Where to Go 12:45 19 Jun 2021

From the Carpathians to Sloviansk: Ukrainian lakes worth visiting this summer

You can swim, sunbathe, fish and enjoy the scenery not at sea only. We show you Ukraine's lovely places near the water where recreation may also be beneficial to health.

Summer, heat, and a long weekend? We know what to do! It's time to plan and go on a mini-trip to the most fascinating places in the country. You can refresh yourself in the hot summer and enjoy the beauty of nature, not only at sea. Ukraine is rich in beautiful and clean lakes. Rubryka has prepared the top list of lakes of Ukraine, which are definitely worth seeing this summer. 


Lake Kahul, Odesa region

Lake Kahul is located in the Bessarabian steppe in the southwest of the Odesa region on the border with Romania. Kahul, along with Lakes Yalpuh and Kuhurlui, is an example of an ideal holiday destination for travelers who appreciate remote places that are rarely visited by typical tourists. The trip here really resembles a small expedition; the lack of modern infrastructure, hotels, shops, and restaurants gives a sense of the world's infinity, and the steppe gives the summer scents of grass and beautiful rocky landscapes. On the lakes, you can fish, swim, enjoying the romance of a night in a tent. You also need to bring water and food, but the one that doesn't spoil quickly in the heat. The nearest town, Reni, is 30 km from Lake Kahul, so those who want a more comfortable holiday can stay overnight there and go to the lake during the day.

  • How to get there? Distance from Odesa: 340 km on the M15 highway, there are regular bus services (5.5 hours on the road, the ticket costs about 200 UAH).

Limans of Odesa region

In the opinion of many people, the liman is a bay at the mouth of the river, but Kuialnytskyi, Tylihulskyi, and Khadzhybeiskyi limans in the Odesa region are full-fledged lakes that were once rivers and remained on the Black Sea coast after the water receded thousands of years ago. Those who once traveled to Odesa from Kyiv by car/bus are well acquainted with the Hadzhybeiskyi liman because a picturesque road runs beside it 15 minutes before arriving in Odesa. And when you start to see the water on the horizon, shining under the southern sun, you immediately realize you're almost in Odesa. All these lakes are similar to each other and have their own unique properties. For those travelers who like to collect the "most" places, it's worth visiting the lowest place in Ukraine, the Kuialnytskyi liman, located at -5 meters above sea level. And this liman is a well-known balneological resort with healing mud and clay. Along the limans, there are many small settlements and recreation centers, where you can go with friends or family, or have a romantic evening enjoying the sunset of the steppe sun. A visit to the Tylihulskyi liman, located on the border with the Mykolayiv region, should be combined with a gastronomic tour; here is one of the few oyster farms in Ukraine, which conducts tours and tastings on its farm.

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Tylihulskyi liman

  • How to get there? The distance from the center of Odesa to the Kuialnytskyi and Khadzhybeiskyi limans is from 13 km, and to the Tylihulskyi liman, it's about 58 km.

Lake Lemuria, Kherson region 

The unique reservoir, known for its pink water, has recently become a popular tourist attraction. The beauty of this place has already been noted by both Ukrainians and foreign tourists, and last year a photo of the lake appeared on the cover of National Geographic Traveler. The lake is located in the village of Hryhorivka, Kherson region, in one of the bays of Sivash. The lake has a fabulous pink color due to the microalgae, Dunaliella salina, which produces carotenoids, giving the water a red-pink hue. In addition, the water contains a large number of trace elements, so the brine from the lake is considered medicinal. The saturation of the pink color depends on the weather and the angle of inclination of the sun's rays, but during sunset, the water has really the brightest pink-purple shades.

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  • How to get there? Distance from the city of Kherson is 100 km; getting there is possible only by car. Be sure to bring plain water to wash away salt water from your body, because not everywhere there are places for bathing.


Shatsk Lakes, Volyn region  

Those living in the north and west of our country know that the Black or Azov Sea is exactly farther to travel to than the famous Shatsk Lakes, so the popularity of this place isn't inferior to the most famous Ukrainian resorts. The eponymous national nature park, created in 1983, is a group of about 25 lakes with great recreation opportunities. The largest lake of the Shatsk Lakes, Lake Svitiaz (27.5 sq. km), is also the deepest lake in Ukraine, as much as 58 meters! Many Ukrainians love to relax on these lakes. Recreation can be quite diverse; you can dilute a passive beach day with water sports or walks in the woods with picking berries. The rich nature allows to fully enjoy Polissia because, besides crystal clear lakes, it's a nesting place for numerous birds, fish habitat, and large areas of deciduous forests. Fortunately, the infrastructure is quite developed: hotels and recreation centers, children's camps and campsites, restaurants with traditional Ukrainian food will delight tourists there.

You can enjoy the scenery here:


  • How to get there: Shatsk Lakes are located 160 km from the city of Lutsk. It's most convenient to get there by your own vehicle or intercity bus.

Lake Luka, Volyn region

Besides the popular Shatsk Lakes, there are many other places in Volyn where you can enjoy relaxing by the water among forests and endless plains. One of such places is the picturesque Lake Luka, which, at first glance, is nothing special, but still it conquers the quiet surroundings, beautiful nature, and the lack of numerous tourists, as in the Shatsk Lakes. And if you have the opportunity to stay here in tents, then this place in pleasant weather offers an incredible view of the Milky Way at night.

