Western Ukraine is travel mecca for numerous visitors who come to Ukraine. Due to its geographical location, rich history and multicultural background, this area can offer many interesting options even for the most spoiled and curious travelers.
This unique cave monastery is located in Rozhirchne village in Lviv region. The vast complex, which consists of several monasteries, is located in artificial caves. The oldest monastery is dated back to the 13th century. The walls of the caves are decorated with 17th century frescoes.
This is a truly unique complex which can be found nowhere else in Ukraine. It’s difficult to get there though, as the location is quite remote. It is a good idea to visit this place with a guided tour or hire an experienced guide.
Read: National Parks in Ukraine
Tarakanivsky Fort, also known as New Dubno Fortress, is located in Rivne Region. Now it stands in ruins, but even in such a sad condition the fortress gathers numerous tourists. Many legends and mystical stories are associated with this place in Western Ukraine. Tarakanivsky fort is located near the city of Dubno, Rivne region, close to Tarakaniv village. It was built with the main aim to protect the Lviv - Kyiv rail road and was a concrete-earth fortification.
Local residents call Tarakanivsky Fort the City of Ghosts. Many believe that the place is haunted by the ghosts of many soldiers who died in the fort during long and gruesome war years. Locals say that even time goes slowly there; it feels like the place lives in another dimension.
One mile north of the village of Urych in Lviv Region stands a unique rocky massif that attracts hordes of tourists each year. Once a Kyivan-Rus Fortress named Tustan stood here (9th – 13th Centuries). All that remains are 4000 grooves and kerfs where the wooden beams once clung to the rocks. Tanks were carved to hold water, and a well was dug to withstand long sieges.
This destination attracts many hikers. They take the trail on the left of Tustan Fortress which leads to the church and spring water which is believed to have healing properties. The hiking route goes 1.6 kilometers to Ostriy Kamin where there is a campsite. It is not steep for the first kilometer, but then gains 100 meters in elevation.
Ancient Halych National Reserve
Ancient Halych National Reserve was created with the purpose to preserve the historic and cultural monuments on the Halych area of over 80 sq. km, covering the lands of the ancient town and its suburbs. Under state protection there is a number of monuments of national and world heritage importance, the foundations of 14 annalistic churches dating back to the XII–XIII centuries, over 200 archaeological sites, 18 natural landmarks connected with historic and architectural sites.
The reserve houses the following museums: the Ancient Halych History Museum, the Prykarpattya Vernacular Architecture Museum and the regional landscape park that offers picturesque views over the area.
Location: 1, Ivana Franka street, Halych from where follow the Ancient Halych signs to get directly to the reserve, which is located further up the hill.
Chernelytsia and Rakovets Castles
The remains of the Rakovets castle rise on the right rocky bank of the Dniester River. They give a special charm to this area. Castles in Rakovets (middle of XVII.), and Chernelytsia (beginning of XVII cent.) played an important role during the wars of Polish King Jan III Sobeskyi against Turks. He personally resided in these fortresses above the Dniester River during the war. Both castles stand in ruins, however even now the image of the formed grandeur can be recognized.
The Sydoriv Castle is an imposing ruin of a stronghold built by Marcin Kalinowski in Sydoriv, a village located 7 km south of Husiatyn town. The castle is perched on a hilltop which is enclosed on three sides by a river. When built in the 1640s, the structure had seven towers that extended for 178 meters from north to south. It was heavily damaged by the invading Turks in 1672 and was abandoned by its owners in the 18th century.
Castles, natural wonders, hiking routes, open air museums - Western Ukraine offers what seems like an endless list of options for sightseeing and active leisure. In case you have already visited most popular tourist spots in Western Ukraine, we believe our list of beautiful travel destinations of the area will come in handy.
Read: Beautiful Camping Locations in Ukraine
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