If you think about what to see in Ukraine in general, then feel free to start with the sights of Western Ukraine:
- Khmelnitsky region - Kamyanets-Podilskyi (fortress) and Podolski Tovtry (Smotrych Canyon, Bakota, Demshyn) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Chernivtsi region - Khotin fortress ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Ternopol region - Dnestrovskiy Canyon (v. Zaleshchyky), Dzhurinskiy waterfall (v. Nyrkov) ⭐⭐⭐
- Ivano-Frankivsk region - Makovitsa mountain (Yaremche, entertainment - walks on quadracycles), Dovbusha rocks (near the village of Bubnishche), Bukovel (entertainment - ski elevator #2 and rodelban, in winter - walks on snowmobiles) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Transcarpathian region - Lake Synevyr ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Lviv region - the fortress of Tustan, the old city of Lviv ⭐
Kamyanets-Podilskyi is one of the best sights in Ukraine
What to see in Kamyanets-Podilsky (Khmelnitsky region) and the surrounding area:
- The city itself with its streets, European houses and green parks
- Kamnets-Podolsky Fortress - Old Castle
- Smotrych Canyon (from the bridge "Running Doe" / "Doe shochiy" / "Strimka Doe" and near Novoplanovsky Bridge)
- Bakota - flooded village, one of the most popular sites of Podolski Tovtry.
- Podilski Tovtry (Podilski Tovtry) is a national park, a true wonder of Ukraine. This is not one particular place but a few scattered beautiful places in Khmelnitsky region. There are more than 10 places in total, but the most important are Bakota, Smotrich Canyon, Kitaigorodskoe delamination, and Demshin village. Read more about all can be found on the official website of Podilski Tovtry. Only a strange feature - in July 2021, the number of seats was about 15, their list included waterfalls, now when writing a review - August 2021 - places already 11) It seems they can not decide what is beautiful, and what is not very))) To get to each place now, you need to be patient - the speed will be very slow! We have the whole day from 9 to 21 visited only Bakot, Smotrich Canyon (two locations), Kitayhorodskoe delamination, Demshin village.
- Khotin Fortress (in the city of the same name, but in Chernivtsi region).
Kamyanets-Podilsky should be visited by everyone! We came for 1 day and stayed for 4! There is a place to walk around and something to see. Besides there is some peaceful atmosphere, which sets you in a romantic mood) Both adults and children will enjoy the city and the district! It would be wonderful if the schools took excursions, one could only dream about it when I was a kid! It would be wonderful to walk through the castle grounds of the Old Castle - sheer pleasure! What a view around here...
The roads between the cities are good, in some places perfect. But to see the sights in western Ukraine you will have to drive on country "roads". The same is true for the Podolski Tovtrym - the beauty is indescribable, but there are no roads, there is a direction from the holes in the roadbed! Below everything is in order)
Kamenetz - Podolski - for a real hike you will need a whole day of light! The route of the walk through the city is convenient because there is no repeating sections. You can also split into sections. The whole circular route is not less than 4 hours of brisk walking) To visit the sights of Kamenetz-Podolsk we allocate from half to full day, it will depend on whether you visit the fortress inside, whether you like museums, whether you climb every bastion, etc.
