- Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve
- Wonders on the Kinburn Spit
- Winery at the Prince Trubetskoy Chateau
- Dzharylhach Island
- Aktove Canyon or Devil's Valley
- Oleshky Sands
- Kherson Mountains
How lucky are we that even within the country, there are so many places to go for a relaxing weekend and have a wonderful time! In every corner of Ukraine, there are dozens of exciting sights, cultural and historical monuments, castles as well as opportunities for a customized vacation (calm or extreme). You can choose either an organized tourist trip or roughing it in a secluded area on your vacation.
Transport in Ukraine is one of the most affordable in the world, and the transportation network is very accessible. You can easily get from one major city to another by train or bus. There are also some domestic flights from our capital to the South. You can get from the administrative center by bus or mini-bus to several resorts and remote villages.
Car tourism is also popular in the country. Despite the mixed quality of the roads, every year, thousands of tourists choose this to travel by car. To cut down expenses, they carpool with others. So, where can you go from Kyiv for a weekend getaway and during what season?
In this article, we have collected a selection of the most impressive places to visit. View picturesque photos, read detailed information and choose a destination for your next trip.
Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve
This unique corner of the South of the country became the winner of the All-Ukrainian competition "Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine." Below are its most impressive features:
- there is no other place with an untouched steppe like this not only in Ukraine, but in also the whole of Europe;
- its ecosystem has more than 500 species of plants and more than 3,000 species of animals (68 are endangered/listed in the Red Book). Despite belonging to different climatic zones, Indian and African antelopes, llamas, saigas, American bison, zebras and other animals have adapted well and live here;
- from mid-spring to July, the steppe changes colors - it is adorned in emerald green, blue, lilac, yellow, silver and other beautiful colors. Indian summer is especially beautiful here.
As part of a weekend trip to Askania-Nova, you have the opportunity to take a guided walking tour around the reserve (botanical garden and zoo).
Wonders on the Kinburn Spit
This place is a favorite for a relaxing vacation among tourists from different regions.
The most interesting objects in this district include:
- mud and salt lakes with deposits of white clay;
- the Yahorlyk Bay and spire of spit - a place where the waters of the Black Sea and the Dnipro-Bug Estuary join;
- Volyzhin forest has an abundance of vegetation, and a variety of grasses and trees, including huge 300-year-old oaks;
- Turkish fortress ruins;
- a monument to the Count Alexander Suvorov;
- the Cossack cross commemorating the first chieftain of the Black Sea Cossacks;
- “Komendantskiy” tract, part of the Ivory Coast of Sviatoslav National Nature Park.
You can take a weekend tour to the Kinburn Spit that includes an informative and leisurely stroll along the lakes and ancient forests towards the Black Sea. Upon arrival at the beach, you will have time for swimming and relaxing under the sun. Cool summer weather is the best time enjoying this kind of tour.
Winery at the Prince Trubetskoy Chateau
Fans of beautiful nature, fascinating stories and exquisite wine should visit the Trubetskiy winery!
A one-day tour offers a rich program. Some of the highlights include:
- see the only steppe waterfall located in Kozatske village;
- take a walk around the only Medieval tower in the Ukrainian steppe;
- tour the wine cellars upon arrival at the Prince Trubetskiy chateau;
- meet with a sommelier to learn more about the wine making process;
- visit the local store to find Kherson regional goods.
Kherson region has a temperate climate. The average temperature in the summer is + 25°С, and in the winter - 2°С. Excursions to the Prince Trubetskiy chateau are held year- round. Some of the local Kherson wines are on par with French and New Zealand varieties.
Grapes are grown in an ecologically clean area and are hand-picked, providing for a high quality, amazing taste.
An organized tour of the island begins with a meeting in Kherson and then a trip to Skadovsk, from where you will be transported to the island.
A short excursion is held at the lighthouse, after which tourists are provided with free time to take photos, explore and relax in the area.
This place has a special energy. The island is famous for its size, diversity of natural assets as well as white sand and sky-blue sea. In addition, tourists enjoy the following:
- explore wildlife areas and stretches of untouched beaches;
- there is no infrastructure - no shops, no hotels, no entertainment centers;
- right from the shore, you can watch dolphins jumping playfully over the water;
- there are local land animals - deer, doe, mouflon, bison;
- Dzharylhach Lighthouse is one of the most important in the Black Sea. Its metal frame and technical equipment were made in Paris. There are many mystical legends and exciting tales about this lighthouse;
- you can take master classes in kayaking on the island.
Aktove Canyon or Devil's Valley
The deep river valley represents a unique phenomenon in the steppes – a one-of-a-kind complex of rocks and granite blocks of various sizes.
Tourists can experience the following:
- swimming in the Mertvovid River;
- experienced climbers can climb up the canyon with the help of rock climbing equipment;
- a lot of places for taking spectacular photos;
- watching wildlife such as hares, pheasants, storks, lizards and finding dozens of rare, endangered plants.
As part of a weekend tour to the Aktove Canyon, you will learn about the formation of a rocky landscape in the steppes of Kherson region. On the way to the big canyon, there are usually two stops near smaller canyons. One can also take a walk through the Devil's Valley.
Oleshky Sands — a bit of Africa in Ukraine
This National Natural Park is the largest desert in Ukraine and Europe.
It covers 200,000 hectares and is surrounded by pines. There are also:
- small vegetation;
- coniferous trees;
- barchans sand dunes that are about 12 metershigh;
- hares, wolves, foxes, pheasants and many species of lizards.
This site looks different, depending on the time of year, but it is always beautiful. A favorite among tourists, it is rarely visited in the wintertime. ATV rides on the dunes are a popular activity here.
Tourists note that this place has strong energy. Upon returning home, many report feeling a surge of vigour and vitality. Fresh air and coniferous trees can be very invigorating.
A walking tour to Oleshky Sands includes a guided excursion complete with stories about the formation of this place and its features.
If you still haven’t decided yet where to go from Kyiv for the weekend, then Kherson Mountains will definitely impress you! This is the most romantic place in the South that combines the beauty of the sea, steppe and mountains.
The weekend tour begins with meeting your guide, and then a bus ride through many charming villages to the designated place in the Kherson Mountains.
During the trip, you will hear many legends and stories about the area. Upon arrival, there will be enough time to walk along the estuary and enjoy the salty smell of the wind that blows from the sea, along with the aromas of steppe herbs. Then, having gathered as a group, the time will come to see the enchanting sunset and make your wishes. The guide will explain why the power of thought is especially strong here and why this place makes all people happy.