travel for any travel anywhere in Ukraine. You will simply not find better, more reliable service. Ukraine is lucky to have such a team representing it to foreign visitors. If you are in any doubt about visiting Ukraine, or using Julia’s services, please don’t worry. It’s one of Europe’s most fascinating countries and with Julia you are in good hands.

    • Sean Stewart
      Destination: Crimea
    • My husband, daughter and I had the opportunity to use the services of JC Travel Ukraine in September of this year. I had found the company’s website earlier in the year and through a series of emails our time together was planned out. I had some ideas of the sights we might like to see in Odessa and Crimea. Julia based the itinerary around this, but with her local knowledge added other fascinating places to them. Julia and Alex toured us through many places, interpreted for us, arranged our accommodation to suit us and taught us a lot about both historic and modern Ukraine. I recommend JC Travel highly.

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    • Sheila Heinrich
      Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
    • Wow, now I’m experienced.
      Yes I was scared the closer we got to the Ukraine.
      I’m about to enter another country where I don,t understand the language or read it. At the same time dragging my whole family with me. What IF something happens to the ones I love? When I got off the plane, there was very little signs in english. Not many at all speak english. What was I doing in the Ukraine.
      Let me tell you that we were greeted by an older very friendly gentleman named Eugene.
      Between his greeting and we getting our luggage, I was very releived, and knew it was going to be a good trip.
      After travelling, I relize there are two different perspectives. One: You can read so much on the internet, get books from the liabrary or watch videos. After all this you think you know Ukraine. Perhaps. Two: Reality what Ukraine is really like. The people have heart that you only experience and can’t put into words.
      Ukraine is such a vast country with such a rich culture, influenced by the neighboring countries. UKRAINE the name which means changing boreders, which shows her changed heart. This is reflected in the language. The southern words different from the language of the north. The only language rechonized throughout the. country is RUSSIAN ,in which has left its infuence from the grip of comunism. The Country is free but you see the differece economiclly. A bottle of Vodka for under 5 bucks or feed the whole family of 5 including drinks for under $50. Keep in mind they don’t ussually have menus in english. Your dollar goes very far.
      These are just a few of the things that you won’t find in books. With the organizing of Julia and being in the capable hands of Eugine. My family and I were able to experience a dream come true that was not able because of political difficulies and barriers of language…
      Ukraine is a very old country inwhich has endured many times of hardship. My family got to see and experience beutifull cathedralls, fortresses, landscapes, monuments and cities all in a safe manner. I deffinetly will be back again but not without the capable hands of Julia and Eugine.
      Note I DEFFENTLY won’t drive on my own.

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    • Dmytro Kulyk
      Destination: Southern Ukraine
    • Hi Julia and thank you Julia!
      We are home and I can honestly tell you we had the adventure of our lives. Eugene was so much more to us than a guide and interpreter.
      He helped us in so many ways. I could never explain the support he provided….not just in his language skills and getting us to where we needed to go, but more importantly, I think he really understood what we were experiencing. We have a wonderfully “diverse” family….from Ukraine’s wealthiest citizens to Ukraine’s poorest. We had some challenges as we met and visited but Eugene’s presence made everything go very smoothly. We have no hesitation recommending him and his service to your visitors.
      By the time we said good bye, we felt we were leaving a very good friend!
      If you need to, please use me as a reference for your agency. Your service was great.
      What you promised….we got!
      Once again, our sincere thank you.
      And our very best wishes to you. I know your business will be successful.
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    • Irene, my sister Donna My niec
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • Hi Julia and Alex… It’s been awhile since I visited the wonderful city of Kharkiv… I still remember your hospitality and all the beautiful places we have been to. I was impressed with the great number and beautiful churches, museums and all those interesting historical places!

      I will definitely come back to discover more and more ! Will get it touch with you guys .. I do strongly recommend JC Travel Ukraine to anyone planning to visit Ukraine!