Below on the map is our driving route from the starting point "Lodging". We lodged exactly in the canyon and we loved it. There is a private sector with parking in the yard. We start the route from there, moving on the bottom of the canyon to the Polish Brahma, from there to the observation deck (view of the Old Castle - the fortress of Kamenetz-Podolsk), then go through the main street and the square with the Town Hall. On the way there are no special views, but the walk in this area is nice) Then it becomes more interesting, because from the Museum of Miniatures and the Armenian Bastion begins Castle Bridge overlooking the beautiful fortress itself. From the bridge you can enjoy the views of Smotrich Canyon. The fortress itself is open until 5 pm. We did not go inside. We walked around the fortress from behind and climbed the hills behind the fortress - "New Castle", there you can see one of the best views of the city. Here in the evening couples romantically meet the sunset) Next, we bypass the fortress from behind and find ourselves on the side with a beautiful view of the private sector in Smotrich canyon. You can walk around the fortress on a path in a circle! Then on the side of the fortress there is a descent into the canyon (the route on the first map), or return to the Castle Bridge and go down the steps into the canyon. Then you can walk over the bridge and climb to the top through the private sector (the route is the same as on the first map, the only difference is the descent). Or you can pass the Castle Bridge and turn in the direction of the Russian Gate (on the second map, where you can see a section of the path in close-up). Walk along this side to the bridge over the canyon. Then climb the steps and find yourself near the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From there, follow the path through Dendropark and Shevchenko Park to Novoplanovsky Bridge. From there, the road goes straight to the center, back to City Hall Square. Thus there is a circular absolutely unrepeated route) Path through the Dendropark certainly a few dull and boring, there are no species are not what, but the nature and a lot of greenery) This walk is clearly for lovers of hiking. The main feature that the whole canyon over the river Smotrich in the bridges and paths. With the Castle Bridge you can go down in both directions and everywhere you can walk) Old Castle must see before dinner to take beautiful pictures of the architecture and at sunset, in order to admire the magnificent sunset on the background of the fortress! Fortress remained in perfect condition - it is a real miracle, something similar you can still see in Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy "Ackermanskaya Fortress"!
Smotrych Canyon - a gorge along the Smotrych River bed (a tributary of the Dniester)
It is located in the whole city of Kamyanets-Podilsky. The canyon wraps around the city and there are two beautiful locations that are definitely worth visiting. It refers to the sights of "Podolski Tovtry".
Novoplanovsky Bridge - there is free parking next to the bridge, but it is better to arrive early so that the sun does not interfere with the bright photos and that there are parking spaces) There are also two recreational parks nearby. This place is especially interesting in that you can walk down into the canyon. You can see the road down from the top, and there is a fun wobbly bridge over the river) At one end of the bridge is a path down as steps, at the other end is a path through the private section. Visiting time from 30 minutes.
Running Doe Bridge - the photos here are beautiful, but there is not much to do. You can stop here on the way to Khotyn. In front of the bridge there is a free parking lot near the inactive building.
Khotin - a fortress in the city of the same name
It is very well preserved and definitely worth a visit. However, the time of the visit is about 1.5 hours and there is nothing else to do here... On the map below is already shown a plan of the area. Parking is paid, about 20 UAH. Next, we walk to the fortress on foot on a path. Near the fortress you can turn left and climb the hill - the area of sites 15 and 13. From there you will have the best view of the fortress.
Another point of interest of Ukraine from the rubric of ancient fortresses, as the Akkerman Fortress in Belgorod-Dnestrovsk. By the way, Khotin is convenient to see when we go into the depths of western Ukraine, namely in the village of Zaleshchyky.
Zaleshchyky - the beauty of the Dniester Canyon!
Zaleshchyky is a village in the Ternopil region. It is the village itself that offers a gorgeous view. You can see the Dniestrovsky Canyon and the private sector! The place is very photogenic, but no more. Time to visit 15 minutes. It is not cozy because of the wind, which is not very comfortable to even eat with the views. By the red arrows - parking right in the private sector, where you can stand. But there are not many tourists, so you will find a place). You will need to walk a couple of meters. Or you can follow the yellow arrows and stand right near the cliff. But the best view is from the observation point on the red arrows.
Dzhurinsky Waterfall (Nyrkov) - a waterfall of plain area more beautiful than some in the mountains of Western Ukraine
It is located in Ternopol region near the village Nyrkov. We went there from Zaleshchyky. On the way there is also Chervonograd Castle. At the beginning of the descent to the waterfall is a barrier and take about 50 UAH per person for entry. For what the question is! Down the road for about 5 km, it is something with something - a mixture of loose pebbles with an ancient washboard) descent will be long) to the waterfall you can drive up to the foot! But 95% of people put the car much higher and go on foot, although it is easy to get to the bottom there, even in a sedan. To the castle, we did not even go and did not go - the ruins and only ... Waterfall, to be honest, is beautiful) But is it worth going here specifically? Rather, no, than yes... Although, even tour buses come here! But they do not let them down and people walk 5 km down and then they have to walk up... In the summer, in July, it is a real pleasure to walk uphill in the heat... There is not much to do near the waterfall itself. Time of visit is about 1 hour, but it is because of the descent and ascent on the local road. Then we go straight to Yaremche, where we will have the next few overnights.
