A Journey To Hutsuls, Ukrainians Who Live On The Wild Side

Why this tour?

The starting point of your travel is Lviv, the biggest city in Western Ukraine, and the center of the historical region of Galicia with beautiful architecture and rich history. Being a medieval fortress on the crossroads of many transcontinental trade routes, Lviv (also known as Leopolis, Lemberg or Lwów) was a melting pot for many cultures, like Ukrainian, Polish, German, Armenian, Austrian, Jewish, Italian, and many more. They all left their legacies, which create unique atmosphere of contemporary Lviv. You’ll proceed to the Carpathian mountains, to the Hutsul region. This journey to the wild side of Ukraine will take you back in time!
Hutsuls are one of the Ukrainian ethnic groups who inhabited the Carpathians. Living in desolate mountain areas, they preserved their long-time traditions, handicrafts and way of life. We will visit Hutsul sheep shepherds, who still keep their ancestors’ lifestyle. We will make Hutsul traditional handicrafts such as pottery, blankets weaving and woodcarving. We will see traditional Hutsul wooden architecture which is on the UNESCO world heritage list. And we’ll indulge ourselves with traditional local cuisine. All that will be happening in the breathtaking landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains.

6 days

349 € per person

on request

Tour program

Day 1

  • Lviv: arriving, transfer from the airport to the hotel, check-in
  • Historical Center of Lviv, listed on the UNESCO world heritage list: medieval Armenian, Ukrainian and Jewish quarters of Lviv’s Old Town

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Around the historical center of Lviv (optional): St.George’s Cathedral (the metropolitan cathedral of the Greek-Catholic Church), High Castle viewpoint, Lychakiv cemetery (the necropolis of the XVIII-XX centuries)

Day 3

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Rohatyn: Holy Spirit Church
  • Yaremche
  • Walk through the Dovbush trail
  • Lunch
  • Walk to the Probiy waterfall and Hutsulschyna restaurant, a classic example of hutsul architecture
  • Visit to an ancient wooden church in Vorokhta
  • Dinner and overnight stop in Verkovyna

Day 4

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Visit to the archaic hutsul dwelling (Khata-grazhda) and the ancient wooden church in Kryvorivnya
  • Visit to the high-mountain sheep farm
  • Lunch in the mountains: classical Hutsul banosh (corn flour porridge with sheep cheese, cooked on fire)
  • Visits to masters in wool blankets weaving, traditional Hutsul craft
  • Dinner and overnight stop in Kosiv
  • Optional: sauna

Day 5

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Visits to potters, the makers of traditional Kosiv hand-made ceramics
  • Lunch
  • Museum of Hutsul everyday life and traditions and Museum of Painted Easter Eggs in Kolomyya
  • Return to Lviv: check-in

Day 6

  • Breakfast and check-out
  • Transfer to the airport

Price includes:

  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Transportation by bus
  • Hotels (double room)
  • Meals
  • Guide and translation services
  • Entrance fees for the museums and handicraft demonstrating

Price Does Not Include

  • Extra drinks and meals
  • Sauna
  • 2nd excursion in Lviv

Special terms

During the tour, you won’t put much of physical efforts, but we will have some walking in the mountains. Thus, we ask you to have comfortable trekking or sports shoes. Unfortunately, lack of local infrastructure makes this journey unavailable for handicapped people. Also, please note that deep in the mountains weather could be challenging, which implies lower temperatures, windy conditions or sudden rain. Please dress accordingly.
In the case of dramatic weather changes that could threaten the safety of the group, the program could be changed.

