Ukraine's landscape mostly consists of fertile plateau and steppes crossed by rivers and also have diverse geographical features ranging from highlands to lowlands. Ukraine has different national parks that were created to protect the biodiversity of the country. These protected areas help to conserve the varied ecosystem and the rich biodiversity housed in Ukraine.
The Carpathian National Natural Park
This is the oldest and the largest national park in Ukraine, created in 1980 to protect the unique natural riches of the Carpathian Mountains. Majestic mountains, picturesque valleys, mountain pastures, crystal lakes, pure rivers, healing springs, valuable monuments of archeology, history and architecture - all of them make the Carpathian Natural Park desirable to many travelers from all over the world.
Located in the mountains of the Prut River basin, the park occupies a territory of over 50 thousand hectares. It amazes not only with its fantastic landscapes and unforgettable scenery, but also with the variety of its flora and fauna. A large number of various plants grow in the park, many of which are on the endangered species list, and almost 200 species of animals and birds live here.
The park has several dozen trails; however, not all of them are adequately marked, and, therefore, it is best to tour or hike the mountains with a local resident or with a guide from a special excursion, which you can book in advance at a tourism agency.
You can get to the park through special checkpoints, located in the surrounding towns and villages. People frequently come to the reserve from Yaremche, Vorokhta, Bukovel, and Verkhovyna. The office of the Carpathian National Park is located inYaremche town, at. Stusa str, 6. There is also an eco-tour center in the same building, where you can find out information about the reserve. You must pay the price of admission at the park entrance checkpoints.
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Shatsky Lakes National Park
The Shatsky National Nature Park lies 160km northwest of Lutsk in the corner between Belarus and Poland, and has some 200 lakes, rivers and streams. However, while fascinating to scientists, Ukraine's wild 'Lake District' and its deep Lake Svityaz is a long way from appealing to all but the most adventurous of (camping and rafting) tourists.
If you are interested in heading to this park, catch one of the frequent buses to Kovel and change for the village of Shatsk. At least eight buses a day also go direct to Shatsk from Lutsk (UAH 60, three hours). Don't even consider heading this way without lashings of mosquito repellent.
Skole Beskids National Park
National Natural Park “Skole Beskids” covers most of the Skole district and some neighboring areas of Lviv region. The total area is 35,684 hectares. “Skole Beskids” Park was created February 1, 1999 for the purpose of conservation, restoration and sustainable use of landscapes of the western part of the Ukrainian Carpathians with typical and unique natural complexes, which have important environmental, ecological, aesthetic, educational and recreational value.
Skole Beskids National Park is one of the most beautiful and therefore frequented by tourists places in Ukraine. Balneological resorts Skhidnytsia, Skole, Slavske are located on the territory of the national park. The park is located in the valleys of Striy and Opir rivers, and there is a good opportunity for boating, rafting and even sailing. This area also boasts most popular ski resorts in Ukraine.
On the territory of the park one can still find the remains of pure beech forests and spruce fir forest stands, the totality of which occupies the highest position in the park`s relief. The age of trees is more than 100 years here. On some ridges there are rare beech, sycamore and alder forests with a medicinal plants cover (for instance, rare ramsons or henbane bell). In general, vascular flora consists of 632 species. More than 50 plant species of the park are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine: leopard's bane, great masterwort, Northern firmoss, fragrant orchid, Narrow-leaved Helleborine, Red Helleborine, creeping lady's-tresses, Lesser Twayblade, Turk's cap lily, perennial honesty, lesser butterfly-orchid, common snowdrop, autumn crocus, small white orchid, henbane bell, the Round Headed Orchid, Crocus heuffelianus Herb, several species of marsh orchid.
The fauna of Skole Beskids National Park is rich and diverse.
If you decide to visit “Skole Beskids” Park, you will have a chance to relax and improve your health. In 1970 geologists discovered rich reserves of mineral waters, such as “Naftusya” in the village of Skhidnytsia near the national park. These days the park offers more than 30 mineral springs spa areas. Mineral springs are located in the valley of Maydanske Rybnik and around New Kropyvnyk village.
Khortytsya National Park
Khortytsya National Reserve - research and recreational and educational institution that provides protection of historical, cultural and natural objects, collects, studies, preserves and promotes the interest associated with the history of Zaporizhzhya Cossacks.
Uniqueness Khortitsa is a rare combination of different natural systems - forests and meadows floodland, real and petrofit, rocky detached granite, beams, Nagorno groves, hanging swamps, lake systems on one territory. There is no analogues of such scale of a single ecosystem in which the prairie communities are combined with pteridophytic (possibly old) and floodplain forests.
Khortytsya Island is the largest island on the Dnipro River (length 12.5 km, maximum width - up to 2.5 km). This is the only comprehensive historical, cultural and natural attractions in Ukraine covering the period from the Mesolithic to the XX century. There are 63 archaeological and historical monuments, 33 of which are put on public display.
Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park
Located in the districts of Horodok, Kamianets-Podilskyi and the Chemerivtsi Raion in the province of Khmelnytskyi Oblast of the western Ukraine region is the Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park. The park was established on July 27th, 1996 by then President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma for purposes of maintaining and protecting the natural landscape of the area. There are 1700 types of flora and 217 different kinds of fauna with over 13% accumulative farm forest and 14% of state forest fund. Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park is the biggest nature reserve in Ukraine covering an area of 1,009 square miles.
Read: Little-known Castles and Monasteries in Ukraine
Ukraine is a picturesque country that boasts a supreme geographical location. There are over 50 national parks on the territory of Ukraine. All of them offer exceptional national treasures and wonders. «Destinations» rounds up the list of most popular national parks that attract numerous visitors every year.
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