Svydovets and Krasna

Duration 7 days
Date
Difficulty Hard
Distance 77 km
Main points Blyznytsia Mt, Heryshaska Lake, Kohannia Mt, Kolochava village
Price 3400 UAH







OVERVIEWITINERARYDETAILSMAP

The route passes through two mountain ranges – Svydovets and Krasna, which are divided by the valley of the river Teresva. Svydovets is a high, wide and mostly forestless ridge. The ridge stretches with a wavy line of mountains with dome-shaped tops in yellow-green colours. There are no big differences between saddles and tops, so the path is not exhaustive. We will see alpine lakes, the names of which are a mixture of Romanian, Hungarian and Hutsul dialects: Vorozheska, Gerashaska, Ivor.

Polonyna Krasna is an unpopular place for hiking, so there will be fewer people and more solitude with nature. Although the height of this ridge is mostly up to 1500 m, there are many forestless pastures, from which it is easy to observe the surrounding mountains.

On the last day, we will go down to the village of Kolochava and walk for a few hours. There are as many as 10 museums in the village. The most interesting museums are:

  • museum dedicated to the Transcarpathian narrow-gauge railway;
  • museum about the extinct profession of the Bokoras – those who rafted the forest along mountain rivers;
  • open-air museum «Old village» about rural architecture and lifestyle;
  • «Arpad Line» – dedicated to World War II;
  • Bunker Museum – about the activities of local insurgents.

After a village walk, we will look at bears at the Brown Bear Rehabilitation Center. About 20 bears live there. They have been abused or affected by a natural disaster. The centre is doing an important job and we will be able to join financially.

Our nights:

We will spend the first night on the Brailka meadow at an altitude of 1,300 meters. The next camping site is near Lake Vorozheska. On other days we will put up tents in the meadows and in the forests along the ridges. Last night is 1 km from the village of Kolochava.

For whom:

Generally, a hike in Ukrainian Carpathians doesn’t require special physical training. However, this hike is best suited for those who have experience of hiking and spending the night in a tent or know the limits of their endurance. Its complexity is not in the set of heights and difficult ascents, but in the duration – 7 days, and the distance – 77 km. 

What we don’t like about this route:

The first part of the route passes through Svydovets, which is loved by jeep drivers due to small height differences and poor environmental legislation in Ukraine. Therefore, there is a high probability of seeing a car in the mountains.

 

Watch the video from the first half of this hike on YouTube.

This is Svydovets 😍

 

1 DAY

 5 km   + 750 m


Meeting in Ivano-Frankivsk – 2,5 hours driving to Kvasy village –  5 km hiking – camping at the field Brailka, 1300 m.

From Ivano-Frankivsk, we go to the mountainous village of Kvasy on the banks of the Black Tisza river in Transcarpathian region. The village is known for springs of mineral water. The very name of the village comes from «kvass» (sour) water, which is the local dialectic word for mineral water. Before start, we’ll fill the bottles with a natural «soda».

On this day, we plan to hike 5 km and gain almost 750 m of height, which is not easy to do on the first day in the mountains. But after one hour the body becomes accustomed to the load and climbing will be easier. Usually, at 6 p.m. we already arrive at the place of the first camp.

We spend the first night on the Brailka meadow at an altitude of 1,300 m. The path will lead us through the fragrant Carpathian beech-fir forest.

Every evening, we firstly do a camp routine together (set up tents, gather firewood, cook dinner) and relax by the fire, just walk and enjoy nature. An evening in the mountains is a time for fun guitar singing and games or quiet conversations and meditation to the sounds of Hutsul drymba.

2 DAY

 14 km  + 1000 m


Climbing to Blyznytsia Mount, 1881 m – Ivor Lake  – Gendarmes – foot of the Mount Stig, 1704 m – camp at Gerashaska Lake

Every morning starts at 7 o’clock. Two hours for physical exercises, breakfast, packing and cleaning up a camping spot.

Today we go upper to the Svydovetsky Ridge and climb to the first summit, which is also the highest at all Svydovets – Blyznytsia Mount (1,881 m). The peak is especially dangerous in the winter and in the season of snow melting. However, even in the summer, the weather can seriously complicate the climb; sometimes you have to deal with storm winds.

To the right of Blyznytsia at an altitude of 1,600 m we will see the lake Ivor (or Dragobratske lake): rather small (55 m in length and 21 m in width, 0,1 ha), hidden behind the mountain ridge. It is best to observe it from above, so we will not go down to it. According to the legend, it’s the tears of Hutsul girl for two men. She wanted to get a lovely flower from the slopes of Blyznytsia, thus deciding which of them to give preference. Then we will pass the summit of the Gendarme with three highest points – they say, they are those gendarmes who came to investigate the tragedy and fossil from what they saw. Since then, they are unbroken on the approach to Blyznytsia and protect the calm of the lovers. And indeed, from afar the shape of these rocky steps looks like human figures.

The lake consists of an upper (0.7 ha) and a lower one, several times smaller (0.2 ha), located in a deep circus where once was a glacier. The sun is practically not getting here, so snow is typical here in the summer. The snow, which feeds the lake, completely melts only in very hot years.

We cook dinner on gas burners this evening because the trees remained below the sub-alpine zone, and local mountain pines are forbidden to cut. Mountain pine is considered to be the most high-altitude tree of Ukraine, but its distribution is very suffering from the indifference of tourists and shepherds.

