These days visiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is simple – just sign up to a guided tour, and you’ll get taken to within 300 metres of the entombed reactor core. So what else do you see on the way?
I plotted the route I took through the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone using my GPS data logger – and here is the resulting map.
Our stops along the way included:
- Dytyatky checkpoint at the edge of 30km Exclusion Zone
- Entry to the city of Chornobyl
- ‘Wormwood Star’ memorial
- ‘To those who saved the world’ memorial
- Chernobyl cleanup robots display
- Leliv checkpoint at the edge of the 10km Exclusion Zone
- Abandoned kindergarten at Kopachi
- Photostop outside the unfinished reactors 5 and 6
- Viewing point for Reactor 4
- Entry to the city of Pripyat
- Exploring a few buildings in Pripyat
- Lunch at the power station canteen
- Radiation check at the Leliv checkpoint
- Radiation check at the Dytyatky checkpoint
Photography is allowed at most places along the tour, except for security checkpoints, and some strange rules around the power plant itself – they only want you to photograph the entombed Reactor No. 4, and nothing else around it.
My visit was with Kiev based ‘Solo East Travel’, and due to it being in the middle of winter, our group consisted of just three tourists in an eight seater van. I’ve been told that in peak season over a hundred visitors go out to the zone each day, usually in groups of 15 to 30 people.