We know Ukraine. We love Ukraine.
And we want You to know and love it, too
Number of days: 9
Cost: 35835 UAH
DAY 1, MAY 9, SATURDAY ARRIVAL TO LVIV
Lviv is one of the favourite cities in Ukraine among Ukrainian and international travellers alike. The city is a charming mix of Ukrainian and Western European elements and hosts a vibrant cultural scene. Arrival and check-in are anytime during the day.
In the evening, those of us already who have already arrived in Lviv will get together for a dinner* at a popular restaurant, followed by a walk around evening Lviv.
DAY 2, MAY 10, SUNDAY LVIV - THE HEART OF WESTERN UKRAINE
Sometimes called “Little Paris”, Lviv welcomes guests with its medieval beauty, preserved in buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries, Gothic churches and narrow cobblestone streets.
We start our trip by exploring the city, visiting St. George's Cathedral, Lviv National University (former Galician Parliament), the House of Scientists, Liberty Ave and the famous Lviv Opera.
Afterwards, we visit the local sculptor Hordii, who decided to dedicate his life to reviving and continuing the tradition of producing lyres. His musical instruments have been sold to many countries globally, including Canada, South Korea, Sweden and Malaysia.
After lunch, you will have some free time, before we move on towards our next home Mukachevo. We stop for a dinner at a 400-year-old celtic cellar with dozens of craft drinks.
DAY 3, MAY 11, MONDAY UZHGOROD AND LUMSHORY
We start our day by exploring Uzhgorod where we will walk around the historical centre and visit the ancient Uzhgorod castle. The castle, with first records about it dating back to the 11th century, has a unique mixture of architectural styles and materials and figured heavily in the history of Hungary.
After lunch, we drive to Lumshory and take an easy trek to Lumshory waterfalls. Afterwards, you will have an unforgettable experience of bathing in a Chan - a special Transcarpathian hot tub standing over a woodfire. The water temperature reaches 40-45 degrees Celsius, and the bathing alternates with dives in the river mountain one step away.
In the evening, we light torches and tour Saint Miklós castle, to later dine among its walls.
DAY 4, MAY 12, TUESDAY MUKACHEVO AND THERMAL BATHS
Today it’s time for our first school visit! After some inspirational conversations with pupils where everyone will learn something, we get to know Mukachevo. This is a charming medieval town, a real heart of the Transcarpathian region with its rich history and special atmosphere. We also visit the wonderfully conserved majestic Palanok castle offering an amazing panorama of the whole town.
After lunch, we visit a picturesque ethnic region often called “little Hungary”. A tour around Berehove town is followed by several hours of soaking in the best thermal baths of the Transcarpathian region.
The evening program includes the local wines tasting.
DAY 5, MAY 13, WEDNESDAY NARCISSUS VALLEY, CHEESES AND BUFFALOES
We continue our journey to Khust - a town situated on a volcanic hill. The townhomes ruins of a castle that once belonged to the ancestors of Count Dracula. Neighbouring Khust is a unique place called Narcissus valley. The location has the largest amount of narrow-leaved narcissus, and we will see the blooming valley at its best.
Next, we move on to a buffalo farm run by a German eco enthusiast. After these meetings, we take a beautiful drive over the Carpathians to our next home in Verkhovyna. We spend the evening learning to make traditional cheese horses in a local creamery.
We finish the day with dinner with Hutsul folk singing and dancing.
DAY 6, MAY 14, THURSDAY VERHOVYNA AND KRYVORIVNYA
Due to the inaccessibility of the mountains, Verhovyna village has seen relatively low influence from the outside for centuries and has kept alive many interesting customs, traditions, folklore rituals, folk tales and legends that have disappeared from other regions of Ukraine a long time ago. We dive into the world of Hutsul embroidery to better understand this big part of Ukrainian culture, learn the meanings of diverse colours and patterns and hear the stories living in the collection’s exhibits.
Next, it’s time to visit the region’s most joyful museum - Roman Kumlyk’s museum of folk musical instruments. The owner has been collecting pieces for the museum over a period of 30 years. We will be guided around by his daughter who took over the museum after Roman passed away. You will learn about local culture, see diverse household items, many instruments will be demonstrated in action, and some you can try yourself. We also visit a neighbouring village where a family bakes traditional bread. The recipe is secret, but a part of it is the bakers’ singing throughout the process.
