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The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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Country
Ukraine
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
9 days & 8 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Various
Availability
April - September

Itinerary

Day 1: Kiyv – Ivano-Frankivsk
Day 2: Verkhovyna
Day 3: Mount Pip Ivan
Day 4: Mt. Kostrycha
Day 5: Mount Hoverla
Day 6: Svydovets
Day 7: Mt. Syniak
Day 8: Bukovel, Mt. Ploska
Day 9: Departure

Overview for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

Our Ukranian Carpathians Discovery walking holiday will take you through the highlights of the Ukrainian Carpathians, including three mountain ranges – Gorgany Nature Reserve, Svydovets range and Chornohora range, which are part of the UNESCO-listed Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. Ukraine’s Carpathians are among the least explored mountains in Europe and offer spectacular views, traditional villages, and the friendliness of the Hutsul people.

Explore the rocky mountaintop of Mt Synyak and the sharp cliffs of Mount Shpytsi. Enjoy the scenic glacial lakes in Svydovets and Chornogora mountain range. Hike up Mount Hoverla – Ukraine’s highest peak (2,061 m). See the ruins of White Elephant observatory, at the top of Mount Pip Ivan.

Highlights:


Itinerary for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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Day 1: Arrival in Kyiv. Transfer to Ivano-Frankivsk

Welcome to Kyiv (Kiev), the beautiful capital of Ukraine. Spend a few hours exploring Kyiv’s downtown. Visit UNESCO-listed St. Sophia Cathedral, have a coffee at the famous Maidan of Independence, go for impressive Dnieper River views at Mariyinsky Park, or relax at the Sculpture Alley, very popular among locals. In the evening either take the night train to Ivano-Frankivsk (included) or take an internal flight and spend the night in Ivano-Franyvsk (optional upgrade).

  • Accommodation: a sleeping cabin on the Kyiv – Ivano-Frankivsk Train (standard option) or a 3-star hotel in Ivano-Frankivsk (Nadya or similar) (optional upgrade with internal flight instead of train transfer).

Day 2: Verkhovyna / Dzembronya

Morning transfer to Dzembronya village (146 km / 3.5 hours). Take a leisurely walk, exploring the highlands and views around the village.

Day 3: Mount Pip Ivan

Start your real hiking in the Carpathians with a walk to the Mount Pip Ivan and its most stunning landmark – the ruins of White Elephant Observatory. Pip Ivan is the third highest peak (after Hoverla and Brebeneskul) of the Chornohora range, with a height of 2,022 meters above sea level. In the interwar period (1918–1939) the peak marked the Polish – Czechoslovak, from March 1939 Polish – Hungarian border and many skirmishes between the Ukranian Insurgent Army and Polish border troops took place in the area. On the peak of Pop Iwan, Polish government built in the years 1936–1938 an impressive construction – Astronomical and Meteorological Observatory, which was commonly called “Biały Słoń” (“White Elephant”). It is the highest built residential structure in Ukraine. You can choose an alternative, more challenging route which also includes beautiful Maricheyka lake and Hropa ridge.

Day 4: Mt. Kostrycha

Transfer to Krasnyk village (16 km / 1 hour). From there hike to Mt. Kostrycha, which offers the best views of Ukraine’s highest peaks in the Chornohora mountain range. Pick up fresh wild berries or stop by local Hutsul shepherds, who stay up in the highlands all summer, taking care of their animals and making the delicious local cheese ‘brynza’.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 12 km.
  • Accommodation in a family operated guesthouse (Come In, Kryvopillya)

Day 5: Mount Hoverla

Transfer to the trail-head. Explore the peaks of Chornohora mountain range and conquer Mt Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak. Mount Hoverla (Ukrainian: Говерла, Polish: Howerla) at 2,061 metres is the highest mountain in Ukraine and part of the Carpathian Mountains. The slopes are covered with beech and spruce forests, above which there is a belt of sub-alpine meadows called polonyna in Ukrainian. At the eastern slope, there is the main spring of the Prut River. The name is of Hungarian origin and means ‘snow fortress’. Hoverla is composed of sandstone. Go down to Zarosliak campsite and transfer to your hotel (30 km / 1 hour).

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 12 km.
  • Accommodation in Koruna Hotel, Tatariv.

Day 6: Svydovets Mountain Range

Transfer to the village Yasinya (25 km / 30 minutes) and visit UNESCO-listed wooden Ascension of Our Lord church (18th century). From Dragobrat Ski resort hike to the mountain tops of Svydovets range. Enjoy picturesque views and stop by the crystal clear glacial lake Gerashaska at the top. Go down to the village Kvasy and transfer back to your hotel (39 km / 40 minutes).

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 18 km.
  • Accommodation in Koruna Hotel, Tatariv.

Day 7: Mt. Syniak and Zhenetsky Waterfall

Transfer to Bukovel, country’s largest ski resort, which is a calm and friendly place in the summer (13 km / 20 minutes). Hike to Mt Synyak, an impressive peak in the Gorgany range. Its mountaintop is full of particular large stones (‘gorgans’), which gave the name of the surrounding range. On the way back from the mountain stop by the Zhenetsky waterfall.

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 12 km.
  • Accommodation: Urochysche Vyshnia hotel with sauna and a swimming pool.

Day 8: Bukovel, Mt. Ploska, Mt. Dovga

Hike to Mt. Ploska, Mt. Dovga for beautiful views of Horhany mountain range. Downhill biking is optional for the adventurous ones. Explore Bukovel attractions that include wake boarding or water skis at the lake, bike rentals, adventure park and climbing wall. Transfer to Ivano-Frankivsk (94 km / 2 hours).

Take an overnight sleeper train to Kyiv (standard option) or take an internal flight and spend the night at the 3-star Bakkara Hotel close to downtown Kyiv.

  • Walking for the day: up to 8 km (2 hours).
  • Accommodation: a sleeping cabin on the Ivano-Frankivsk – Kyiv Train (standard option) or a 3-star hotel close to Kyiv downtown (Bakkara or similar) (optional upgrade with internal flight instead of train transfer).

Day 9: Departure or Onward Travel

Reach the airport by public transport or spend an extra night in Kyiv.

Hotels for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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2 to 3-star hotels or family-run guesthouses and cottages, as indicated in the itinerary. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample hotels: Nadya, Koruna Hotel, the White Elephant CottageCome In, Kryvopillya, BakkaraUrochysche Vyshnia

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all hotel accommodations, as well as packed lunches on all walking days. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants in the village near your hotel; half-board option is also available.

Travel for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Kyiv.

Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

You can reach Kyiv Train Station from airport on Day 1 (and respectively airport from Kyiv Train Station on Day 9) using bus, shuttle, taxi or Uber. For up-to-date info on transfer options, prices and schedules, check the links below.

Private Transfers

Airport transfers by public transport are recommended for this trip, as they are much cheaper compared to private transfers. If you prefer to have a private transfer, please choose this option when booking your holiday. All other transfers including sleeper car train tickets to/from Ivano-Frankivsk from/to Kiev on Days 1 and 8 are included as listed in itinerary.

Ukraine: Country Info

Language: Ukranian. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are in Cyrillic alphabet – but you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.

Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.

Currency: We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.

Cost of living: cheaper than in the UK or Western Europe.

Up-to-date travel advice on Ukraine is available here.

Important notice: at the time of this publication the areas you visit were considered safe, as your holiday takes place in the peaceful regions of Zakarpatska and Ivano-Frankivska oblast in Western Ukraine, near the Polish, Romanian and Hungarian borders. By all means you should avoid the eastern parts of Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk oblast) and Crimea, where tensions remain high, the situation is dynamic and may worsen in days. From 9am local time on 28 November until 27 December 2018, Ukraine is imposing martial law in parts of the country bordering Russia, the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and the Transnistria region of Moldova. The oblasts affected are: Chernihiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhia.C heck regularly the above FCO travel advice link for up-to-date travel advice on Ukraine.

Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Trip Info for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

Appropriate for experienced walkers. Requires a sound level of fitness. You will visit three different mountains with diverse terrain. This trip may include 6-8 hours of walking per day (up to 18 km of walking); total walking is 88 km, on average 13 km per walking day. Overall elevation gain is 2,000 m, average elevation gain per walking day is 300 m (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from April until September. Spring and autumn are pleasant in the Ukrainian Carpathians with cool nights and occasional rain. Weather is best in July – September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Weather

Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but generally in the May-September period the daily averages are 17—20°C. High summer daytime temperatures are rarely too hot and even if they occasionally reach 30°C, the mountains and forests remain cooler, dropping at night to 10-14°C. Mt Pip Ivan and Mt Hoverla often have sudden onsets of rain and strong winds. It is highly advised to check the weather report prior to hiking the trails.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for Ukraine Carpathians Discovery

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  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps
  • Accommodation for 6 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4-star hotels or family-run guesthouses as listed in itinerary (Days 2-7)
  • Train tickets (sleeping cabin) Kiyv – Ivano-Frankivsk on Day 1 and Ivano-Frankivsk-Kyiv on Day 8
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Packed lunches
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel on walking days (Days 3-7)
  • Private transfers as listed in itinerary
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative in Kiyv

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Single room supplement: where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is not available for solo travellers.

Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates

Options and Extras

  • Holiday upgrade: it is possible at an extra cost to replace the train transfers on Days 1 and 8 with internal flights; in this case your overnights on Days 1 and 8 will be in 3-star hotels instead of train sleeping cabins (Nadya in Ivano-Frankivsk on Day 1 and Ibis in Kyiv on Day 8)

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers from/to Kyiv Airport to/from Kyiv downtown or train station
  • Lunches (apart from packed lunches on walking days), dinners and snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extensions

  • 1 extra night in Kyiv before the walking holiday
  • 1 extra night in Kyiv after the walking holiday

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