Ukraine. Resorts, cities and sights of Ukraine
Ukraine is a country of improbable, amazing beauty, old, racy customs and traditions, a country of melodious language, a country where the century antiquity of history and culture organically intertwines with the dynamical present.

Ukraine is a country of unique landscapes, a country, which nature is painted by all colours of palette. The autumn comes in the magnificent dress from golden and crimson leaves, with light smell of withered grass, bitterish smack of sweetest honey and sweet-sour smack of green apples. The winter muffles the country into the snow-white fluffy dress, paints windows of houses with intricate patterns, covers the highest tops of the Carpathians Mountains with soft pelerine. The spring excites imagination with lavishness of colours, rich flowering of steppe and meadow grasses in natural reserves and landscape parks, fills air with fragrance of flowers in the gardens and squares. The summer brings the hot sun, juicy greens, abundance of varied fruits, gives so long-awaited holidays on warm coast of the Black and Azov seas or in green woods of the Carpathians and Svyatogorye.

Ukraine is a country of amazing beauty

 Rest in Ukraine is so various, as well as the nature of this picturesque country. It is possible to go to the snow-covered Carpathians in winter to go for skiing on the mountains and to have a drink of hot mulled wine in a cozy cafe. The spring and autumn are perfect for an ecological green tourism when lavishness of colours, tart aroma of fragrant herbage makes the rest in reserved places and landscape parks of Ukraine really unique.

Biospheric reserve “Askaniya-Nova” in Kherson region, Kazantip natural reserve in the Crimea, National natural park “Svyatye Gory” in Donetsk region and National natural park “Zacharovanniy Kray” in the Zakarpattye (Western Ukraine) – it is not the full list of natural miracles of Ukraine.

Summer holidays in Ukraine are something special! There are lots of picturesque corners in our country where everyone will find the place for his ideal holiday. It is necessary to go on one of numerous beach resorts of the Azov coast (the Belosarayskaya Kosa, Melekino, Sedovo, Urzuf) or in the Crimea (Yalta, Alushta, Miskhor, Simeiz, Evpatoria) for bronze tan, salty sea air and summer drive. The Azov coast will please with gold sand and the warm sea with healing, iodized water. Crimea will amaze with surprising variety and beauty of the nature. Here in the same place it is possible to enjoy the cleanest sea, fresh air of mountain tops, aroma of pine woods and blossoming magnolias, to walk on palm alleys or to go on excursion on the architectural and natural monuments of the peninsula.

Ideal rest with pine smell of the coniferous forests, blue and cool water of lake can be found on the banks of the Svityaz lake – «the Ukrainian Baikal» – in the Volyn region, or Sinevir lake – the most beautiful lake of the country – in the Ukrainian Carpathians, or on the bank of Severskiy Donets River in Svyatogorye in Donetsk region.

Ukraine gives not only pleasure of carefree and comfortable rest, but also offers lots of possibilities for health treating. Mineral and thermal sources, healing mud, ozokerite and brine, pure air, the most beautiful nature, the attentive and highly skilled medical personnel are the main components of pleasant and useful rest on health resorts of Ukraine: in Morshin, Truskavets, Mirgorod, Slavyansk, Skhodnitsa.

In Ukraine it is possible to fish on banks of such rivers as Dniester, Dnieper, Desna, to be engaged in diving or to drive on mountain bicycles in the Crimea, to visit club fest in Ukrainian Kazantip or one of the numerous bright festivals in Lvov.

And how many amazing monuments of history and culture are in Ukraine, the most beautiful architectural ensembles, ancient castles, fortresses and palaces, the museums keeping unique collections and exhibits, the interesting industrial enterprises which have become sights! All of this you can see, having gone to one of numerous excursions or tours about Ukraine.

There are the set of places that offer the diversified variants of rest in Ukraine, but all of them unite by the same thing – availability of the comfortable hotels, the developed infrastructure of entertainments and wide leisure programs.

Having rest in Ukraine, you understand how beautiful and hospitable this country is. Having arrived here once, it is impossible not to return here once again!


Capital of Ukraine – the city of Kiev

Capital of Ukraine is the city of Kiev
 

Kiev is the capital and the biggest city of Ukraine, the city which is surrounded with verdure, flowers and the sunny patches of light reflected in murmuring fountains and golden domes of the churches. The city is stretched on 35 km from the East to the West and on 42 km from the North to the South, having occupied the territory of 827 sq. km on both banks of Dnieper. The river has symbolically divided city on two parts, having united more than thousand-year city history – ancient churches, culture monuments, the most ancient sights – with the modern present – high-rise buildings, ultramodern hotels and business centers.