      Thanks again guys and see you soon

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    • Mohd Younus
      Destination: Eastern Ukraine
    • I want to thank you very much for all the arrangements you made for us. We had no problems whatsoever with the bookings and the guides and drivers in both Kiev and Lviv were excellent. They took very good care of us! Our stay at the Hotel Lybid in Kiev was nice, the breakfast was good, although quite different from breakfast here in Canada. I enjoyed the outside patio where I could sit and have morning coffee.
      The train from Kiev to Lviv and back was an interesting experience. Our suitcases were too big to fit under the bunks so it made the berth quite crowded, but we managed.
      The Eurohotel in Lviv was also nice, the street was fairly quite at night and enjoyed sitting out on the room balcony. It was also easy walking distance to the town center.
      Our day visiting the village, Chornushovychi, was very special.
      We also enjoyed the drive to the Carpathian Mountains and learning the history of the area. In all it was very interesting and I would not hesitate to recommend your services to anyone wanting to visit Ukraine. Julia, Thank-you very much for making our trip to Ukraine a wonderful one!!!

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    • Marjorie Forsyth
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • Hello!
      The trip was very very nice! Thank you for all preparations and your friendly attitude during the week! For us the trip was really interesting, especially the Crimean part.
      It was a good combination of culture, history and leisure, and you
      Julias made us feel very welcome and special. The trip got us
      interested in the rest of Ukraine as well, so maybe one day…

    • Leena and Seppo Toivonen
      Destination: Crimea
    • Dear Julia,
      back at home.
      Thank you and the other Julia for the whole trip with you. We enjoined all the time during travelling.
      The target to see and experience in the short time as much as possible did succeed.
      Thank you very warmly for all sightseeing.
      Best regards to you and the other Julia!

    • Seppo and Outi Kupiainen
      Service: Transfer
    • Hello Julia!
      We do thank all of you, both Julias and Dima, once again.You made our trip pleasant, safe and most succesful and we hope that you also had a useful experience by travelling with us. We have been quite busy in the office, but you will have your pictures from us soon. It was a good idea to put them in a CD! Looking forward to have your pictures we wish you a very good autumn!
      With love and best wishes

    • Matti and Marja Pohjanpelto
      Service: Transfer
    • Dear Julia,
      I am in the process of creating a journal of our trip and hope to have it completed soon. We had a wonderful time, my mother described it as the “trip of a lifetime”. It truly was amazing that we were able to locate our relatives in the little villages!
      While we had a bumpy start with our driver, without him we would not have been able to do what we did. His knowledge of the area and his forcefulness with the local officials was without a doubt the only reason we found our relatives!
      We both loved Chernivtsi and while Kyiv was interesting it was more like a city in the USA, but we still are glad we spent some time there as well.
      I cannot thank you enough for all of your help (and patience), when I saw my mother cry when she stood on the ground where her grandfather’s house once was and imagined father there I knew it was all worth the effort!
      It actually all happened so fast we know we missed some opportunities but it was so emotional and intense at the time; who knows, maybe we’ll be able to return while my mother is still in good health.

    • Paul Kuprionas
      Service: Transfer
    • Dear Julia,
      I once again want to thank you for your personal interest and attention to my itinerary for my visit to Ukraine.
      Despite the hot weather I feel I saw more of the country and learned a lot about your culture, architecture, food and other bits and pieces.
      I was most impressed by your promptness in responding to my queries and being pro active in your job. You kept a tab on me since my arrival in Kiedv although you were based in Kharkiv. I guess that’s why you are such a good, reliable and excellent guide.
      Your team of guides and interpreters were very good and I enjoyed their company and all that they had to tell me about Ukraine.
      In fact, it is embarrassing to mention that I have looked at the pictures only last Friday sitting amongst my friends and describing the places in the pictures. They were all very impressed and afetr listening to all my comments and running commentary of each picture, they feel that they too have seen Ukraine through my eyes.
      I want to personally thank you for the Ukraine postage stamps that you gave me and I have told all my friends about you.
      Well that was indeed a nice experience and I wish you the very best in your career and hope you go from strength to strength.
      Wiith all good wishes

    • Mahesh Mukund
      Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
    • Dear Julia,
      I want to say thank you for all of your help!
      Our last summer tour in the Eastern Ukraine really was astounding.
      We were a small group from Chicago checking up our roots in Ukraine. Wow. The place was really fantastic to see!!
      All worked without a hitch. We can totally recommend using J.C.Semper´s services.

