Explore Ukraine: Natural wonders to see in autumn
The summer heat is already gone and the vacation season is almost over. But it does not mean that traveling around Ukraine is no longer possible.
The beginning of autumn is a great opportunity to explore the natural wonders of Ukraine and enjoy the time to the fullest, especially since many tourists have already visited popular tourist spots of the country and the weather is still pleasant.
But mind that Ukraine offers many more beautiful places to explore than the popular Carpathian Mountains or Shatsky Lakes.
The country is home to such incredible natural wonders like the Stanislav Cliffs or Dzharylhach Island, often referred to as the “Ukrainian Maldives” in Ukraine’s south, along with eye-catching natural parks, lakes and unusual villages.
Here’s the Kyiv Post’s list of natural wonders of Ukraine worth visiting this fall:
Those who want to witness some untouched nature can travel to Kherson Oblast, some 540 kilometers south from Kyiv, and explore the wild steppe of the Askania-Nova biosphere reserve.
Stretched throughout over 300 square kilometers, Askania-Nova is home for over 500 kinds of plants and more than 3,000 species of animals, including peacocks, flamingos, zebras, antelope, and Przewalski’s horses — rare animals that cannot be seen anywhere else in Ukraine.
Here, tourists are offered several types of excursions and walking tours along the wild steppes with guides who can tell exciting stories about Askania-Nova and its inhabitants.
Prices for excursions vary from Hr 45–150, depending on the type and number of people.
The reserve is located in the Askania-Nova village of Kherson Oblast. This year, the biosphere reserve will be open for visitors until Nov. 3, 2020, so one still has a chance to enjoy the untouched nature of Ukraine’s south.
One can feel as if they were somewhere in the Alps when traveling to Podilsky Tovtry national park.
Located in Khmelnytsky Oblast 330 kilometers southwest from Kyiv, Podilsky Tovtry is the biggest natural park in Ukraine, which occupies an area of over 2,600 square kilometers. It is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park was named after its hills — tovtry.
For those looking for a peaceful getaway to explore Ukrainian nature, Podilsky Tovtry seems to have it all — the scenery of this natural park resembles the Carpathians or even the Alps with its great views and untouched nature.
Podilsky Tovtry is known for its historical sites including the deep caves and a flooded village, as well as some rare plants and animals and, of course, amazingly beautiful landscapes.
Here, one can enjoy a walk along the amazingly beautiful hills covered with greenery and tall trees, offering breathtaking views of deep blue lakes located nearby.
The flooded village Bakota is here too. Often referred to as the “Ukrainian Atlantis,” Bakota was flooded by the Dnister River during the construction of the hydroelectric station in the 1980s. Now, Bakota is one of the most popular places among tourists located in Podilsky Tovtry national park.
Another natural wonder of Ukraine, Dnister Canyon, is the biggest canyon in Ukraine. It stretches for 250 kilometers between four oblasts in western Ukraine including Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Khmelnytsky Oblast.
Locals usually say that the Dnister Canyon is a true “masterpiece of nature.” Covered with trees and greenery, tall hills are situated close to the waters of Dnister River, therefore forming a winding canyon. There are several waterfalls and ancient caves located in the canyon’s territory.
However, traveling to Dnister Canyon offers much more than exploring its beautiful landscapes. Many villages and small towns are situated at the foot of the canyon.
There, visitors can explore some ancient churches, architectural monuments, natural and landscape parks, as well as try some savory local cuisine and explore Ukrainian culture.
With its endless sand dunes and steep slopes, Oleshky Sands in Kherson Oblast is often referred to as the “Ukrainian Sahara.”
Even though the Oleshky Sands reminds of a desert, it is a huge massif covered with sand, one of the largest dry steppes in Ukraine that stretches for nearly 150 kilometers. The sands were formed on the territory where the Dnipro River flowed years ago.
The place strikes its visitors with unusual for Ukraine scenery. Here, golden sand dunes, that seem to go far beyond the horizon, are surrounded by the forest with tall pine trees, making its visitors feel like they are in a fairytale.
Tourists can also find a biosphere reserve, natural and landscape parks, as well as an underground lake nearby.
Kherson Oblast is rich with natural wonders. But besides the biosphere reserve Askania Nova Dzharylhach Island and Oleshky Sands, one can also find two unusual lakes in this region.
Called the “Pink Lakes” or the “Ukrainian Dead Sea,” Henichesk Lakes and Lemuriisk Lake are among the most beautiful natural wonders in the country. And no wonder why — the waters of both lakes are pink.
Lemuriisk Lake is located near the village Hryhorivka, some 140 kilometers from Kherson. Swimming is allowed here, which makes the lake extremely popular during the summer.
Moreover, locals also say that the waters of Lemuriiske Lake have some healing properties due to the level of sea salt, sulfur, and other minerals.
Henichesk Lakes, on the other hand, is less popular among tourists as it is impossible to swim in the lake. However, those willing to take beautiful pictures and enjoy the great scenery can still travel to Pryozerne village, some 220 kilometers from Kherson, where the lake is located.
It is better to visit both lakes in the evening or early in the morning to enjoy the amazing sunset or dawn over the pink waters.
Vylkove is not like any other town in Ukraine — it is situated on water and can remind some of the Italian Venice.
The town is located in Odesa Oblast, within the delta of the Danube River. With its narrow canals instead of ordinary streets, Vylkove surprises its visitors at first glance. Here, just like in Venice, locals most often use boats as a means of transportation.
The town itself is riddled with dozens of streets both on the water and on the land. Danube biosphere reserve is located nearby Vylkove and is another option to explore the marvelous beauty of nature in Odesa region.
Apart from walking along the streets of Vylkove, visitors can also rent a small boat from locals at a reasonable price. However, it is always better to go boating together with the locals who can show some hidden gems of the town as well as tell exciting stories about what it’s like living on water.