Ukraine's 5 best nature reserves: which ones can be visited now
Travelling in Ukraine is a great opportunity to discover the beauty and diversity of our country. We have everything for a great outdoor holiday: The Carpathian Mountains, many lakes and rivers, and the beautiful coastline of the Black and Azov Seas. Although it is not possible to travel everywhere nowadays, there are still many places you may not have even heard of. Among them are nature reserves, which we will talk about.
In the highlands of the Dovbushansky massif, among the Carpathian peaks, there is one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Ukraine - the Gorgany. It is famous for its beech forests, amazing views and hiking trails leading to the Dovbushanka and Vedmezhyk rocks.
By the way, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And there is nothing surprising here, because this region has managed to preserve pristine nature. This is how it was here a hundred, two hundred or even more years ago.
Getting to Gorgany is not easy. There are a lot of steep cliffs and long ridges that are inaccessible to unprepared tourists. However, nowadays there are many guides who are ready to lead you along local trails and show you the beauty of the reserve.
You can admire not only the mountains here. About 30 rushing rivers originate in the area. And the local forests are a topic for a separate conversation.
Roztochia Nature Reserve
Another mountain reserve in western Ukraine. It surprises tourists with its many forms of relief. Here you will see sharp rocks, rivers, ponds, and valleys. And how many animals are there... On the territory of the reserve, you can meet foxes, ermines, deer, snakes, yellow-headed kings and black storks. And if you decide to walk to the most popular location there - Mount Sharp Hill - you will be able to appreciate the local scenery.
Dozens of streams and rivers originate from Roztochia, as well as from the Gorgany, and flow into the major waterways of our country, including the Bug, Dniester and Black Sea.
It should be noted that the reserve is located on the territory of three regions at once - the Carpathians, Podillia and Polissia. So it's hard to imagine its size and diversity of flora and fauna.
We recommend going to Roztochia early in the morning to have time to visit at least a small part of this beautiful area during the day. You should definitely prepare well for the hike and, if necessary, arrange for a guide in advance. With guides, this trip can become much more interesting, because they know how to surprise tourists.
Unfortunately, this reserve is currently inaccessible to tourists, but it is worth knowing about its existence. Askania Nova is located on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. By the way, it is included in the "100 Great Nature Reserves and Parks" of the world. And for good reason, because the local steppes are home to thousands of animals and birds.
It is here that you can see African buffaloes, zebras, impalas, Scottish ponies, Indian antelopes... The list goes on for hours. But all of this is pointless, because this territory is temporarily occupied by Russian troops, so the state of the reserve is unknown.
In early 2023, the administration of Askania Nova reported that it no longer had access to information on how the animals are kept, whether they receive proper care and whether they have good living conditions. The occupation authorities seized this protected area without having the will or knowledge to protect it from destruction.
If you are planning a holiday in the Ternopil region, be sure to visit the unique Medobory protected area. The name of this area comes from the honey plants that fill the valley. So if you are not too fond of bees, be careful - there are a lot of them here in summer.
But don't cancel your trip just because of this. Medobory is a picturesque location that was formed on the site of the remains of an ancient barrier reef. According to geologists, it is about 25 million years old.
By the way, in the X-XIII centuries, this territory was home to one of the last centres of paganism in Kyivan Rus - the Zbruch cult centre, as evidenced by archaeological finds. And there are many natural objects here. The lakes in the form of funnels, which are not covered with ice even in winter, are worthy of note.
People come to Medobory not only to enjoy the beauty of the reserve, but also for the sake of recovery. Here, on the banks of the Zbruch River, there is the Glycerin Water spring, which is famous for its healing properties.
Polissia Nature Reserve
Another reserve that is currently practically inaccessible to visitors. The reason is that it forms an unmarked border with Belarus. This means that it is a closed area guarded by the military.
Nevertheless, this place is worth your attention, because here, in the northern corner of the Zhytomyr region, you can see a unique nature that is found nowhere else in Ukraine. Just for your understanding: the reserve is located between the Ubortia and Bolotnytsia rivers. Almost all of its territory is covered with pine forests, picturesque lakes and dozens of streams.
By the way, there is a log cabin in the Polissia Reserve where you can stay overnight and taste colourful pot roast dishes. So when the situation in the region becomes safer, visit this wonderful place.
Travelling around our country, get to know it, but be careful. Follow the official statements of the authorities and do not go to regions where the level of danger is high.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you about the incredible nature reserves of different countries.