    • Saul Burgess
      Destination: Eastern Ukraine
    • Dear Julia,
      Thanks for the fabulous experience!! I have heard that the Crimea is beautiful, but could never imagine it to be this corgeous. Also we enjoyed all the themes of the seven wonders of your country. As a history and nature freak I loved every second. Yes, sometimes the distances between the places took its toll, but it was totally worth it! I want to show my gratituted to all the people who made this plan possible. You know who you are, keep up the good work!

    • Mika
      Destination: Crimea
    • Hello!
      I decided to take a chance and travel to Ukraine all by myself. But all this time I felt not threatened by anyone or anything there. I appreciated the care that the people of this company had in store for me. The guide, driver and everyone else were really helpful and they knew their business. I didn’t have to worry about anything really during my stay there. I give my warmest thanks to you! Congratulations! You made my holiday a memory I will never forget!

    • Andrea James, The USA
      Service: Transfer
    • Hello!
      We took your tour last February 2010. It was little too early to be there for the beautiful spring. But still the places we visited were there in place Our family had a nice weekend stay in Kamenets-Podolsky. Services were great. Our children liked the old historical places and of course us parents did too. Our heartfelt thanks to you!

    • Josef and Lena
      Destination: Western Ukraine
    • Hello!
      Thank you for organising the tours in Kharkov. Our group liked the excursions of history of Kharkov. As we are specially interested in the war history. The theme tours were nicely organised, very informative. We have all but good to say about the preparations and execution of the tour. From behalf of our group my sincere thank you.

    • Andi
      Destination: Eastern Ukraine
    • Hey, thanks so much!
      After coming back home I want to say this: my eyes have really opened now! Before the trip I did not know much about Ukraine. When my wife wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary in some special place, she chose Kiev of all the places. Weekend in Kiev was so special. The hotels and the sightseeing, just great. We fell in love with the city and the people. They were really special

    • Matti and Satu
      Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
    • Dear Julia,
      Thank you so much for your friendly help with our tour organization!
      Me and the lady had an idea to visit Ukraine before it becomes too difficult for us to travel. The procedure from making the bookings to departing from the country was dealt with professionalism. We really felt like the company here promises! All our suggestions and wishes were heard well enough. All in all, our choice to stay for a weekend was not so good, because it would’ve been so great to spend much longer time there. We express our thanks!

    • Jim and Sarah
      Service: Transfer
    • Dear Julia,
      I’d like to express my warm thanks to the crew that handled our tour. All was nice, some small problems with the officials, but even those the people from J.c.SemperTravel could solve just fine. Our team was really taken with seeing the beautiful Kamentez-Podolsky area with the small cities and castles. We surely left our hearts in Ukraine. Hope to see you sometime again! Thanks!

    • Davey Winston
      Destination: Western Ukraine

18 reviews of "Reviews"

  1. I just returned from a 42 day trip to the Ukraine, Belarus and Moldovia with JC Travel Ukraine. The trip was absolutely fantastic. The Company offers various options so I took the one with Car and Driver. I put together my own itinerary and used Lonely Planet for Ukraine and Moldovia and Bradt for Belarus. Both were adequate although a little bit more info would have been nice. For me to consider a trip a complete success it must meet certain requirements. First the driver must know where every city and site is located. Time is precious when traveling (even if its 42 days) and I dont want to waste time getting lost. Well, my driver-Alex – never got lost and thanks to his car GPS and his smart phone he found every site I wanted to see in a particular city. When I say a particular site I dont mean just the main Cathedral or historic house but places off the typical tourist path such as a memorial to those who died in the “Great Patriotic War” or memorials dedicated to the unbelievable number of Jews who died during after that war. Some of these sites were not very obvious but Alex found them whether they be located on a private farm or behind a gas station. He was wonderful. I have taken many tours with car and driver and never have I been with a driver who was so much concern about me seeing every sights I requested in my itinerary. You need to understand that in some cities I listed 25-30 sites and he found them all. The second factor that I consider important in determining a trip’s success is the reliability of the vehicle. We drove close to 9,000 kms and NOT once was there any problem with the vehicle. Moreover Alex was a very good and safe driver. Thus I never once felt uncomfortable about his driving abilities. Finally as an American –and you know we have to be pampered–I requested clean rooms and bathrooms throughout the trip. I told Julia that I would leave it up to her to find me good 3 or 4 star hotels. I can now say that every night –with no exceptions- I stayed in wonderful hotels. While sometimes the room was a little small, the bed was very comfortable and all had good lighting. Also the bathrooms to my pleasant surprise were absolutely clean, bright, with showers that had strong hot water. Likewise, the breakfast in the vast majority of hotels was excellent. As stated earlier I opted for the tour with car and driver and I have no regreats. However, I was curious concerning other option offered which includes a local guide in each city. So one day I took such a guide offered by JC Travel Ukraine. Since I only did this one time please understand that this is not a very scientific method of evaluating the local guides in all three countries. But during this one time I found the young lady spoke excellent english, was very informative, and polite. She added some interesting points that were not in my guide books but on the whole I felt I did the right thing not getting more local guides. However, if you feel that you would enjoy such a guide by all means do it. I don’t believe you would regret it–although it will add to the price of the trip. After 42 days I believe that I have a good idea about this region of the world and also about JC travel. This is a young company that first and foremost wants you to understand and appreciate the history, culture and food of this region. Second, they want you to have a very enjoyable expierence in their country and in this area of the world. And only lastly are they interested in making a profit. I truly believe you would be making a big mistake not to consider this company if you wish to see this interesting area of the world. Save yourself the time, energy, and money and go with JC travel. You won’t regret it.

