A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Vic_IV

A Land of Golden Wheat

Some info to begin with

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Kharkiv railway station square

Kharkiv railway station square

The name Ukraine appeared first in the chronicles of 1187. The name itself means settled virgin land. The Ukrainians were the people who "ukrayaly", that is, took plots of virgin land and settled them.
Ukraine is known for its hospitable people, its magnificent architectural and cultural heritage and kilometers of gently rolling steppe.
The Ukrainian capital, the regional centers and other big cities have a lot to offer a foreign traveler: a stay at good hotels, visits to wonderful museums, theaters and other places of interest. Outside the cities, there are many villages surrounded by beautiful landscapes consisting mainly of plains.

Ivano-Frankivsk shopping street

Ivano-Frankivsk shopping street


Only 5% of the territory of the republic is mountainous. The highest elevation in Ukraine occurs in the Carpathian Mountain range in the southwest of the country. Greatly beloved by the Ukrainian people, the Carpathians are extremely picturesque. The highest peak in the Ukrainian Carpathians is Mount Hoverla that reaches the elevation of 2,061 meters (6,762 feet). Another region where the elevations rise over 600 m (1,900 ft) is the Crimean Mountains in the south of the Crimean peninsula.
There are thousands of big and small rivers and streams (they say there are 22,400 of them overall), hundreds of lakes and ponds. The biggest of the Ukrainian rivers is the Dnipro, the third largest river in Europe, that runs almost through the middle of Ukraine and divides the country into two parts: Left-bank and Right-bank territories. Most of the streams, tributaries and rivers empty into the few main rivers and flow southward into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Olympic Underground Station in Kyiv

Olympic Underground Station in Kyiv


The territory of Ukraine stretches for 900 km (560 miles) from the north to the south and for 1,316 km (818 miles) from the west to the east. Ukraine is famous for its mild climate with summer temperature of more than 30 degrees centigrade and winter temperature seldom falling below 20 degrees frost.
The climate is alpine in the Carpathians, whereas it is similar to that of the Mediterranean along the coast of Crimea.
One of the well-known aspects of the Ukrainian art is that of church architecture. Some of the churches erected in the 17th and 18th centuries represent the unique style known as Cossack Baroque which shows how Ukrainian artists asserted their originality and dedication to their native traditions. Many Ukrainian churches and cathedrals are adorned with splendid murals and mosaics, which are especially admired today.

Church architecture in Ukraine

Church architecture in Ukraine

Since the introduction of Byzantine Christianity in 988 most Ukrainians have belonged to the Orthodox Church. In 1596, the Ukrainian Catholic Church was formed. A number of Ukrainian bishops faithfully joined in a union with Rome while retaining their traditional Eastern rituals. Like the Orthodox clergy, the Ukrainian Catholic clergymen were allowed to marry. Lots of old churches and cathedrals have been restored or replicas constructed and dozens of new churches have been built all over Ukraine. More and more people come to churches, especially on Christian holidays.

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Ukraine possesses the world's most fertile soil known as black earth. The country has often been called "A Land of Golden Wheat” and “A Land of White Gold” (that is, sugar). Ukraine has rich flora and fauna. Different kinds of trees are represented in the forests and steppe regions of the country: oak, birch, pine-tree, ash-tree, linden, poplar, maple, willow-tree and many others. Snowball tree is considered to be an ancient symbol of Ukraine. Mallow is another old symbol of the Ukrainian countryside. Did you know that the sunflower was one of the symbols of Ukraine? The country has always been famous for its huge sunflower oil production. The Ukrainian fauna includes foxes, hares, elks, roe deer and other wild animals. Plenty of birds can be seen and heard in Ukraine: swans, seagulls, pheasants, larks and, of course, nightingales that brought fame to Ukraine.

Traditional country house bedroom

Traditional country house bedroom

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Representatives of about 120 nationalities live in Ukraine. The pride of Ukraine is its people: hard working and full of courage, persistence and keenness. The Ukrainian people have inherited a legacy of folk customs, rituals and rites for every occasion and time of the year. These customs and rites have traces of medieval and pre-Christian influences, which make them especially attractive and memorable.

Exploring Sophia Square, Kyiv

Exploring Sophia Square, Kyiv

Ukraine has five cities with the population over a million inhabitants: Kiev, Dnipro, Donetsk (now in the NGCA - non-government-controlled area), Kharkiv and Odessa. The Ukrainian capital and the regional centers are cities of museums and theaters having a lot of other attractions, among them centuries-old cathedrals adorned with exquisite mosaics, murals and ancient icons. There is an interesting "classification" of Ukraine's areas:

In the main street of Kyiv

In the main street of Kyiv

  • Lviv is the Soul of Ukraine,
  • Uzhhorod is the Passion of Ukraine,
  • Lutsk is the Fortress of Ukraine,
  • Vynnytsia is the Nature of Ukraine,
  • Ternopil is the Traditions of Ukraine,
  • Khmelnitsky is the Valor of Ukraine,
  • Zhytomyr is the Memory of Ukraine,
  • Chernihiv is the History of Ukraine,
  • Dnipro is the Power of Ukraine,
  • Poltava is the Glory of Ukraine,
  • Kiev is the Capital of Ukraine,
  • Luhansk is the Labor of Ukraine,
  • Kirovohrad is the Art of Ukraine,
  • Crimea is the Pleasure of Ukraine,
  • Mykolayiv is the Mystery of Ukraine,
  • Zaporizhia is the Cossacks of Ukraine,
  • Donetsk is the Sport of Ukraine,
  • Cherkassy is the Center of Ukraine,
  • Rivne is the Treasure of Ukraine,
  • Odessa is the Humor of Ukraine,
  • Ivano-Frankivsk is the Beauty of Ukraine,
  • Chernivtsi is the Melody of Ukraine,
  • Kherson is the Sun of Ukraine,
  • Kharkiv is the Mind of Ukraine,
  • Sumy is the Spirituality of Ukraine.

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The historic struggle of the Ukrainian Cossacks is known all over the world. The word "Cossack" means "a free warrior". Cossacks were adventurous freedom-loving serfs who had fled their masters and banded together in Southern Ukrainian steppes and on the islands of the Dnipro and undertook the defense of the Ukrainian people. They lived in strict military brotherhood in their permanent fortress called Zaporizhya Sich, which was described by scientists as the first Christian republic. The Ukrainian language is an independent Slavic language. Although all Slavic languages have much in common, they are just as distinct from each other as, say, German is from Swedish or Dutch. They say the Ukrainian language is the world's second melodic language after Italian. Ukraine is also famous for its unique songs and melodies.

The Ukrainian music has always been an essential part of the Ukrainian folk culture. Ukrainians have songs for every occasion and will break into song at the slightest opportunity. Today numerous professional and amateur folk dance groups and choirs popularize Ukrainian folk dancing and singing.

Folk handicraft arts in Ukraine are especially well developed, varied and colorful. Visitors of Ukraine usually take home lots of souvenirs: the famous Ukrainian decorated Easter eggs, ceramics, embroidery and weaving, wood carvings, inlays and other specimens of decorative arts. Ukrainians especially love to embroider and use embroidery not only in the native dress, but also in adorning other clothing, pillowcases, tablecloths, curtains and altar cloths. The designs are done in bright-colored thread, often with colors of red and black predominating.

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Kiev, the capital of Ukraine situated on the banks of the Dnipro, has a spacious open-air museum of folk architecture located on its outskirts, a cave monastery called "Laura" and other religious shrines. He who visited Kiev once will never forget its picturesque hills, splendid architectural monuments, shadowy streets and hospitable people. You have to be a poet to be able to describe everything you have seen in Kiev.

Back to the hotel by bus in Kyiv

Back to the hotel by bus in Kyiv

Sophia Cathedral Kyiv

Sophia Cathedral Kyiv

Each city has a growing number of cafes and restaurants where you can order different exquisite dishes to your taste. You can find Greek, Chinese, Mexican, Italian and other restaurants and cafes. You can also listen to unique folk instruments and modern pop-groups. Therefore, the visit to this country can offer you a lot and I do hope the things you will find here will all be attractive, relaxing and inspiring.

Attending the meetings of the East-Ukrainian English Club at Shevchenko National University in Luhansk I met some Americans who lived and worked in Luhansk either as Peace Corps volunteers or as businesspersons. This is what they told us about their impressions:

  • "Ukrainians are the most hospitable and unselfish people..."
  • "I belong here in Ukraine."
  • "To be honest with you, Ukraine has taught me to have patience. Life will go on after a cold shower..."
  • "I do love Ukraine because of the nice friends I've met here"...
  • "I'll remember the good hearts of the people"...
  • "I believe in the future of Ukraine"...

Let's Go Europe'1999

Let's Go Europe'1999

During my internship in the United States, I browsed the stores in the main street of Madison, WI, and came across a travel book “Let’s Go Europe -1999” in a bookstore.
I got interested in it and started reading the "1999 Thoughts about Ukraine" in that book.
I could not help laughing, although the things I read about Ukraine were all negative.
They were all in the cold war spirit of alienation, which was not fair any more.
I gather the author had a bad experience here, hence such a ruthless travel article.
Here is a quote from that book,
“There is nothing quaint or pretty about a nation in as deep as crisis as Ukraine’s...
There are treasures here, but you’ll have to find them yourself because Ukraine, with enough troubles of its own, isn’t inclined to play host.”

“Let’s go Europe-1999”, 976 pages,
Publisher: Let's Go Publications;
1st edition, December 1, 1998;
ISBN-10: 0312194811; ISBN-13: 978-0312194819.
I do hope the 2016 edition of that travel book radiates a more positive and unbiased attitude.
Thank goodness now we have such a powerful travel information resource as the Internet!
Also, please take a look at:
incredible photographs.
Here is a great Vimeo video about Ukraine:
Ukraine
Have a pleasant stay in Ukraine, fellow travellers!

Posted by Vic_IV 04:03 Archived in Ukraine Comments (1)

The Ukrainian Baden-Baden

A nice resort in the Sub-Carpathian area

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Using the staircase to the central square

Using the staircase to the central square

A vacation in Truskavets gives you lots of great opportunities:
1. Visiting historical places;
2. Taking a breath of crystal clear air;
3. Enjoying the delicious cuisine of the Carpathians, above all, homemade sausage, fish soup with mushrooms, small Hutsul cabbage meat rolls, local sheep cheese. All dishes are cooked from ecologically pure products, spring water, so the taste is different and very special.
4. Staying at modern tourist complexes, which allow to combine a comfortable stay with treatment. Each of the spas has its own things to attracts a vacationer. However, there are also many new hotels, villas, where you can feel at home. In addition to staying at a hotel, you can get a treatment package at one of the spas of Truskavets.

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The Roman Catholic church

The Roman Catholic church

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Truskavets is a city located about sixty miles to the south of Lviv. It was known as a salt mining city for hundreds of years. According to the legend, the city name originated from a Lithuanian word “druska” – salt. The city name appeared when state relations between the Principality of Galicia and Volhynia, or Kingdom of Ruthenia, and the Great Duchy of Lithuania flourished in the 12th – 14th centuries and the modern city area belonged to that medieval state since 1349.

Feeding pigeons in the spa square

Feeding pigeons in the spa square


Victor Hotel, Truskavets

Victor Hotel, Truskavets

The city museum

The city museum

The Resort Park, Truskavets

The Resort Park, Truskavets


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In the first half of the 19th century, a mineral spring was rediscovered here. Villagers had used the spring for a long time as a source of healing water. The hear 1827 is considered to be the inauguration of the spa in this area. The water of Truskavets underwent thorough analyses, and its healing properties were confirmed. The flow of visitors to the new spa started in the sixties of the 19th century. New mansions sprang up all over the city to accommodate the arriving vacationers. Those old style mansions still adorn the city streets creating a unique aura of the spa. I was privileged to stay at one of them – Villa Victoria Hotel that dates back to 1843.

