Transcarpathia bicycle tour

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Transcarpathia bicycle tour

Transcarpathia bicycle tour

This bicycle tour is arranged for organized groups and will be held by experienced English-speaking guides. This trip literally takes you back in time and shows real life of “gutsuls”, as you pass through the serene villages of Transcarpathia, get familiar with local age-old customs and traditions, enjoy neat wooden houses and churches, visit interesting master classes and folklore evenings. Beautiful Carpathian mountains, delicious home-made food, picturesque trails and friendly people will turn this journey into a pleasant and unforgettable adventure. Let’s explore Ukraine together! We know how and will show you the best way to do it!

This bicycle tour will give you

  • Riding around the Carpathians and Transcarpathian region, discovering true rural life as it is
  • Enjoying the nature of the mountainous greenery and the meadows in bloom, conquering the high altitude Synevir lake, seeing the brown bears in the natural reserve and the deers at a farm
  • Becoming a Ukrainian cuisine expert – you will savor borsch with salo (be prepared to remember these divine words!), holubtsi with sour cream (another word to fall in love with!), wash it down your lucky throat with horilka (vodka, as it is), and treat yourself with lovely white mushrooms (ceps)
  • Admiring the typical Carpathian architecture – the ancient wooden churches and houses with shingled roofs
  • Spending an authentic party night with singing and dancing alongside with the village musicians, coloring your own unique pysanka (a wonderful symbolic colored egg) and discovering the national crafts
  • Treating yourself with tasting the cheese from a rural cheese dairy craft houses, coupled with the one-of-a-kind farmers’ wine
  • The beginning and the end of the tour will be framed with free time in Lviv – the mesmerizing ancient city, a true gastronomic capital of Ukraine

Transcarpathia

It borders with four European states: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. At various times, this area was run by Austrian and Hungarian rulers, Czechs and Slovaks, and Polish people. During Soviet times, this region was the last one to join Ukraine. Even today, this place is richly multicultural and multinational, with more than 12 nationalities flourishing here. The local speaking dialect differs significantly from the classical Ukrainian language, which adds the indispensable charm to it. Meanwhile, the traditional life pattern safeguards the local folkways and customs.

Carpathian landscape The lake Synevir Riding from Borzhava range

The villages, the mountains, the cows

The Carpathian Mountains are relatively low ones. The highest peak is Mount Hoverla (2061 meters). The heights are covered with emerald-colored greenery, the hills are full of blackberry bushes, and the forests are abundant with mushrooms. Most of the locals live in villages, earning their living with farming and cattle breeding. Thus, cows that return from the grazing fields all by themselves or strolling along the streets is a usual, mundane scenario for these localities.

Cart with horses Shepherds Village life

Workshops and folklore nights

You will learn many more fascinating details about the history of the Carpathian village at the skansen museum that displays dwellings of villagers of various social strata and origin. The museum items illustrate the way Ukrainians used to live some several decades ago. Many of the exhibition items are fully functional: you can try working at the shingler’s machine-tool, sit on the parochial school bench or try some spirit tincture at the tavern run by a local Jew, as it was usual at a traditional Ukrainian village.
One of the nights, a real Ukrainian housewife (yes, pun intended) will introduce you to the household museum that has the national craftsmanship and ritual items. The same lady will teach you to paint pysankas – the eggs that are used as ritual and sacred objects for religious holidays. Later that night, she will host an authentic party featuring local musicians, who will teach you Carpathian songs and dances.

The museum Old Village Village band Pysanka

The best Ukrainian and Transcarpathian cuisine

The world-famous borsch and salo are not the only dishes of Ukrainian cuisine; be prepared to savor home-made kovbasa (similar to meaty sausages, but not quite it, be prepared to be amazed), varenyky (a dumpling-like delicacy), holubtsy (meat and cabbage rolls), deruny (potato and mushroom pancakes), banosh (cornflour porridge with salty cottage cheese). All of these wonders go wonderfully with the local spirits: samohon (the strongest spirit to be found here) and home-made wine. This tour includes the most authentic local dishes that the ladies of the households will cook especially for you.

