A scattering of the emerald Shatsky lakes with crystal pure water that are framed in velvet verdure of primeval woods is rightly considered to be one of the Ukraine’s brightest tourist gems. Picturesque landscapes, rich flora and fauna, and mild curative climate make this territory an ideal place for varied recreation and health improvement.
The Shatsky lakes are located on the territory of the namesake nature park in the northwest Volyn Polissya and form one of the largest constellations of lakes in Europe, numbering over 30 lakes. This unique natural complex’s main treasure is the lake Svityaz – the second largest natural water body in Ukraine and one of the country’s deepest lakes. Being 58-meter-deep, it is four times deeper than the Azov Sea. Svityaz is often nicknamed as Ukrainian Baikal because of its impressive size.
The lake is saturated by artesian springs and therefore its water is perfectly transparent and well-heated. Combined with clean sandy beaches, it makes this place a perfect family recreation spot. In addition, the climate is very comfortable here: thanks to lighted forests, summer heat is hardly felt on the nature park’s territory.
There is a huge island right in the Svityaz’s center. It is covered with lindens and maples and attracts with its inimitable beauty and mysteriousness. It is popularly known as the Island of Love. The locals often tell an ancient legend, according to which, there is just one way to wade to the island. Whoever finds it and reaches the island will be lucky in love. Another legend states that a marvelous castle used to stand here, but, when strangers attacked, it sank under the water. Later an incredibly beautiful lake spread on castle’s place.
The Shatsky lakes offer multitude of varied recreation opportunities. One can go fishing (dozens of fish species, including bass, pike, bream, catfish and even eel, inhabit the lake waters) or gathering mushrooms and berries, which grow in abundance in Volyn forests. One can also go out boating or sailing a yacht on the lake and admire local natural wonders. In addition, there is an opportunity to play paintball or ride horses on the park’s territory.
However, the most interesting way to see the Shatsky National Nature Park’s sights is to go on a guided tour along one of its environmental and educational trails. The most popular ones are the 6-kilometer-long trail ‘Forest Song’ that runs through pine forests between the lakes Peremut and Pesochnoye and the 5,2-kilometer-long trail ‘Svityazanka’ running along the picturesque lake Svityaz.
Along with protected areas, the natural park also has a recreation zone with many sanatoriums and holiday houses, with roads, parking lots and tent camps. Yearly, thousands of Ukrainian and foreign tourists come here to admire the incredible primeval nature, improve their health and just have a great holiday time.
Getting here. The nearest settlement to the lakes is the village Shatsk. The most convenient way to get here is to take a regular route bus and taxi from Kovel or Lutsk. Some buses go directly to the lake Svityaz.