Western Ukraine is an Ecotourism Gem

  • Western Ukraine is an Ecotourism Gem
  • Western Ukraine is an Ecotourism Gem
Issue 102, June 2017.
 
Western Ukraine is an Ecotourism Gem
 
Tired of the big city and bored of trying to get through the rushing crowds? Then it’s time for you to flee the asphalt jungle and take a breath of fresh air in nature’s solitude. Plunge into the crystal clear waters, discover the jewels of untouched nature, and behold the beauty of a forgotten world of traditions and a slow pace of life. Feel reborn before heading back into the urban scene. Tourism streams like ‘ecotourism’, ‘rural tourism’, ‘green tourism’, and ‘agro tourism’ are relatively new in Ukraine, but they are already marvellously established. So why not look at relaxing your body and soul in the countryside on your next vacation?
 
Mushroom-picking, trekking, farming – just what is ‘ecotourism’?
 
Ecotourism thrives in Ukraine in protected natural reserves, where you can discover National Nature Parks, regional landscape parks, and biosphere reserves. Ecotourism in Ukraine specifically provides protection for the native flora and fauna, so you’ll want to add ecological tours or environmental education elements to these awe-inspiring excursions. Green tourism is similar, but is less restrictive in both areas and controls. For example, green tourism is normally in forested parks, botanical gardens, and other parks situated both in rural and urban areas. Another variety of ecotourism is rural and heritage tourism, providing travelers with the experience of living in a rural environment with an emphasis on natural foods and lifestyle. One of its biggest draws is the protection and development of local heritage, folk trades, and unique architectural and historic monuments. Agro or farm tourism differs slightly, where visitors actively take part in farm chores and life. Several Ukrainian villages have already begun to transform into agro recreational hubs. These trips are great for travelers on a budget, as you can find ecologically clean products and inexpensive housing while still experiencing traditional customs, rituals and traditions. Even better, your kids will discover their heritage while working on a farm! Owners of these types of accommodations offer different categories of domestic service, tasty natural food, and plenty of additional activities, like mushroom-picking, trekking, or hiking in the mountains. Trips are individually tailored to each guest and are especially interesting for children, who can taste homemade milk, honey, and apples directly from the tree!
 
Forget the sea; the Carpathians are the place to be!
 
While modern ecotourism may be new to Ukraine, it is well-known that 19th Century nobles were all too familiar with the pursuit of rest and cures in village life. The peaceful Carpathian environment has long drawn some of the country’s most powerful thinkers, including Ivan Franko, Lesia Ukrainka, and Mykhailo Hrushevsky, to rest and develop their thoughts on culture, science, and policy. Western Ukraine offers a wide choice of destinations for green tourism vacations. The extraordinary landscapes, clean air, and mountain rivers of the Carpathian oblasts – Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpathian, Lviv, and Chernivtsi – are the perhaps the most popular in Ukraine. Tourists flock to the popular Ivano-Frankivsk-area destinations of Yaremche, Kosiv, Skole, Vorokhta, and Tatarovo for the deep green spruce forests, mountaintop meadows filled with the aromas of wild flowers, the Serene Alpine lakes and sparkling streams and waterfalls, and the gentle hills that roll off into the horizon. Another interesting area is the Berehovskiy region of Zakarpathia, known for its Hungarian culture and its spectacular fruits, vegetables, and wines. No matter where you decide, if you’re looking for something altogether different from the hustle and bustle at a sea resort, the soothing and relaxing environment of Ukrainian ecotourism is just the thing for you!
 
If you’d like to try an ecotourism vacation in Western Ukraine, be sure to check out www.touristinfo.lviv.ua/en/about/TIC_Ukraine/.