Resort Park

Resort Park

The health resort of Truskavets occupies a ravine surrounded with picturesque hills.The local population comprises about 30,000 residents. Over half of million health resort visitors stay at the city sanatoriums and spa hotels every year. Many of the sanatoriums belong to the Soviet legacy: Batkivshchyna, Vesna, Shakhtar and others. They are huge multi-storeyed buildings that were previously run by Soviet trade-unions.

Gigantic Soviet-time spas

Gigantic Soviet-time spas

Old Soviet spas

Old Soviet spas

Some of those gigantic sanatoriums are closed now and will soon be demolished as worn-out buildings beyond repair. They will be replaced by ultra-modern medium sized holiday homes and villas. Live and see.

Abandoned construction site

Abandoned construction site

What we saw there were several ruins – rusty and disintegrating Soviet era buildings as well as brave newly built unfinished projects that were conserved and wait for further investments. Brother Klytchko’s spa hotel is one of these ambitious uncompleted projects, as our fiacre driver explained to us. It has been a construction site for years, and the construction seems to continue slowly, resuming now and then stopping, evidently in need of larger investments.

Truskavets staircase

Truskavets staircase

Villa Kalyna, Truskavets

Villa Kalyna, Truskavets

Truskavets

Truskavets

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Truskavets is a spa resort of Ukraine that received a worldwide fame. The city is located in the foothills of the Eastern Carpathians about 350 m above sea level.

Our friends stayed at Svitiaz Hotel in Truskavets

Our friends stayed at Svitiaz Hotel in Truskavets


The main road in Truskavets

The main road in Truskavets

The Cossacks Tavern Restaurant, Truskavest

The Cossacks Tavern Restaurant, Truskavest

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The resort was laid in the 18th century. In the early 20th century, Truskavets became popular in Europe as a wellness center. About 900,000 tourists not only from Ukraine, but also from CIS countries and from the EU arrive to Truskavets for a pleasant and unforgettable holiday. In Ukraine, the city of Truskavets city takes the leading position in the ranking of "Best Cities for Life".

Fiacres of Truskavets

Fiacres of Truskavets


Need a fiacre ride?

Need a fiacre ride?

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Truskavets is a small, but very attractive green city with clean air of the Carpathians, located in the middle of the gentle wooded slopes and rivers. The warm, temperate continental climate of the resort, the air rich in oxygen and ozone, curative mineral waters makes the city a suitable and indispensable for rest and medical treatment. You can always have a place to stay here - dozens of spas, hotels, luxury villas - something for every taste and income level. Different spas offer a variety of original wellness techniques. If you wish to stay at economy class spas, you have to reserve a room at the following spas of Truskavets: Diamond, Crystal, Spring, Arcade.

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At a Soviet-time spa

At a Soviet-time spa

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There are popular spas such as Dnipro, Beskid, Southern. There are spas that offer their own powerful medical facilities, such as: Moldova, Karpaty, Shakhtar, Pearl of the Carpathians, Crystal Palace, Victor. New spas have already gained popularity, among them such spas as: Rixos, Geneva, Chalet Grail, Mirotel, Forest Song. These spas offer new medical equipment and lots of places for entertainment.

Visitors can relax in the spa complex, watch new movies at movie theaters, go to a disco, go bowling, play billiards or go shopping to brand new shopping malls. Many people call Truskavets a democratic resort where you can see and feel cheerful and colorful life in the streets, admire many talents in singing, dancing, and drawing. Professional photographers can photograph you, you can buy local souvenirs for your relatives and friends, as well as enjoy day trips to some famous places of Western Ukraine.

Svitiaz Spa Hotel

Svitiaz Spa Hotel


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Svitiaz Spa Hotel

Svitiaz Spa Hotel


Svitiaz Spa Hotel

Svitiaz Spa Hotel

Svitiaz Hotel was our VT HQ during our visit of Truskavets. It is a superb spa hotel downtown located at 25 Sukhovolia Street. My VT friends Matt, his wife Urszula and Sonja, who had come to Truskavets stayed here. Therefore, the hotel became our headquarters, where we met and had our meals planning our trips. I frequented this hotel to see my friends and the hotel amenities.
The hotel was built in the Carpathian style and look fine from outside. It is also nice inside.
Svitiaz Spa Hotel has 57 spacious rooms. The hotel has its own medical treatment facilities, a spa center with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and what not, a fitness center, a lobby bar and, of course, a great restaurant with A La Carte menu.
I have very good impressions of visiting this hotel and my friends were quite satisfied with all the service there.

Slavutich Shopping Mall, Truskevets

Slavutich Shopping Mall, Truskevets

The monument to Taras Shevchenko

The monument to Taras Shevchenko

At the historical villa of Truskavets

At the historical villa of Truskavets


As of today, choosing Truskavets as your vacation place is advantageous and prestigious. More and more people select treatment and healing at this place for themselves and for their families. If you are concerned about your musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular, endocrine system, or suffer from other diseases, then you definitely need to visit the spa resort of Truskavets. You can choose a lot of hydrotherapy treatment, physiotherapy, spa treatment, diet and, of course, good climate. The net effect of all these factors will show its effectiveness to each visitor.

Park Hotel, Truskavets

Park Hotel, Truskavets

At Park Hotel, Truskavets

At Park Hotel, Truskavets

The entire world knows that Truskavets is rich in its mineral water such as "Naftusia", "Yuzia", "Maria", "Sofia", "Bronislava". However, not everyone knows that Truskavets also has a deposit of "mountain wax" - ozekirite . It’s unique in the world and is located just 4 km away from Truskavets, in the town of Borislav). Treatment with ozocerite is successfully used at the spas of Truskavets. They treat the gastrointestinal tract, liver, biliary tract, urinary and neurological disease with ozocerite. Ozokerite is also called "black wax". It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect, which helps to strengthen the hemodynamics in a damaged body.

