Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, and thus it has many delightful things to offer travellers. Its cultural heritage is majestic and ancient, not to mention the richness and diversity of the local cuisine, as well as the uniqueness of Ukrainian traditions and customs. If you are still wondering about Ukraine, here are eight reasons why you should visit.
One of the main reasons to come to Ukraine is to see its nature. The expansive fields, deep lakes and dense forests won’t leave you indifferent. There are 20 natural reserves that will introduce you the Ukrainian wonders. You will definitely be amazed by the 2,061-meter-high (6,761 feet) peak of the Hoverla Mountain in the Carpathians. The untouched-by-man Askania Nova Park, with more than 800 animal species, or the sunsets at the two seas (the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea) will impress you with an unprecedented purity of nature.
Ukraine is a country that still profoundly honours century-old traditions. Thus, it is impossible to get away from them when visiting the country. In the summer, you can partake in Ivana Kupala (the summer solstice celebration) and jump over the bonfire. In the winter, you can enjoy pancake week, Maslenitsa, and rejoice the peculiar rite of plunging into an ice hole on January 19 – the day of the Christianization of Kiev Rus back in 988.
It would be silly to deny that not every single city in Ukraine is ancient and beautiful. However, the most visited ones are definitely gems of the world’s architecture. Many castles and cathedrals have been constructed in Ukraine, and there are three large and amazing complexes called Lavra: Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Pochayiv Lavra and Sviatohirsk Lavra. There are a dozen splendid castles, thousands of miles of cobbled streets and hundreds of historically important monuments. You won’t believe it until you see it.
Traveling to Ukraine with your beloved one, don’t miss a chance for a special night out. The picturesque sights and the posh but affordable venues of Ukraine contribute to a romantic atmosphere. There are also spots where couples can make wishes. The Park Bridge in Kiev has seen a lot of weddings and pledges, according to the number of locks on its fence. Meanwhile, the Tunnel of Love in Klevan (western Ukraine) is often visited because of the legend that a kiss under this green arch will make a couple live a long and happy life together.
Ukrainian cuisine has been shaped by the influence of many neighbouring cultures, as well as by the richness of the local harvest. Every single dish consists of an interesting combination of ingredients that together create an exceptional taste. It is not a secret that borscht is cooked from at least 15 different vegetables. The only dish in Ukrainian cuisine that can be found on its own is salo (pork fat), even though Ukrainians have thought of incredibly quirky ways to serve salo, like with chocolate. Exotic but tasty!
Those who prefer to hike with the breathtaking views should come to Ukraine and experience local hiking trails. A lot of them pass through the territories of nature parks and biospheric reserves, thus making you trip marvellous and thought-provoking. Among the most popular trails are Oleshky Sands (the Ukrainian desert), the Marmarosh Massif and Chornohora in the Carpathians, as well as the banks of the Southern Bug River, namely, Aktove Canyon and Myhiya village.
You have most certainly already heard about how developed the drinking culture is in Ukraine. This is due to the fact that since ancient times, locals have been inventing manifold recipes of alcoholic beverages – medovukha (vodka infused with honey), horilka (a solution of water and purified alcohol), spotykach (vodka infused with berries and spices) and many others. Accordingly, coming to Ukraine and tasting traditional drinks with locals is a binding component of any trip.
Ukraine is among those countries where the traditional clothing has become popular worldwide. Special attention should be paid to the magnificent floral wreath, made both of artificial and live flowers. The Ukrainian vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt) is also of interest. For instance, the dresses and shirts of local designer Vita Kin are handmade and, thus, truly unique. Besides, every single embroidered pattern has a particular symbolism.