Ukraine has favorable conditions and rich recreational resources for medical treatment, health recovery, resting its population, and for the development of tourism. Unique landscapes, wonderful sceneries, national parks, the presence of mineral and thermal waters, and medical muds create good opportunities for forming a highly developed resort-recreational industry.

Flora in Ukraine includes about 30 ths. types of plants, out of which over 400 are included into the Red Book of important plants.

Forests have a special value for tourism, and they occupy 14.3% of Ukraine’s territory (8.6 mn of hectares). In this respect, Ukraine is one of the most wooded countries in Europe. However, forests are concentrated unevenly and decrease from west and north to east and south.

The country's forests are rich in berries, mushrooms, the fruits of wild plants and herbs. Among valuable plants, 250 kinds are acknowledged as medical, out of which 150 are used in scientific medicine. As with water resources, forests in general satisfy the needs of the population for rest, treatment, and tourism.

The fauna of Ukraine is rich and includes over 44 ths. kinds of animals. Especially important for the development of specific types of tourism is the presence and prevalence of hunting animals ungulates, fur animals, and also wildfowl. In preserve-hunting economies, which are present in almost all regions of Ukraine, hunting is conducted against elk, deer, wild boars, hare, fox, wild geese, ducks, etc.

Three geographical areas are singled out for the flat land of Ukraine: mixed forests, forest-steppe and steppe. The Carpathians and Crimean mountains also form specific geographical regions.

The important value for tourist activity belongs to recreational forest massifs near cities and reservoirs. The forest-steppe area is favorable for organizing both active and passive rest.


It occupies the southern and south-eastern part of country. It constitutes about 49% of Ukraine’s territory. The prevalence of plains and low hills characterize its relief. The river network is poor, and in winter the rivers are especially shallow.

Steppe landscapes were formed with sufficient amount of warmth and insufficiency of moisture. The prevalence of grass steppe plants is characteristic for this area. Only in the north’s gullies can forests be found.

This area is the most ploughed in Ukraine – about 80%, which makes for 48% of all arable land in Ukraine. Natural steppe vegetation is saved only on preserves and on the slopes of hills. Forest concentration constitutes only 3% of the territory, and that includes lines of trees protecting fields.

Reservoirs and offshore bars are used in recreational activity; and coast of Black and Azov Seas have a great value.

Ukrainian Carpathians

This region includes several mountain backbones, and associated foothills, and the Trans-Carpathian lowland. The Pre-Carpathian region is located between the valley of the upper Dniester and the mountains. It is rich in minerals, oil, natural gas, potassium salt and ozokerite, among others. Meadow and forest regions predominate in the Pre-Carpathian region. The unique environmental conditions of the Carpathians specifically are determined by mountain relief, the great number of small rivers, with the biggest being the Dniester, Tisa, Prut, and Cheremosh, mountain forests (40% of the territory) and meadowed mountain valleys (35% of the total area). Oak, oak-hornbeam, silver fir-beech, and sycamore forests are widespread. Mineral water springs from the Carpathian mountains "Naftusya", "Luzhanskaya", "Svalyava", "Polyana Kvasova" and others are well known. Besides these, a stable snow blanket in winter and temperate climate all create wonderful conditions for health and sporting tourism. The Trans-Carpathian lowland is a part of the Middle-Danube lowland. The flat character of the locality is punctuated with hills of volcanic origin, which reach 400 m. The climate is warm and humid, and the average temperature in January is -3°С, in July – +20°С. Forests are rare, and more than half of the territory is hayfields and pastures. The region has a lot of gardens and vineyards.

