The natural landscapes in Ukraine are beautiful and rich in any season, but the winter season gives them a special charm. The tops of the Carpathians are covered with snow, smoke billows from the chimneys of local houses, and the usually familiar-looking architecture takes on a fabulous glow. There’s no point arguing, the beautiful places below look even better in winter.
Sviatohirsk Lavra, Sviatohirsk
Sviatohirsk Lavra is one of the most beautiful and sacred cathedrals in Ukraine. It is an Orthodox monastery in the east of Ukraine, located on the chalk banks of the Seversky Donets River. The first monks settled in the Sviatohirsk Lavra in the 15th century. Now, every single day, hundreds of pilgrims who come to the monastery are fed free of charge and, if possible, are provided with a place to stay overnight.
Sviatohirsk Lavra, Zarichna St, 3, Svyatohirs’k, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, +380 62 625 3024
Khotyn Fortress, Khotyn
Those travelers who would like to get more closely acquainted with the history of Ukraine should definitely come to see the Khotyn Fortress. Its construction took almost 100 years, from 1250 till 1340, and it survived numerous battles, fierce wars, and uprisings. The castle consists of four towers, a palace, officers’ barracks, and a church and represents a great embodiment of Ukraine’s medieval defense architecture.
Khotyn, Chernivets’ka oblast, Ukraine, +380 37 312 29 32
Hryshko National Botanical Garden, Kiev
Sprinkled with snow, the spruce treetops look incredibly peaceful and romantic in winter. If you ask where to go for a walk in Kiev, consider this option first. Here you can ride on sleds, take photos, or just admire the incredible nature and marvel at the beautiful landscape of the Kiev’s Left Bank. In addition to the rich flora, the Holy Trinity Monastery also attracts many visitors. Being located on the territory of the garden, it boasts a series of murals from the 19th century.
The Carpathian Mountains
The most popular destination for locals and travelers in Ukraine during winter is the Carpathians. Everyone will find an activity here: one can go skiing, snowboarding, or hiking. Creative people will have the opportunity to capture fabulous landscapes. Others can just enjoy themselves and watch the snow falling from the window of their cosy chalet. The Carpathian Mountains welcome thousands of tourists each year and offer a huge number of winter resorts for every taste and budget.
The city of Lviv in Western Ukraine is incredible in any season. The historical buildings, cathedrals, and modern venues make it one of a kind. Lviv should be your next stop for sure, especially if you are a fan of a Christmas atmosphere, snowy cobblestone streets, and liters of mulled wine. Moreover, in December, the center of the city turns into a festive market, with striking decorations, illuminations, food and souvenir stalls, and concerts and performances, running round the clock.
Wondering where to go skiing in Ukraine? Bukovel is definitely the answer. It is a chic resort with the best slopes, amazing nature, cosy hotels, numerous restaurants with both traditional Ukrainian and European cuisine and, of course, wellness and spa centers. You can also find such winter activities as skating, sledding, or even quadrocycling. For sure, in the summer the green glades and forests around Bukovel delight tourists, but the truly magical ambience can be spotted solely during the wintertime.
While the western part of Ukraine is known for the Carpathians and the south is famous for its seascapes, the heart of Ukraine should be visited because of its picturesque fields and dense forests. The Poltava region (oblast in Ukrainian) includes a number of natural and cultural reserves. It is a perfect and well-developed destination for green tourism. Being located on the Dnieper, Vorskla, and Psel Rivers, one can go fishing or hiking, as well as exploring the terrain in depth. Frost-covered tree branches and frozen river banks are an unforgettable sight.