From Ivano-Frankivsk begins the heart of Western Ukraine.
Western Ukraine - what should be taken into account when traveling:
- You must have not only an umbrella, but also a raincoat! We were in July 2021 - so in Yaremche for 3 days it was overcast and periodically it poured pouring rain!
- Shoes should not be parade shoes, but suitable for dust, dirt and rocks... If you do not have professional shoes for travel, it is better to have a change of shoes) Canes will be very helpful ... It is thick mud everywhere!
- Even if you go to the Western Ukraine in summer (as we did in July), still take with itself warm clothes, including even an autumn jacket.
- You can go by car almost everywhere to the sights. It is better of course if it is a jeep or at least a crossover, a sedan with a low landing just not everywhere will pass!
- There is a lot of accommodation everywhere. You can even go without reservation through the boqing. Pay attention to the availability of amenities in the room (bath / toilet) and the availability of air conditioning, which incidentally is more important for heating than cooling the room ... Or you can choose to stay with heating! In Yaremche we turned on the heating in the room, because it was 15 degrees outside!
Yaremche - the real Western Ukraine in all its glory
Yaremche is the gem of Ivano-Frankovsk region. You should definitely visit Yaremche in winter and summer. The route for walks and spending time can easily be the same for any time of the year. You should definitely go by car from Yaremche to Bukovel (Polyanitsa), through Mikulichin and Tatariv. Along the road views just European) to Vorokhta makes no sense to go to see the "pseudo bridge Gary Potter. We still went to the bridge, but saw nothing new and interesting, so the recommendation to explore Yaremche and Bukovel. You can stay there and there. The average price for a day of adequate accommodation with amenities from 1000 USD. We put the heating and / or air conditioning in priority, as well as a bathroom in the room - hence the prices are such. Regular rooms without conveniences can be found and for 300-500 hryvnia.
What is there to see in Yaremche?
- Dovbush trail ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Makowica mountain (continuation of the Dovbush trail, if you go on foot), and this is where you should come on a quad bike! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- souvenir market (near Probyj waterfall) ⭐
- waterfalls in the village and around, namely Probyj, Maiden's tears, and in another village - Zhenetsky Guk ⭐
- local restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine, for example "Vedmezha mountain" (near the trail to the waterfall Maiden's tears) ⭐
- Elephant Rock ⭐⭐⭐
- Hamster mountain
Itinerary for a walk in Yaremche: Proby's waterfall and souvenir market - Elephant Rock - Waterfall "Maiden's tears" - Dovbush trail in Yaremche - Makovitsa Mountain. If you will not walk anywhere, except Dovbush, you can fit in 1 day. If you will walk, this route can stretch for 2 or even 3 days (though with Vorokhta, Zhenetsky Guk and Bukovel).
Probyj waterfall and souvenir market are in one place and are visited inseparable from each other. Parking near the souvenir market, where you will find a place - there you will stand for free. Although there is not much to do. Waterfall in all its maximum glory in the photo below... Nature is beautiful, but to call it a waterfall is really ridiculous! Time of the visit is 20 minutes. Then we drive to the next location.
The Elephant Rock is nothing ordinary, but if there is nothing to do, you can stop by. At the foot of the rock there is a mountain stream. Again, you can admire the nature for 10-15 minutes) Orientation - the rock at the water. There is a private sector, park where you will find and walk about 15 meters to the water - there is the best view.