Naftusia Pump Room

Naftusia Pump Room

Mineral water station, Truskavets

Mineral water station, Truskavets

Inside Naftusia Pump Room

Inside Naftusia Pump Room

Naftusia Pump Room is the most popular pump room at Truskavets Resort. The water from it is considered the most healing. The main distinguishing feature of this water is the persistent smell of oil. However, it does not deter those vacationers who wish to get rid of their diseases. It is worth noting that when in contact with air, this water loses its healing properties. So do not try pouring the water into a bottle and taking it home. It becomes useless very quickly. If you come across a source of healing water, you can only drink the water from special cups, which are sold nearby. The fact that the structure of this water is very harmful to the enamel of your teeth, so do not neglect such a measure of precaution.

Jesus Christ monument in front of St.Nickolas Church

Jesus Christ monument in front of St.Nickolas Church

Barbara Salt of Truskavets can be a competitor of the famous Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) that is extracted from highly mineralized brines. It is widely used in Truskavets spas for bowel lavage and duodenal sounding. The treatment with Barbara Salt affect the human body very well.

Some remaining city villas

Some remaining city villas

During your stay in Truskavets, allow some time to explore the Resort Park and to take a look at the main city sights such as Taras Shevchenko monument in from of the Soviet era Taras Shevchenko Leisure Center, the Central Mineral Water Well-Room, St.Nickolas Church that belongs to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, i.e. the Byzantine-rite Catholic church), the Spa Museum.

In the twenties and thirties of the last century almost 300 hotels, villas and guesthouses were built here. The town was awarded with three gold medals as the best Polish spa resort. A number of notable Polish personalities visited Truskavets during that era, including Józef Pilsudski, Stanislaw Witkiewicz, Bruno Schulz and many others. Before 1939, there were 320 villas - wooden houses and stone buildings in the modernist style - in Truskavets. Unfortunately, as of today, there are only 30 surviving villas in the city. They are all protected by the state and they need a lot of attention and care.
Once the health resort of Truskavets was called the Ukrainian Baden-Baden and recommended by Globe Ukraine:Recommendation video of Truskavets for you.

In addition, here is the official site of the health resort.

City's coat-of-arms

City's coat-of-arms

Truskavets overwhelms its visitors not only with its landscapes, but also with surprisingly pure air and its resort park - a unique monument of landscape art, that covers an area of nearly 50 ha. It is considered the pride of the resort, and its "lungs". There are many paved roads there, and you can also see several sculptures there. Here are several nice video clips about this park:
Resort Park - 1
Resort Park - 2
Resort Park - 3
Zlagoda Bar was our favorite nighttime spot in Truskavets. It is located opposite the hotel and has good service.

At Zlagoda Bar opposite Svitiaz Hotel

At Zlagoda Bar opposite Svitiaz Hotel

Truskavets has several nice night clubs that can satisfy your need in relaxation. Cazanova Club at 10 Roxolana Street offers an interesting evening program for the visitors who stay until dawn.

Euphoria Night Club, Truskavets

Euphoria Night Club, Truskavets

Fans of noisy discos are sure to enjoy Euphoria Club located on the city outskirts at 8 Horodyshche Street. This is where there is an excellent bar and a large dance floor. Insomnia Lounge and Night Club at 1 Cobzar Square is good for relaxation in a sophisticated setting. As the city guide explains, a unique aristocratic atmosphere characterizes it. The club is open from Friday until Sunday. Millennium Entertainment Complex located at 29 Stebnyk Street is another popular night-time spot. It must be the city’s oldest nightclub. Also, pay attention to Masse Billiards Club here. It is located at 33 Mazepa Street. This is where you can have a great time with your friends and enjoy your favourite game.

Kozatska Korchma Restaurant

Kozatska Korchma Restaurant


Kozatska Korchma Restaurant

Kozatska Korchma Restaurant

Cossacks’ Tavern (“Kozatska Korchma” in Ukrainian) is located downtown at 12a Stepan Bandera Street. This restaurant has an upper hall and a lower hall. We had lunch at the terrace overlooking the main square – Independence Square. The beer was refreshing. The views were amazing. There was a concert on the central stage, but without crowds of spectators. The menu includes several fish dishes: baked carp, trout in foil, salmon on the grill, as well as meat dishes: veal shish kebab, veal ribs, and beefsteak. Their khachapuri was great! In addition, they offer nice cakes such as chocolate marquise. Table reservation: +38 067 673 56 57.

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At Stare Misto Coffeehouse, Truskavets

At Stare Misto Coffeehouse, Truskavets

At Stare Misto Coffeehouse in Truskavets

At Stare Misto Coffeehouse in Truskavets


We had some coffee at Stare Misto Coffeehouse located downtown at 58 Stebnyk Street.The coffeehouse has a cosy hall and a nice terrace. They offer a lot of yummy homemade cakes, Italian coffee, and many sorts of tea. According to their ad, they offer the city’s best coffee.I could not compare since it was the only coffeehouse I went to, but I believe it was more or less true…

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There are three operating museums in the city: the Resort History Museum, Mikhailo Bilas Museum (a unique museum dedicated to a lifetime ethnic painter), as well as the New Diocesan Museum. The city picture gallery was dedicated on June 18, 2010. This is the picture gallery of the Kopchak family. The gallery reflects the creative activities of seven members of the Kopchak family who are artists and create many works of art. The gallery is called SevenArt. The art critics say that the paintings of the Kopchaks radiate uniqueness, strength, and confidence. They praise their home city Truskavets in their works as much as their famous compatriot - artist Mikhailo Bilas, whose works are kept at the Arts Museum. The gallery was dedicated on the city outskirts, in the premises of Arco Household Items Store (on the second floor) located at 23 Mazepa Street, in the former hunting hall.

Truskavets Resort Museum is located in the center of the resort in Villa Saryusz. This villa is an architectural monument of the beginning of the 20th century. The seven rooms exhibit historical documents, as well as the everyday household objects of people who inhabited this Sub-Carpathian area. The exhibition illustrates the history of the region from ancient times to the present day
Here are some useful links FYI.

I really appreciated these videos that I watched on Youtube:

Bird's eye view of Truskavets - 1..............
Bird's eye view of Truskavets - 2................
Bird's eye view of Truskavets - 3 ..............

