Explore Ukraine with Daxx – Interview with Daxxers

Summer is the best time for vacations. Our dear colleagues, Yevheniia Aliluienko, Serhii Riabtsev, Katya Kachkovska, and Volodymyr Sakharov, decided to explore Ukraine during their summer getaways and shared their impressions with us!


Yevheniia Aliluienko
QA Engineer at Daxx Kharkiv 

Explore Ukraine - Yevheniia

This summer, we embarked on a journey to conquer Hoverla. We headed from Kharkiv to Vorokhta by car. It was the first time we were driving such a long way, so we decided to spend a night in Zhytomyr. By the way, we were pleasantly surprised by the nature near the Chatsky rock! Basically, the road was normal, but it became much worse on the border of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions and remained bad throughout the whole Ivano-Frankivsk region.

In Vorokhta, we lived in a guest house with a picturesque view on mountains in spruces and the Prut River. The pricing was reasonable. However, you could stay in Bukovel for more or less the similar price. It will cost you less in Yaremche (both food and accommodation), and the difference to the entry point is 15 km. It’s up to you to choose! 

The day we conquered Hoverla. We headed to the entry point in the morning. Be there as early as possible as there are lots of people also willing to climb the peak. You need to register, get to the sports base “Zaroslyak” (about 8 km of a very bad road that will take you 30 minutes by car), and step the route. The ascent and descent are quite steep. You’d better be prepared physically, emotionally, and properly equipped. There are a bunch of interesting spots nearby like Makovytsia Mountain and Dovbush Rocks (you can see both of them in one day), Homiak Mountain and Zhenetsky Huk Waterfall (you can also get there in one day), and others.

Explore Ukraine - Hoverla
Hoverla peak, Carpathians
Explore Ukraine - Horse in the Carpathians
Makovytsia Mountain
Explore Ukraine - Vorokhta
Vorokhta (view from the house)
Explore Ukraine - viaduk
Viaduct in Vorokhta

Serhii Riabtsev
Scrum Master at Daxx Kyiv

Explore Ukraine - Serhii

The lockdown has multiplied vacation plans for summer by zero. But there’s always a way out! Luckily, we live in a beautiful and diverse country. A car, a bag, and a good mood are all the ingredients you need for a good getaway. 

My wife and I decided to go to the Carpathians (specifically to Yasinya), where the Chornohora Sky Marathon took place. I love mountains, my wife loves running — why not to combine pleasant with useful? 

This wasn’t my first trip to the Carpathians, but I didn’t go further than Bukovel as a driver. Well, everything happens for the first time. It means that we’re off for new adventures! 

The choice of the route was quite simple. I turned on Waze, picked a destination point, and tapped “Let’s go” (as it turned out later, you shouldn’t blindly trust this navigation app). 

The first mistake we made was to suggest that we can get from Kyiv to Yasinya (650 km) in one ride. Of course, we made it, but the whole next day we felt sleepy and drained. We started off from Kyiv at about 1 AM and arrived at Yasinya at around 12 PM noon. Therefore, I highly recommend splitting the route into two parts. Go to Ternopil or Ivano-Frankivsk, stay there for a night, and then head to the forests and mountains.

Once you’re in Carpathian villages, DO NOT TRUST THE NAVIGATOR! I mean it. I barely left a bumper on the roadside. If we didn’t happen to meet local boys who showed us the route, we’d have much more trouble than just a little scratch on the bumper. No kidding. 

As to navigators once again, Waze led us not to the main routes, but across villages and fields. Yes, it was faster than the Google maps route. But if you don’t like extreme things, check the route twice. Getting back to our route, I’ve never seen such a beautiful nature before. Breathtaking views! 

As to traveling by car, the roads in the Carpathians vary from highways to gullies. However, you can ride almost everywhere by car. Good tires, a full tank, sticking to the speed limit and traffic rules — that’s all the recommendations you need. 

So, should you go to the Carpathians now? Absolutely! Without haste, watching surroundings, stopping in nameless villages, buying sweet apples from local grannies. Then settle at the foot of the mountain you like, climb the peak, clear your thoughts in a hot vat — and get back on track! 

Beginning of the ascent to Petros
Polonyna (mountain meadow)
Yasinya. Panoramic view

Katya Kachkovska
Content Marketing Manager at Daxx Lviv

Explore Ukraine - Katya

Our trip lasted 12 days. We drove more than 2500 km, got tanned, and tasted the local cuisine in roadside cafes.

Early in the morning, we left Lviv and headed to Kamianets-Podilskyi. Our tent camp was located under the bridge, in the heart of the city. To get to the plateau between the rocks, we had to go down the steep stairs below the bridge. We chose that location for a good reason. My friends love rock climbing. There are several routes for climbers throughout the whole canyon, over which Kamianets-Podilskyi was built.

Then we headed to Khotyn and its fortress. I was more impressed by the area around the fortress than the fortress itself. We set up tents near Khotyn on the banks of the Dniester, where people go rafting from time to time.

Khotyn and its fortress

Go, go, go! Uman was calling. We were lucky enough to see Sofiyivka right after a heavy summer rain. We couldn’t set up tents in the town, so we immediately headed to our next spot — Butsky Canyon. There are also climbing trails, a deep and clear river, and picturesque sunrises.