    Ken Carrano, Washington, D.C., USA
    Destination:
  2. For many years I had the dream of traveling to Ukraine. It was never much of a possibility for me. This last year conditioned changed for me and I was able to consider making the trip to Ukraine a reality. I began to research the possibility. That is when I had the fortune to find JC Travel Ukraine and their offer for a tour of Western Ukraine. (I have a great interest in the Carpathian Mountains) I requested more information on their website and was answered almost immediately by Julia. She was able to offer me a customized tour on the dates that were available for me. She was also able to quickly put my mind at ease that JC Travel was a very viable way to see Ukraine and I did!
    So about my trip: I visited 7 cities over 11 days. Each city had a guide that lived in the city and had great pride and knowledge of their city and shared with passion the history and heritage of their area. I cannot say that I liked any one guide or city more than another each had highlights I enjoyed. Including fortresses from hundreds of years ago and modern churches with incredible architecture. Between each city we traveled by van thru the country side. For me this was a highlight of the trip as I was able to have a glimpse of normal life in Ukraine.
    I enjoyed seeing cows tethered along the road for grazing, farmers pulling their wagons with hay on them, and the most impressive, the well manicured yards. Keep in mind the yards were not manicured with grass as we may imagine, but with fruits, vegetables, small stacks of hay from the grass areas, and a variety of other things that were very cool. I have to say I also enjoyed observing the people in the cities the hustles of everyday life, but a people that as a rule will have a smile for you.
    I haven’t included a lot of details about my trip because I truly believe it needs to be seen rather than imagined. I highly recommend using JC Travel Ukraine for a trip to Ukraine. Julia and Alex have great experience, go out of their way to provide personal service and are capable of handling all situations. To add to that Alex is an excellent driver, it is necessary! haha
    I would be happy to answer any questions to anyone interested in visiting Ukraine and/or using the services of JC Travel.
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    Sam Gunter, California, USA
    Destination: Western Ukraine
  3. In July of 2015 I went on a wonderful minivan tour of Western Ukraine with JC Travel. I was already vacationing Kiev with my husband, who was working there on a 3 week project, when I called JC Travel to see if there was a trip through Western Ukraine that I could join. Julia answered the phone and said yes, a trip starts tomorrow!

    I spent nearly a week traveling with Julia and Alex in their very comfortable minivan. They took great care of us, stopping every couple of hours at some very impressive gas stations with good coffee and some great barbequed chicken! While some of the roads needed a bit of repair, Alex is a great driver, and it was always smooth sailing in the minivan. I discovered that I could put the seat back and sleep or read in comfort during the drive.

    We went to cities with long, interesting, political, social, and architectural histories, and Julia provided local English speaking travel guides in each city. The guides spent the day and sometimes the evening with us, giving us incredible personal tours of their beloved cities. The 3 star hotels were always comfortable and provided nice, filling breakfasts that included some Ukrainian fare such as fresh sauerkraut and usually had spas and massage available. I also enjoyed trying Ukrainian dishes, and became a big fan of every regional style of beet borsht. Both the food and the cultural and political history of Western Ukraine were especially meaningful to me because of my Jewish roots. Jewish history and culture have deep roots in Western Ukraine.

