Carpathian Travel Tips

  • Hutsul villagers are exceptionally friendly and hospitable people. However, as the case anywhere in Ukraine, some discretion is advised when traveling. Travel in groups of 3-4 people for safety. Traveling with a native Ukrainian is best.

  • Be on the alert for con-artists that are very creative with schemes to get your money. Be especially cautious when exchanging currency. Being gently pick-pocketed is much more likely than being outright mugged.

  • If you plan to go bike riding on roads, ride defensively, and keep in mind that cars expect you to get out of their way.


  • English is rarely understood in the villages, so you should be able to communicate somewhat in Ukrainian or Russian. Ukrainian is the language most commonly spoken, however you are likely to also hear the Hutsul dialect which has many unique local words, and varied pronunciation of Ukrainian words.

  • Be prepared to use outhouses. Many village homes do not have flush toilets or even running water. Public restrooms can be frightening. Towns and villages may not even have any public toilets. Decent pay restrooms are becoming increasingly common in cities such as Ivano-Frankivsk. As in any city, the best way to find a clean restroom in a time of need while on the road is to go to a restaurant.



  • Buses (as anywhere in Ukraine) are incredibly overcrowded and uncomfortable. Hitch-hiking is a widely practiced alternative to public transporation but use caution. Some homeowners can arrange to give you a ride back to Ivano-Frankivsk, so check ahead of time. If you are on a tight schedule, hire a driver to avoid wasting time. A rule of thumb taxi rate for longer rides is $.25 (US) for every km. A 100 km drive = $25.



  • The weather in the Carpathians is quite humid. Two out of three days in the summer are rainy. Thunderstorms are common, although most often the rain comes in the form of a steady drizzle. Drainage in villages and on mounain roads is poor, so paths get quite muddy. The summer is short � only about two months. If you want to avoid rainy weather it is best to visit the Carpathians in late summer and early autumn. Rapid temperature drops are common so warm clothing is necessary even on hot summer days.

  • The mountains provide great opportunities for winter sports. A stable snow cover is found from the beginning of December until the end of March at mid elevations, while the mountain tops are snow covered from October to May. Avalanches are common, particularly in Chornohora, Svidovets and the Gorgany. Knowledge and experience in mountain travel is necessary to minimize the risk.