There is set of the places, capable to surprise and amaze with their beauty, originality, old history and spirituality in the Ukrainian capital: Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, Vladimir’s Cathedral, Andreevskiy spusk, house-museum of Michael Bulgakov, the Maidan, Marinskiy theatre. Here it is possible to touch the history, to become impregnated with spiritual energy of ancient Christian religion, to cognize culture and original traditions of the Ukrainian people.

Kiev is a city filled with greens and flowers, city in which it is easily possible to meet in private with the wonderful nature, become surrounded with blossoming lindens and chestnuts and to forget that the city landscape is next to you. In this city only a half of the territory is built up, the rest of it is occupied by reservoirs, green squares and parks. Among the most picturesque parks in Kiev which are more than 60: the Botanical gardens, Hydropark, Park Slavy, Truhanov Island, the Vladimir Hill. Another place of wildlife in Kiev which should be visited by all means is the city zoo in which animals from every corner of the globe live.


Geographical location of the country

Ukraine is situated in the Eastern Europe, being the largest state on the territory of this part of the world. In the East and the Northeast Ukraine borders on Russia, in the North adjoins to Belarus, in the West shares border with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, in the Southwest – with Romania and Moldova. The country is washed by two seas: Black sea in the south and sea of Azov in the southeast. State total area is 603,7 thousand sq. km.


Climate

Climate of Ukraine is basically moderately continental, with some distinctions in the Carpathians and the Crimean mountains where the mountain type of climate dominates. At southern coast of the Crimea climate is subtropical Mediterranean.

Summer in Ukraine is warm and long, in the east and in the south – hot and dry, in the west – warm and damp. The average temperature of July fluctuates from +18 °C in the Northeast to +24 ° in the South of the Crimea. Weather in the winter hardly depends on the location. The soft winter is in the South and the West where average temperature of January is +4 °. Coldest winters are in the Northeast of Ukraine, here air temperature can reach -30-35 ° C.

Precipitation of a year is 600-700 mm – in Northwest of the country, in the Southeast – to 300 mm, in mountains of the Crimea – 1000-1200 mm, in the Carpathians – to 1600 mm drop out.


Currency

National currency of Ukraine – grivnya, it is 100 kopecks in one hrivna.

There are banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 grivnya, and as coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 kopecks.

Letter cod of the hrivna is UAH, numeric cod of the hrivna is 980, abbreviation in Ukrainian — грн.

Conversion of the currency can be done in the banks, airport, hotels, numerous currency exchanges.


Languages

The Ukrainian language – country state language, belongs to eastern-Slavic languages.

The Russian language is the second language in Ukraine by its prevalence, mostly it’s extended in the East and Southern regions of Ukraine. Besides in Ukraine there are compactly living groups speaking in Romanian, Polish, Hungarian and other languages. Basically it is the western regions of the country adjoining to Romania, Poland, Czech Republic. In the South of Ukraine, in the Crimea, the

Crimean-Tatar dialect is extended. English language is extended in hotels and entertaining institutions of big cities and resort zones, used basically in business and tourism.


National and religious holidays

January, 1st - New Year

January, 7th - Christmas – one of the main Christian holidays

January, 13th - Old New year

March, 8th - International Women's Day

April, 1st - Day of laughter

May, 1st - International Workers’ Day

May, 9th - Victory Day

June, 28th - Constitution Day of Ukraine

August, 24th - Independence Day of Ukraine

September, 1st - Day of Knowledge

Easter is the main orthodox holiday which is established in honor of Jesus Christ revival. Holiday date is calculated concerning to Moon-Sun calendar for each concrete year. Day of the celebrating of Easter always is on Sunday.

Holy Trinity Day is one of the main Christian holidays. It is celebrated on the 50th day of Easter and it is celebrated three days: the first day is Green, or Klechalnoe Sunday, the second – Klechalniy Monday and the third – Bogoduhov. Bible runs that the apostles got the Saint Spirit’s grace namely on this day.

Shrovetide (Maslenitsa) – is celebrated within last week before the Lent. This holiday has pagan roots – during pre-Christian times Slavs celebrated seeing-off of winter and meeting of spring by these holidays.


Autonomous republic of the Crimea

Autonomous republic of the Crimea
 

Crimea is a unique place where the small territory has united rich variety of landscapes, climate, plant and animal life. Here golden sandy beaches alternate with warmed with the sun coastal pebble. Steppe plains are changed by high mountains. Azure blueness of the Black Sea adjoins to healing waters of the Azov Sea. Here

aroma of juniper trees and steppe grasses is changed by the rich smell of roses, lavender and magnolias, and salty sea air is mixed up with fresh aroma of coniferous woods.