The waterfall "Maiden's tears" (and a little further "Men's tears") - the landmark is the restaurant Vedmezha Mountain and the zoo. There is a free parking lot and from there we walk to the waterfall according to the signs. By the way, again, a jeep can easily get to the waterfall, which we advise you to do. On quads do not advise to go here - there will be no wow effect and adrenaline, wasted money) As on the way there is nothing to watch particularly, the route is boring ... What little tears - it's certainly good, but it should be a waterfall ... Again, the usual mountain stream roll. To the waterfall "Men's Tears" we didn't even go, as it is even smaller than "Maiden's Tears". To walk 1 way from the parking 2 km. If there is nothing to do, then walk, but do not wait for the views and especially a full-flowing waterfall) About 1.5 hours walk. On the way back you can eat at the Ukrainian restaurant "Vedmezha Mountain". If you've never been in a restaurant before, maybe you will like it) Everything is pretty nice, but typical! The prices are average, closer to high. But to be honest, the food in Silpo (Kamyanets-Podilsky) is exactly the same, only 3 times cheaper! There is no special taste in banosh and bograch, or in draniki, but dumplings in general are disgusting! Zoo again - the animals in "cages" - it's for the lovers, or children will like it).
- The Dovbush trail in Yaremche (not to be confused with the Dovbush rocks near the village of Bubnyshche, also in Ivano-Frankivsk region) - the trail starts from Svobody street, the landmark hotel "Na stizhi Dovbusha", there are also souvenir stalls at the entrance. Entrance is 40 UAH ($ 40 per person during working hours, and free of charge after 7 pm and early in the morning) On the way there will be rocks, but they are not the rocks that are everywhere in the pictures. The entire trail is circular for about 2.5 km - about 1 hour of walking. You can't drive anything through here, only hop on foot on the rocks. The trail is pretty nice, but again, not too exciting. You should only visit if you are nearby. After 1.2 km from Freedom Street, following the signs, we come to the rocks, where the sign is Makovica Mountain. You can get to the trail on Makowica from here. There is no place to get lost, you do not need a guide! There are a lot of people around and the whole trail is marked. The ascent goes by one trail, the descent by another, which is very comfortable - people are not in the way and the views are a bit newer).
- Makowica Mountain - you can ascent on foot and ride a quad bike! The hiking and ascent on quadricycles is along different routes and from different parts of Yaremche. Hiking is a continuation of Dovbush, and ascent on quadricycles you will be guided by a guide. Everyone should ride a quad bike, and those who are looking for adrenaline and adventure) Especially this applies to the ascent of Makovitsa mountain - steep ascent on slippery stones, flowing clay and just mud on the wheel! It's worth it - WOW feeling! In rainy weather, not every guide would want to ride up here. We agreed to be taken only by the guys from Adrenalin Yaremche Rent a Quadracycles. The rest said the road was washed away) In the end, this is the best impression in Yaremche - for the sake of it is really worth going here!!! Makovitsa mountain is gorgeous! From its top Yaremche looks like a village with nice houses) You can breathe here with all your heart - freedom and power of nature, the power of the Carpathians! Tips on renting quads: for Makovitsa it is better to rent a more powerful unit, and necessarily with a power steering. Your ride in both directions will take about 2 hours. Prices for rent start from 900 UAH/hour, but it will be an old quad bike without steering booster and with a power of 450. It's better to rent a quad bike with 800 horsepower and GUR, but it will cost you 1,300 UAH/hour. But you'll ride and do not think that somewhere stall. You ride your quad bike behind the instructor who is showing you the way on his machine. Please note that the rental will give you mud suits, but they are water-permeable! If it rains you will be completely wet. You have to put on your own raincoat...
At the top of Makovica there is also a place to walk and admire the views. Panoramic photos below do not convey the atmosphere of the place) at the top just breathes easier and feels more peaceful!
The waterfall Zhenetsky Guk is "convenient" to visit on the way to Bukovel. You can walk 4 km to it or drive all the way by car, but a sedan is unlikely to pass. You can take a local attraction - you will be taken by local jeeps (do not confuse with the jeeps of the Arab Emirates). We did not want to walk and went to the top of his car. People went where "nerves allow", left the car and walked) The road is very specific, cobblestones in the mud and water... ...it's no fun! But walking along it, especially in the rain is not good! It rains a lot in that region... To get to the waterfall is paid, about 100 USD. There are no views on the way, and the waterfall itself, to be honest, is so-so, and the people here are like bees on flowers, or flies on g....). In other words, go by - go to Bukovel) By the way well Vorokhta also do nothing, the bridge is not worth your attention.