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  • How to get there: The lake is located on the outskirts of the village of Liutka, Starovyzhiv district, 125 km from Lutsk. It's best to get there by your own vehicle on the E85 highway.

Shelekhivske Lake, Sumy region

This lake of glacial origin remained after the last retreat of the glacier 100 thousand years ago and is so old that, according to scientists, it's the same age as Lake Baikal and Ladyzhyn Lake. It's located among pine forests near the village of Mezhyrich, Sumy region, and since the time of the ancient Slavs, it's shrouded in legends and proverbs because of its mystical shape of an unbent horseshoe. The water here is always cold as if it still retains the cold of the glacier, and only the songs of birds disturb the peace and quiet. The lake is an ideal place for a picnic and observing nature.

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  • How to get there: the lake is located 38 km from the city of Sumy, the most comfortable way is to get there by car.


Synevyr, Zakarpattia region

The Carpathians are known not only for their striking mountains, but also for their surprisingly lovely mountain lakes, and Synevyr is probably one of the most popular. The lake is located in the national park of the same name and is one of the largest in the Carpathians. And although it's forbidden to swim in it to preserve the original beauty, walks along the shore and observing centuries-old pines and spruces in the area certainly bring incredible impressions.


  • How to get there: the distance from Uzhhorod to Lake Synevyr is about 175 km; it can only be reached by car.

Maricheika, Ivano-Frankivsk region

This charming lake is located in the Carpathians on the Chornohora massif and is surrounded by a dense spruce forest, and its shores are covered by subalpine meadows. The legend of the lake's name tells about a beautiful girl Marichka, who sacrificed her life to save her fellow villagers from the onslaught of enemies. The lake was formed from the tears of Marichka's beloved shepherd Ivanko. Since then, the forest around the lake is called Maiden. The water in the lake is so clear that you can easily see the bottom. You can't swim long here, as the water is cool, as in most lakes of the Carpathians, but untouched nature, clean mountain air, and picturesque meadows with forests add charm and a reason to visit this magnificent place.

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  • How to get there: the lake is located 170 km south of Ivano-Frankivsk, the most convenient way to get there is by car.

Nesamovite, Ivano-Frankivsk region

This lake is called the "little sea eye," which looks at the sky from 1750 m above sea level in the Chornohora massif in the Carpathians. Locals have long given this lake a mystical power because they believe that even in sunny weather, clouds can gather over the lake out of nowhere and start a strong, frantic storm with hail, snow, heavy rain, which often harmed the locals. We won't envy those who find themselves on the Chornohora slopes in such weather. And Hutsuls believe that the souls of people who've laid hands on themselves, fall into the lake as hail and turn into the stones lying on the bottom. This place, shrouded in ancient Carpathian legends and sayings, conveys the genuine spirit of the mountains and unpredictable weather. If you're lucky enough to be there, you'll definitely be enchanted by the alpine meadows on the pictorial mountain slopes, surrounding the transparent "sea eye."

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  • How to get there: the lake is located 100 km from Ivano-Frankivsk, near Mount Hoverla, the best way to get there is by car, and then on foot to the destination.

Lake Brebeneskul, Zakarpattia region

Lake Brebeneskul is the highest mountain lake in the Carpathians, as it's located at 1801 meters above sea level near the peak of the same name. The lake is impressive in size, reaching 140 meters in length, its maximum depth is 2.8 meters. Due to the large transparent water, the lake became known as the "Blue Eye of the Carpathians," but from any vantage point, it seems as if a part of the sky is on the surface of the earth, looking up. The lake is quite popular among tourists and is part of more than one tourist route of varying difficulties. For experienced travelers, there is a route that combines 6 peaks of the Carpathians, which exceed 2000 meters (Hoverla, Brebeneskul, Pip Ivan Chornohorskyi, Petros, Hutin Tomnatyk, Rebra), or you can drive to the nearest point and walk only 7 km to the lake. One way or another, the unusual cavity among the alpine meadows, where the lake lies, will definitely give an incredible feeling of beauty and love for the untouched nature of the Carpathian Mountains.

  • How to get there: there's no highway to the lake, you can only get there on foot tourist routes, the nearest settlement is the village of Dzembronia.


Sloviansk resort lakes, Donetsk region

In eastern Ukraine, the lakes near Sloviansk are the most impressive. These lakes are salty, shallow; their depth is mostly up to 2 meters, but deeper spots are up to 16 meters. The water in these lakes is healing. This brine is a saturated solution, sodium chloride water with sulfate content. This water composition also makes the silt on lakes healing. People from all over Ukraine come to the Sloviansk resort to undergo mud treatment procedures. Doctors say that swimming in salt lakes will be most useful for treating joint and skin problems, but, of course, those who want to improve their health near Sloviansk should first consult a doctor. In any case, swimming in the saltwater of the lakes is recommended for no longer than 10 minutes. Rapne Lake, Veisove Lake, Hariachka Lake and Solone Lake are unique in Ukraine. It's worth going there not only for health purposes but also for aesthetic purposes in mind: the lakes are surrounded by forest, where rare birds nest; the scenery is incredible.

  • How to get there: there are regular minibusses from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk to the resort; you can also get there by car on the route Kharkiv-Sloviansk or Dnipro-Donetsk, reaching Pokrovsk.
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