You'll never get bored here, because the variety of kinds of rest is rich, as well as the Crimean nature. 


It is possible to luxuriate under the hot sun, getting beautiful bronze tan, and to go to the mountains, by foot or bicycle. It is possible to dive with aqualung, plunging to sea inhabitants and the sunken ships, or to go to horseback riding in the most picturesque places of the Crimean mountains and the coast. And it is possible to discover the charm of glider or sailing. In winter in the Crimea it is possible to ski or snowboard on snow-covered tops of Ah-Petri Mountain.

Having came in the Crimea, it is necessary to go on one of the numerous excursions about the Crimea to see the well-known Nikitinskiy Botanical Gardens where every autumn the Ball of Chrysanthemums takes place, ancient ruins of the antique city of Chersonese or picturesque constructions of the Khan city Bakhchisaray, the cave cities of Bakla or Mangup-Kale, greatness and beauty of Vorontsovskiy, Livadiyskiy and Massandrovskiy palaces and parks surrounding them, fragility and grace of the Swallow's Nest, natural beauty of Dzhur-Dzhur fall and Uchang-Su fall.

And, certainly, what is Crimea without fragrant Crimean wine? Having arrived on the peninsula, you must taste by all means delicious drinks of wineries “Koktebel”, “Massandra”, “Inkerman”, “Noviy Svet” and “Magarych”.

Besides in the Crimea, bathing in tender rays of the southern sun, you can restore your health. The Crimean coast is ideal place for treatment of chronic specific (tuberculosis) and nonspecific lung diseases (chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchial asthma), bone and articulate, gynecologic and skin, cardiovascular and nervous diseases. Numerous sanatoria, boarding houses and health resorts, profile of which is curing of these diseases, will provide comfortable and pleasant treatment.


The Ukrainian Carpathians

The Ukrainian Carpathians is a place of amazing natural beauty with high mountains, fast rivers, emerald woods, fragrant meadows and rich original culture of the ethnic groups which have saved the centuries-old history and culture.

The Ukrainian Carpathians invite visitors all the year round, promising diverse rest for every taste. From December till March here is a real paradise for all fans of winter kinds of sports. On the most popular mounting skiing resorts – Slavskiy, Bukovel, Dragobrat – it is possible to ski or snowboard, enjoying slopes of any difficulty level.

 

The Ukrainian Carpathians

In warm seasons fans of green tourism and active, including extreme sports go to the Carpathians.

Really, what can be better than rest on the banks of the cleanest rivers or lakes, on carpet of lush fragrant grass where everything is impregnated by pine smell of coniferous woods and freshness of mountain tops? And if it becomes boring, you can go fishing or hunting, tracking down you main trophy. Fans of “passive hunting” can gather mushrooms and berries in which Carpathians are so generous in the autumn. Fans to tickle nerves will find rest to his taste. It is possible to be engaged in mountaineering around the highest mountain of Ukraine – Goverla, or to participate in rafting with obstacles in the fast rivers such as Prut, Cheremosh or Stryi. It is possible to arrange extreme races by jeeps or to be engaged in paraplanerism. For not so extreme people the Carpathians offer horseback riding, hiking in the mountains by foot and bicycles.

Besides the Carpathians is an ideal place for treatment and health improvement. The most famous wellness resorts of the Carpathians – Svalyava, Polyana, Sinyak, Morshin, Truskavets, Skhodnitsa – are known for the curative mineral sources and healing mud.

And, certainly, rest in the Carpathians is inconceivable without authentic traditions and ceremonies which are piously kept throughout the centuries by ethnic groups and nationalities of these mountain places, and also without delicious dishes of traditional Hutsul kitchen.

 

Odessa

Odessa
 Odessa can't be just seen and at once understood. It needs to be felt: you should walk along the narrow small streets with ancient constructions, inhale salty smell of the Black Sea, listen to the well-known Odessa dialect, estimate not less known Odessa humor – in general, you should “to taste” Odessa. you'll find by all means what to look at and where to go here. The seaport with well-known Potemkin’s ladder, Deribasovskaya and Pushkin street, Primorskiy boulevard, Opera theatre, the House with one wall, the Shah palace, the Passage.