Crimean Mountains

These spread along the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula for 180 km, their width reaches 50 km. Crimean mountains are divided into 3 natural-geographic regions: Pre-mountain, Main Ridge, and Southern Coast of Crimea. The magnet for tourism and recreation is the southern coast of Crimea, width of which is at most only 10 km wide. It is well protected from winds by the mountains on the continental side and is subject to the softening influence of moisture brought by Mediterranean winds. The climate of the southern coast of Crimea, with its rains and warm winters resembles the Mediterranean. Most of the precipitation falls in the cold period. Snow falls annually, but does not create a long-lasting blanket. The average temperature in January is +1-4ºС. The summer is hot and dry. The average temperature in July is +24ºС. The vegetative cover of the southern coast of Crimea varies. Cypress, palms, magnolias, sycamores, and laurels are planted here. The unique climatic conditions allow for the growing of essential-oil-bearing cultures (rose, lavender, sage), high-quality sorts of vine, almonds, figs, and olives. Thanks to a curing climate, picturesque mountains, warm sea, and exotic vegetation, this land has been considered a health-resort since olden times.

The total area of health-recovery and recreational territories is 13% of Ukraine’s land.

The Carpathians and Polesye regions are distinguished by the greatest concentration of recreational resources. By level of supply with natural medical resources, Ukraine occupies one of the top places in Europe.

Mineral waters are widely used for the treatment and health of the population. About 400 springs of mineral waters and over 100 deposits of medical muds are known.

Mineral waters of practically all balneological types are widespread in Ukraine: carbonic (Polyana, Holubinskoe, Soymenskoe deposits), radon (Khmelnytskiy, Znamyanka), sulfide (Syniakske, Velykolyubynske, Chokranske, Evpatoriya), ferrous (Slovyanogorskoe, Andreevskoe), iodine-bromine (Berdyansk), bromine (Zhuravitskoe, Saki, Lazurnoe), siliceous (Berezovskoe, Rai-Olenevskoe, Mukachev), waters with increased maintenance of organic matters (Truskavets, Novo-Zbruchanskoe), and waters without specific components and properties (Myrgorod, Evpatoriya, Odesa, Kuyalnyk, Morshyn, and Feodosiya).

The natural conditions of Ukraine are conducive to the formation of various types of medical muds. For resort treatment silt muds from salt reservoirs (sulfide) are mainly used. Deposits are most widespread in the region of the Azov-Black Sea coast (Saki, Chokratskoe, Kuyalnyk, Solyane, and Ripne). They are used at the resorts of Berdyansk, Saki, Evpatoriya, Kuyalnyk, Kirilovka, and Gopry.

In addition, the peat-swamp and swamped muds of Vinnitsa, Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk regions (Voytovetskoe, Velykolyubinskoe, and Cherchenskoe) should be recognized. They are used at the resorts of Morshyn, Truskavets, Khmelnik, and Lyubin Velikiy.

Knoll muds are concentrated on Kerch peninsula, these include the Bulganetskoe deposit with total supplies of more than 5 ths. cu. m.

The Lviv region is a unique source of ozokerite (Borislav deposit).

Light water basins are of large value. These are, foremost, the aquatoriums of the Black and Azov Seas, where very favorable climatic conditions are combined with special medical properties of salt water, estuary brine, and also the presence of marine beaches.

Beaches are important recreational resources. The Black Sea-Azov seashores are the most popular. The Black Sea coast is 870 km, which makes 60% of the total length. 650 km is coast along deep-water aquatoriums with beaches, 220 km are coasts, mainly without beaches, which have limited recreational value, but are good for tourism. Only their inland areas have lands suitable for location of recreational enterprises.

The southern coast of Crimea, 341 km long, is one of the most developed resort regions of Ukraine, despite of fact that the steep coastline in many areas is not favorable for considerable resort development. In fact, steep coasts prevail here (over 223 km, that makes 65% of coast). They have insignificant recreational capacity, but large aesthetical value as objects of tourism and places for rest.

The best beaches are located in the eastern part of the southern coast of Crimea, between Alushta and Feodosiya.

The total length of the Azov coast suitable for recreational use, is about 600 km, out of which 460 km are considered as having higher development potential.

Marine coasts, where beaches are combined with other types of recreational resources are valuable. In particular, the banks of the Arabatskaya Spit, Utlyutskiy Estuary, Fedotova Spit, and Biryuchiy Island, which are regions of Genichesk coast, and are extraordinarily saturated by recreational resources. Located here, besides medical beaches, are sources of mineral thermal waters and medical muds.

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