Vorozheska Lake

3 DAY

 12 km  + 730 m


Hiking along the Svydovetsky ridge – lake Herasashka – camping at the ridge

We go up again to the main Svydovetsky ridge and head to the largest lake of the mountain range – Herashaska (or Dohyaska), where we have a lunch break. The lake occupies 1,2 hectares and is a hydrological monument of nature of local importance, located at an altitude of 1,577 m at the northeastern slope of the Dohyaska Mount. It is filled mostly with water from melting snow and gives a beginning to the Kosivska River.

After Gerashaska we climb Gerashaska Mount (1762 m) and move west. This part of Svydovets is also called Tempa. We have lunch near Gerashaska, then there are 5 km left and we are at the camping site. Today we are setting our camp on an open section of the ridge, so we are preparing to cook on gas burners again.

One of the Svydovets lakes

4 DAY

 15 km  + 480 m


The fourth day will be relatively easy because there will be no big climbs, although the distance on this day will be long.

Landscape of Svydovets

5 DAY

 12 km  + 1000 m


On the 5th day, we will go down to the village of Ust-Chorna, where we will buy more food, walk 1.5 km through the village and start climbing the Krasna mountain range.

First, we will walk through the beech forest, which is protected by UNESCO and is part of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve.

We spend the night behind Klimov Mount.

Locals on the path

6 DAY

 19 km  + 600 m


Day 6 is the longest of all, almost 20 km! But the road will be without large rises, on a relatively flat surface. The ridge will be gradually declining, and the mountain meadow will turn into a forest.

Our last night will be near the village of Kolochava.

7 DAY

 1 km


We go down to the village of Kolochava, where we drop our backpacks and walk around the local museums for a few hours.

After a village walk, we will visit bears at the Brown Bear Rehabilitation Center.

From there we will return to Ivano-Frankivsk, where we will be about 19 hours.

START / FINISH

We meet at the railway station in Ivano-Frankivsk city in the morning. Then we go by bus to Kvasy village, which is the starting point of a hike. The distance between Ivano-Frankivsk and mountain village is 120 km and 2,3 – 3 hours of road.

Note: there is a railway connection between Kvasy and some of the big cities in Ukraine, so you can take a train to the starting point (train Kyiv-Rakhiv, Lviv-Rakhiv, Odesa-Rakhiv).

The end of the hiking part of the route is in the village of Kolochava, Zakarpattia region. On the last day of the hike, we will be around 19 p.m. in Ivano-Frankivsk city.

WHAT TO EXPECT

About the difficulty. It is suitable for beginners and accessible to any physically healthy person.

If you join us, then you go on a multi-day trek in which:

  • Each person carries his own gear, clothes and a part of group products in his backpack.
  • We stay in tents.
  • We cook food on fire or using gas burners.

Note:

the guide can change the pre-agreed tour plan if the weather conditions become worse, someone feels bad or some other adventures happen. 

WHAT TO TAKE

You are packing for the hike by yourself, but with our advice. After booking a hike, we will send you a detailed list of recommended clothing and equipment. We will also tell you what is best to take (temperature of the sleeping bag, the comfort of the backpack, the endurance of the tent, etc.). 

The gear list is classical for a multi-day trek in the warm season. Read about it here.

WHAT DO YOU PAY FOR

You pay in cash when meeting with a guide in Ivano-Frankivsk; prepayment is not required. 

What’s included

  • meals from lunch on the first day till lunch on the last day;
  • transport (including a drive from Ivano-Frankivsk);
  • guide’s job;
  • national park fees;
  • use of gas and group equipment (cooking gear, first-aid kit, etc.).

What’s NOT included

  • personal equipment (tent, sleeping bag, backpack are yours, but you can rent).

Rental prices:

  • tent: 250 UAH / 7 days;
  • sleeping bag: 350 UAH / 7 days;
  • backpack: 350 UAH / 7 days;
  • mat: 70 UAH / 7 days;
  • trekking poles: 210 UAH / 7 days.

WITH WHOM

The size of the group is from 4 to 10 participants. Usually, we hike with small teams (up to 6 people): it’s easier to find a common language, more comfortable to go at one pace. And also it is a requirement of the ecological principle leave no trace in the wild.

WHAT ABOUT WEATHER

The weather in the Carpathians is changeable, so any forecast is unreliable. Before the particular date of the tour, we’ll try to tell you what weather to expect as accurate as possible.

On average, in the Carpathian Mountains during the warm period of the year (May-September) the temperature is + 15 … + 20 degrees in the daytime and + 3 … + 7 in the night. If the day is cloudy and rainy, then the temperature in the afternoon and at night is approximately the same: + 5 … + 15. The general principle of weather formation in the mountains is as follows: with every hundred meters of the climb the temperature decreases, and the number of precipitation increases.

The rains here fall three times more often than in the other part of Ukraine; and in May and September, frost is possible at night. The wettest month in the year is June, the driest and warmest is August.

There are a lot of rains, so you should not save on waterproof clothes and gear. Also, it’s often windy: a good jacket and a sturdy tent are obligatory.

If you have a group of 4 or more interested we can run a bespoke hike on any date.

Contact us if you have any questions.

You can take a look at the schedule of all our hikes here.