From living in the shadows for so many years, Ukraine is now bursting forth as a new holiday destination just waiting to be explored. No restrictions means a visit to Ukraine does not involve heavy paperwork or laborious and meandering ways of getting there. Ukraine is open and free to one and all.
Despite this, it is still quite rare to see foreigners in Ukraine apart from in the major cities. That is a real bonus if you are up for an adventure in Ukraine – the countryside and small towns will be void of tourists and therefore empty of all the excess that comes with them. The opportunity is there in Ukraine to arrive easily and travel at your leisure.
Ukraine is a vast country and has a huge array of sights to see. It would be impossible to cover all of Ukraine in a two week holiday so it is best to stick to a few areas and make the most of those.
The Carpathian Mountains in the west of Ukraine offer dramatic scenery and unspoilt landscapes. The peaks are generally fairly low so hiking in the spring is a popular option and the lack of development in this part of Ukraine means it is like stepping back in time.
North of here is Lviv, an elegant city with architecture that hints towards that of Florence, Paris and Vienna. It is a city that Ukraine is proud of and, as such, shies away from tacky development and neon signs.
No visit to Ukraine is complete without a trip to Crimea, the peninsular in the south of the country, surrounded by the Black Sea. Its craggy cliffs and underground caverns set it apart from the rest of Ukraine. Crimea has kept its autonomous status so it is wise to keep your passport with you at all times.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, with Kiev as the capital city, and claims to be right at the centre of the continent, siting a stone marker in the small Carpathian village of Dilove that marks the spot set by Austrian geographers in 1887.
Most of the land is vast steppe and flat plateau with rich black soil. The Dnepr River cuts through the middle of Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountains form a natural border with Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Poland. Apart from that there are no real natural boundaries, a fact that explains the turbulent past and controversial political borders today.
For an interesting and memorable holiday, Ukraine has a lot to offer its visitors. Not only is Ukraine a stunningly beautiful country, it also has a simple way of life that other Europeans crave when the going gets too tough in Western Europe.
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