Ukraine due to its geographical location and diverse landscapes offers what seems like an endless number of options for active leisure and extreme sports. Summer is a perfect time to travel and engage ourselves in new activities and hobbies with Ukraine being a perfect destination to try it all out.
Hop into a basket and venture on a hot air balloon flight where you can see beautiful Ukraine from a totally unique perspective. With numerous launch sites to choose from, you’ll appreciate the incredible rolling countryside and picturesque towns. A hot air balloon ride is both thrilling and serene, especially in summer, when nature offers vibrant and bright vistas. Panoramic views and astounding altitudes wait when you take off on these scenic hot air balloon rides. Hot air balloon ride is a perfect option for a romantic date or special occasion celebration. Riding a hot air balloon became very popular among Ukrainians and foreign tourists, as this is an exciting romantic experience. There is even an annual hot air balloon festival in Kamyanets Podilskyy, which is one of the most popular and most spectacular events of the year in Ukraine.
Check out Kyiv Ballooning Community (Kyiv Vozdyhoplavetelnoye Obshchestvo), «On a Balloon Across Ukraine» («Na Share po Ukraine») or «Pilot» Kyiv Aero Club to book yourself on a spectacular hot air balloon flight with launch sites in Kyiv, Bila Tserkva, Chernihiv, Kamyanets-Podilskiy, Lviv and Kherson.
Read: Hot Air Balloon Rides in Ukraine
Hot air balloons are great, romantic and all, but planes might seem even more exciting. Fancy a flight in a helicopter or small jet to view all of Lviv attractions from another perspective? Then pay a visit to Lviv Jagellon Airport. This is a perfect way to see famous landmarks and stunning scenery as well as try to actually fly a plane as pilot’s assistant. Jagellon Airport offers a good selection of new, safe & totally cute aircrafts to choose from, however prior reservation is highly recommended. You can also enroll to a pilot training courses here, learn to pilot an aircraft and get a private pilot license. How to find: Polyova str. 71, Cherlyany village, Gorodok district, Lviv Region. Prior reservation required by phone +380322959737
Moving on from air to water activities: rafting on the mountain rivers is a great chance to have fun while visiting Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. Most of the mountain rivers of the Carpathian region (Black Cheremosh, White Cheremosh, the Prut, the Stry, and Tisa River and its basin in the Transcarpathia) are easily accessible for tourists. The most popular on the rivers are kayaks, canoes, catamarans, rafts. The best time to go through rivers of the Carpathians is the end of April and the beginning of May when melting snow swells them with lots of water. Some of them like river Prut, the Black Cheremosh, the White Cheremosh and its small tributaries are only accessible during those few spring days. River Tysa and the Cheremosh are accessible for rafting throughout the warm season – from April to October. Rafting on the Dnister canyons can take place from May to September.
With the beginning of the summer season, Kyiv is preparing all the beaches for numerous visitors to spend the time by the water with comfort and pleasure. If you are a bit bored of conventional beach activities, this year «Pleso» Kyiv City Department for Water Recreational Areas is introducing SUPboarding, a new way for active leisure by the water in Kyiv. Stand up paddle boards (SUP) offer a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. «Pleso» will offer free SUPboarding summer camps for children during the whole summer season. SUPboarding gear rentals will offer all the necessary equipment for this fun water sport on reasonable prices. At the moment there are 12 rental stations located along the Dnipro River (Hydropark, Osokorky, Korchevate, Obolon’ and others). One can rent a set of stuff for SUPboarding at one rental station and drop it off at the other station at the end of the SUPboarding route. The routes are of low to medium difficulty level and will be great options for the beginners as well as for the experienced SUPboarders.
Read: SUPboarding a New Sport to Try This Summer in Kyiv
In case you are a wild nature fan, we recommend a trip to Askania Nova Biosphere Reserve, where visitors can enjoy watching the rare species of birds and animals. Askania Nova Biosphere Reserve is the world famous national park of Ukraine, it is also one of the oldest and largest biosphere reserves in Europe, located in a remote part of the Kherson steppe. Nowadays, this unique island of untouched nature, where many rare animal and bird species live, is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine and is a part of the world network of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves. These days over 1,000 animals, such as zebra and antelope, bison and buffalo, deer and wild horses live in semi-free conditions in Askania Nova. Six species are extinct in their homelands and remain only in Askania. The zoo’s unique collection includes Indian and African antelopes, zebras, Scottish ponies, wild Przewalski's horses, saigas, and many more. The variety of birds in ‘Askania-Nova’ is impressive as well: these are white and black swans, cranes, flamingos, bustards, emus, parrots, and many other rare species.
If you want to relax and take a break from your everyday routine, try some new art hobbies you always were panning on trying but never had a chance, head to the Carpathian Mountain highlands to Khata-Maysternia (Art Workshop Cabin). This is a truly unique place offering exquisite location high in the mountains away from civilization and all its hustle and bustle. Khata-Maysternia is a new concept recreational space where people can come to enjoy the beautiful nature and to create art. All the participants of this art project reside in a remodeled authentic Carpathian wooden cabin, which was turned into a comfortable B&B. The surroundings are meant to bring lots of inspiration and ultimate relaxation. The place is also perfect destination for hiking, meditating and highland yoga practices.
The list of unusual summer activities in Ukraine can be really long, depending on your interests and preferences. «Destinations» tries to pick up some of the most interesting and up-to-date ideas to make your summer in Ukraine fun and memorable.
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