The Best Beaches in Ukraine

Zatoka is jam-packed with things to do
Zatoka is jam-packed with things to do | © Cavan Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Suzy Pope

While Ukraine may not be your first thought when it comes to a beach holiday, the country’s coastline has plenty of long sandy beaches to rival the south of Spain.

Spits of soft sand stretch out into the Black Sea and the warm shallows of the Azov Sea are perfect for paddling. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider Ukraine as a beach break destination, and these are the best beaches to start your visit with.

1. Odessa

Natural Feature

Enjoying a position in a sheltered sandy bay on the Black Sea, Odessa has long been a popular beach holiday spot for Ukrainians. It’s a small, cultural enclave of literature and music where leafy boulevards house Baroque opera houses. In summer, folk flock to Lanzheron beach – which is as white-sanded as any beach in Ibiza. Following the sealine along the coast, there are concrete beaches, rocky outcrops and boardwalks where people spend the day fishing, barbecuing and lazing in the sun.

2. Koblevo

Natural Feature

Koblevo, Ukraine - 10.11. 2019. Deserted autumn beach at the Black Sea resort in the village of Koblevo, Ukraine
© Multipedia / Alamy Stock Photo

Koblevo, on the Mykolaiv coast of the Black Sea, is a place of restoration and relaxation. The steppe herbs that scatter the hillside down to the sea are said to have healing properties – and there’s the undeniable pull of the wide, sandy beaches for a restorative stroll. Kobleve Beach has bone-white sand dotted with loungers and laid-back beach clubs, along with a wooden pier jutting into the azure sea – and during the summer, a huge inflatable slide provides a little adrenaline rush.

3. Berdyansk

Natural Feature

Berdyansk, Ukraine - August 31, 2016: City beach with vacationers
© Dmytro Bartosh / Alamy Stock Photo

The port city of Berdyansk is blessed with a spit of soft sand, stretching out into the Azov Sea. Known as the “shallowest sea in the world”, the waters of the Azov Sea are easily warmed by the sun, creating perfect swimming and floating conditions. There’s a bit of buzz to this resort town as the sea mud is said to have healing properties and mineral springs pull in the crowds for a spa-style break.

4. Kyrylivka

Natural Feature

This long, sandy spit is crowned with a water and amusement park, ideal for a family day at the beach. Fringing the shallow Azov Sea, the water is usually warm and sheltered enough for swimming and paddling. Hotels and guesthouses line the sand, creating a resort atmosphere and ensuring a healthy selection of places to eat, drink and shop.

5. Skadovsk

Natural Feature

Embankment of the city of Skadovsk. Is the childrens resort and port city on the Black Sea, Ukraine
© dero2084 / Alamy Stock Photo

The port town of Skadovsk has a couple of sandy platforms that slip into the shallows of the Black Sea. Families head here for days of ice cream and inflatable fun at the beach, courtesy of the slippery obstacle course at Bryhantyna. A handful of casual beach-side eateries fuel the day and boat trips run from the pier to the nature reserve of Dzharylhach Island.

6. Dzharylhach

Natural Feature

Coast of Dzharylhach island it the Black Sea, Ukraine. Two lighthouses far away
© dero2084 / Alamy Stock Photo

Dzharylhach Island is a beach destination in itself, where a long spit of sand and marshland sits beneath Ukraine’s south coast. The water here is ethereally turquoise and the sand is white as sugar. There’s no accommodation on the island, but boats run from Skadovsk – and you can camp on the beach while enjoying a couple of canteen-style restaurants. The island is a nature reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife and, if you’re lucky, you might spot some dolphins off the shore.

7. Zatoka

Natural Feature

This long, sandbar of a beach is jam-packed with things to do – banana boats zip through the water and parasailors soar on high. The sand is dotted with parasols and loungers and the shore slips gently into the Black Sea for a kid-friendly place to paddle. There’s an aquapark with twisting slides and pools for all ages and several water sports centres cater to every interest. In summer, this place gets busy and it’s easy to see why.

8. Chornomorsk

Natural Feature

Chernomorsk, Ukraine 08.22.2020. Panoramic view of the Public beach in Chernomorsk city on a sunny summer morning
© Multipedia / Alamy Stock Photo

The Central City Beach in Chornomorsk is a popular spot for weekends away and can get very busy in summer. But, following the concrete walkway along the shore, you’ll find several sandy bays which are blissfully quiet, even in peak season – that’s if you don’t mind a bit of a walk. Along the coast from the city, Wild Beach is hemmed in by cliffs where golden sand meets the Black Sea and further along, Plyazh Sanzhiyka is an almost deserted stretch of sand with turquoise shallows.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Maria Sibirtseva.

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