The borsch Banosh Dumplings with berry

The Itinerary

Our itinerary is meticulously planned to lead us from the mountains, sliding down smoothly to the plains of Transcarpathia (medium-level difficult). We will conquer several rolls and rises, but do not worry: these challenges are appropriate for non-professional bicycle riders who cannot boast their experience. In any case, there is an all-time support team at a vehicle, ready to give you a lift if you get exhausted. Mainly, the itinerary runs through asphalt-covered roads; in average, we should be able to go 30 to 60 kilometers during 5 or 6 hours, including the pit-stops.

A dirt road Asfalt road Mezhirsky pass

Accommodation

During our trip, we shall lodge at the best locations the region can offer. At the adorable private hotels, we shall be treated with double rooms, fully equipped, with every convenience you would need. We will spend one of the nights at a lovely cozy guest house, to feel the real-life Carpathian warmth and welcoming embrace. In Lviv, we will live at the heart of the Old City, the downtown, in a small modern hotel, located in a renovated 18th century premises. All the most exciting spots of the city are one step away from there.

Hotel room Traditional restaurant The bath "Chani"

Lviv the Unbelievable

This is our point of start and finish. Lviv is perfect to begin discovering Ukraine. This is the native land of the most zealous Ukrainian patriots; most Lviv citizens speak Ukrainian. At weekends, the locals wear vyshyvankas (embroidered shirts) to go to the church. Lviv old town has been preserved wonderfully, with its abundance of themed restaurants with unique history and cuisine, and numerous pubs with a selection of craft beer and home-made tinctures that will leave every heart throbbing. The ancient churches and museums will appeal to history aficionados; the miscellaneous souvenir shops offer various lovely reminiscences about Ukraine for your friends and beloved ones.

Old town of Lviv Vyshyvanka day Lviv opera theatre

Tour Schedule

Day Act
1
  • Meeting at the airport
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Meeting the tour guide of the group, receiving instructions
  • Leisure time, or discovering Lviv with the tour guide
  • A guided tour around Lviv by the professional English-speaking guide (optional)
2
  • Breakfast
  • Bus transfer from Lviv to the spot where the bicycle itinerary starts at Volovets village
  • Receiving the bicycles, adjusting them
  • Bicycle ride at the Volovets-Pilipets itinerary
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Lunch
  • A walking tour to Shypit waterfall at Borzhava range (ascending to 1120-meter-high point above the sea level at a seat elevator).
  • Also, hiking to Magura peak (1505 m), time-permitting.
  • Dinner
  • Woodfired bath-house (optional)
Релакс 16 km, Релакс 5 km
3
  • Breakfast
  • A bicycle ride: Pilipets-Mezhyhirya-Mezhyhirya range (793 m)-Synevir lake
  • Lunch at a kolyba (a traditional Carpathian eatery)
  • Cycling from Synevir village to the bear reserve
  • Visiting the natural reserve, watching the brown bears
  • A bicycle trip to the lake Synevir natural reserve
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • A hiking tour around Synevir lake
  • Dinner
  • Sauna (optional)
Релакс 66 km, Релакс 3 km
4
  • Breakfast
  • A bicycle trip from Synevir lake to Kolochava
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Lunch
  • Visiting the “Old Village” skansen museum, folklore arts showcase and tastings
  • Time permitting: visiting the village beekeeper or a bicycle trip to Prislop range
  • Dinner at a trout farm
Релакс 30 km
5
  • Breakfast
  • A bicycle trip from Kolochava to Nyzhne Selyshche
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Lunch
  • A bicycle ride around the village and a tour to the village cheese parlor, tasting included
  • A bicycle trip from Nyzhne Selyshche to Lypche
  • Visiting a deer farm, watching the dappled deers
  • Returning to Nyzhne Selyshche
  • Dinner
  • Folklore night: a workshop on pysanka, a showcase of Ukrainian musicians
Релакс 72 km
6
  • Breakfast
  • A bicycle trip from Nyzhne Selyshche to Svaliava
  • Late lunch
  • Bus transfer: Svaliava-Lviv
  • Check-in at the hotel
  • Festive dinner
Релакс 62 km
7
  • Breakfast
  • Free time
  • Transfer to the airport

 

This itinerary is available for organized groups. The Ukrainian bicycle tour company will provide an English-speaking tour guide. For more details on the itinerary and the costs, please contact us by e-mail velovuyki@gmail.com.