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I bought home some Carpathian Tea includes several ingredients: Ehinotseya; willow-herb; tutsan; raspberries; mint; linden; melissa.
Carpathian dried fruits are another specialty from Truskavets. They are recommended especially in winter, when the body lacks vitamins. This tea contains fruits and berries of wild apple, raspberry, rose, pear, cranberry, cherry, blueberry, Carpathian hawthorn.
Peppermint tea is also on sale everywhere. It is very fragrant, delicate and refreshing drink. It refreshes, invigorates, and improves digestion.

Here is a bit of humor I came across when in Truskavets :

1. Only in Truskavets they know what “zdykhli” means – >> (it's a dialect word for “vacationers”).

2. Only in Truskavets they drink water from funny mugs.

3. Only in Truskavets there is a spring that will make you younger.

4. Only in Truskavets it is possible to get from one end of the city to another.

5. Only in Truskavets there are more hotels than private houses.

6. Only in Truskavets you can have a rest from the city noise without leaving the city.

7. Only in Truskavets the visitors regard the park to be a forest.

Here are some pictures from our fiacre ride about the city:

During a fiacre ride

During a fiacre ride


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During a fiacre ride

During a fiacre ride


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Here is some useful reference for you :
1. Tourist Information Center attached to the City Council: Tel./fax: +38 03247 5 42 34; +38 096 447 16 50; +38 099 376 77 07;
2.Railway station : +38 03247 5 13 81;
3. Bus terminal : +38 03247 5 02 63;
4. Airline tickets : +38 03247 5 15 16;
5.Central Post-Office : +38 03247 6 86 87;
6. Night-time drugstore: +38 03247 6 70 42.

Approaching St.Nickolas Church

Approaching St.Nickolas Church

St.Nickoles Church, Truskavets

St.Nickoles Church, Truskavets

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There are affordable day trips (around UAH 200-250) to some interesting destinations around Truskavets. Summer visitors can tour the temples and holy places, visit medieval castles, stroll through the old city and enjoy the beauty of the local natural attractions. Interesting day trips include:
1. Borzhava Plain: Shipot waterfall, cable car journey, a spectacular panorama of mountains and Hutsul settlements, the culture and the cuisine of the local population.
2. Dovbush Rocks: This facility, located in Falcon Forest, attracts vacationers by the primeval grandeur of the Carpathian nature creations. You can see cascading waterfalls on the River Sukkil, take an-hour-and-a-half walking tour of the Dovbush Caves, hear local legends, and admire the mountain views. You can partake to the dishes of the traditional Hutsul cuisine.
3. Carpathian alpine lake located at 989 meters above sea level. Local nature is ideal for a relaxing break and relaxation. The tour includes a visit to the Goshevsky Monastery, a hiking route along the Carpathian meadows and mountain passes, enjoying the views of the mountain rivers and waterfalls; riding a chair lift; tasting some mineral water, getting to know the Hutsul culture (wooden architecture, huts, traditional dishes). Website: Mountain Lake
4. Sambir – a walking tour of the historic center of Sambir. You can visit the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, venerate the relics of Saint Valentine, the wonder-working icon of the Weeping Mother of God, visit St. John the Baptist Church. You can listen to the 19th-century organ in the building of the former Catholic Church.
5. A day trip to several cities: Lviv, Mukacheve, Berehove, the village of Urych, Yaremche, Slavske Please contact Perlyna Travel Bureau at +38 098 062 33 33; +38 098 062 33 34. The address is: 3 UIA Heroes Street.

Staying at Villa Victoria

Staying at Villa Victoria


Staying at Villa Victoria

Staying at Villa Victoria


Staying at Villa Victoria

Staying at Villa Victoria


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My room at Villa Victoria

My room at Villa Victoria

I reserved a standard room at Villa Victoria and was glad I had selected that hotel. The hotel has affable staff, 19 rooms, cosy interior and a great downtown location. It was for the first time that I had a hotel room on the first floor.
The hotel has no restaurant, but there are lots of cafes and restaurant nearby, so it was not a problem. The hotel staff was so kind as to provide me with a small mirror for shaving. They also took me around the hotel and showed me other vacant room for me to take a picture of them "for the Internet". I left a thank you record in their guest book attaching VT stickers there since I was a Virtual Tourist member then

Arriving to Truskavets by train

Arriving to Truskavets by train

By train to Lviv

By train to Lviv

Enjoy your stay in Truskavets, fellow travelers!

Posted by Vic_IV 03:57 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

A Historical City in Western Ukraine

Kovel, Volyn region

overcast 13 °C
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A view of the railway station

A view of the railway station

I happened to visit this nice city twice, both times on my way from Germany to my home, and both times unplanned. I was in Kovel for the first time when our group had to make a stopover there on the way from Germany by bus. We stayed for a night at the local hotel. When I was there for the first time in 1993, we stayed overnight at the city hotel called "Lissova Pisnia" ("Forest Song").

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Kovel railway station

Kovel railway station


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My second stay was not planned either. On my way from Germany in September 2006, I made a short stopover in this city waiting for my train to Kiev. Therefore, I had another chance of spending some time in Kovel. I just spent an evening there.

I must say the city is very far from Luhansk where I used to live - about 1,300 km. I would have to travel via Kiev where I would change for the direct train to Kovel.

The city entry roadside marker

The city entry roadside marker


At the River Turia

At the River Turia


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At the River Turia

At the River Turia


When in Kovel, it was nice to walk downtown, to listen to the people and to try speaking some "West-Ukrainian" there... Alas, it was to no avail. The locals would "decipher" me in no time and would simply ask me if I was from the East/from Luhansk. How on earth did they do it? A good ear for music, I call it.

I found some information on this city when I arrived home. Now I know that the city of Kovel was founded in 1310 as a part of Lithuania. On July 6, 2010, the Ukrainians celebrated the 700th anniversary of the foundation of Kovel. Since 1940, Kovel has been the administrative center of Kovel District. The City Day is celebrated on July 6. On that day in 1944 the city was liberated from the Nazi invaders.

