Travel! 09:53 04 Jun 2021

Green or rural tourism. What to visit in Ukraine?

Tired of staying in the city? We've found a solution for you that helps people around the world to escape to nature. We explain how it works in Ukraine.

Rural or green tourism is a fairly young direction in Ukraine. Although Google gives out a million options when you request "Rural Tourism" offering to rent a house in the countryside, real green tourism seems to be a slightly different concept.

Such tourism is also called rural, ethnographic, gastronomic, or agritourism; the name of the variety depends on the type of activity. It is assumed that a city dweller comes to the village and performs a certain amount of rural work, for instance, harvesting crops, and in return receives housing and food. In addition, there's also a program: hiking in the forest and collecting berries and mushrooms, fishing, holding holidays in a traditional style, getting to know local customs, food, and drinks, and more.

This type of interaction between farmers and tourists is organized in many world countries through the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program, which has existed for 50 years and includes farms from all over the world. In total, 130 countries, 12 thousand farms, and about 100 thousand tourists have already tried their hand at agriculture.

The advantage of green tourism through this system is that the tourist receives a guarantee of safety; all farms that are part of WWOOF must comply with certain categories, for instance, be organic, not use pesticides in production. This is a great way to travel economically because being a WWOOF member, you can get a visa to the country of departure for several months or even years, and you won't have to pay for room and food.

Зелений або сільський туризм

Is there a WWOOF in Ukraine?

Ukraine is an independent member of the organization, and now the list of organic farms includes 13 farms: in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kyiv, Kharkiv regions, and the Carpathians.

A list of farms is available on the website. Each location has a description where the owners talk about themselves, their farm, the time they need to spend each day on work, and the type of work required; they are usually divided into projects lasting from a few weeks to several months.

For example, Denys and Anastasia from the village of Dudkivka in the Kharkiv region are engaged in honey production. They offer guests a separate house with kitchen and bedroom, outdoor shower and toilet, and instead, you need to spend 5-6 hours a day on work. Their current project started on May 15 and will last until July 1. In a month and a half, they need to reconstruct the terrace, paint it, replace concrete piles, decorate flower beds in the garden, do some landscaping, cut down part of the forest, and in addition, constantly work in the apiary. The couple invites everyone to contact them and have a short Skype interview. This information is publicly available. You need to be a member of WWOOF for more details.

If you are thinking about giving up the city bustle for a while, you can not be limited to Ukraine. With membership in the WWOOF community, you can choose a farm anywhere in the world, if visa law allows you to enter this country. For example, go to the heart of Africa, to Gabriel Lennox's farm on the island, right in the middle of Lake Victoria in Kenya, to take care of goats and help the local community. The choice of farms is huge, and everyone seriously interested in such tourism will be able to find the place and the type of work that will be to their liking.

Зелений або сільський туризм

How to become a WWOOFer?

To become a member of the organization, the tourist must pay an annual fee of 20 pounds for a single trip or 30 pounds for an annual subscription, after which they will be able to choose the farm to go to. The membership fee also allows you to participate in an educational exchange program, provide access to WWOOF through a member profile, access to a directory of farms and messaging tools. You can register as a WWOOFer here.

I don't want to work on a farm, I just want to go there

Ukrainian concepts of green tourism omit the obligation to "work" for the shelter and instead accept pay for food and accommodation. This applies to WWOOF; here we're talking about private farms, farms that have discovered another activity besides the main one.

In Ukraine, it can be a weekend trip, a tour of the farm with the opportunity to try local products, or even cook them yourself. This is much more gentle tourism. You don't have to get up at dawn and work on the plantation.

Where can you experience Ukrainian green tourism?

Kosiak is a village in Yemilchyn district, Zhytomyr region, Ukraine. It has a population of 19 people. Sativa Rotaru online magazine recently developed branding for the village of Kosiak to promote the village. The authors of the project position the village as a place free to use recreational marijuana, and plan to organize tours to Kosiak, which include a picnic with vegan burgers from products bought from locals, as well as "music and fun." The tours are planned for June 5-6 or 12-13. To go on tour, you need to fill out the form at the link.

Зелений або сільський туризм

This is a real goat farm run by two women, Kateryna Ilkiv and Kateryna Tarasenko-Lisova. Goat cheese is indeed produced here, but so far in small quantities. However, foreigners like to come for this cheese; Kateryna says that guests came to them from Romania and Moldova, and sometimes even from Germany. The fact is that for tourists there are masterclasses, outdoor lunches in nature, in cauldrons, as in a real hike. On the farm, you can try to milk a goat, watch the process of making cheese or gather wild forest herbs for Carpathian tea. All this is in the format of a weekend trip.

Зелений або сільський туризм

Another place where cheese lovers will enjoy. Oleksii Synelnykov, the owner of the farm, is engaged in all processes independently, and even goes for milk himself, to another farm, 100 kilometers from Perechyn. That's why he brings large batches: half a ton of milk a week. Oleksii earns his living by selling cheese, and he also gives tours of his cheese factory, where you can taste soft and hard cheeses, and try colored ones, which is a feature of the Perechyn Manufactory.

There are about 300 buffaloes left in Ukraine; this is an endangered species of animals, which they decided to preserve on one of the farms in Zakarpattia. Buffaloes graze freely here, a barn and even a separate detachment for injured animals were built for them. The farm makes various types of cheese from buffalo milk: ricotta, mozzarella, and Adygea.

Зелений або сільський туризм


Зелений або сільський туризм

An amazing place where real ostriches live. Here you can try an ostrich egg omelet, which is enough for breakfast for a large company or even ostrich meat skewers. There is also a traditional farm with piglets, goats, poultry, and rabbits.

Зелений або сільський туризм

Mykko Dairy Farm is a craft producer but at the same time has a very high-tech process. Therefore, going to this farm, you can see and imagine how a cheese factory is arranged somewhere in Europe.

There are cheeses with truffles and lavender, and even whiskey cheese!

Зелений або сільський туризм

I don't even want to go to the farm. I need a country house cheaper than on Booking.com

It turns out that there's even a Rural Green Tourism Society in Ukraine, organized with the support of USAID a few years ago. It was assumed that this would be a base of places where a person can relax from the city, renting a house or a room instead of a house or a hotel room. The project, however, hasn't received wide publicity and is now a base with houses with fairly budget prices. The cost of one day with three meals a day can cost 300-400 hryvnia, and a night, about 150 hryvnias per person.

The full list of houses is on the organization's website. Here you can find a place to relax in almost any region of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Vasyliev, the chairperson of the society, believes that for the full development of green tourism in the form in which it exists in other countries, special preferential conditions are needed, which must be introduced into legislation. The Verkhovna Rada has a draft law on rural tourism, which deputies passed in the first reading in 2004, but the case didn't reach the second reading, even after 17 years.


If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Leave a Reply

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: