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Ukraine Carpathians Trek  The Natural Adventure Company 21

Ukraine Carpathians Trek (Virtual Tour in Support of Ukraine)

Overview

We are currently offering our Ukraine Carpathians Trek as a virtual tour in support of Ukraine. If you book the tour, you will pay 10% of its standard price, which will be donated to humanitarian organizations in Ukraine – and we will match each donation. Once we resume offering the real tour, you will be given a 10% discount off its base price.

We look forward to being able to take you back to Ukraine soon; we stand with the Ukrainian people and condemn the unjustified invasion of their homeland!

You can also directly donate a custom amount without booking the virtual tour – read more details here.

Our Ukrainian Carpathians Discovery walking holiday will take you through the Ukrainian Carpathians’ highlights, 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, offering spectacular views, traditional villages, and the authentic hospitality 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 (2061 m). See the ruins of White Elephant Observatory, at the top of Mount Pip Ivan.

Highlights

Click to view map

Itinerary

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 | 8 km

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 | 18 km

Start your real hiking in the Carpathians with a walk to 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 2022 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 Ukrainian Insurgent Army and Polish border troops took place in the area. On the peak of Pop Iwan, the 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 | 12 km

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 | 12 km

Transfer to the trail-head. Explore the peaks of the Chornohora mountain range and conquer Mt Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak. Mount Hoverla (Ukrainian: Говерла, Polish: Howerla) at 2061 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 mainspring 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 | 18 km

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 | 12 km

Transfer to Bukovel, the country’s largest ski resort, 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 surrounding range’s name. 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 | up to 8 km

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

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

What to Expect

Accommodation

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.

Click to view default 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 in all hotel accommodations and packed lunches on all walking days. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants in the village near your hotel; a half-board option is also available.

Difficulty & terrain

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 2000 m, average elevation gain per walking day is 300 m (read more about difficulty grades). 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. The 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. 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 before hiking the trails.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Kyiv.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation for 6 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4-star hotels or family-run guesthouses as listed in the 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
  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel on walking days (Days 3-7)
  • Private transfers as listed in itinerary24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

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 (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers, a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • 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). This option is currently available upon request only, since flights to Ivano-Frankivsk are currently not flying on regular basis.
  • 1 extra night in Kyiv before the walking holiday
  • 1 extra night in Kyiv after the walking holiday

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