In Handy 16:43 12 Jun 2024

Where to travel when in Ukraine: hidden gems and safer options

Russia's war in Ukraine has placed a toll on all spheres of the Ukrainian economy, tourism being one of them. The charms of the mountains, palaces of Khmelnytskyi, lakes of Volyn, and other places where you can relax and enjoy the picturesque views have become less appealing due to the dangers of hostilities. However, Ukraine's safer regions are ready to accept tourists, and Rubryka will tell you all about them.

What is the problem?

During the war, tourism in Ukraine underwent significant changes. Hostilities have made many routes inaccessible, but relatively safe regions continued to receive tourists.

What is the solution? 

Together with Ukrainian travel agencies and travelers' clubs, we tell you where you can go this summer to recharge, take care of your physical and mental health, and simply enjoy moments of peace.

Ihor Hubilit, the head of the tour operator Vidviday, Khrystyna Bodnar, the head of the travel company Podorozhnyk.Travel, and Svitlana Kadubenko, the organizer of "Let's Travel Ukraine Together" shared with Rubryka some interesting locations.

Transcarpathia tourism locations 

The Transcarpathian region has a special climate, thermal waters, Transcarpathian wines, homemade cheeses, and delicious cuisine. Here, you can experience a calm, peaceful life and enjoy yourself without thinking about a curfew because this is the only area without a curfew in Ukraine.

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Solotvyno. Photo from the archive of Khrystyna Bodnar

Khrystyna Bodnar, head of the travel company Podorozhnyk.travel, says the Solotvyno resort will be an ideal place for recreation this summer. Solotvyno is known for its unique salt lakes, excellent microclimate, and beautiful landscapes, making it a perfect travel destination for people of all ages.

The water in the Solotvyno lakes is rich in minerals and salts that have a therapeutic effect. It is especially useful for people with respiratory, skin, and musculoskeletal problems. Safe pools, an aqua park, and attractions for children will make your vacation interesting and fulfilling. Spa procedures, mud baths, salt rooms, and other wellness treatments are also offered here.

Hubilit advises paying attention to the Berehove and Kosyno resorts with their thermal pools. These are good places for family vacations, where you can choose a hotel or rent private houses from the owners.

On Kosyno's territory, the interests of people of any age are considered. Kosyno offers extreme parks and attractions for young people, health and healing procedures, tanning areas, and a special shallow pool with animators for children.

The city's calling card, also called Little Hungary, is the thermal waters, which have already become a favorite place for health and relaxation. But not only.

In Berehove, you can taste coastal wines, take a look at the Count's Court, built back in 1629 on the site of the monastery of the Dominican order, which now houses the historical and ethnographic museum Berehivshchyna, visit the Hungarian National Theater, visit churches made in the Gothic style and buildings representing the Baroque era, walk along the riverside bridge over the river, which encourages romantic walks.

Where to go in the Carpathians

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Shpytsi. Photo from the archive of Svitlana Kadubenko

The beauty and silence of the Carpathians is a real consolation. Mountains fascinate with their grandeur and beauty, giving unforgettable impressions and spiritual elevation.

Some of the most popular for hiking in the mountains are:

  • Hoverla;
  • Khomiak;
  • Shpytsi;
  • Written Stone;
  • Pikuy.

Bukovel remains an unchanged place for recreation. It is not the cheapest, but certainly the most convenient all-season resort in the region. In the summer, many tourists come here to relax in the pools, take a walk in the eco-park, and enjoy the clean air and the beauty of the Carpathians.

It is also worth noting the picturesque villages of Krasnyk, Mykulychyn, Sheshory, and Manyava. Yaremche, known for its mountain scenery and housing, offers everything you need for every taste and budget.

According to Bondar, Yaremche offers many amazing natural formations, including waterfalls, steep rocks, age-old forests, and open hiking routes of any difficulty.

Hutsul culture is here at every step — a permanent fair, folk crafts exhibitions, colorful Hutsul festivals, and traditional cuisine in almost every establishment. One of the brightest discoveries of this year was the theme park Gedzo Legen Park. Crossing the threshold of this park, you can find yourself in a real fairy tale, which enchants not only children but also adult souls.

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Gedzo Park in Yaremche. Photo from the archive of Svitlana Kadubenko

Just six kilometers from Yaremche is the resort village of Mykulychyn — the longest village in Ukraine, with suspension bridges over the cascade of the Prut River. This settlement is known for its local craft beer and kvass, which a private Hutsul brewery produces. Green and rural tourism is developed in Mykulychyn. Here, you can climb the nearest mountains on foot:

  • Yavirnyk-Gorgan;
  • Velyka Rokyta;
  • Makovytsia.

