Kyiv region: Bila Tserkva
Bila Tserkva is a small town located in a 1.5-hour drive from Kyiv. It is famous for Oleksandriya Arboretum or simply 'Oleksandriya Park'. The spacious 300-hectare park is one of the biggest in Ukraine and is marvelous at any time of the year. In winter the trails are covered with a thick layer of snow, making a picture-perfect view.
The park was built in the 1780s thanks to the love between count Branitsky and his wife Alexandra Engelhardt. One of the best spots to take pictures in winter is the Chinese Gazebo placed in the depth of the park. Oleksandriya Arboretum also has more than 20 ponds populated by ducks and swans. There are numerous cafes in the nearby Bila Tserkva to stop by after the long walk.
Poltava region: Dykanka
Dykanka village located in Poltava region might be tiny, yet it's famous among Ukrainians for its cultural significance. The location became iconic after Mykola Gogol published his collection of short stories 'Evenings on a Farm Near Dykanka'. As the writer was born in the region, traveling to Dykanka is also a nice chance to explore Gogol's motherland.
One of the main sightseeing spots in Dykanka is the Trinity Church. It was built in 1780 and featured in 'Evenings on a Farm Near Dykanka'. Constructing the baroque temple was initiated by Pavlo Kochubei, a member of the famous Cossack Kochubei family that helped to turn Dykanka into the cultural center of Poltava region. Kochubei oak grove is another famous spot in Dykanka - the oaks are at least 800 years old; they and were mentioned by Aleksander Pushkin in the 'Poltava' poem.
Odesa region: Frumushika-Nowa
Frumushika-Nowa located in Odesa region is a unique place that reminds of multi-nationality of Ukraine: the tiny village has numerous architectural constructions of Ukrainian, Moldavian, Russian, German and Gagauz culture. It had been built in the 17th century and was considered quite large for the time — around five hundred houses, two elementary schools and a hospital.
Nowadays, an ethnic village complex located in Frumushika-Nowa showcases the architecture, livelihood and traditions of the 19th century Bessarabia. Moreover, the houses function as a hotel, where guests can rest and stay the night pretending to be peasants. The local zoo entertains kids with beautiful fauna: black swans, peacocks, llamas and fallow deer.
Lviv region: Zhovkva
Zhovkva is a small yet historically significant town located 30 kilometers from Lviv. The history of Zhovkva starts back way in 1597 when a Polish Hetman Stanislav Zholkevsky built a castle in an old village. Impressed by perfect towns of the Renaissance era, Zholkevsky decided to build his town according to this concept - a well-structured plan of the town, where each building has a strict location.
Apart from the unusual planning, Zhovkva also impresses tourists with numerous architectural landmarks. To name but a few, Vicheva square with a 1594 castle, the 17th century Collegiate Church of St. Lawrence, Basilian Fathers Monastery and a Dominican monastery. A wooden Holy Trinity Church, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, and a Renaissance style synagogue also belong to must-see places of Zhovkva.
Vorokhta is often called 'the Hutsul capital' and is often included in the lists of the most popular ski resorts in Ukraine. It's no wonder, as the village has well-developed tourist infrastructure and is close to Hoverla, the highest mountain in Ukraine. Apart from skis and snowboards, the village is also full of natural and historical spots.
One of them is the famous 1895 viaduct bridge, one of the relics of the Austro-Hungarian period in Ukraine. Nowadays it is out of service but is still intact and shows marvelous murals of a Hutsul couple. Kukul Mountain located near Vorokhta is appreciated by many hikers. The 1539-meter mountain provides wonderful views of Hoverla, Petros, Dovbushanka, and Vedmedzha Mountains. You can find out more in our detailed guide on Vorokhta.
Another gem of the Carpathians, Yaremche lures tourists in with the Transcarpathian hospitality and marvelous views. More than 40 recreation centers and 50 green tourism spots welcome the visitors all the year round. Waterfalls, ageless forests, hiking trails of any complexity and numerous resorts all found a home here, making Yaremche a good winter holiday spot in Ukraine.
You can explore the local Hutsul culture and cuisine like the delicious maize porridge banosh served with brynza or pork soup bograch. Besides, Yaremche is known for numerous mineral water sources that can assist in the treatment of various deceases and take away the deep-rooted stress.
Uzhhorod was built in the 11th century. It has a complex history, which is reflected in the city's architecture and culture. It survived the Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovak Republic, Hungary, and the Soviet Union, until it finally became one with Ukraine. Naturally, the place of such rich history carries its own unique vibe. Tourists love the city's downtown, based around the 10th-century Uzhhorod castle. Nowadays, the castle is used as a local lore museum and is one of the most-visited spots in the Carpathians.
Various art and architecture museums open up to show the hidden gems of the region: for instance, works of Adalbert Erdeli, a founder of the Transcarpathian art school. Like Yaremche, Uzhhorod is also known for thermal waters and the Carpathian hot jar spa. The iron cast placed on fire and filled with various herbs is a popular treatment of deep-rooted muscle knots, insomnia and psychological stress.
The following list is the editor’s choice.
Photo sources: Roman Naumov / ukrainetrek.com, veselkatour.com.ua, apex-tour.com.ua, shutterstock.com, guideportal.com.ua, frumushika.com, deinde.com.ua, unsplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.