If you want to enjoy the view of the amazing and extremely ancient crystals, it is absolutely not necessary to travel far away. Ternopil region of Ukraine is full of deep underground labyrinths and gypsum caves. Most of them appeared millions of years ago as a result of natural processes. This happened in the same period as the formation of the Carpathian Mountains.
Perfectly clean air and multi-colored crystals… Ternopil caves are a unique sight of Ukraine by their beauty. They have no analogues in any corner of the Earth. There are so many of them in this region that finding and visiting the most amazing of them turns out to be a rather difficult task. That is why we at 7Cars have prepared a selection for you.
Remember! Visiting the caves is one of the most extreme tourist attractions. It is dangerous to do this without special equipment. For this reason, experienced speleologists advise you to take a helmet, flashlight, gloves and overalls with you.
One of the most popular and beautiful is the Mlynky Cave. And it is one of the most extreme. It is located near the village of Zalissia, Chortkiv district (85 km from Ternopil and 16 km from the regional center).
You should not visit these gypsum dungeons without a guide, because their total length is more than 40 km. Therefore, the entrance to Mlynky is kept closed. And the price of the excursion, together with the cost of the workwear, is quite low: 125 UA hryvnias or 5 US dollars.
Speleologists say that you can get a full picture of this cave only by seeing it with your own eyes.
There are several routes for tourists wishing to walk through the natural labyrinths of Mlynky. There are those that do not require special training, and there are also complex and lengthy. Thus, one of the most interesting sections of Mlynky Cave is the passage over the Buffalo Head. A visit to it requires sufficient physical fitness from the tourist.
In order to see the amazing-colored stone crystals, you have to overcome many obstacles: climb over huge stones, squeeze through small crevices between boulders. But this is the beauty of visiting almost any caves. And the view will be a worthy reward: gypsum crystals delight everyone with their variety of colors, which are yellowish, white and gray. Tour guides- speleologists do not advise tourists to touch these creations of nature with their hands, because they can die even from a slight human touch.
Literally every hall and even stone in this cave has its own name. So, one of the stones that stands out for its smoothness is called the Snail. And having reached the finish line of one of the most difficult routes and knocking on the stone vaults, you can hear the voice of the Royal Gate.
In addition to the described information, tourists have the opportunity to ride on the Cossack hills, overcome the “mother-in-law’s tooth”, take part in the “cockroach race” on their knees and meet bats. By the way, it was the bats that helped the speleologists to open some of the cave’s halls: these animals are perfectly oriented in the tunnels and penetrate into the most remote corners.
Another cave worth paying attention to is Verteba. It is much easier to move along it. And you can find it quite easily: the village of Bilche-Zolote (108 km from Ternopil or 84 km from Chernivtsi) acts as a reference point.
This cave is a real museum located underground. The ceramic dishes and tools found here belonged to Trypillian people. Over the five thousand years that have passed since the disappearance of the Trypillian civilization, the conditions (temperature and humidity) in the cave itself have not changed at all, which made it possible to preserve all the attributes of life of Trypillians in perfect condition. For a one-hour tour, which costs only $1, you can learn about how the ancient inhabitants prepared food, what they wore and who they believed in. For the convenience of visitors, the cave is equipped with lighting fixtures. This makes it possible to visit it for both children and older people.
Even archaeological students from the USA come here to learn more about Trypillia. Scientists consider this cave very valuable because, from their point of view, there is simply no similar place in the world. After all, you can still find fossils from the Neolithic period in it.
Kryshtaleva and Optymistychna
These two caves are located close to each other, as well as from the town of Borshchiv. The road from the regional center here will be about 115 km. In the Kryshtaleva Cave, you can enjoy stunning views: after all, 23 km of its walls are covered with colorful crystals.
Optymistychna is the longest cave in Europe and one of the longest in the world. The total length of its passages is 260 km, but they have not yet been fully explored. Here you can admire stalactites and stalagmites by visiting a tour of 2 or 4 hours. And for experienced and trained tourists, there are also longer outings.
All these caves are located in the southern part of Ternopil region. If you want to visit all of them, then you can stay in the already mentioned cities of Chortkiv or Borshchiv. It will be most convenient to get around by car. And if you do not have a personal car, then the 7Cars company is always happy to help: you can rent a car in Ternopil or another city of Ukraine at a reasonable cost.
Having visited the caves in Ternopil region, you can not only enjoy the extraordinary beauty of Ukrainian nature, but also be imbued with the culture of the former inhabitants of these lands. We wish you successful travel!
Best cars to drive to the caves
Roads in Ternopil region are not always in perfect condition, and in some places you will want to turn off the highway to view the local landscapes. Therefore, we advise you to rent reliable cars with good cross-country ability for this trip. We have selected several of these models for you below. For trips with a large company, also look at minivans.