Travelling in Ukraine. Part II

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Contrary to the prevailing opinion, Ukraine does not only have the Soviet legacy, represented mainly by specific characters working in the service industry. In July the music festival in Shushary, reminding of the combination of world-famous Woodstock and Burning Man, seems to take visitors to the heyday of the American hippy culture.

Eco-tourism in Ukraine

Fans of eco-tourism love the famous Arboretum Sofiyivka , located in the north of the city of Uman. From the stories of private guides you can find out that this park became an original gift of the former owner of Uman, Polish aristocrat and trading tycoon Stanislav Pototsky to his wife Sophia. On the territory of more than 370 acres there are about three thousand local and exotic plants. The territory of the park with its rich flora, man-made and natural reservoirs and grottoes is a world monument of landscape art.
The Dunaiski Plavni Reserve deserves our attention as well. It is located in the south-western part of the Odessa region which travelers definitely include in their personal tour program. The Danube Biosphere Reserve has been one of the largest water-swamp complex in Europe since 1975, having international significance. This complex is located away from the famous tourist routes, but nevertheless is highly appreciated by both specialists and amateurs as a research center and as a stunningly beautiful national park with amazing landscapes and a huge variety of birds that can surprise any ornithologist. The city of Vilkove, where the administrative center of the reserve is located, is also a very interesting place - thanks to the system of numerous canals this city is often compared with Italian Venice.
The biosphere reserve of Askania-Nova in the Kherson region also belongs to unique natural attractions - here you can not only explore the natural landscape, but also observe animals in their natural habitat. A regional landscape park, located in the north-west of the Nykolayiv region is also highly recommended for lovers of eco-tourism can be called. Its territory includes the valley of the Southern Bug River, as well as its tributaries. In addition to beautiful views of nature, this reserve offers hiking and kayaking.

Resorts of Ukraine

In addition to the most popular places for beach vacations, such as the Crimean coast, the resorts of Odessa and the Shatsky lakes, Ukraine has to offer a lot of opportunities for active tourism, the center of which can be considered the Carpathians, where you can go after a busy personal tour. Not well known in Europe yet (and because of it, more affordable financially), the ski and health centers of the Carpathian Mountains are comparable to the popular resorts of the Alps and the Caucasus. And numerous opportunities for extreme recreation, including mountain climbing, rafting in the mountain rivers and hiking trips, attract hundreds of tourists year round. For example, it will be interesting to know that in the Carpathians there is the only active volcano on the territory of Ukraine, near which the salt lake Kunigunda is located, also called the Ukrainian "dead sea", and formed as a result of the collapse of the salt mine. Carpathian lakes, the largest among which is the high-mountain lake Synevyr, will amaze travelers not only with the crystal clearness of their waters, but also with an abundance of fish, aquatic mammals and crustaceans.
The geographical location in the central part of Europe has made Ukraine the arena of many battles in the past. Huge territories, natural resources and fertile soil attracted numerous conquerors from both the east and the west in ancient times. The memory of the valiant military past is still preserved in the fortified castles and defense buildings of the Middle Ages. Initially built for the purpose of protection, those monumental fortresses eventually became the residences of feudal princes, which could not but affect their appearance. If the oldest castles such as the Genoese fortress, Nevitsky castle and the Akkerman fortress are examples of the defense construction of the Middle Ages, the later structures such as the Massandra Palace in the Crimea and the Schoenborn Castle in the Carpathians – are examples of the splendor and elegance of the residences of European kings.

Pagan History and Culture of Ukraine

Zaporizhia region attracts travelers interested in the sacred pre-Christian past - it is here that the stone tomb, called "Ukrainian Stonehenge", is located. Forty-feet stone blocks, covered with runic inscriptions and petroglyphs, according to private guides, still raise a lot of questions among researchers about their origin and true purpose.
The European continent is famous for its rich history, which has influenced all modern countries of the world. Every European state is proud of its monuments of architecture and art; however, on the territory of Ukraine an experienced traveler can discover all those attractions that are so strongly recommended for visiting by the guidebooks. The unique ecosystem of the Carpathians can compete ith the natural beauties of Iceland; the medieval fortresses of Kamenets-Podolsky, of Odessa region, of the Carpathians and Crimea will compare to the castles of Germany and France in monumentality and grandeur. The Ukrainian land is full of landmarks both natural and man-made. Few other countries in the world can offer such a huge range of tourist destinations. A thoughtful study of ancient monuments will not only allow us to study and recreate all historical periods, but will also reveal the secrets and mysteries of the peculiarity of the soul and mentality of the Ukrainian people.

Author: Tourist guide