The foothills of the Carpathians in L’viv region, of almost nine hundred meters height, is a place where the Dniester, one of the most mysterious and interesting rivers, takes its birth. Waters of the Dniester melt and descend from the mountains, here and there forming islands. Quiet and calmness of the plateau waters gradually grow in increasingly rapid flows near the village of Zhuravino. The banks become higher, the bed becomes rocky, and near the ancient town of Galych the river narrows – this place is the beginning of the Dniester Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine.
Flora and Fauna
The canyon is 250 kilometres long, being one of the longest in Europe. Steep, covered with relict forests, slopes, caves and waterfalls make it one of the most picturesque and interesting places to visit. About 100 nature creations and places of interests belong to the landscape park “Dniester Canyon”. The mild climate and favourable nature conditions create an ideal habitat for animals, many of which are listed in the Red Book: sturgeon, European otter and badger, wild cat, lynx, and others. The water world of the Dniester is rich as well. The oak forests mixed with lime, hornbeam, maple, birch and ash create real "Ukrainian tropics", especially in the summer time.
Nature, as well as monuments of history, culture and architecture, is so adorable that attract thousands of tourists from different countries. Avail yourself one of many offers of professional travel companies for rafting on the Dniester. Not only professionals but also beginners can do it. Rafting can take from several days to several weeks. Companies provide everything you need for rafting and recreation, professional instructors and tour-guides will show you the most interesting routes.
Interesting places of Dniester Canyon
Villages along the Dniester Canyon are rich with places of interest. A beautiful church of the 18th century and an 19th century mill in the village of Nyzhniv are worth seeing. Near the village Odaiv caves are located, where traces of prehistoric creatures were found. This is a gypsum cave complex with a charming grotto Monakh. The Odaiv Caves are located among the mountains of the Devonian period. It is also a popular place for hang gliding. Views of the Dniester from the air are overwhelming! From a bird's eye you can clearly see Yin-Yang island, which actually resembles this ancient sign. Such a heavenly journey will be remembered for a lifetime.
But the land has something to admire. One of such places is the village of Koropets where the Potots’kyis have laid a charming park with ancient trees of three girths. And beautiful cascade waterfalls and streams are wonderful! The Divochi Sliozy Waterfall (meaning girl's tears) is one of the most picturesque. In the village of Stinka there is an ancient cave temple built in a rock. From Baba Mountain in Vozylov village you can expect fascinating views of the Dniester estuary. In the morning white mist covers waters of the river, giving an incredible feeling of lightness, it seems you might fly up like a bird! Overcoming a huge water ring, you'll see a mossy grotto, through which streams of clean water flow down and break on the rocks into million of drops creating magical colours of a rainbow. This place is considered by many as a paradise.
Many finds date back to the times of Tripoli culture. You will see a tower of Rakovets castle, built in 1660, ruins of Chervonograd castle C17th. Near you may notice a staggering two-stage waterfall of 16 meters height – Dzhuryns’kyi Fall, the largest cascade waterfall in Ukraine. During heavy rains its waters become light red due to the washing out of red Devonian sediments on the rocks. This is an amazing sight. In the little town of Zaleschyky you can see one more estate of Potots’kyi family, St Stanislav Cathedral of 18th century, Orthodox monastery of 17th century, as well as trees of an old botanical garden: Ginkgo, Tulip, Japanese pagoda, etc.
All mentioned above is only a small part of what you can see in the Dniester Canyon. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most unique places in Ukraine.