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The city is located in Polissia zone (Forest zone) and occupies an area of about 47 sq. km/18 square miles. The three-mile-long River Turia stretches through the city. The river is called Turia - a nice and picturesque Ukrainian river, I would say. There is a water reserve made on that river between two bridges. If you wish to enjoy the river landscape in and around the city, why not go to the suburbs, for example, to “Turia” Spa located at 137 St.Volodymyr Street. The spa is located right at the riverbank and offers treatment for people with heart, lungs and intestines diagnosis. They have their own mineral water well with high quality healing water. The spa exists since 1987. It occupies a huge area of about 17 hectares. You can have different baths at the first hall including herbs baths. This is the address: 137 St.Volodymyr Street, Kovel 45000, Volyn region, Ukraine. Phone: +38 03352 4 61 80. If you drive along Independence Street and then turn to Shevchenko Street, you will get to Shevchenko Park where you can a nice view of the river (water reserve), see the monument to Great Taras (1814-1861). The monument looks very unique and attracting.

At the railway station

At the railway station

Kovel is about 75 km/47 miles far from Lutsk, the regional center (by motorway) and 60 km/37 miles away from Poland.

Kovel is an ancient Ukrainian city founded in the beginning of the 11th century as an ancient Russ (Kyiv Rus) settlement. According to the old legend, the first settler ever in that area was a skilled smith (in Ukrainian “koval”), thus the village he lived in was called Kovle. Over time, the name gradually transformed into its modern version.

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On the Kovel medieval coat of arms - along with other armory attributes - one can see the outlines of a castle and a horseshoe, an old symbol of happiness and wealth. These images are fully in line with the then realities.

In 1518, by his Charter the Polish King Sigismund the First allowed Duke Basil Sangushky to turn the village of Kovle into a city and granted it the Magdeburg Rights, which promoted trade fairs and commerce, and internally established local self-government.

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Since 1543, Kovel was managed by Kovel elders, who took care of the city’s living environment, managed the king’s coffers and did justice to the nobility and peasants. Local economy was underpinned by small-sized manufacturers working to meet local market needs.

On July 6, 1944 Kovel was liberated from German invaders. Today Kovel is the second significant city of Volyn region.

The city’s coat-of-arms represents a horseshoe as a symbol of smith trade and a symbol of happiness. Three silver stars represent Volyn region. The flag was adopted on September 16, 1993 by the city council.

The city is an important railroad hub of Western Ukraine that plays an important strategic role connecting Ukraine with numerous European states. The city is a big industrial and cultural center with eleven industrial enterprises and many cultural institutions. At present about 70,000 people live at the area of about 47 square kilometers in Kovel. The city is known for its agricultural machinery enterprise and a flax-processing factory.

Kovel District was a cradle of a great number of scientists, writers, artists who covered with glory not only Volyn region but the whole of Ukraine. This land served a source of inspiration for Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Panteleimon Kulish, Mykhailo Starytsky, Mykola Lyssenko. It was here that Lesia Ukrainka (1873-1913) was inspired in her creative endeavors and the centuries-long dreams of Ukrainians about freedom were pronounced so passionately in her lyrics.

Kovel residents highly appreciate their business and friendly relations with the twin cities: Rzhev from Russia, Holma, Bzega-Dolnogo and Legionova from Poland, Pinsk from Belarus, Walsrode from Germany and Uteny from Lituania.

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Downtown Kovel

Downtown Kovel


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Downtown Kovel

Downtown Kovel

You can walk along the main streets- Independence Street and Mykhailo Hrushevsky Street - and see the oldest buildings: the old drugstore building and the building of the district polyclinic. You can also see the Resurrection Church, St.Andrew's Church, several monuments and parks.

You can see different monuments in the city (all in all 27 of them) beginning with two historical buildings: Independence Street drugstore and county polyclinic building and ending with Lesya Ukrainka monument (erected in 1991) in the park bearing the name of this outstanding Ukrainian poetess.

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Bohdan Khmelnitsky monument

Bohdan Khmelnitsky monument

There are several war memorials, the monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky and the monument to the victims of Stalin purges as well as old church buildings.

Downtown Kovel

Downtown Kovel

There is a steam locomotive memorial at the railway station square.
This is the list of the main city monuments for you to see where to find them:

  • Common grave of the soldiers of the Russian Army, 1918, Independence Street, city cemetery.
  • Monuments on the common graves of the fallen Soviet soldiers and partisans, 1952-1958, Independence Street, city cemetery.
  • “Glory” Soviet liberators memorial, 1977, Independence Street.
  • Soviet soldiers memorial, 1956, Railway Bridge.
  • Soviet artillery soldiers monument, 1975, Lutsk-Kovel motorway in the suburbs of the city.
  • Monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky, 1954, Khmelnitsky Street.
  • Locomotive depot workers memorial, 1969.
  • The monument to the victims of the Second World War, 1996, Independence Street, at St.Andrew’s Church.
  • Christian Jubilee Cross, 2000, crossing of Brest Street and Vatutin Street.
  • The monument to the victims of Stalin purges, 1991, Mitskevich Street.
  • Ukraine’s Freedom Fighters Memorial, 1996, Lesya Ukrainka Boulevard.

The world’s biggest monument to Shevchenko, the Bard of Ukraine (1814-1861) is located in this city. The monument to Taras Shevchenko in Kovel was dedicated on August 22, 2005.

It was erected on a four-meter hill in the city park on the bank of the Turia. The monument was called Apostle of Truth and Freedom. Its height is over seven meters and it weighs twenty tons. Volodymyr Sholudko, a graduate of the National Arts and Architecture Academy, is the author if the project. The press reports say the monument cost a pretty penny – about $900,000, among them people's donations comprised about $50,000. The monument was erected on the initiative of Shevchenko All-Ukrainian Society called “Prosvita".

At the Ukrainian-German war memorial

At the Ukrainian-German war memorial


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Like in many towns and cities in FSU countries, there are several war memorials here. I discovered this one during my evening tour of the city. The inscriptions in German and in Ukrainian run, “Zum Andenken an die Gefallene im Krieg und Gewalt mit der Mahnung zum Frieden und gegenseitige Verständigung”, which means the following, “In memory of the victims of war and violence with a reminder of peace and mutual understanding”.