    Although I am not generally a great fan of military history, visiting Kamenyets Podilsky was one of the highlights of my trip to Ukraine. Their fortress-castle built in the fourteenth century is spectacular, and our guide, Maxim, was full of interesting and fun information and kept the military history from being dry.

    For me, one of the best parts of traveling with Julia and Alex was that they made travel so easy, especially for someone traveling ‘on her own’, not having to be alert to secure my belongings and not worrying about getting lost.

    I can heartily recommend JC Travel, and I would be happy to talk with anyone thinking of using their services.

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    Sue Pickgrobe, Portland, USA
    Destination: Western Ukraine
  4. Julia and Alex, I would first like to say THANK YOU! I had a stay of just about two weeks in Ukraine just recently. I had contacted Julia prior to my trip to make arrangements for Hotels and intercity travel. Certainly I was a little concerned, initially, working with unknowns in a land so very far away. However, my concerns quickly vanished up my arrival in Boryspil, to see that Julia and Alex were there to meet me, and were ready to take me on my journey, despite my later than planned arrival. The vehicle was incredible, and comfortable. Julia and Alex were accommodating, and very sociable. It made the many hours in the “van” so much more pleasant. My journey took me to Cherkassy, Kremenchug, Zaporozhe, Sumy, and Kiev. AND, as a result of a problems with the rail system (due to the conflict I think), Julia and Alex took care of a side trip to Kharkov for me as well, with only 24 hours notice. All of my accommodations in Kremenchug, Zaporozhe, Sumy, and Kiev were wonderful, and taken care of in advance of my arrival! So nice. The hotel rooms were a little smaller than I am accustomed to but, they were clean and well serviced. Besides, I only slept there. Every time I needed Julia and Alex, there were there! They were on time! They were ready to go!

    My final experience with them was a tour of Kiev. Amazing!! Olga, the guide, was very easy to understand, took me to many historical, as well as fun locations. She was so well versed on her knowledge of the area, yet was able to deliver it with the enthusiasm of telling it for the first time! Thank goodness there was not a quiz! So much more than I could absorb in our time together!

    Incredible service, no problems what so ever, and they even went above and beyond the call of duty a couple of times, helping with translation during some purchase I made, and making sure I got to my destinations (other than hotels).

    Though the main highway between Kiev/Boryspil is a great road, all the others were travelled were, well, “turbulent” (LOL). And as it is winter, the roads were icy, and had snow on them during most of our trip. I never once feared for my safety with Alex! I thought perhaps I might have to get out and help push on one icy hill, but Alex took care of the issues, and we had a great trip.

    You will have to come and make your own judgments of the country, as it is not one that everyone would like. I personally am impressed with the Ukrainian people and their generally greater creativity than my home land Americans. Their culture is rich, ancient, and full. I have come to adore this country and the people. I am reading the Kobzar. Certainly not light reading, but indicative of the times in which it was written. Kind of tragically beautiful. The cities are full of your typical soviet era, purpose over form, housing and structures. But even in this, one can find amazing beauty and depth, if you are willing to look hard enough. I am a “country” living (not cowboy) person, and found incredible beauty in the tree lined, hedge rowed, snow covered country side, with the occasional plain block constructed houses of the villages outside the cities. Within the cites is amazing intrigue and beauty with snow covered walks, monuments, parks, and frozen streams and rivers. I can only imagine spring and summer here, and hope to return to experience it first hands. Be prepared to break out your superstition handbook! So many wonderful ideas, both big and small. Pay the hedgehog, rub the cats, make a wish while you walk in the right spot, carry a few golden coins, and wish in the fountains and ponds and rivers, provide a purse with money – but only even numbers, flowers shall be only in odd quantities, and so many more. For those who know, an American $2 is highly prized, and greatly appreciated!!

    JC Travel Ukraine, Julia and Alex, and Olga, you have my appreciation and gratitude, and my most sincere and highest recommendation! Thank you again!!! Perhaps I will return in the spring or summer when there are not “so huge flakes” of snow! Incredible!!!

