The picturesque Dniester Canyon, stretching over three regions of the Western Ukraine, is rightly called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine. Being 250-kilometer-long, it is one of the longest ravines in Europe. The Dniester Canyon impresses not only with its immensity, but also with breathtaking natural beauties: fantastic landscapes, rocky cliffs, overgrown with deciduous forests, numerous caves and grottoes, peculiar islands and waterfalls.
The Dniester Canyon is a picturesque area of the Dniester River Valley, which is located between the mouth of Zolota Lypa River and the mouth of Zbruch River. Framed with steep slopes hanging over it, the Dniester River makes peculiar twists in this place and creates multitude of fantastic curves. Its width in the valley is 100 – 200 meters. The long wall of cliffs, stretching along the left bank of the river, features unique natural formations: about 500-million-year-old fossilized remains of flora and fauna and ancient deposits of rocks. Some cliffs resemble cheese, due to large number of mysterious caves and grottos, piercing them. According to legend, pagan altars were placed there in ancient times, and later hermit monks lived in them.
Amazingly beautiful waterfalls make the Dniester Canyon inimitably charming. They are mountain streams, falling down into the river. Due to resemblance with bitter tears, the numerous droplets of water rushing down the moss-grown banks are often called ‘maidenly tears.’ In the vicinity of the Dniester Canyon – not far from the river – the 16-meter-high Dzhurin Waterfall is situated. It is Ukraine’s largest plain waterfall, near which one can see the ruins of a water mill that once stood on this place.
Its unique natural conditions provide the canyon with special and unusually warm for this area climate. And therefore, it is nicknamed as Galych subtropics. The stone walls lining along the Dniester River banks can halt sun heat, there is almost no rainfall in summer, and nature wakes up a few weeks earlier than in the rest of the western region in spring. Thus, it is not surprising that many species of animals, birds and fish, including rare ones, listed in the Red Book, chose this paradisiacal area as their habitat.
Natural riches are not the only attractions of the Dniester Canyon, though. The area, adjacent to the valley, houses an impressive number of amazing historical, cultural and architectural monuments. One can find antique temples and remnants of medieval palaces and fortresses in the villages, stretching along the Dniester River cliffs.
You can discover the canyon on a walking tour along its picturesque banks or on a trip down the Dniester River on a boat or catamaran. People who are fond of extreme recreation often organize white water rafting there.
Getting here. It is better to reach the canyon from Ternopil or Ivano-Frankivsk. You need to drive to any of the villages, located in close proximity to the Dniester River Valley (Mikhalche, Nyrkov, Beremyany, Khmelev and others).