Kovel was a center of large scale fighting during the Second World War. In July 1944 there were fierce battles for the liberation of Kovel from the German invaders. You can see the map of those battles at the waiting hall of the city railway station. Nine most active military units were awarded with an honorary title. They got the right to use the city name in their military unit name.
For example, the 175th infantry division that liberated the city from the German invaders became a Kovel Division. The inscription on the wall of the waiting room of the railway station represents the scheme of the battle for the liberation of Kovel and reads,
Glory to you, immortal heroes!
The people sing you eternal glory!
You lived gallantly and defeated death,
The memory of you shall never die!
They fell in the battles for life,
Their immortality shall be eternity,
Their feat is in our hearts!
Bow to them, people!

Posted by Vic_IV 04:04 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

A Historical Town

Komarno, Lviv region

sunny 18 °C
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Houses in Komarno

Houses in Komarno

Komarno is a small town in Horodok District of Lviv region. Its population is about 4,000 residents and the area is only 10 sq.km. The town lies on the rivers the Vereshchytsia and the Struga in the southwestern part of Lviv region. There were many marshes along the bank of those two rivers. The marshes swarmed with tons of mosquitoes. It is from these masses of mosquitoes that the settlement got it name.

Archangel St.Michael’s Church

Archangel St.Michael’s Church


The first mention of Komarno was made in 1427. The year 1471 is considered the foundation year of Komarno. The town of Komarno was granted Magdeburg rights back in 1473. Archaeological excavations were held on the territory of the modern town in 1936. Those excavations led to the discovery of finds dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. Next to them, they found objects dating back to the era of the ancient state of Kiev Rus that clearly demonstrated the existence of a fortified settlement in the past.

July 31 is the Town Day in Komarno.

We, Matt, Urszula, Sonja and I, had a great VT Meet in Truskavets in May 2015. During our stay there, we paid a visit to this place thanks to Matt and Urszula who had arrived to Truskavets by car. We visited the wooden church and took lots of pictures there.

The small town of Komarno has several architectural monuments, among them the ruins of Lanckorona Castle and Komarno Castle (moats and ramparts).

The temples of Komarno include:

  • Archangel St.Michael’s Church , built in 1910, is a special attraction here. Archangel St.Michael’s Church is one of the best examples of Galician folk wooden architecture. It was built on the site of its predecessor - Trinity Church - in 1754. This is evidenced by the date on the central dome. Several times there was restoration of the temple. During the restoration of 1965 - 1967 the temple regained its original appearance. To protect the church from being demolished by the Communist authorities, the temple was declared to be the national museum. However. The church remained in a poor condition. The community of Komarno proceeded to restoration work. Now Archangel St.Michael’s Church is an architectural monument of national importance. It adorns not only Komarno, but the entire region.

Archangel St.Michael’s Church, Komarno

Archangel St.Michael’s Church, Komarno


Archangel St.Michael’s Church

Archangel St.Michael’s Church


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Archangel St.Michael’s Church

Archangel St.Michael’s Church


  • Nativity of the Virgin Church is another ancient temple of Komarno. This temple dates back to 1656. The building has distinct features of a fortress. Rich sculptures decorating the façade are another feature of the church. In the Soviet period, the church was used as a furniture warehouse. The church was returned to the Roman Catholic community in 1992, but soon it was transferred to the Greek Catholic community. Now the temple is closed.
  • St.Peter and St.Paul’s Cathedral, located in the western corner of the former market square. It was built in 1848 to replace an old wooded church. Thus church was severely damaged during the World War I.

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If you have to stay in Komarno, there are at least two hotels here:

1) Komarik (“Little Mosquito”) Hotel located downtown at 8 Ivan Franko Street. Tel. +38 067 948 32 00, +38 098 585 13 28. There is a café attached to this hotel. The café is called Komarik as well.

2) Lybid ("Swan") Mini-hotel located at 27 Ivan Franko Street; tel. +38 067 394 03 94. This is the most central hotel of Komarno: a new two-storeyed building with an attic. The hotel has a sauna with a large swimming pool. Overall, the hotel has 5 rooms. In addition, there is Lybid Restaurant.

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The town council approved the modern coat-of-arms of Komarno on February 21, 1997. You can see a golden letter "K" on an azure field, and under it - a golden cross. The shield is enframed with a cartouche and is crowned by an urban silver crown made of bricks and having three battlements. They say the golden letter "K" has been on town emblems since the 16th century.

The Town Council works at 34 Sich Riflemen Street, tel. +38 03231 43066. The mailing area code is 81563; Email: poleva_komarno@ukr.net.

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I found out that there was a classification of towns and cities. Therefore, the number of residents plays an important role in this classification, and not the city amenities or sights. A town starts with 11,000 residents, and any smaller number than that means a large village or a settlement. However, in case of Komarno, we should remember that Komarno was granted Magdeburg rights back in 1473, even though its present population is like that of an ordinary village...

You can take Bus 190 from Lviv Regional Bus Station. It will take you about 1.5 hours to get to Komarno. There are five local trains From Lviv to Komarno and visa versa: two in the morning and three in the afternoon. The train journey is about one hour.

Posted by Vic_IV 04:17 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

Skole Mountains National Park

The village of Krushelnytsia, Lviv region; Korostiv

sunny 17 °C
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Approaching the Stryi Bridge

Approaching the Stryi Bridge

Krushel’nytsia is a village in Skole District of Lviv region. It is located on both banks of the River Stryi. The population of the village is about 1,300 residents.

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Walking along the bridge

Walking along the bridge


At the Stryi Bridge

At the Stryi Bridge

The first written mention of this village dates back to October 4, 1395, when the Polish King Wladislav II Jagiello gave the village of Krushel’nytsia to John and Damian.