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    Mark Hall, USA
    Destination: Eastern Ukraine
  5. I’ve known JC travel for a few years now and I can say I have always had good experiences with them. I chose them because I felt they were different then other generic mass producing travel companies. Can I say personal service! I found that my risk was rewarded. I have been to Ukraine twice and are thinking of going again. Would not go again without them.
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    Patrick Brophy, USA
    Destination: Southern Ukraine
  6. Hi Julia and Alex,

    We are home with fond memories of our trip. It started great with the time spent with you. We thought 4 of our 5 local guides were excellent (Irene, Zoya, Marta, and Tanya). In addition to being excellent guides, Zoya and Tanya were interesting people that we wish we had been able to spend more time with just talking to them. Pavel tried, but we would not recommend him.

    Our favorite place was with Roman. While a taxi driver, not a driver/guide like we had expected, he was the highlight of the trip. Traveling with him was like traveling with a good friend, who was also experiencing the sights for the first time. We saw and learned more through him than we would have with the traditional professional driver/guide that we had expected. We will fondly remember the sites we saw, but Roman will always hold a special place in our hearts.

    We truly liked the people of Ukraine. Almost everyone was warm and welcoming. The people in western Ukraine were filled with hope for the future, tempered by concern about the present. We share the hope for the future.

    We did enjoy Medzhybizh Castle. Exploring it with Roman, we had the joy of discovery.

    One problem that we encountered at the end of our trip, was the inability to convert hryvnia back to dollars as we left Lviv. The currency exchange showed us a green receipt that we should have requested when we converted dollars into hryvnia. We had the receipts that we had been given, but not the green one. We were only able to convert back to dollars thanks to a kind Ukrainian citizen who used her passport to convert for us. She would accept no compensation for her assistance. You may want to be sure to alert future clients to this.

    You are sincere people who appear to be working hard to develop you company in a difficult time. We wish you luck.

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    Ken & Gen Lanford, USA
    Destination: Western Ukraine
  7. Our trip to Ukraine with JC Travel exceeded all we could have hoped for! We booked a custom trip back in the fall 2013, before the political unrest started, so we were a little nervous about it by spring 2014, but everything was calm and peaceful. We had adopted our daughter from Ukraine in 2003 and she wanted more information about her past. We traveled with our four teens. Alex and Julia were amazing in all they did to make the trip successful. They made phone calls, appointments, and lots of preparation before we arrived. While we were in the country, they continued to help at every step. We were able to meet relatives, see family villages, and even see the house where a fire had occurred when our daughter was a baby. It was a very emotional time, and Alex and Julia handled it all with compassion and dignity. They went out of their way when one of our children became ill, taking us to the right doctor and helping with medications. We would not even have attempted this trip without help, and Alex and Julia were the best choice we could have made! We all highly recommend JC Travel, and we will certainly turn to them if we return to Ukraine in the future.

    If you would like me to change any wording, please let me know!
    Thank you for everything!

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    Kyle and Becky Fortney, USA
    Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
  8. Hello!
    The trip was very very nice! Thank you for all preparations and your friendly attitude during the week! For us the trip was really interesting, especially the Crimean part.
    It was a good combination of culture, history and leisure, and you
    Julias made us feel very welcome and special. The trip got us
    interested in the rest of Ukraine as well, so maybe one day…

    Leena and Seppo Toivonen
    Destination: Crimea
  9. Dear Julia,
    back at home.
    Thank you and the other Julia for the whole trip with you. We enjoined all the time during travelling.
    The target to see and experience in the short time as much as possible did succeed.
    Thank you very warmly for all sightseeing.
    Best regards to you and the other Julia!