It is also worth taking a walk to the waterfalls:

  • 15-meter Zhenetsky Huk;
  • Narinetskyi waterfall, located between the villages of Mykulychyn and Tatariv, with a water drop height of 9 m;
  • Kaplyvets, which is not far from Mykulychyn railway station.


Rest in the Carpathians offers not only mountain tourism and waterfalls but also baths and saunas. Today, you can enjoy Carpathian vats not only in luxurious hotel complexes but also on the territory of almost every small private estate that hosts tourists.

"In the Hutsul region, this is a whole science and culture: to create a beautiful vat and heat it properly, prepare a sauna, and get well with a full program in mineral waters. During your vacation in the Carpathians, you will have the opportunity to try a variety of water procedures — both health-promoting and just for relaxation," says Hubilit.

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Museum At Trembitar. Photo from the archive of Khrystyna Bodnar

Professional travelers also note Verkhovyna, the capital of the Hutsul Region. These museums of Verkhovyna will be of particular interest to tourists:

  • House-museum Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors;
  • Corkscrew Museum;
  • Museum At Trembitar;
  • Museum of Hutsul Magic.

Be sure to visit the Brynza Mine to try the polony cheeses of the Carpathians.

Where to go in the Ivano-Frankivsk region

The Ivano-Frankivsk region also has much to offer tourists. Hubilit recommends riding the Carpathian Tramway, which departs from the village of Vyhoda and runs leisurely along the Mizunka River, opening the picturesque view of local houses, fields, and forest clearings.

The Interactive Museum of Vyhoda Narrow Gauge, also located in Vyhoda, is one of Ukraine's most modern and exciting interactive museums. During the excursion, you can learn how to determine the age of trees, visit tree hollows, and climb into the driver's cab of the Carpathian tram.

The Earth History Park Underhill in the village of Pidhirya will be no less interesting. This is an ideal location for a family visit. Here, you and your children will learn about the development of our planet and get to know prehistoric animals, such as mammoths, a sarcosuchus crocodile, an armadillo, a cave bear, and others. The interactive Museum of Chivalry, created by local artists who fell in love with the Middle Ages, and the Pniv Castle, located in the city of Nadvirna and nearby, will help you increase your dose of emotions.

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Earth History Park. Photo from the archive of Khrystyna Bodnar

These are great places for one-day trips, but if you plan to stay for several days, we recommend choosing the private sector or hotels for a comfortable stay. Most of the houses are located next to the river, gazebos, and a barbecue zone, where you can rest well and enjoy nature's beauty.

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Extravaganza of the Carpathian spirit, Vorokhta. Photo from the archive of Svitlana Kadubenko

Svitlana Kadubenko, travel organizer of Let's Travel Ukraine Together, advises paying attention to Vorokhta. Vorokhta's pride is the old Austrian viaducts with stone supporting arches. The most majestic viaduct is located in the center of the village. It is considered the largest arch bridge not only in Ukraine but also in Europe.

In 2023, the Extravaganza of the Carpathian Spirit Museum was opened in Vorokhta. Here, tourists can see authentic items of Hutsul life: shawls and embroidered towels that are over 100 years old, friction drums, shirts, Hutsul costumes, and much more. There is also an ancient but fully working machine, about 80 years old, on which famous Hutsul wool blankets are made.

Where to go in the Lviv region

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Trynih rock, Zolochiv district, Lviv region. Photo from the archive of Ihor Hubilit

Even before the full-scale war, Lviv became the only Ukrainian city included in the world's most popular tourist destinations. Staying in Lviv, you can enjoy not only the beauty of the city and be inspired by its atmosphere but also take local history trips to places that are still little known to tourists, like Skolivskyi district and Sambir area.

At the same time, the Zolochiv, Pidhirtsi, and Olesko castles are among the most popular tourist routes from Lviv.

The Hemingway Equestrian Club is located against the backdrop of the magnificent panorama of the Pidhirtsi Castle, which aims to preserve the Ukrainian riding breed of horses. During the excursion, you can get to know these graceful animals closer, pet them, and take a photo. In addition to horses, you can also see donkeys, cows, goats, and sheep here.

You can also go to the Raccoon Manor on the weekend, near Busk and Verbliany. Nutrias, exotic birds, and donkeys await visitors here, and the main masters of the manor, raccoons, will be happy to invite you into their arms for the so-called raccoon therapy.

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Lypova Dolyna, pottery master class. Photo from the archive of Khrystyna Bodnar

In the Lviv region, you can visit a banana farm just 10 km from Lviv, in the village of Lypnyky. Here, you can see how bananas are grown in the Ukrainian climate.

Khrystyna Bondar advises visiting the Limpopo Zoo in the Madenychy village, where you can meet different types of animals. It is also worth visiting Honey Blues, a campsite in the village of Lubyana, where you will learn everything about beekeeping and honey.