We, Matt, Urszula, Sonja and I, had a great VT Meet in Truskavets in May 2015. During our stay there, we paid a visit to this place thanks to Matt and Urszula who had arrived to Truskavets by car. The distance to Krushel’nytsia from Truskavets is about 50 km. You have to take the road to Skole, turn right when you reach E471, drive towards Skole until you reach Nyzhye Syniovydne, and turn right. You will pass the village of Korchin, and Krushel’nytsia will the following village. Enjoy your ride!

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In the years 1895-1906, a narrow gauge forest railway was built from Verkhnye Syniovydne to Krushel’nytsia. This railroad existed until 1969. There is a Ukrainian book about this railway: "Narrow Gauge Railways of Skole Mountains" written by Andriy Bassarab, Mikhailo Hnatyshyn and Ihor Chudiyovych. Narrow gauge railways were built primarily for logging. However, in 1930, passenger traffic was introduced on them. That railway line was one of the first small railways in Europe that received a license for tourist traffic. Now Lviv Regional League of Intellectual Work is implementing the Carpathian Tram project to investigate the narrow-gauge railways, to protect their remnants as historical monuments of technology and to explore the possibilities of using local railways for tourism.

In fact, there is something to see here: two old churches – Holy Trinity Church (built in 1842), the bell tower of the 19th century and St. Nicholas Church (built in 1822). Also, you can see a newly built chapel that has an original design solution: it stands on three poles. In addition, take a look at the memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the UIA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army): a rifleman with a young lady and a horse.

The hinged bridge over the River Stryi is worth visiting. You can admire the river against the background of mountains from this bridge. The bridge leads to the part of the village located on the right bank of the river. You can enjoy amazing landscapes that are not spoiled even by the ruins of a former collective farm. This is where the Krushelnytsya flows into the Striy. You can see the high Parashka Mountain Range. The road leads to the east to Verkhnye Syniovydne and to the west - to the mysterious Tustan located in the vicinity of the village of Urych.

The chapel of the Mother of God the Intercessor

The chapel of the Mother of God the Intercessor


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The chapel of the Mother of God the Intercessor

The chapel of the Mother of God the Intercessor

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You can see a newly built chapel that has an original design solution: it stands on three poles. The inscription on the black memorial plaque near the entrance door reads,
“The chapel of the Mother of God the Intercessor was built in 1991-1992 in gratitude for the recovery of Liubochka Chasto, at the expense of her grateful parents Peter and Liuba, her grandmother Paraska Dmytryshyn and her grandmother’s sons Ihor and Bohdan. The icons were created by Erika Chasto. Pray and you shall be heard!”
Do not miss seeing Holy Trinity Church (built in 1842), the bell tower of the 19th century and St.Nicholas Church (built in 1822). Website: Krushelnytsia

The UIA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) memorial

The UIA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) memorial

Take a look at the memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the UIA Ukrainian Insurgent Army: a rifleman with a horse and a young lady who sees him off. The monument was painted over many times and when we were there, it did not look its best. You can also see a statue of Jesus next to this monument.

Coming back to the village

Coming back to the village

The hinged bridge over the River Stryi is worth visiting. You can admire the river against the background of mountains from this bridge. The bridge leads to the part of the village located on the right bank of the river.

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We went to the village store where we made some shopping and talked to the shop assistant. The store has a good choice of food and drink and seems to be a busy place since there were several customers.

The beautiful countryside

The beautiful countryside

Korostiv ("Korostov" in Russian) is a village in Ukraine, in Skole District of Lviv region. Its population is 933 persons. The village was founded in 1715. Now it is known as a base for many mountain hikers and mountaineers.

Approaching Korostiv

Approaching Korostiv

Korostiv is a village located 45 km to the south from Truskavets. Drive along the Kyiv-Lviv-Chop motorway M-06 / E-50. The village is on the 662nd kilometer of M-06/E-50. After the bridge over the River Butyvlya take a look of the roadside notice Golden Trout and turn right.

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We, Matt, Urszula, Sonja and I, had a great VT Meet in Truskavets in May 2015. During our stay there, we paid a visit to this place thanks to Matt and Urszula who had arrived to Truskavets by car. To diversify our new experiences, Matt and Urszula arranged a trip to Golden Trout Complex by their car. Thanks a lot, friends!

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This is a restaurant table as well

This is a restaurant table as well

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The distance between Lviv and Korostiv is about 120 kilometers. You can cover this distance on the even road within an hour or a bit longer, when you make little stops to enjoy the scenery. When in Lviv, you can take a bus at Bus Station No.8 located near the railway station. There is a regular bus to the village. You can also take a suburban or international train of Uzhgorod direction to the station of Skole. Upon your arrival in Skole, go to Daniel Halytskyi Street and take a route bus to Korostiv.

A lake inside the Restaurant Complex

A lake inside the Restaurant Complex


We observed the enthusiatic anglers

We observed the enthusiatic anglers

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Directions: Drive along the Kyiv-Lviv-Chop motorway M-06 / E-50. The village is on the 662nd kilometre of M-06/E-50. After the bridge over the River Butyvlya take a look of the roadside notice Golden Trout and turn right.

Nice views

Nice views

There are several nice mini-hotels for travellers in the village, among them Cheerful Deer Estate located at 87 Lesia Ukrayinka Street, in the village of Korostiv, Skole District, Lviv region.
Tel. +38 050 444 40 20;
+38 050 150 94 92;
+38 096 953 44 65;
E-mail: i.stasenko@stasenko.com.
Have a nice stay, fellow travellers!
Golden Trout Complex has its own high end hotel where you can stay before or after your dinner.
Tel. +38 044 374 05 72; +38 067 889 69 99.

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Golden Trout Complex includes an excellent hotel, a sauna, a billiards hall, and fishing

Fresh air pavilions

Fresh air pavilions

Opportunities. You can order cooking of the fish you have caught in the pond yourself.

At Golden Trout Complex, Korostiv

At Golden Trout Complex, Korostiv

We had a table in a pavilion and could enjoy our meals, watch those who tried their luck catching some trout and admire the amazing views. Reservations by phone: +38 067 889 69 99.

Posted by Vic_IV 04:19 Archived in Ukraine Comments (0)

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