The splendid and inimitable nature of Ukraine – along with its ancient sights, architectural extravagances, vivid history, and peculiar culture - is one of the country’s main sources of pride. Shining mountain peaks and powerful rivers, crystal lakes and transparent waterfalls, mysterious forests and marvelous islands, fabulous caves and fantastic canyons - not every European country boasts such number and variety of natural resources.
The beauty and the uniqueness of its landscapes is the first thing that tourists notice coming to Ukraine, especially those who get into the country by plane. The country’s north amazes with the lush grasses of the Polesye valleys; the south - with its wide steppes and the azure of two seas, the Black and the Azov; the west - with the colors of its mountain terrain and the shininess of numerous rivers. Its marvelous and diverse nature, combined with the mild and moderate climate, makes Ukraine an extremely attractive destination for those who love all kinds of relaxation.
Many rivers flows across Ukraine’s territory, the main ones being: the Dnieper, which divides Ukraine in two parts, the left-bank and right-bank; the Danube, which connects Ukraine with many European countries; and the Pivdennyy Buh, whose splendid rapids are so valued by lovers of rafting.
The majority of Ukraine’s natural treasures are located in the south, the Crimea, and the west. The country is most proud of its mountain ranges: the rocky Crimean Mountains and picturesque Carpathian Mountains. The former amaze with their fantastic landscapes and caves (the most famous of which is the Marble Cave that is on many lists of the top-five most beautiful caves of the world). The Carpathians beckon with their mountain lakes of pure crystal water, coniferous forests full of mushrooms and berries, and valleys covered with motley grass carpets. In the unique, untouched nature, you will also find a shelter with hundreds of animal, bird and plant species, many of which are endangered species in Ukraine.
Over twenty natural parks and preserves are located in Ukraine, created in order to protect the country’s natural riches. The biggest of them is the Carpathian National Natural Park, on whose territory you can find (in addition to all other sights) the well-known Valley of Daffodils and the highest point in Ukraine - the Hoverla Mountain. All the guests of Zakarpattia strive to conquer its peaks!
South Ukraine also has many protected territories. The National Reserve ‘Askania Nova,’ the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve, and the Natural Park ‘Bugsky Guard’ are the best known, having become famous for their unique landscapes and diversity of flora and fauna. On these protected lands lives a large number of rare animals, such as Indian antelopes, zebras, Scottish ponies, and wild Przewalski's horses. You can also find hundreds of species of birds there during their hibernation season, and over a thousand species of healing herbs growing all year round. Mysterious and secretive places are also located in Ukraine – including the Kamennaya Mogila, which lies close to Zaporozhye, and the geological reserve ‘Stone Village’ in the Zhytomyr region.
Botanical gardens and arboretums occupy separate position among natural gems of Ukraine. The most well known of them are Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Crimea with very rich collection of unique samples of flora and National Arboretum ‘Sofiyivka’ in the central region of the country - the real masterpiece of landscape design.
Ukraine’s nature is a source of national pride for its residents. To understand Ukrainians’ deep love of natural wonders, one needs only to visit the Carpathian valleys, to see the reflection in the mirror-like surface of mountain lakes, to climb through one of the numerous Crimean caves, or to raft on the Pivdennyy Buh rapids. Rest assured: the breathtaking sights will stay in your memory forever. Over time, they will transform into a desire to rediscover the wonders of Ukrainian nature.