Zakarpattia regional administration assures that due to the unstable epidemiological situation, no one can predict the expected number of tourists in the region. Moreover, on the eve here they increased the lockdown by banning mass events and closing markets. However, nobody forbade making vacation plans.
In addition, according to Andriy Davydov, the director of the Department of Economic Development and Trade of the Zakarpattia Region, after weakening quarantine measures, the region would be completely ready to welcome tourists. Therefore, we tell you how to get to the Carpathians, what to see, where to go on a visit, how to have fun, what you definitely need to try…
Road to the Carpathians
Given the local landscapes, this is already part of the journey. Regardless of the mode of transport, to overcome a couple of tens-hundreds of kilometers to the long-awaited vacation, mountains will be visible to both your left and right. Sometimes, their ridges surround the road on all sides, and it seems to be in a green tunnel of trees.
And if you decide to get to the west of the country by train, then you won’t manage without numerous tunnels. True man-made. When approaching the Volovets pass (between Zakarpattia and Lviv regions), we advise you to prepare the camera in advance.
You can see such a landscape and ride along the relatively new Beskydy tunnel, for example, along the route of train No. 29/30 Kyiv - Uzhgorod. The ticket price will be from 30 USD per coupe or 75 USD per seat in a luxury carriage.
You can get by rail towards Ivano-Frankivsk by a number of routes. All of them are painted in detail on this link. It should be borne in mind that due to quarantine restrictions on trains, no more than 50% of the seats are filled, so buying tickets can turn into an exciting (no) quest. Especially if you want to go on vacation today or tomorrow.
In this case, it is worth thinking about a bus ride. As you can see, its value does not bite.
The prices for BlaBlaCar do not differ much from bus prices, so here everyone is free to choose a more convenient way to get to his destination.
However, with a trip in your own car, when you can stop at any gas station to have a snack and drink coffee, or somewhere on the passes - take photos of incredible mountain landscapes for your Instagram.
When traveling from Kyiv, you can drop by to see the Tunnel of Love - a heavenly place for romantics, which is located in the Rivne region. Or Pidhoretsky castle in the Lviv region, also known as the Ukrainian Versailles.
In general, the list of attractions that can be visited on the way to Western Ukraine is inexhaustible. We will not dwell on it this time and immediately get down to business, so to speak - we will tell you what to see in the Carpathians.
Of course, the most popular among tourists is Hoverla. Having overcome this highest mountain of Ukraine (2061 m above sea level), everything else will seem on the shoulder.
But at the top, all the words are forgotten and only the desire "to live here and now" remains.
A pleasant reward for a difficult climb will be the fact that a full panorama of the Montenegrin ridge opens from Petros. For example, on the Black Mountain, also known as Pip Ivan.
As you can see, the dilapidated observatory "White Elephant" is located on its top, which gives this place a special mystery. The building got its name due to the fact that every winter it is heavily overgrown with snow and ice, becoming from afar similar to a large white beast.
However, the status of the most mysterious, if not mystical, rightfully belongs to Shpytsi Mount, all because huge natural stone mounds up to 50 m high, which are more like abandoned majestic towers, hang on its slopes.
Rocks and caves
Rocks of Dovbush. Due to its impressive size and intricate shapes, this natural wonder is also called the Carpathian Sphinxes. It is located not far from the village of Bubnyshche, Ivano-Frankivsk region.
Another unique natural object formed in prehistoric times is the Karst Bridge rock - a giant limestone arch located in the village of Mala Ugolka, Zakarpattia region.
It is not allowed to go down into it without escort by special caver and special equipment, otherwise, this would be mortally dangerous. Also, the visitors need permission from the administration of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, on the territory of which Druzhba and Karst Bridge are located.
Schonborn Palace. Picturesque, elegant, with slender towers, as if from a knightly novel or tales of heroes - all this is about the former residence of the Counts of Schonborn, which is located near the village of Karpaty, Mukachevo district.
