|Day 1: Nezvisko – Beremiany. Visiting the ruins of the fortress in Rakovets, climbing Chervona hill. Day 2: Beremiany – Ustechko. Visiting Chevonogorod valley, Dzhurin waterfall and Dzurin castle. Day 2: Ustechko – Zalishchyki. Mostly river-trip. Visiting Zalishchyki.
Dniester River is the largest river in Western Ukraine. The length of River Dniester is 1375 km, basin area is 72 100 km2. The source of River Dniester is situated on the northern slopes of the forested Carpathian Mountains, near village Rozluch, at the altitude of about 900 m. Dniester flows through Carpathians, among the picturesque rocky shores of Podolia (Dniester Canyon), orchards and vineyards of Moldova into Black Sea.
In ancient times, the absence of other means of communication made Dniester (then called Tiras), the only trade route for the tribes which inhabited its shores. That is why, so many castles, fortress and traditional trading towns still may be found along Dniester River. The ruins of many castles attract attention of travelers. On its way down to Black Sea Dniester receives 386 tributaries, such as: Stry, Svicha, Bistrica, Stripa, Seret, Zbruch, Smotrich etc.
White-water part of Dniester River could be found between village Strilki and town Staryj Sambor. There used to be a complex rapid in Staryj Sambor but it completely disappeared after the disastrous flood of 2008. After Staryj Sambor River Dniester flows through lowlands – this part is much less interesting for rafting, partially because the river bed was artificially straighten here. Very interesting area starts from village Zhuravno – the banks of Dniester River become higher and surrounded by lush forests. From village Cvitova on, once again, Dniestr enters agricultural area.
From Halych to the mouth of the river Zbruch stretches the most interesting part of the Dniester River. Here the river Dniester formed the canyon, where it flows with the speed of 5-7 km/h. Beautiful scenery, lots of caves and waterfalls could be found in Dniester Canyon. After Hotyn there are two large reservoirs – Novodnistrovske and Dubosarske, where the current speed of the river slows down to 1-2 km/h.
The best season to explore the white-water part of Dniester is April-May, but for the middle and lower parts – April-October. The most common vessels here – kayak or cataraft. There are no obstacles there the vessels should be carried, but you have to be prepared for hard rowing.
Dniester Rafting trips in middle and lower parts of the Dniester are generally accessible to beginners and families. A dense network of roads and railways makes the planning for Dnieter rafting trip more flexible.
The sightseeing points along the Dniester Canyon
Church from XVIII century and another church from 1872. Water mill from XIX century. Monument of B. Khmelnytskyj. Beginning of picturesque Dniester Canyon.
Odaiv is a famous site for hang-gliding and paragliding. There is also an archaeological site on the left bank (which 70m.of height): the remains of Trypilska culture from IV-III century BC have been discovered here in Odaiv. Odaiv also is a famous site for caving. In a cave Dumka (Odaiv XI) have been found the remains from the Paleolithic period, such as stone tools and bones of reindeer. Age of the settlements – about 20 thousand years. There is a contemporary chapel built, in honor of St. Panteleimon. There is also a cavern nearby – unknown monks hundreds of years ago hollowed out room for services. In the rock shelter is located UPA soldiers who died here during the fighting in 1940s. In their honor there is a cross here – on a high bank over a picturesque canyon of Dniester.
Koropets, situated along the Dniester bank, is a truly unique town. The first documentary memories of Koropets are from 1421, when it belonged to Kierdia, Pekarsky, Potocki, At that time Koropets was a border post between Rzeczpospolita and Ottoman Empire, and it remained so until Khotyn battle in 1621. The is a Palace of Count Casimir Baden (1846 -1909) – he was a governor of Galicia, the Austrian Prime Minister and Minister of the Home Office. The castle is surrounded by the park with old and exotic trees.
In the vicinity of Deleva village there was a archeological site from the Kiev Russia period.
On the left steep bank of Dniestr River there is a natural cave in ancient times used as a sanctuary, which was later converted into a Christian church. Ancient paintings were found inside the cave – some of them of unexplained origin, quite possible that that was an unknown writings. Unfortunately the cave is not protected and these paintings soon will be lost.
There is a church from 1851. In the former mansion of polish baron Rozhna, there is a pub, with amazing underground premises.
Close to Vozyliv village there is a mount called Baba. According to a legend, some smith Klepey, during his escape from Turkish captivity, captured Turkish princes and executed her at Baba mount Here, in 1951 in the battle with Bolsheviks was killed the last Ukrainian Nationalist guerrilla called Ignat.
This is another famous site for paragliding and hang-gliding. The name comes from the name of the monk Isak, who lived on the vicinity of the village. In the vicinity of Isakov village there is another rocky monastery.
There is a known archaeological site in the nearest vicinity of the village – the settlements from the Upper Paleolithic era. One of few bridges over Dniester River along the Dniester Canyon is situated here – but it involves a lot of effort and emotions to cross Dniester by that almost ruined bridge.
Rakovets village and Rakovets Castle
Rakovets is famous because of its castle. The ruins of Rakovets castle could be seen from far. Rakovets castle was built by Dominique Wojciech Bienovski in 1660. Rakovets Castle was built in a tactically disadvantageous position, and the only reason for this was the access to the water source. Nether the less it withstood several sieges during the Turkish-Polish war in 17th centaury. But eventually Rakovets castle was destroyed in 1676.
Not far from Beremiany village there is Red Mountain. A legend mentions the fact of execution of lurge number of peaceful peasants by Turkish army. Since that the killed peasant’s blood forever has stained the mountain – that’s why it is called red. This is also one of the warmest places in the Ternopil region, even in the most severe winters the snow here does not remain more than 1-2 days. 20 km northwards, not far from Rusyliv village the could be found Rusyliv cascade of waterfalls. The stream cuts a deep gorge and the steep bank over Strypa river – left tributary of Dniester. There are 14 waterfalls and the highest of them riches 12 m.). Between Rusyliv and Beremyany ther is another similar wonder – Sokoliv cascade of waterfalls.
Nyrkiv castle and church, actually their ruins, are situated in a valley that remain crater of volcano – a kind of Lost World. The most powerful waterfall in Ukraine – Dzhuryn waterfall – also could be found here. The water of Dzhuryn waterfall drop down from 16 meters. In the past, there was a town of Chervonogorod – a capital of an independent principality. Now there are only 2 high towers of the former castle, that was rebuilt into a palace, which was destroyed during the First World War; and a crumbling church from 15th century.
The last Galician village on the way down Dnester River situated on the right bank, on the historical border with Bukovina region.
The first written mention of the village dates from the year 1438. Here the was a border between Galicia-Volhynia and Ottoman Empire. The village received its name because of the archers, who were guarding the border. There is also an Ivan Evangelist’s Church that was built in 1812.
In Babyn there are a famous waterfall and unique rocky chapel. If you are interested in bird watching, there is an ornithological reserve, where the colony of gray herons numbers 99 nests.
This is a typical Bukovynian village. In the past Dniester divided Kostryzhivka into the Polish and Romanian sides.
Due to warm and dry climate, cheap fruit and vegetables may be found here. In Polish times (1930s) Zalischyky was a popular resort. From that has remind a botanical garden with some exotic trees in. On the high left bank in front of Zalischyky there is a recently constructed Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and on the foot of the hill – an ancient monastery and an old little church from 16th centaury.