 One of the most original places in Odessa is undoubtedly the catacombs known all over the world not only because of tangled scheme of their labyrinths, but also unprecedented length which by different estimations is from 800 to 3 thousand kilometers. There is beach paradise – Arcadia – concentration of club life of Odessa city. This place attracts not only by sandy beaches and warm Black Sea, but also by availability of night clubs of different level and style, the first class restaurants and inexpensive cafes. Besides, you can spend time cheerfully visiting one of the Odessa celebrations, the most interesting among which: Yumorina, Jazz carnival, the International meeting of motto-tourists, Spring of museums (Night of museums), the International festival of the modern art «2 days and 2 nights of new music».


Lvov

Lvov. Here the history of the Middle Ages as if has frozen at narrow paved small streets, in majestic churches, architectural constructions of the XIV-XVIII centuries, ancient castles and museums. Here the life flows slowly and very interestingly! There are lots of places in Lvov, having visited which, it is simply impossible to forget city of the Lion: Opera theatre; museum-restaurant “Gasova Lampa” where you can got to know about inventors of the first-ever oil lamp and about oil fever in Galichina; Jewish Kneipp «Under the Gold Rose»; Bernardinskiy monastery; “Masoch cafй”,
 

Lvov

created basing on the work of “father of masochism”– writer Leopold von Sacher Masoch who was born in Lvov; drugstore-museum; Rynok square with its Renaissance houses-palaces; the Armenian quarter and the former Jewish quarter; the Dominican cathedral. While visiting the city a special place should be taken by medieval castles and palaces, among which: Oleskiy, Podgoretskiy and Zolochevskiy castles, palace of the Armenian archbishops, Belsky's palace, palace of Kornyakta.

You can taste Lvov in truly Lvov coffee houses and beer pubs. And to plunge in local color it is possible, having visited one of the numerous Lvov festivals: the Lvov Christmas fair, the Holiday of Pampukha, Chocolate Holiday, festival “Lviv Lumines”, Lviv Fashion Week, Festival of street dance “In heartbeat”, Festival of short films “WIZ-ART”, City festival of beer, the International festival “Jazz Bez”, Festival of arts “Fort. Missia”, the Holiday of cheese and wine, Military-historical festival “Legionary” and a lot of others.

 

Kamenets-Podolskiy, Khmelnitsk region

Kamenets-Podolskiy
  Kamenets-Podolskiy – wonderful «flower on stone» is a city-museum, the third in Ukraine by quantity of architectural monuments. It is a town of seven cultures, seven nationalities and histories. In due time Ukrainians (Russian), Poles, Armenians, Tatars, Jews, Turks and Lithuanians lived, built and fought here. Each nationality has left its imprint in the original city architecture. Tatars have constructed the first fortress, Turks have erected the castle bridge, having immured the Roman arch bridge in stone sarcophagus, constructed minaret and bastions. Armenians have erected the Nikolaevskiy cathedral, Poles – the Town hall, Ukrainians – Roman catholic church.

 Besides in the city you can have a look at the Triumphal arch of the XIX century erected in the style of late baroque, three-tiered belfry constructed of boulders, Franciscan church of the XIV-XVIII centuries, Dominican monastery of the XV-XVIII centuries, the Nikolaevskaya church of the XIV century.

In total 200 monuments of architecture and 11 museums, set of galleries and antique shops are concentrated on the territory of the fortified city. Having arrived here in May, you can enjoy the original celebrating of City Day with fancy-dress representations and fiestas.

 

Svyatogorsk, Donetsk region

The pearl of Donbass, Switzerland of Donetsk city… Svyatogorye is named in such a way not by chance. The cleanest air with resinous odor of coniferous woods, a slow flow of blue waters of Severskiy Donets, cretaceous mountains against the azure sky. Here not only the body recovers, here the soul has a rest and becomes appeased.

Svyatogorye is a unique cultural-historical centre, the architectural reserve including 40 buildings and constructions, 29 of them are the monuments of history, culture and architecture.

 

Svyatogorsk

Among the remained masterpieces of the Ukrainian national architecture is the Nickolaevskaya church, cretaceous caves in the Svyatye Gory (Saint Mountains), known from the beginning of the XVI century, the Svyatogorskiy Uspenskiy male monastery which got the status of Lavra in 2004. Besides, refectory and nearly 1 000 meters of labyrinths– entrances inside cretaceous rocks have remained practically in a primordial form. It is possible to imbued a sanctity of ancient times, having visited the museum expositions recreating a mode of life of monks and eremites which were not only pilgrims and builders, but also warriors who defended themselves against the Tatar-Mongol invasion.


