< Skhidnytsia: My Beloved Retreat
09 April 2024

I'm Nataliia Vasylchenko and I teach English at Lyceum 17 of Khmelnytskyi.

In the land of unexpected feelings, Skhidnytsia, a rural settlement, stands as an endless testament to my heart's faithfulness. This charming village, nestled within the Lviv region, circled by the lofty peaks of mountainous valleys, awakes a great sensation of joy and happiness each time my footsteps lead me to reunite with cherished friends.

Ancient forests and wooden cottages

FILE - The village of Skhidnytsia among the Carpathian mountains seen here on April 27, 2021. (Adobe Stock Photo by Haidamac)
FILE - The village of Skhidnytsia among the Carpathian mountains seen here on April 27, 2021. (Adobe Stock Photo by Haidamac)

As one embarks on the serpentine ascent and descent through the mountain pass, the very sight of this idyllic sanctuary leaves one breathless. It is a sight to contemplate – the wooden cottages perched upon emerald hillocks, the gilded domes of churches shimmering beneath the sunbeams, and the winding pathways weaving into dense, ancient forests. It is a place often called the "Ukrainian Switzerland," a spa resort named after Omelan Stotskyi. Here, the atmosphere is as pristine as crystal, the mineral springs endowed with healing properties, and the residents ever-welcoming, drawing visitors from around the world.

Once an oil producer

More than a century ago, this village was one of Europe's foremost bastions of oil production. In the 19th century, this territory, once a dominion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, yielded the riches of oil and ozokerite, a natural wax. Entrepreneurs from Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, France, and the United States undertook the industrialization of these oil fields. Over time, oil production was reduced, and the wealthy village transformed into an ordinary mountain town until a local retiree researched the healing properties of numerous springs. Presently, Skhidnytsya boasts a cache of 38 mineral springs, their presence complemented by the embrace of the lush surrounding forests and mountain meadows.

Skolivsky Beskydy National Nature Park

This destination offers escape to those looking for liberation from noisy urban life, providing recovery from the daily routine. Whether one seeks healing in the therapeutic air or relaxation in the mineral waters, the region caters to the most demanding traveler. Skhidnytsia shares its borders with the Skolivsky Beskydy National Nature Park, a territory of recreation and natural beauty enjoyed by all who venture here. Among the modern facilities of spa hotels and private cottages, guests can meander through the woods, forage for wild berries or mushrooms, or simply bask in the serenity and splendor of nature. For those unafraid of a dive into the freezing cold water, the Skhidnychanka River offers a small but forceful waterfall that promises an exhilarating rush of adrenaline. To behold the majesty of these landscapes from a high point, one must climb Tsyuhiv Mount and take in the wide view from the observation tower.

In the village center

In moments of missing the city life, visitors can go into the village center. Among its crooked stone streets, one discovers traditional cafes and modern restaurants with stylish interiors, offering delicious culinary delights. Coffee lovers can enjoy a cup or more in cozy coffeehouses, while the charming Alf shop offers local pastries, sweets and baked goods. A stroll along the main street reveals an array of unusual shops, including a local pottery workshop where one can craft or purchase clay masterpieces. A souvenir shop, displaying intricate glass mosaics, invites exploration.

Tustan fortress

At a short distance from Skhidnytsia tourists can discover the remnants of the Tustan fortress on the rocks which once controlled the transportation of salt to Europe. An historical museum showcases a captivating array of artifacts and a holographic image of the ancient fortress. It gives visitors an opportunity to try on knightly armor and hold a heavy iron sword. For family entertainment, there is a nearby water park – one of the largest in Ukraine. On summer evenings, as per tradition, an open-air theater hosts concerts and performances. After the performance, the audience can return home surrounded by the flashing lights of fireflies dancing in the evening breeze.

One cannot simply number all the attractions of this exquisite town. The natural splendor of the Carpathians, the enhanced infrastructure, specialized medical facilities, and modern spa retreats, alongside rustic cottages, are all filled with an irresistible magnetism. All who enter this magical pearl of Ukraine will fall in love with its charms, returning time and again, wrapped up in a lifelong affair.

I'm Jill Robbins.

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments.


About the writer

Nataliia Vasylchenko was born in Khmelnytskyi. She graduated from the foreign language faculty at Drohobych State Pedagogical University. Back in Khmelnytskyi, she taught first at Maryanivka secondary school, then moved to Lyceum 17 of Khmelnytskyi where she teaches English to students from 10 – 17 years old. She has qualified in the highest category for teachers in Ukraine. She enjoys reading books in English, especially historical or fantasy. Terry Pratchett's books influenced her writing style.

网站首页 电脑版 回到页首