Dniester Canyon and Rivers of Dniester Basin
- Lengh 1,362 km (846 mi)
- Basin 68,627 km2 (26,497 sq mi)
- Regions Ukraine, Moldova
- Maps Dniester 1 Dniester 2
- Photos 1 2 3 4 5 6
- Source 49° 12′ 44″ N, 22° 55′ 40″ E
- Mouth 46° 21′ 0″ N, 30° 14′ 0″ E
Day 1: Nezvysko –Beremyany includes a stop at Rakovets to visit the ruins of a fortress and a hike up Chervona (Red) hill. Day 2: Beremyany – Ustechko consists of a visit to the Chervonohorod valley, the Dzhuryn waterfall and the Dzhuryn castle. Day 3: Ustechko – Zalischyky is largely spent on the river and exploring Zalischyky.
The Dniester River is the largest river in Western Ukraine—it’s 1375 km long and has a 72,100 km2 basin area. The source of River Dniester is situated on the northern slopes of the forested Carpathian Mountains, near the village of Rozluch, at an altitude of about 900 m. The Dniester flows through the Carpathians, among the picturesque rocky shores of Podolia (Dniester Canyon) and through the orchards and vineyards of Moldova into the Black Sea.
In ancient times, the absence of other means of communication made the Dniester (then called Tyras), the only trade route for the people which inhabited its shores. That is why, so many castles, fortress and traditional trading towns were built along its banks. Travellers are drawn to the ruins of the many castles. On its way to the Black Sea 386 tributaries, including the: Stryi, Svicha, Bystrytsya, Zolota Lypa, Strypa, Seret, Zbruch and Smotrych dump into the Dniester.
The white-water rapids are located between the village of Strilky and the town of Staryi Sambir. There used to be a complex rapid in Staryi Sambir but it was completely demolished in the disastrous flood of 2008. After Staryi Sambir the Dniester flows through lowlands – this part is much less interesting for rafting, in part because the river bed was artificially straightened here. It again becomes interesting as the river banks rise, and the river gets enveloped by lush forests near the village of Zhuravno. The river enters an agricultural area again in Tsvitova.
The most interesting part of the Dniester is from Nyzhniv to the mouth of the river Zbruch. In this section, the river carved out a canyon and the river flows at 5-7 km/h. Beautiful scenery as well as lots of caves and waterfalls can be found in the Dniester Canyon. After Khotyn there are two large reservoirs, Novodnistrovske and Dubosarske; after the reservoirs, the river slows down to a tranquil 1-2 km/h.
The best season to explore the white-waters of the Dniester is April-May, but April-October is the better season for the middle and lower parts of the river. The most commonly used vessels are kayak or cataraft. There are no obstacles which require portage but, you have to be prepared for hard rowing.
Dniester Rafting trips on the middle and lower parts of the river are most appropriate for beginners and families. A dense network of roads makes it easy to customize your trip on the Dniester.
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