In the West of Ukraine lays part of the Carpathian Mountains. This is a beautiful area covered in thick forests with many flower fields and fast mountain rivers that run through all the Carpathians. In winter tourists from all over come to ski (by the way, the prices in the Ukrainian Carpathian are way cheaper than everywhere else), in summer people are coming mostly to climb the tallest mountain in Ukraine – Hoverla and do White Water Rafting i the Carpathians.
The west of Ukraine has become the main location for rafting. The Carpathians have many mountain streams that are suited for tourists with zero experience and for professional sportsmen.
Naturally, Cody and I decided to try it out, since neither of us had done it before. For our first time rafting we went to a small village in the heart of the Carpathians – Verkhovyna. There is located a tourist base – “Skyta” (with lodge) where professionals organize this activity for tourists.
Our experience started with an introduction to rafting. I mean a thorough explaining of what the rules are, all the commands you will need to follow, and everything you need to know if you somehow end up in the river. The briefing took us around half an hour after which we signed a paper stating that we understand that this activity can be dangerous and that we had a safety briefing.
The next step was getting to the river and putting on special clothes and shoes. The tourist base provides you with waterproof shoes, waterproof pants or shorts for hot weather, waterproof jackets, helmets with GoPro attachment and life jackets. Everything else like socks, T-shirt, thin shorts that will go underneath the waterproof pants, towel, and one more set of clothes and dry shoes (even in the waterproof clothes you still get wet) are what you will need to bring to change into after rafting before getting in the car to go back.
At the base we all got in the vans and drove for 15- 20 minutes to the start of our journey. There were around 40 people plus the guides, and 5 big boats (8-10 people in each). So, our team was 7 tourists and one professional guide who instructed us the entire time.
The rafting lasted for one hour, during which we passed a few dangerous but super fun places, went under a couple of bridges, and had to lay down in the raft underneath some trees that leaned over the river. The whole way I smiled so much that at the end my jaw hurt.
Unfortunately, the river was brown because the night before there was a huge storm and all the water was coming from the mountains with lots of mud. Although the color of the river affected the pictures, the storm actually made for a more exhilarating excursion.
A big plus for everyone was a calm moment on the river when we rotated our sitting places and those who were at the end went to the front of the boat. Our guide was extremely professional and during the whole way we didn’t get stuck anywhere, and no one fell in the water (actually this happens rarely).
The base also provided a photographer who went in front of us to take great pictures of our adventure. The photos got uploaded to their Facebook page the very next day and they were great.
At the end of rafting we got to the bank, carried our boat up to the car, changed into dry clothes and went back to the base. As soon as we arrived, we were presented with free homemade wine, and because we stayed overnight in their hotel, we went to take a shower right away.
The whole experience was fantastic. The staff is extremely professional and helpful. The whole activity was organized very well and every detail was taken care of.
Now I cannot wait when Cody and I will do rafting again.
Price: 450UAH per person
Time for Rafting: between 45minutes and 1,5 hour (depends on the weather and the river)
Location of the tourist base: 7B, присілок Луг, Krasnyk, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, 78705