Where to go in the Volyn region

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Shatsky lakes. Photo from the archive of Andriy Rybachko

Against the background of the Carpathians, Volyn remains underestimated, although it offers many destination spots. For example, the Shatsky Lakes are a group of more than 30 lakes in the Volyn region near the village of Shatsk. Analogues of this unique natural complex simply do not exist in Europe. Many lakes in the Shatsky district have beaches where you can relax, swim and sunbathe. Shatsky Lakes are ideal for kayaking, pedal boats, water skiing, wakeboarding, and fishing.

There are several settlements around the lakes. Most often, tourists rent housing in the villages of Shatsk, Svityaz, Pidmanove, Hryada, Pulmo, Pulemets, Illichivka, and Melnyky. There you can stay at recreation centers, hotels or private estates. While walking along the paths of the reserve, you can not only see lakes, beaches, and forests but also look at the life of animals in their natural environment.

Where to go in Khmelnytskyi region

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The castle in Starokostyantyniv, Khmelnytskyi region. Photo from the archive of Andriy Rybachko

There are many still undiscovered but very picturesque corners, such as the mysterious half-timbered houses in Antoniny and the residence of the Chechels in Samchyky, which has a well-kept English landscape park. The more famous castle in Starokostiantyniv and the Medzhybizh fortress also have their own legends and mysterious places.

"Among the hidden curiosities, there is a place that I love very much and recommend to all my friends — the manor of Count Stsibor-Marhotskyi. This is a rather well-preserved palace in the village of Otrokiv. It has an atmospheric hotel with several rooms furnished in an antique style on its territory.

Another top place in Khmelnytskyi is the Maliivetskyi Palace, which was saved from destruction by caring volunteer activists a few years ago. Now there is an informal museum, a young team, and life is in full swing," shares Andrii Rybachok, a traveler and co-founder of the Bidniazhka tourist club.

Also, in the village of Maliivtsi, which can safely be called the most picturesque corner of Podillia, an ancient park with two ponds, fountains, and a water tower stylized as a castle tower has been preserved. But the village's main attraction is an 18-meter cliff with a waterfall and a cave grotto.

The Dniester is the key artery of the Khmelnytskyi region, around which life, including summer recreation, is raging. A few days spent in the Dniester Canyon, which is also called the Podilsky Crimea because of the scenery and climate close to the Mediterranean, can well replace a trip to the sea. A vacation on the Dniester is an opportunity to swim, fish, sunbathe, sail on boats, and film amazing panoramas of the river.

The key magnet of the region is Bakota (Bakota Bay). There are hotels, bases, and campsites for every taste and budget. Kamianets-Podilskyi is near here, so you can visit the famous fortress.

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Bakota Photo from the archive of Natalia Tulilyuk

Nataliia Tulyuliuk, head of the company Velovuyki, which organizes bicycle tours around Ukraine and the world, adds that the infrastructure of glamping or glamorous camping sites has been increasingly developing in Ukraine. This is when you live in a huge tent with a kitchen inside, full-fledged furniture, and standing somewhere in a beautiful natural place. One of these glamping sites offers a vacation in Bakota, where you will live right on the shore of the reservoir in the reserve, have all the necessary benefits of civilization, and have access to various attractions of the region, such as rock monasteries, incredible viewing platforms, craft wine and honey productions.

If you go a little further, to Stara Ushytsia, there will also be a large selection of accommodation, both private rooms in houses and recreation centers with swimming pools and other amenities. The widest spillway of the Dniester can be observed in Stara Ushytsia — the distance from one bank to the other reaches about five kilometers. But this village is interesting not only for its views. There is a private herbal shop where they grow medicinal herbs and produce teas, herbal extracts, and herbal and berry liqueurs. Interesting and colorful excursions and tastings are held in the herbarium.

Vinnytsia region's destination spots

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Glamping on Blue Lake, Vinnytsia. Photo from the archive of Andriy Rybachok

In this area, there are also a number of small locations, small hotels, bases, and campsites where you can stay with friends or family. Pay attention to bases and residences in Luka-Meleshkivska, Hubnyk, Harmaki, and Mazurivka villages.

"We also have comfortable glamping in Vinnytsia, which is only 30 kilometers from Vinnytsia, on the Blue Lake in the village of Mohylivka," Andriy Rybachok recommends.

Also, the tour club Bidniazhka recommends visiting Vinnytsia's little-known but no less beautiful palaces, each with its own history and architectural style. Often, they do not lie on the surface, and few people know about them. Such hidden gems are the Potocki Palace in Dashiv, Vitoslavsky Palace in Chernyatyn, Charnomski Palace in Chornomyn, Zabotin Palace in Mala Rostivka, and Mering's Palace in Stara Pryluka.

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