It’s a common stereotype that it’s always freezing cold in Ukraine. Contrary to popular opinion, in summer locals enjoy plentiful hot weather, and take full advantage of the coastline in the south of the country among other delights. Here’s our pick of the best things to see and do when the sun’s shining in Ukraine.
Ukraine can proudly boast two different seas. One of them is the Sea of Azov, which is the shallowest in the world – its depth doesn’t reach beyond 13.5 meters (44 feet). The resorts on this stretch of coast are popular for family holidays, especially those with toddlers. Among the most popular towns and cities are Berdiansk and Kyrylivka, home not only to great opportunities for lazy sunbathing days, but also the best wellness spots in Ukraine. As it is still quite warm in the evenings, staying on the beach from the early morning till evening makes for capturing some incredibly beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Every year, at the end of August, Velyki Sorochyntsi village transforms into a bustling and colourful fair that has been held since the 19th century. After the prominent writer Nikolai Gogol, who was a native of the village of Sorochyntsi, wrote the short story Sorotchintzy Fair, the event has become the most visited in the whole country. Here tourists and locals can buy various handicrafts, modern industrial goods and food. As well as shopping, visitors can take in theatre performances and live concerts among other organised events.
If you plan on visiting Ukraine in summer, it’s a good idea to book your flight directly in to Odessa. This port city with a large number of architectural monuments, restaurants and bars, is also home to great Ukranian hospitality, and the famous Black Sea. The areas around Langeron and Arcadia have lots of well-equipped beach clubs, where visitors can enjoy lunch while sunbathing, or leisurely sip on a cocktail or two before a dip in the sea.
Ukraine’s Odessa can be easily compared to Spain’s Ibiza – the only difference is the prices, which are way lower in Ukraine. Numerous nightclubs are spread all over the city so that you can start from the bars in the city centre and make your way to the coast. Performances from local bands through to famous DJs make it ever-so-easy to dance the night away – stop off at Bono Beach Club or Ibiza Beach Club and you’ll have the best (and the cheapest) party of your entire life.
The Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine are the place to escape from the bustling metropolis – inspiring nature, clean mountain lakes, fresh air and delicious local food is what everyone needs during the summer holidays. You may come to try the numerous wellness and SPA resorts such as VODA club or Voevodyno, or you might opt for just renting a cottage in the valley to have a break away from it all – whatever you choose, there’s so much to see here that the Carpathians simply won’t allow you to get bored.
Ukraine in summer is a perfect destination to explore new hiking trails – warm temperatures mean that staying in a tent or in the open air won’t be a problem. There are many interesting routes to walk here, and beautiful mountain peaks to conquer – in the south of the country, you can take in the hidden gems of the Bug Guard National Park, or discover Ukraine’s version of a sandy desert. Meanwhile, Western Ukraine offers visitors captivating scenery in the Carpathian Alps, not to mention the fairytale Synevir Lake, home to captivating legends and myths.
If you happen to come to Ukraine in the middle of July, head to the Odessa International Film Festival. It is an annual event, which gathers the great and the good to watch the world’s film premieres. The festival also has workshops, as well as swanky parties and a national competition, where young creators share their work. As a quirky aside, the Odessa International Film Festival is famous for the longest red carpet in the world.