Ukraine is calling. If you think you’ve seen it all, think again
After seeing Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv, Potemkin Stairs in Odesa, and Rynok Square in Lviv, you might think you’d seen the best that Ukraine has to offer. But you’d be wrong: although big cities tend to boast better infrastructure and more facilities, it’s only when you visit the lesser-known places that you get up close and personal with the soul of the country. Whether you’re into spa breaks, outdoor adventures, or history jaunts, let What’s On give you some inspiration for your next day trip or staycation.
Zalishchyky is famous for its astonishing peninsula-like setting on the Dnister River in Ternopil region. The town’s other big draw is its almost-Mediterranean climate, created by the high cliffs that encircle it. Visitors will want to take in the arboretum, the Poniatowski Palace, the Roman Catholic church of St Stanislaus, and the observation deck, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views.
This town on the Danube Delta in Odesa region, near the Romanian border, is often nicknamed the Ukrainian Venice: accordingly, it is best explored by boat. One of its most fabulous sights is the point where the Danube flows into the Black Sea, known as ‘kilometre zero’. As well as being a fishing port, Vylkove is a great place to taste frogs’ legs (and much closer than France). Being part of the Danube Biosphere Reserve, the town is bordered on all sides by amazing, untouched nature.
Head to Zakarpattia Oblast to see the magnificent village of Lumshory with its five waterfalls. They aren’t difficult to find – the road runs parallel to the Turychka river, and you’ll hear them before you see them. For centuries, people have been coming to Lumshory for its curative waters: you too can bathe in the ‘vats’ for a unique open-air sauna experience. The spa procedures have many health benefits, especially when alternated with swimming in a mountain river. If you need to recover your health and spirit, Lumshory is your place.
Spread out between Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi, Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park is the largest conservation area in the country. It is also one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine – a well-deserved accolade, considering the lush greenery, dramatic landscapes, and impressive scale of this place. Come to enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking, boating, fishing, and horse riding, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the historic town of Kamianets-Podilskyi.
The whole of Chernihiv region is studded with historic sites, but Kachanivka estate stands out as a particular must-see. This 18th-century palace is surrounded by a picturesque park complete with 12 ponds, sculptures, and an amphitheatre. Understandably, this backdrop of opulent architecture and parkland makes it a popular location for wedding photoshoots. The palace is also home to a fascinating collection of antiques, including Cossack artefacts and objects that belonged to Taras Shevchenko.
Get off the beaten track this summer and go somewhere your friends have never even heard of. You’ll be sure to return with great stories and stunning images imprinted on your memory, filled with a sense that this country is infinitely richer and more beautiful than you ever imagined.
Ukraine is calling. If you think you’ve seen it all, think again. Check out these 5 undiscovered places to explore.