Bukovel is a real fairyland in summer and winter!
You can come here for a walk, or you can stay here and enjoy the local atmosphere! Even if it won't be cheap, but it is really beautiful! The road to Bukovel passes through the high smereks - it is fabulous! Even in summer the central elevator #2 works here. The price is about 150 UAH per person round trip. Until 2021 it was the best attraction here, but now there is a mega attraction - Rodelban "Speed Fun", in other words a roller coaster for 1.5 km! The price is about 800 UAH for two people going down only. They are located near the elevator number 2, but they need to climb on foot, or you can go to the top on the elevator, and there go down on rodelbane, as we did. Two in one cabin can ride, if your combined weight of up to 150 kg.
Next on the itinerary we had the Dovbush Rocks near the village of Bubnishche. There we were passing through on our way to Lake Synevyr. By the way, being in this region you can still see Shipot waterfall, but we watched it in winter. Once it is possible to look it once, but repeatedly it was not very wished to go even in the summer).
Dovbush Rocks are one of the best attractions of Western Ukraine
They are often confused with Yaremche, especially since they are also located in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. But there are real rocks near the village Bubnyshche, which you can drive up to by car, and then walk among the fabulous rocks! Scattered throughout the forest are a variety of figures from the rocks, formed by nature and which people have given their nicknames, such as the Witch, Tulip, etc. Travel to them is paid, about 100 UAH. It is about 4 km one way. You can walk around the place for 1 hour or more. The area is very beautiful! There are no signs, so there are people who offer themselves as a guide to show you all the most beautiful places. But you can just walk around guided by maps mi, where all the "fabulous" stones) Note that the approach to the cliffs can only be by the route shown on the map below. There are no other roads that would approach the rocks! From another route there is an entrance, but you will have to walk for km and km on foot through the forest... If you follow the route below on the map, you can get to the cliffs themselves very close.
The rocks are interesting because you can climb on them, find all sorts of hidden places, and if you go down to the present dremeny forest!
About the road for July 2021 - in the region in all directions from the rocks - there are no roads, there are holes... We went to Synevyr lake after the rocks, but I wouldn't advise someone to do it, it's 100%! To Synevyr you can go only on the road indicated on the map below and not otherwise!
Lake Synevyr - Ukraine's tourist attraction
Synevyr glade and Mezhgorie are beautiful places, which are worth visiting. Lake Synevyr itself is certainly exaggerated value) It is really beautiful, but just to Wow, alas not) Moreover, the entry to the lake is possible only on weekdays, on holidays and weekends need to walk about 2 km. Entry and fee to enter, about 200 USD per person + car. It is possible to go around the whole lake by a path, it turns out a nice walk, but it's only for 30 minutes and there is nothing else to do there... To come and to look certainly is worth, unlike the same Crane Lake, there is nothing to look at) There are a lot of eco-trails, reserve of bears and wolves in the area. In this region you can spend the night and go to the Lviv region.
Tustan Fortress - Lviv Oblast landmark
It is located in Skolevsky region, where Beskids and Crane Lake are located. Again, you shouldn't confuse it with the village in Ivano-Frankovsk region. Parking here is 20 UAH, and the entrance is about 50 UAH per person. Going here on purpose is not really worth it! The place is very photogenic, but no more!!! There is nothing to watch here for nature lovers or history lovers ... The whole walk around the fortress on the path will take only about 20 minutes! The path goes counterclockwise by the way, pay attention, when you think where to go).
The beauties of Western Ukraine delight and make it a real attraction! It is necessary to see this region of Ukraine twice - in winter and in summer) It was checked, the delight caused both seasons of the year! In spring and autumn there is a high probability of getting rain, so it's better to avoid these seasons. Is that September can be attributed to the summer, but in any case do not attribute May to the summer, even June is doubtful) In mid-July the daytime +15-+20 and no more... In 2021 the state of the roads in the West really pleased, now you can safely ride here! Our cross-country rides in regions of Western Ukraine (Khmelnytsky, Chernivtsi, Ternopol, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattya and Lviv regions) lasted about 10 days.