A great proportion of the iconic 1,500km long Carpathian mountain range is located within Ukrainian territory, forming the country’s largest protected National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Four vast regions in the south-west corner are home to the National Park, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Zakarpattia and Lviv, with the mountainous area slicing through Ukraine from its western border with Slovakia to its southern border with Moldova.  Despite being one of the most isolated areas in the country, popular as a countryside retreat, for its clean air and its views undisturbed by dwellings, the range is easily accessible from major cities in the West such as Lviv, Chernivtsi and Ivano Frankivsk. Its landscapes couldn’t be more different to the vast flat expanses surrounding the mountains, with Carpathian views being incomparable to any other region in Ukraine. The most noticable and breathtaking geographical feature of the mountains are their layered, crinkled nature, with larger, steeper peaks forming a backdrop for their smaller hilly neighbours. The beauty of this already dramatic landscape is further enhanced by the rolling mist which often appears at the foot of the mountains, leaving their distant tree-covered summits visible and some completely conceiled. Unsuprisingly, this remote national park is most visited for its hiking, trekking and extreme sports in summer and skiing in winter. All activities enable visitors to explore the park’s views in all their glory, with some of the best viewing spots being far from roads and only accessible by piste or trail. At the heart of the range, Ukraine’s tallest peak, Hoverla, stands at just over 2000m high, presenting a particular challenge to the amateur trekker, whilst being by no means unachievable. Yet, it certainly isn’t necessary to overcome such heights to appreciate the awe-inspiring panoramas, with hiking trails ranging in difficulty and length, all with the promise to redefine your perceptions of Ukraine’s natural beauty. Despite the secluded expanse of the National Park, villages and towns, complete with wooden chapels, are dotted throughout offering accomodation to passing visitors as well as the possibility of renting solitary Alpine-esque wooden cabins perched on steep green hillsides. The resident population is somewhat particular for Ukraine, with a great proportion belonging to the Carpatho-Rusyns ethnic group, whose livlihoods are intertwined with the remoteness of their surroundings and whose language, culture and dairy-based cuisine are quite different to those in other Ukrainian regions. With its extensive geography, magnificent rural landscapes, unique cultures and infinite possibilities for relaxation and recreation, the Carpathians are a true Ukrainian gem waiting for your discovery. Any questions? Our team of travel experts are ready to help you. This tour can be booked securely in advance online. Just add it to your travel list!

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