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Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

Albina PanchenkoNews
How Khmelnytskyi region is similar to Ireland

Ireland, a picturesque country bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is considered a model of combining environmental care with active tourism. No wonder its territory is called "emerald". The fact is that the temperate oceanic climate, humidity, mild winters, and the philosophy of the inhabitants preserve the beauty of the area. It is covered with greenery all year round, hence the name comes.

However, we have our own corner, very similar to the landscapes of an overseas region, Bakota Bay. It is located in the Khmelnytskyi region, just 50 km from Kamianets-Podilskyi. It is part of the Podilski Tovtry National Nature Park. The latter, in turn, is included in the list of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine.

Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

History

Bakota is commonly perceived as a traveling location. But some people don't realize that it once was a cozy village instead of a reservoir. Life was bustling, people made plans and were happy to live in such a beautiful place. However, in the 70s of the last century, they were told that the area would soon be flooded for the Novodnistrovska hydroelectric power station. They were given 8 years to prepare. In 1981, the Dniester River rose and eventually destroyed the once-picturesque settlement.

Today, the bay covers an area of 1590 hectares. By the way, it's the size of two Zhovkva towns. Thanks to its rocky shores, it has a warm, mild microclimate, which is often compared to Yalta. It is interesting that Bakota is not on the map, but it is among the top most popular tourist destinations among Ukrainians every year.

Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

What to do in Bakota

First and foremost, enjoy yourself. You can stay nearby in your own tent or in a well-equipped campsite with all the amenities. Of course, not everyone likes spending the night outdoors, so there will be no problems with hotels either.

Perch, pike, zander, roach, bream, carp and other freshwater fish are perfectly caught on the Dniester. A paradise for fishermen. In addition, you will definitely be offered a boat trip, kayak, catamaran, or boat to explore the area even better. You can see the bay from above from the rock monastery. This is the only ancient site that remained after the flooding.

Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

Hiking routes

There are two official routes: the smaller one is 8 kilometers long and the larger one is 24 kilometers long (it takes about 7-8 hours). A detailed map can be found right next to the main viewpoint of Bakota.

Rock-cave monastery

Historians suggest that a pagan temple existed on this site in pre-Christian times. Scientists add that in the XII-XIII centuries, a cave monastery was founded in the thickness of the 120-meter-high White Mountain. Unfortunately, it was repeatedly destroyed. Previously, one could see many abandoned cells, tombs, and chapels with ancient frescoes. However, in 1996, there was a massive collapse that destroyed almost everything. The modern sanctuary consists of three caves and a niche that can be explored independently.

There are healing springs just below the stone temple where you can take water. Whether it really has healing properties is an open question. But those who have drunk it say it is very tasty. You will also find an observation deck called "White Mountain" above the church. You can see Bakota as if in the palm of your hand from there.

Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

Kurnyk Rock

In fact, its shape resembles a human head, so the mountain has a second name, Stone Head. One can only guess where the comparison with a building for birds (Kurnyk) came from. However, let's leave these details aside because the main thing is that it also offers a beautiful view of the Dniester.

Piece of Ireland in Ukraine: how Khmelnytskyi region resembles Emerald Isle

Diving and flyboarding

Lovers of the underwater world will be delighted. You can see reefs with nests of river crayfish or colonies of mollusks in the water column. Bizarre algae also resemble mythical creatures.

The second entertainment is suitable for tourists who love something new. People can't fly, but it's quite possible to do it with a flyboard. Those who take the risk will feel like a bird. They will release emotional tension, get a shot of adrenaline, and see Bakota from a different perspective.

Getting there

You can get to the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi and take a minibus from there. It takes 5-6 hours to get there by car from Kyiv, and about 6 hours from Lviv. You can build a route through Svirzh, Berezhany, Terebovlia, and Kamianets-Podilskyi, visiting several castles along the way.

Please note: don't confuse Bakota with the village of Bakoty in the Ternopil region. Sometimes travelers spoil their vacation because of their own inattention.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL shared where to relax in Ukraine with children.

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