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Overview

Just catching the country’s southwest corner, this section of the Carpathian arc represents the most fascinating upland region in Ukraine and is a Mecca for outdoorsy types in a country that is almost entirely flat. Not only is this a region rich in mellow, wooded peaks, astounding vistas and broad, tranquil valleys, these peaks are also home to the Hutsuls, a colorful mountain people who succeed in keeping their weird and wonderful rural traditions very much alive. If you don’t time your visit to coincide with a wedding or folk festival, local museums are filled with the Hutsuls’ Technicolor knitwear and shaggy sheepskins, ceremonial ...

Just catching the country’s southwest corner, this section of the Carpathian arc represents the most fascinating upland region in Ukraine and is a Mecca for outdoorsy types in a country that is almost entirely flat. Not only is this a region rich in mellow, wooded peaks, astounding vistas and broad, tranquil valleys, these peaks are also home to the Hutsuls, a colorful mountain people who succeed in keeping their weird and wonderful rural traditions very much alive. If you don’t time your visit to coincide with a wedding or folk festival, local museums are filled with the Hutsuls’ Technicolor knitwear and shaggy sheepskins, ceremonial axes and brightly-painted furniture.

Away from the towns and villages, many come to hike the Carpathians’ untamed trails, but the Bikeland project has made the peaks accessible to adventurous mountain bikers. Fast-flowing mountain streams and rivers lay on some superb rafting, and horseback riding is becoming an ever more popular activity as local guesthouses increasingly turn their efforts to eco-tourism. The best places to base yourself for Carpathian adventures Ukrainian style are Yaremche, Kolomyya, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vorokhta, from where you can make an attempt on Ukraine’s highest mountain, Hoverla (6762 ft, 2061 m), actually an easy and very popular hike.

Marc Di Duca
About the Expert

Marc Di Duca has written and updated more than 40 guides, mainly for Lonely Planet but also for AA, Thomas Cook, Berlitz and Bradt. Having spent the last 20 years exploring the former communist world, his main field of expertise is Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The mountains stretch across the western side of Ukraine, running from north to south.
  • Language: Ukrainian, Russian
  • Currency: Ukraine Hryvnia
  • Research: Wikipedia | Kolomyia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime from late spring to early autumn for outdoor activities; December to March for skiing.