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Deserts and canyons of Ukraine: travelling by car in summer

Deserts and canyons of Ukraine: travelling by car in summer

Oleksandr Kabanets
Operations Manager

The borders of most countries are currently closed for Ukrainian tourists due to quarantine, so this is the best time to discover our own country in a new way, to see its rich nature and to get inspired. The beauty of Ukrainian landscapes is no worse than foreign ones! For example, there are canyons and “deserts” that we propose to get to know better in our article.

If you decide to go to these places by yourself, we recommend you do it by a car that will give you comfort and mobility. We are always happy to help with this matter: we will provide any car from our fleet that you like. 7Cars offices are located in the largest cities of our country (Kyiv, Dnipro, Odessa, Lviv), but we are also ready to deliver a car of your dreams to a convenient address for you within Ukraine. Now let’s explore our selection and start planning your trip together!

Granite canyon on the Hirskyi Tikych River

In 180 km from Kyiv, there is a village of Buky (Cherkasy region), where the Hirskyi Tikych River flows. The granite canyon is located here. When you arrive in the village, you will see large granite slabs, then the rapids, followed by a sharp precipice, as if the earth had fallen off – this is the beginning of the canyon, whose grandiose cliffs reach 25 meters. Many people enjoy this place, so it deservedly enters the 100 of the most beautiful places in Ukraine, and ranks second place in the “Seven Wonders of Cherkasy region” list.


Photo by Seleonov, license CC BY-SA 3.0.

Arbuzynskyi canyon

If you want to spend time alone in a peaceful and quiet place, the Arbuzynskyi Canyon or the Devil’s Valley is a great option. This place is not famous for a large flow of tourists, but it is considered the pride of the Mykolaiv region. A 393 km drive from Kyiv or 170 km from Odessa will lead you to one of the oldest canyons in Ukraine.

The relief of the canyon arose thanks to the volcano, which, according to local residents’ thoughts, has not cooled down, because even in winter blooming violets can be seen on its rocks. This is a wonderful place for those, who love spending nights in the open air, enjoy the beauty of nature, as well as want to get acquainted with wild boars, bison, deer, lizards and moles. In June, the fields of this area are full of flowers and wild strawberries. Not far from the canyon there are small markets and gas stations, so if you spontaneously decide to spend the night in this incredible place, the most necessary things will be near.


Photo by Artem Komisarenko, Dasha Popovych, license Creative Commons.

Dniester canyon

The largest canyon in Ukraine and one of the 7 wonders of our country has a length of about 250 km and passes through four regions. It was formed due to the specific geological structure of the area; tectonic movements and processes of water and wind erosion also helped.

One of the most interesting sections of the canyon is located in the Ternopil region in the village of Zalishchyky – 500 km from Kyiv, 112 km from Ivano-Frankivsk. Here from the slopes you can see the picturesque Zalishchyky Peninsula, the part of the Dniester Canyon regional landscape park, as well as an incredible panorama of the bends of the Dniester. This place is wonderful for a family holiday to share the beauty with your closest ones.


Photo by Сергій Криниця (Haidamac), license CC BY-SA 3.0.

Korostyshiv granite quarry

Only 100 km from Kyiv, and you find yourself in a paradise near the town of Korostyshiv, Zhytomyr region. The blue lake, rocky shores up to 10 m high, clean air, tall pines and birches are perfect for a weekend relaxation.


Photo by Gluuuum, license CC BY 3.0.

Oleshky Sands

Fortunately or unfortunately, there are no real deserts in Ukraine. However, there is a mini-desert – Oleshky Sands National Park in the Kherson region, which is the largest sand massif in Europe. To get here from Kyiv, you need to overcome 585 km, from Odessa – 241 km. From wherever you go, it’s worth it, because every Ukrainian should see such a miracle with his own eyes.

The area of Oleshky sands is 1620 km2. At the widest point, the dunes of this mini-desert stretch for 5 km, and their height reaches 5 meters. There are several theories for the occurrence of this phenomenon:

  1. dunes are the remains of the former channel of the Dnieper;
  2. the territory of the massif was previously planted, but herds of sheep destroyed their cover in the 18-19 centuries, and the roots that held together the sandy soil died. Today, sands are lined with Crimean pine.

Doesn’t matter which of these two theories is true, because now we have an opportunity to be charmed with one of the 7 wonders of Ukraine. Moreover, you can have a great rest there: try to ride on the dunes in the same way as on a snowy hill. Take skating plates, water, food and a cheerful company, and you are provided with an excellent mood and unforgettable leisure. And if you rent an SUV, you can also drive in the sand. Don’t forget to take a look at the sea: the distance from here to the Black Sea coast is only about 80 km.


Photo by НПП “Олешківські піски” , license CC BY-SA 3.0.

All these places are the real pearls of our country. Whatever route you choose, in any case, you will enjoy beautiful views and recharge with the strongest energy of our land. Let’s develop tourism in Ukraine together!

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