The Kherson region is located on the South of Ukraine and borders two seas: the Black sea and the Sea of Azov. It is a place where the best watermelons and tomatoes in Ukraine are grown, and a place that has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.
Kherson city (capital of the Kherson region) is not a place that has much to offer. There are just a few activities that you can do inside the city and all the best things are located all over the region; You can go by public transportation, with a private tour, or just by driving yourself.
There are a few trains that go every day to Kherson from Kyiv (Kiev). My advice for those who choose the train: buy some water and snacks before you board the train since there are sometimes no restaurant-cars and you will have to starve the whole time.
If you haven’t had an experience with Ukrainian trains then prepare yourself, since it is going to be a mission for you. They are not as bad as some of the Indian trains, but also not as great as in Japan.
7660 leaves Kyiv central railway station at 7:14 AM, arrives in Kherson at 2:48 PM (travel time is 7 h, 34 min); Price: 1st class – 581 UAH ($21), 2nd class – 394 UAH (S14.2).
768K/7680 leaves Kyiv central railway station at 2:29 PM, arrives in Kherson at 10:21 PM (travel time is 7 h, 52 min); Price: Sleeping – 568 UAH ($20.5), 2nd class Sitting – 260 UAH ($9.4).
102K leaves Kyiv central railway station at 7:38 PM, arrives in Kherson at 5:33 AM (travel time is 9h, 55min); Price: Lux-class – 864 UAH ($31.2), Sleeping – 374 UAH ($13.5), 2nd class – 170 UAH ($6.1).
298K leaves Kyiv central railway station at 11:57 PM, arrives in Kherson at 12:10 AM (travel time is 12h, 13min); Price: Lux-class – 1157 UAH ($41.8), Sleeping – 487 UAH ($17.6), 2nd class – 208 UAH ($7.5).
There are no direct flights to Kherson from Kyiv, which is very weird. Although if you are going to go to Kherson from Lviv you can take a direct one and a half hour flight every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 6 PM. You also can take a flight back to Lviv on the same days at 8:25 PM.
One of the activities that you can do in Kherson city is kayaking on the Dnipro river. The Dnipro is the biggest river in Ukraine and it goes through the middle of the whole country including Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine). In fact, it cuts the city into the right bank and left bank. At some places it is so wide you can’t see the opposite bank and at others it looks like any other river, but only in Kherson has the river become a National Natural Park “Nyzhn’odniprovskyi”.
Dnipro river delta turned into a unique environment with many rare plants and animals that found protection in the thick greenery that grows along the river. This part of river is an amazing wetland that everyone can explore on boats or kayaks.
To book the activity you can go through the website or just get to the office in the center of the city and do this in person.
The price is 225 UAH ($) per person. At the office you pay 200 and another 25 (for transfer) on the day your kayak trip takes place. The kayaking lasted about 3 hours. One hour on gathering, transferring to the base, and a safety lesson. Then two whole hours spent on the river going through thin canals admiring the beauty. Depending on the month you can see different flowers (white and yellow water lilies), animals, and birds.
Read more: The best restaurants in Kherson
Another place that is located fairly close to Kherson is the Kherson Cliffs. An amazing landscape that combines the steppe mountains and the Dnipro Gulf (part of the Black sea).
The cliffs are located next to a small village called Stanislav. You can get there by yourself using public transportation or with an excursion group. I do recommend going with an excursion group if you know Ukrainian or Russian, since the tour guide would tell you a lot about the history if the land. This area was the home of the Scythians and a very important location for those who like history. Otherwise just use public transportation which will be way cheaper than the tour group.
Click here to read more about how to visit the Kherson Cliffs.
Another place that you absolutely must visit is the winery of Prince Trubetskoy. This is the only proper chateau in the entire country. The winery is located about an hour and a half away from the city.
The winery of Prince Trubetskoy offers excursions and wine tastings. There are two types of wine tastings that you can choose from. One with 5 table wines and one (the more expensive one) with 6 vintage wines, local cheeses, honey, and crackers.
The excursion lasts around an hour and the tour guide takes you all around the chateau and to the cellars, where some of the oldest wines are stored. The wine tasting is another hour where the guide explains how to observe the color, aroma, and taste of each wine.
Dzharylhach island is an uninhabited island that is located in the Black sea. The island does not have fancy resort, or even cheap bungalows, but it still attracts many tourists with its white sand, clear water, and dolphins that often swim around the island.
To get to the island you can leave from Skadovsk city in the south of the Kherson region. There are ferries three times a day to the island which allows you to visit Dhzarylhach even without staying overnight. Although, I do recommend to camp for at least one night since the island looks amazing during the sunset. This was one of my favorite things to do in Kherson and I am so glad we camped overnight.
For those who don’t have a tent and sleeping bags, there exists a service to rent a tent on the island (that is what I and Cody did). The tent for two people with a mattress, pillows and hammock cost us 300 UAH ($) per night.
There is a café on the island where you can get cold drinks and some food. There are also BIO toilets (porta-potties) on the island which makes camping a little bit easier.
To read a detailed description on how to get to visit Dzharylhach island click here.
Have you heard before about safari in Ukraine? There is a biosphere reserve in the Kherson region. The virgin steppe was preserved with native and non-native animals freely walking around.
Askania-Nova was created in 1898 to help restore some of the almost extinct population of animals like Saiga, Przewalski’s horse, and others.
Nowadays the biosphere reserve Askania-Nova is open for the tourists and it is possible to go on a safari to the virgin Taurida steppe to see zebras, donkeys, bison, wildebeest, saiga and other wild animals.
The safari takes around one and a half to two hours and it is an amazing experience. Some of the animals came close to us and I was able to feed them carrots that our driver gave me.
Click here to read all the detailed information on how to visit Askania-Nova and have a safari.
The Pink Lake was the most exotic location that we visited during our trip to the Kherson region and that includes me feeding wild zebras. I have heard that there are a few beautiful pink lakes in Ukraine but never even though that they can be that amazing. In fact, it took quite a bit of research to find out which is the actual best pink lake in Ukraine.
In my opinion, the best pink lake that exist in Ukraine is in the Kherson region near Arabatska strilka and it is called Henichesk lake. It is not the largest pink lake in Ukraine, but surely one of the most beautiful.
The lake has a bright pink color that will take your breath away. Underneath the pink water there is a thick layer of salt. There are some places where the water dried out and you can clearly see the white salt that covers the bottom of the whole lake.
One of the secrets of this place is that not every person can find the right location to get the best photos (even locals are not always aware of how pink the lake can get).
I have a few tips for you to make your visit unforgettable: