- Type: biking, hiking, white-water, city-tour
- Duration: 12 days
- Difficulty: moderate
- Accomodation: hotels (campings for the hiking part)
- Map: Lviv - Odesa - Crimea - Lviv
- Price: €585
Our tour to Crimea via Odesa is a real Indiana Jones style adventure. Canyons, islands, deserts, rafting, rocky mountains, caves, waterfalls, safari, castles all await you on our way down to Odessa and Crimea before heading back to Lviv. We will visit two of the most beautiful cities in Ukraine, Lviv and Odessa, as well as some of the most beautiful wild habitat destinations.
Crimea Tour package includes rafting through the rapids of the Southern Buh River and a four-day hike through the rocky Crimean Mountains. Cycling the route is another option that we offer.
CRIMEA TOUR PROGRAM
DAY 1: LVIV – NEMYRIV: RAFTING ON THE SOUTHERN BUG RIVER
Depart Lviv at 6 a.m. - right after the breakfast - to Nemyriv: distance—407 km, travel time—about 8 hours.
Day 1 includes a 20 km rafting on the Southern Bug River (from Vorobiyivka to Sokilets). This stretch of river includes the Kyiv rapids which share a name with Ukraine’s capital.
Guests spend the night at a hotel situated on the bank of the Southern Buh River 15 km from Nemyriv. The hotel was the former mansion of Count Potocki.
DAY 2: NEMYRIV – PERVOMAYSK
Before moving on we will cross the river to visit a former park that belonged to Count Potocki, a church from 1764 and a watermill situated on the riverbank.
After breakfast we will start with another rafting trip on the Southern Buh from Sokilets and Bratslav. Initially the river will be quiet and calm, but it will soon give way to rapids giving us the opportunity to calmly take in the exceptional scenery before getting a bit of an adrenalin rush. The distance between Sokilets and Bratslav is 26 km.
On the way to Pervomaysk you may choose to visit the remains of Myriv, a Scythian settlement from the Iron Age. It is the largest Scythian city in Ukraine between the Dniester and Dnieper Rivers. The distance between Nemyriv and Pervomaysk is 221 km. and it takes about 4.5 hours. We will spend the night in a hotel in Hrushivka on the bank of the Southern Bug.
DAY 3: PERVOMAYSK – ODESA
After breakfast we will tackle the most interesting part of the Southern Bug River: the 6-kilometer Migeya’s rapids. After the rapids we will continue rafting through the natural beauty of the National Park Bug Guard.
When we get off the Southern Bug we will trek through Aktovskyi Canyon, arguably the most fascinating part of the Bug Guard National Park. Aktovskyi Canyon is approximately 40-50 meters deep and etched out of granite.
The Mertvovod River runs through the narrow Aktovskyi Canyon. The name of the river translates into English as dead water. The river was thus named because nothing seemed to live in it, it was later discovered that the river contains very high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide.
After the Aktovskyi Canyon a vehicle will take you to Odesa. The distance between Pervomaysk and Odesa is 221 km; the travel time is about 4.5 hours. Overnight accommodations are at a hotel in Odesa.
DAY 4: ODESA – RYBAKIVKA
After breakfast we will have a guided tour of Odesa. On its 100th anniversary Odesa was already the 4th largest city in the Russian Empire in terms of population and economic development. It followed St. Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw.
In the afternoon we will travel by bus to the former fishing village of Rybakivka. If the group chooses we can stop at Koblevo which is home to one of the biggest water parks in Ukraine. The distance between Odessa and Rybakivka is 92 km.; travel time is about 2 hours. We will stay overnight in Rybakivka in a hotel near the Black Sea coast. Before or after the lunch there will be some free time and you can walk around or go swimming in the sea.
If the group wishes to visit the Oleshky Sands Desert on Day 5, we will move on to the city of Kherson to spend the night. The distance between Odesa and Kherson is 201 km.; the travel time is about 4 hours.
DAY 5: RYBAKIVKA – SIMFEROPOL (or KHERSON – SIMFEROPOL)
There are three possible itineraries for day 5. The first option is to visit Berezan Island, 1.5 km off the coast in Black Sea. In ancient times this island was home to the oldest Greek settlement on the northern Black Sea coast called Borysthenes. It was founded in the VII century B.C.
The second option is to visit a unique European phenomenon – the Oleshky Sands Desert. The Oleshky Sands Desert is considered semi-desert and measures approximately 15x20 km. It is surrounded by a man made pine forest. The dunes are about 5-7 meters high. In the summer the sand temperature can reach 75 degrees. The unique microclimate means clouds are rarely seen over the Oleshky Sands.
The final option for day 5 is to visit the Khorly peninsula. It is connected to the mainland by a narrow, 1.5 kilometre, swath of land. The peninsula hosts colonies of seagulls, cranes and gannets. It is a haven of abandoned beaches.
The distance between Rybakivka and Simferopol is 414 km. The travel time is about 8 hours. Accommodation for the night is in a hotel in Simferopol. If we travel from Oleshky Sands Desert, the distance between Kherson and Simferopol is 264 km. The travel time is about 5 hours.
DAY 6: SIMFEROPOL – MARBLE CAVE
We start our 4 day mountain hike or bike on day 6. There are three options: hiking, biking or bussing. If you choose to hike or bike you can camp out in the wilderness. If you choose to continue the tour by bus, you will spend the night in hotels along the way. Either way you can expect to see the following sights.
First we will climb up to the mountainous massif Chatyr-Dah. Once there we will visit one or two caves. Marble Cave is one option. It is one of the most visited caves in Europe; it is also one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Ukraine. Not far from Marble Cave is the smaller Emine-Bayir-Khosar (Mammoth Cave).
We will camp at the Onyx-Tour campground on the Chatyr-Dah plateau. On day 6 we will cover 12 km.
DAY 7: MARMUROVA PECHERA (MARBLE CAVE) – SCHOOL VALLEY
We head off through the Chatyr-Dah plateau, passing numerous caves, some of which we can stop to explore. The Chatyr-Dah plateau is a typical Crimean Mountain “peak.” The table-top like peaks are divided by deep valleys. These plateaus were often used as summer pastures by Crimean Tartars and are therefore called yaylas by the locals from the Turkish word for highland. An average Crimean yayla lays at an attitude of about 1000 metres above sea level.
Once we cross the plateau we will hike up Anhara-Burun (1453m.) for an amazing panoramic view of the Crimean Mountains suddenly dropping to the Black Sea. If camping, we’ll spend the night at the Shkilna Dolyna (School Valley) campground. On Day 7 we will cover a distance of 10 km.
DAY 8: SCHOOL VALLEY – DZHURLA LAKE
Day 8 will take us down over the Anharskyi Pass and up onto the Demerdzhi yayla. Before we start the ascent the group may opt to visit the ruins of the middle-age fortress Funa..
Next up is possibly the most interesting part of Day 8’s itinerary: Dolyna Pryvydiv (The Valley of Ghosts). We wouldn’t have called it a valley because it requires a 600 metre climb up a pretty steep slope to get to it. The “Ghosts” are in fact odd shaped rock formations and boulders eroded out of the solid rock of the plateau by wind and water.
Then we rich the summit of Pivdenna (South) Demerdzhi (1239 m.), which offers breath taking views before continuing on to Dzhurla Ozero (Lake) on the Demerdzhi yayla. We will camp near the lake overnight. Total distance for day: 8 – 10 km.
DAY 9: DZHURLA LAKE – DZHUR-DZHUR WATERFALL
Day 9 starts with a hike along the north edge of the Demerdzhi plateau. We will pass through a pine forest to get to the source of the Dzhurla and the Dzhurla waterfall.
After the Dzhurla waterfall we will continue along the southern edge of Demerdzhi. Along this route hikers will get great views of numerous rock formations of the most extraordinary shapes and sizes with the deep blue Black Sea as a background.
A narrow path will take us to the Khapkhal campground. By the end of the day we should reach the highest and the most powerful waterfall in Crimea - Dzhur-Dzhur. It is 12 metres high. Distance travelled: 10 km.
DAY 10: DZHUR-DZHUR – ASKANIA NOVA
After breakfast we will descent to the village of Heneralske where holidaymakers will board buses for Askania Nova. The distance between Heneralske and Askania Nova is 296 km. Traveling time – 6 hours.
A horse drawn carriage will take us through Askania Nova to the big Chapelskoho Podu (Big Crane Lake). Travel time: 3 hours. Askania-Nova is a biosphere reserve located within the dry Taurida steppe. It contains a zoological park, a botanical garden, and an open territory of virgin steppes. In addition to local species it hosts ostriches, bison, antelopes, wild horses, llamas, zebras and many bird species. There are also more than 200 species of foliaceous and coniferous plants which were brought from different parts of the world and planted in the dendrologic garden between 1885 - 1902.
DAY 11: ASKANIA NOVA – UMAN
A two hour excursion into the Askania-Nova steppe is scheduled for after breakfast.
The nature reserve was established in 1898 by Friedrich-Jacob Eduardovych Falz-Fein around the German colony of Askania-Nova. In 1919 Askania-Nova was confiscated from the Falz-Fein family by the Red Army as part of the state nationalization programme. In 1983, it was reorganized into a biosphere reserve and the following year it was designated as the Soviet member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.
After the excursion a bus will take travellers to Uman. The distance is 486 km. Travel time – 9.5 hours. Day 11 accommodations are booked at the Hotel Sofia located in Sofiyivsky Park.
DAY 12: UMAN – LVIV
After the breakfast we head out to Sofiyivsky Park called Sofiyivka by locals. This park was a renowned scenic landmark of world gardening design at the beginning of 19th century. Every composition or architectural form here expresses an idea from Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey. The park has over 2,000 types of trees and brush (local and exotic) among which are taxodium trees (marsh cypress), Weymouth Pines, tulip trees, platanus trees, ginkgo trees and many others. Marble statues depicting Illiad and Odyssey heroes as well as numerous fountains, artificial waterfalls and grottos can also be found here.
Sofiyivka was founded by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki. He built it in 1802 as a birthday gift to his Greek wife Sofia.
After Sofiyivsky Park we head back to Lviv. The distance is 521 km. Travel time is about 9 hours.
Total distance of the Crimea Tour:
- 2700 km. – by bus
- 50 - 70 km. – by foot or by bike
- 46 km. – by cataraft
After the confirmation, we'll ask you to pay a deposit – 50% of the price. The rest could be paid upon the arrival.
We could offer you to stay a few days after the tour in Lviv. Here you can find information about the hotels and city tours.