Sofiyivka

Oleshky Sands is the second largest desert in Europe. Tourists are allowed to visit it until 10 AM, so they can stay in the camp right next to the desert. We had a chance to talk to Mrs. Olha (surprisingly a former lviver), charge our phones, get drinking water, and behold the desert itself. There are also salt lakes not far from Oleshky. If you’re into it, ask Mrs. Olha for directions.

Oleshky Sands

Syvash lake was another mark on our route. As far as your eyes can see, a giant pink salt lake stretched its banks. Not far from the beautiful Syvash, you’ll see a not so beautiful lake with the same saltwater, a parking lot, and showers with fresh-water. Tip #2 — if you travel with tents, we recommend setting up a camp near the Syvash, right on the shore. We saw many round holes in the ground, where snakes, spiders, or rodents can live — depending on what you’re afraid of. 🙂

Syvash lake

Dzharylhach is not a desert island, at least not during summer. We took a ferry from Skadovsk and left our cars on the parking lot near the dock. Tip #3 — take empty bottles with you to the island so you can fill them with freshwater near the lighthouse. The island is a nature reserve, so you should have a gasoline camping stove instead of lighting a fire. It’s better to stop on the opposite side of the mainland — there are no jellyfish and seaweed. 

Our final stop was Rybakivka in the Mykolaiv area. Tired of countless tourists, locals from Odesa have a rest there. It’s a serene, inexpensive, and quiet place to relax and stay in tents for a longer time.

Rybakivka, Mykolaiv area

Volodymyr Sakharov
JavaScript Developer at Daxx Kyiv 

Explore Ukraine - Volodymyr

I decided to spend my summer vacation in the Carpathians. It was my fourth trip to that region. If you visited the mountains once, you can’t resist doing it again and again. 

I love hiking, so I stay in Yasinya village in the Carpathians. This is a great location for climbing the Montenegrin ridge (the highest mountain ridge in Ukraine, which includes Petros (2020 m), Hoverla (2062 m), Pip Ivan Chornohorsky (2028 m), and other mountains known to every experienced traveler). 

During my 4 days stay, I managed to visit Petros and Hoverla on the first day. The distance between them is 7,8 km. Having climbed so high, it would be a pity to go down after the first mountain when you can also conquer the second. I had to leave Yasinya at 7 AM and the route took me almost 13 hours, which is 25 km of pleasure for a hiking lover. 

Landscape of the Carpathians

The next day was all about relaxation. We went to Solotvyno to swim in the salt lakes. To make it clear what it looks like: this is either an open lake or pools filled with saltwater from the bowels of the earth. The water has a 30% salt concentration and a fairly warm temperature, so you can visit it even in the cold season. In the evening, we relaxed in the vats. The evening, hot vat, stars in the sky, and a tasty herbal tea — it all created an unforgettable atmosphere of relaxation, which gave me strength to conquer new heights the next day. 

Visiting the vats, Solotvyno

The third day was dedicated to the trip to Drahobrat and climbing Blyznytsia Mountain. I find this mountain the most beautiful, as it offers a magnificent view on the Carpathian villages, mountain ridges, and crystal-clear lakes. The height of the mountain is 1800 m, and the ascent from Drahobrat is very comfortable. It will be suitable even for companies with children and for those who don’t believe in themselves in the harsh conditions of the mountains. 

On the fourth day, we wanted to visit Pip Ivan (Chorna Hora). I’ve already climbed this mountain on foot twice, from Dzembronya village (there’s a very picturesque route through Vukhatyi Kamin). This time, I decided to do something different and booked a jeep tour to Pip Ivan. We got to the Montenegrin ridge by jeep and only 3 km left to reach the top of the mountain. 

During this ascending, it was very exciting to watch how this big car slowly eats the mountain rocky road. Several times, I had a thought that we can’t go further — these rocks are too big. But Nissan Patrol can do everything. 🙂 

On the way back, we got caught in the rain with hail, so we ran those 3 kilometers so fast that any marathoner would envy us. 

This vacation was so contrasting, unforgettable and packed with events, that I would be happy to repeat this trip. Especially because I still have a few unexplored places waiting for me next year. 

This hike confirmed another important idea. During my previous hikes on long descents, my knees hurt a bit. I thought it’s time to quit hiking. But after the first day of extra work for my legs (I favored knees on the slopes) and water treatments on the second day — I’ve literally forgotten about my knees later on. So if your heart hurts — put stress on your heart, if your knees hurt — put stress on your knees.

Hiking in the Carpathians

Myhiya

In the Mykolaiv area, there’s a perfect spot for those who love nature, extreme, and different kinds of rest. These are Myhiya rapids in the namesake village.

What can you do there? The most popular attraction for tourists is rafting. Hundreds of people do rafting on the Pivdennyi Buh River every day. If you love extreme sports or want to try something new — this place is for you. 

Rafting on Pivdennyi Buh

Myhiya will be interesting even for those who don’t like rafting. Nature here is fantastic! You can walk along the river on the rocky shores, swim in the swirling river streams, and admire the bizarre shapes of the cliffs. I highly recommend visiting Radon Lake and the hydroelectric power station.

Radon Lake, Myhiya

It took me three days to conquer Myhiya rapids. We spent the night in tents on the banks of Pivdennyi Buh. During the day, we walked along the river, swam, conquered the cliffs, and above all — we enjoyed the magnificent views of these places.

Volodymyr and his kids in Myhiya

Guys, thank you so much for sharing your bright memories with us. We were happy to discover new corners of our motherland together with you. Explore Ukraine with Daxx!


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