Sightseeings to visit

Yaremche is a low-mountain resort ashore the Prut river, on the way to Hoverla, the highest mountain in Ukraine. The town was founded in 1787. In XIX-mid XX centuries, it used to be a holiday destination for vacationers from Lviv, Krakow and Warsaw. It was also a popular mountain resort during Soviet times. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular touristic destinations in the Ukrainian Carapthians.
Hutsulschyna Restaurant is a classical modern interpretation of traditional Hutsul wooden architecture. It was built in 1959 without a single nail, with extensive use of wood carved finish.
Probiy Waterfall is a cascade waterfall on the Prut river in Yaremche. The height is over 20 meters, stream velocity is 50-70 kmph.
Dovbush Trail is a popular touristic track in the Carpathian National Park. The name of the trail refers to the legendary outlaw rebel Oleksa Dovbush, who was active in these territories in the XVIII cent. He was robbing the reach and sharing with the poor, thus, he’s still a popular hero of the local folklore. Many rocks, caves and cliffs, used as a hiding place by Dovbush and his men, now bear his name.
Vorokhta is a high-mountain resort (850 m asl) and a famous center for both winter and summer sports. Zaroslyak sports base, located in Vorokhta, is a starting point for hiking route to Hoverla, the highest mountain in Ukraine. Vorokhta is also famous for its favourable climate, with low atmospheric pressure, and high amounts of ozone and phytoncides in the air. (The village was founded in the XVIIth century.)
Vorokhta Viaducts are archwall railway bridges built in the end XIX century when these territories were a part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The biggest of the local viaducts, built in 1985, is 130 m long and 65 m high. It is a famous local point of interest and one of the biggest stone bridges in Europe.
The Church Of The Nativity of the Virgin is one of the oldest temples in the region. It is a perfect exemplar of the archaic Hutsul wooden architecture. The church interior accommodates some wall paintings, dated back in XIX century. Hutsul wooden churches are on the list of UNESCO world heritage.
Kryvorivnya is a small village in the Black Cheremosh river valley. In the XIX century, the village had a fame of the Ukrainian Athens, being a favourite summer destination for the UKrainian intellectual elites. Among them, there were Ukrainian poets Ivan Franko and Lesya Ukrayinka, and Mykhaylo Grushevsky, the first president of Ukraine in 1917-1918. Kryvorivnya has also become a birthplace for a classical novel about hutsuls and their traditions, namely «The Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors» by Mykhaylo Kotsyubynsky. Later on, the book went onscreen as a film of the same name which was also shot in Kryvorivnya by a famous Soviet dissident director Serhey Paradzhanov. The film received high accolades internationally.
Hutsul Grazhda is an archaic mountain dwelling, a protected farmstead in desolate mountain terrains, designed to protect the household against harsh weather, wild animals and attackers. The word «grazhda» comes from a common Slavic root which means «a place with a fence about» or «citadel». Nowadays, the very few of such dwellings exist in the mountains, as most of them are ruined or relocated to the skansen museums. The rare exemplar of such dwelling could be still found in Kryvorivnya.
The Church Of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Kryvorivnya is a complex of a wooden church and a bell tower built in the beginning of the XVIII century. It is another classical example of the wooden Hutsul sacral architecture. The church was a preaching place for the most outstanding patriarchs in the history of the Ukrainian religious life. It was always functioning even during Soviet times when most of the worship places were closed or ruined as a result of anti-religious state politics.
Kosiv is a small town known as a center of traditional Hutsul crafts, such as widely-known Kosiv ceramics, wood carving and sheep wool blankets weaving. The town grew in the Middle Ages as a place of the salt mining and trade. In the XIX-mid XX centuries, it became a famous resort and wellness center.
Yavoriv is a most famous village of blanket weavers in Ukraine. In 1967, Yavoriv blankets were a Prize-winning entry at the World Exhibition in Montreal. Yavoriv is also known as a birthplace of Hasidism, an influential branch of Judaism. In the XVIIth century, Hasidism founder Yisroel (Israel) ben Eliezer, most commonly known as Baal Shem Tov, lived, prayed and meditated in the caves and mountains around Yavoriv for 7 years. As the results of his spiritual searches, he started to preach his ideas which later attracted many followers.

Accommodation

Double or twin rooms. Extra charge for single room.

Meals

Breakfasts in Lviv, half board in the Carpathians (included in price).

We kindly ask you to follow our rules. They are for your safety:

  • no alcohol on the road or during mountain walks
  • please stick to the tour schedule and do keep up with the group
  • please follow guide’s instructions
  • children under 16 should be accompanied by adults

Language

English
Optional — German or Polish

Additional information:

If you arrive before the tour starts, we can also offer you additional accommodation and guided tours in Lviv. Just let us know!

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