Mirgorod, Poltava region

Mirgorod
  Mirgorod is one of the most ancient cities on Left-bank Ukraine. Its name contains the word “mir” (peace) – this nice small town was founded in the XII-XIII centuries namely for the purpose of preservation of peace in this part of the Kiev Rus. Later the source of the healing mineral waters has been found here. It became the visiting card of Mirgorod and have changed city into one of the best balneal resorts in Ukraine. Really, Mirgorod mineral water, which temperature and chemical compound remain invariable all the year round, is capable to restore health and to cure many illnesses.

The well-known Sorochinskaya fair which was so colorfully described in the story with the same title by N.Gogol is annually held nearby to Mirgorod in Sorochintsy village. On getting here, you instantly plunge into fair atmosphere of 300-year old past. Traditional Ukrainian huts, guys and girls in national cloth, melodious singing, crowd hubbub, noise of cocks and shouts of merchants only strengthen bright impressions. Besides, having visited Sorochintsy village, you should by all means visit the house-museum in which Nicolay Gogol was born and spent his childhood, and also St-Preobrazhenskiy church in which more than hundred ancient icons are kept. You can stay at the picturesque Sorochinskiy hotel which design copies the architecture of old traditional Ukrainian house.

 

Dendrology park “Sofievka”, Uman, Cherkassy region

Park “Sofievka” is a wonderful manifestation of all-consuming love of Polish magnate Stanislav Pototskiy to his wife Sofia Vitt-Pototskaya, a charming Greek woman by origin. Ancient legends and myths of the poetic native land of Sofia were embodied in the park – the whole park looks like a colourful illustration to poems “Odysseus” and “Iliad” by Homer. Here graceful marble sculptures of Ancient Greek gods and goddesses, philosophers and poets are organically placed in the perfect picture framed with magnificent greens of trees and bright patterns of exotic flowers. 

Dendrology park “Sofievka”,
Uman, Cherkassy region

On huge territory of the park (170 hectares) both man-made and natural rocks and grottoes, falls and fountains, lakes, ponds and underground rivers are fancifully scattered. Here each stone, each stream of water is impregnated by love and passion, each corner of the park is an embodiment of beautiful romantic story or ancient myth. 18 meter bronze fountain on the middle of the Bottom Lake amazes imagination –water column rushes from widely opened mouth of the snake coiling on stone. In the Grotto of Fear and Doubts the granite block in weight more than 300 tons hung over head, without support, keeping only on three points, making to think about fragility and unsteadiness of terrestrial life. In the centre of the Top Lake the Love Island is located, there Pink Arbor of Lovers is hidden from curious eyes in shade of willows.

In the park “Sofievka”, it is possible not only to take pleasure from magic nature and man-made beauty, but also to make a wish in grotto of Calypso or behind stream of the Big falls, to ask happiness in family life, having passed under wreath of Vesta – goddesses of hearth and fire, and, at last, to recover from illness, having enjoyed spring water at the statue of Venus-bather.


National reserve “Hortitsa”, Zaporozhye, Zaporozhye region

National reserve “Hortitsa”,
Zaporozhye, Zaporozhye region

 

The national reserve “Hortitsa” is another bright proof of that, how surprisingly perfect beauty of the nature and history antiquity is combined in Ukraine.

Hortitsa is lush greens of oak and coniferous woods, fragrant aroma of steppe and meadow herbage. Hortitsa is lakes with pure and transparent water, slow current of blue waters of the Dnieper River. Here the big and small islands create a natural pattern: Kornetovskiy island, Rastebin’s island, small Hortitsa (Baida), Dubovyi island and Durnaya rock.

Picturesque heights and mountain ridges supplement a wonderful landscape. Three Columns – the Sofa or Ekaterina's Armchair rock, the Inclined and Average Column, and passageways between them form original entrance to the island.

The national reserve is impregnated by history, it keeps rare Scythian artifacts, memoirs of nice times of the Cossacks. The Cossack republic – Zaporozhye Sech was founded here nearly half a century ago, the museum of history of the Cossacks reminds about it now. Here the Cossack weapon and clothes, things of life and church utensils of those times are presented. The museum complex “Zaporozhyan Sech” precisely reproduces the life of free Cossacks of the XIV century. Kuren (Cossack’s settlement) – small adobe and wooden houses with straw roofs, carts which before were Cossack transports stands behind the fence, on their places – characteristic things of life of the times of the Cossacks. The wooden tower, the improvised small wooden church, the small copy of Cossack fortress enclosed from different directions with deep ditch and paling can be also seen here – everything is like at the time of blossoming of Zaporozhye Sech. And the real Cossacks hospitably invite visitors to visit Horse theatre, folklore evenings, performances and festivals, the exhibition of products of national crafts.