After lunch we move to another village nearby. As a source of national traditions, the village Kryvorivnya has always attracted artists. This place inspired great Ukrainian poets such as Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka, and Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky. Here, Kotsiubynsky wrote his novel “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” and, half a century later, Sergej Parajanov filmed his famous movie with the same name. We will visit the Hutsul house where this movie was filmed.
We finish the day in Kosiv - our next homebase.
DAY 7, MAY 15, FRIDAY KOSIV AND YAVORIV
It is now time for our second school visit, and afterwards, we explore Kosiv. It has long been known as a centre of folk art, rich in talent and skill - it's a real capital of the Hutsul folk art. Produce of the craftsmen from the whole region can be found here, including ceramics, clothing, embroideries, carved wood, foods, teas and much more. Everyone can find something for themselves here!
We meet with Kosiv craftsmen to see how real Kosiv ceramics (UNESCO World Heritage) is born from the hands of the master, how it comes to life and takes the form from a piece of clay, how pottery becomes vivid and unique. You can also sit down at a potter's wheel and try creating yourself!
DAY 8, MAY 16, SATURDAY KOSIV, BABYN AND SHESHORY
Kosiv is well-known around Ukraine for its Saturday market. Locals buy anything possible here - from food to household items to parts for their electrical tools. Visitors of the region appreciate the market for its huge selection of local crafts for very reasonable prices. We spend some time on this market, which is bursting of life in every corner.
Next, we visit a local motorcycle club run by local enthusiast Vasyl for over 40 years. Each item of the impressive MC and car collection has its own story: something was exchanged, others were bought, but the craftsman knows everything about each of his “iron horses”. Residence Khata-Maysternya in nearby Babyn village is a space for integrated learning, an area for training, seminars, camps and retreats. Here, amid the mountains, everyone can be themselves, comfortable, and cozy. The residence is located in the old Hutsul house, dating from the 1930’s, which has five rooms that serve as a hostel, classrooms and bathrooms, and give guests the chance to try authentic dishes made by locals. We talk to the enthusiasts running the residence about its creation, their work with the local community and informal education in Ukraine.
Later, we move on to the village of Sheshory to visit a canyon with waterfalls and enjoy a dinner* with folk music in a local hut. We then move on to a learn more about another craft of making woolen blankets in Yavoriv. We will see how the warm and soft blankets are produced by hand by around 60 craftswomen and their families. Also on today’s agenda is a visit to one of the local designers who creates modern clothes with inspiration taken from the classic folk motives. You can get to know about the life of a designer, the process of clothes creation and the passion of keeping traditions alive through modern forms and interpretations.
In the evening, we pay a visit to another local family, practising woodcarving in several generations of the family.
DAY 9, MAY 17, SUNDAY KOLOMYYA AND IVANO-FRANKIVSK
Today we walk through the renovated historical and cultural centre of Kolomyya and get acquainted with its magnificent buildings dating back to Austro-Hungarian times. We will see the central square, the town hall, churches of different denominations, and the oldest theatre in the Carpathian region. You will have some free time to explore the town more.
During that time you can visit the local Pysanka museum, the Ukrainian art of painting easter eggs. The architectural structure in the form of a large, painted egg made of coloured glass became the postcard motif of the region and Kolomyya itself. A workshop in egg painting is available here as an optional part of the itinerary (not included in the tour price). In the Museum of Folk Art of Gutsul and Pokuttya regions we see unique collections of ceramics, wood carvings, leather belts and axes decorated with folk patterns, Hutsul traditional carpets, traditional icons and more. There is also a reconstructed Hutsul interior from the end of 19th century.
From Kolomyya we move to Ivano-Frankivsk where we will have our final lunch.
We can arrange transfer back to Lviv, as well as assisting you with the purchase of train tickets to Kyiv.
* marked dinners are not included in the price
Included in the tour price
· 8 nights of accommodation in a twin room
· 8 breakfasts
· 8 lunches
· 3 celebration dinners
· Local transportation by minibus
· Professional English-speaking local guide
· English-speaking tour leader
· Guided tours, workshops, degustation
· Medical insurance
· Welcome gift package
· Entrance fees to the museums
· Climate compensation via Choose
· Support of PRO.SVIT – our charity contribution
· International flights
· Airport transfer
· Alcoholic beverages during meals
· 5 dinners
· Activities outside of itinerary
Early-bird discount: €100 (valid for first 6 spots!)
Type: Discovering Ukraine
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