The construction is based on the calendar principle: the building has 365 windows (like days in a year), 52 rooms (like weeks), and 12 entrances (like months).
It is impossible to omit the Palanok castle in Mukachevo, which rises on top of an extinct volcano and is therefore visible from afar with the naked eye.
One of the most beautiful ancient buildings in the Carpathian region is the Galician Castle. It was built around the middle of the 15th century and has since survived more than one siege. Now its southwestern tower and part of the defense wall have been restored.
Ostrich. 18 years ago, a resident of Khust, in the Zakarpattia region, bought several ostriches for breeding and sale.
When, after a while, he realized that it would be interesting for others to look at exotic birds as well, he began to conduct excursions around the farm. Now ostriches are already so accustomed to visitors that they boldly approach the fence to "get acquainted" and try goodies.
At the deer farm, which is located between the villages of Iza and Lypcha in the Khust region, you can directly "chat" with spotty slender beauties, treating them with pieces of bread or corn sticks.
For this, tourists from all over Ukraine and from abroad come here. Children from such an excursion will be delighted (adults, of course, too).
Buffalo are also bred in Zakarpattia. The largest farm is located in the vicinity of the city of Vynohradiv - today there are 67 goals. The Carpathian buffalo is a very intelligent and friendly animal, despite its terrifyingly large size.
And of course, you will be pleasantly surprised after visiting the only snail farm in Zakarpattia, which is located in Nyzhnie Selyshche. In this place, you can even buy one of the most expensive delicacies in the world - snail caviar.
"Old Village" in Kolochava. Here you can find out in what conditions the locals lived almost 300 years ago, hear interesting stories and see a dozen unique houses of those times. The complex also houses a museum of the Carpathian narrow-gauge railway, which today has almost ceased to exist.
The Pysanka Museum in Kolomyia primarily attracts with its appearance: the building was built in the shape of a huge Easter egg, whose height reaches 14 meters.
Museum of Hutsul magic (Ivano-Frankivsk region, Verkhovyna village). A unique place where you can touch the secrets of molfars - the mystical and mysterious inhabitants of the Carpathians, with whom we decided to devote a separate section.
Jipping - auto tour on special powerful SUVs. There are many routes in Zakarpattia, and their cost depends on the duration of the trip and the sights visited.
Vats, or a mountain spa vacation. At first, it might seem scary to get into a huge cast-iron cauldron, under which a real fire burns. However, nobody is going to “boil” tourists in boiling water, thus only maintaining the temperature of the water in the vat.
Rafting. This type of recreation does not require special training and definitely like the "hunters" for extreme sports. You can go down in an inflatable boat along the rivers Cheremosh, Bily Cheremosh, Chorny Cheremosh, Prut, Tysa, Chorna Tysa, Opir, and Stryi.
Climbing is another option for extreme sports. The most popular routes: Dovbush Rocks and White Stone (Dora village) in the Carpathian region, as well as Zanivsky Rocks (in the tract of the same name near the village of Dulovo) in Zakarpattia.
Hotels, hostels, apartments
When searching for housing, the residence of two people was indicated in the period from June 27 to August 2.
Uzhgorod: two beds in a hostel - from 36 to 66 USD, standard room - from 74 to 111 USD. The cost of apartments - from 111 to 483 USD.
Mukachevo: the cheapest room costs 75 USD, for 110-185 USD you can rent an apartment. A standard twin room 100 meters from the city center will cost almost 260 USD.
Khust: a week of living in a hostel will empty the tourist budget by 100 USD, and a standard double room - by 150-185 USD.
Ivano-Frankivsk: from 150 USD for a room with two single beds in the apart-hotel - up to 240 USD for a standard double room. One-bedroom apartments can be found for 150 USD per week.
Kolomyia: from 90 USD for a very modest apartment. The price for a budget double room starts from 65 USD, and for the "standard" or "deluxe" you have to pay at least 90 USD.
Yaremche: the economy class room might cost 65-90 USD, standard - for 150-180 USD. A chalet would cost at least 550 USD.