    Seppo and Outi Kupiainen
    Service: Transfer
  10. Hello Julia!
    We do thank all of you, both Julias and Dima, once again.You made our trip pleasant, safe and most succesful and we hope that you also had a useful experience by travelling with us. We have been quite busy in the office, but you will have your pictures from us soon. It was a good idea to put them in a CD! Looking forward to have your pictures we wish you a very good autumn!
    With love and best wishes

    Matti and Marja Pohjanpelto
    Service: Transfer
  11. Dear Julia,
    I am in the process of creating a journal of our trip and hope to have it completed soon. We had a wonderful time, my mother described it as the “trip of a lifetime”. It truly was amazing that we were able to locate our relatives in the little villages!
    While we had a bumpy start with our driver, without him we would not have been able to do what we did. His knowledge of the area and his forcefulness with the local officials was without a doubt the only reason we found our relatives!
    We both loved Chernivtsi and while Kyiv was interesting it was more like a city in the USA, but we still are glad we spent some time there as well.
    I cannot thank you enough for all of your help (and patience), when I saw my mother cry when she stood on the ground where her grandfather’s house once was and imagined father there I knew it was all worth the effort!
    It actually all happened so fast we know we missed some opportunities but it was so emotional and intense at the time; who knows, maybe we’ll be able to return while my mother is still in good health.

    Paul Kuprionas
    Service: Transfer
  12. Dear Julia,
    I once again want to thank you for your personal interest and attention to my itinerary for my visit to Ukraine.
    Despite the hot weather I feel I saw more of the country and learned a lot about your culture, architecture, food and other bits and pieces.
    I was most impressed by your promptness in responding to my queries and being pro active in your job. You kept a tab on me since my arrival in Kiedv although you were based in Kharkiv. I guess that’s why you are such a good, reliable and excellent guide.
    Your team of guides and interpreters were very good and I enjoyed their company and all that they had to tell me about Ukraine.
    In fact, it is embarrassing to mention that I have looked at the pictures only last Friday sitting amongst my friends and describing the places in the pictures. They were all very impressed and afetr listening to all my comments and running commentary of each picture, they feel that they too have seen Ukraine through my eyes.
    I want to personally thank you for the Ukraine postage stamps that you gave me and I have told all my friends about you.
    Well that was indeed a nice experience and I wish you the very best in your career and hope you go from strength to strength.
    Wiith all good wishes

    Mahesh Mukund
    Destination: Central & Northern Ukraine
  13. Dear Julia,
    I want to say thank you for all of your help!
    Our last summer tour in the Eastern Ukraine really was astounding.
    We were a small group from Chicago checking up our roots in Ukraine. Wow. The place was really fantastic to see!!
    All worked without a hitch. We can totally recommend using J.C.Semper´s services.

    Saul Burgess
    Destination: Eastern Ukraine
  14. Dear Julia,
    Thanks for the fabulous experience!! I have heard that the Crimea is beautiful, but could never imagine it to be this corgeous. Also we enjoyed all the themes of the seven wonders of your country. As a history and nature freak I loved every second. Yes, sometimes the distances between the places took its toll, but it was totally worth it! I want to show my gratituted to all the people who made this plan possible. You know who you are, keep up the good work!

    Mika
    Destination: Crimea
  15. Hello!
    I decided to take a chance and travel to Ukraine all by myself. But all this time I felt not threatened by anyone or anything there. I appreciated the care that the people of this company had in store for me. The guide, driver and everyone else were really helpful and they knew their business. I didn’t have to worry about anything really during my stay there. I give my warmest thanks to you! Congratulations! You made my holiday a memory I will never forget!

    Andrea James, The USA
    Service: Transfer
  16. Hello!
    We took your tour last February 2010. It was little too early to be there for the beautiful spring. But still the places we visited were there in place Our family had a nice weekend stay in Kamenets-Podolsky. Services were great. Our children liked the old historical places and of course us parents did too. Our heartfelt thanks to you!

    Josef and Lena
    Destination: Western Ukraine
  17. Dear Julia,
    Thank you so much for your friendly help with our tour organization!
    Me and the lady had an idea to visit Ukraine before it becomes too difficult for us to travel. The procedure from making the bookings to departing from the country was dealt with professionalism. We really felt like the company here promises! All our suggestions and wishes were heard well enough. All in all, our choice to stay for a weekend was not so good, because it would’ve been so great to spend much longer time there. We express our thanks!

    Jim and Sarah
    Service: Transfer
  18. Dear Julia,
    I’d like to express my warm thanks to the crew that handled our tour. All was nice, some small problems with the officials, but even those the people from J.c.SemperTravel could solve just fine. Our team was really taken with seeing the beautiful Kamentez-Podolsky area with the small cities and castles. We surely left our hearts in Ukraine. Hope to see you sometime again! Thanks!

    Davey Winston
    Destination: Western Ukraine
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