New eastern European travel hotspot: Chernobyl

New eastern European travel hotspot: Chernobyl

Jaded travellers of the world rejoice, Ukraine is about to offer a whole new tourist destination: Chernobyl.

Once the site of the largest ever civilian nuclear disaster, the former reactor will take its place on the tourist trail next year following a decision by the Ukrainian emergency situations ministry.

While unofficial visits are already available, the government is offering interest parties tours inside the 30-mile exclusion zone set up after reactor four at the plant exploded on April 26th 1986.

Northern Europe was showered in radioactive fallout after the explosion, but the Ukrainian government insists the area is now safe for visitors.

An unknown number of people were killed in the explosion – with estimates running from the low hundreds to many thousands – while roughly 350,000 people were forced to permanently relocate.

The town of Prypyat with Chernobyl in the distance

Fallout saw communities in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine re-housed.

Visits will be tightly controlled, with official guides ensuring guests remain in the least contaminated areas.

Key sites are likely to include the nuclear plant and the remains of the number four reactor, passage through the Dytyatky control point and a chance to measure radiation levels.

Tens of thousands of homes are also in the area, still virtually intact after being abandoned by their owners in the aftermath of the disaster.

Of note is the town of Prypyat; once a 50,000-strong community, the city is now a ghost town preserved in time.