stara pravda logo horis 1

Cycling in the Carpathians: choosing the best route

04 July 2022

Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular form of recreation among Ukrainians. Contrary to stereotypes, a “two-wheeled” hike in the mountains is not necessarily difficult, but it allows you to visit many more interesting places than walking. Of course, before the trip, it is advisable to devote time to physical preparation and choose a route that will definitely be within your power.

Bicycle routes in the Carpathians offer a variety of:

  • for beginners quite easy overview options with a minimum climb;
  • medium difficulty descents alternate with tangible ascents, which requires preparation not only for the rider, but also for the bike;
  • difficult (for professionals) a chance to test the strength of oneself, rush along the crests of mountain ranges, conquer rocky paths and protracted climbs.

At the same time, it is not necessary to bring your own bicycle with you for hikes of low and medium difficulty, you can get by with rental equipment. If you are going on such a trip for the first time, it is advisable to find an experienced guide and gather a company of true friends. In this article we will talk about the best routes for those who are just starting to get acquainted with mountain biking!

Top 7 cycling destinations in the Carpathians

  1. Pylypets

Mount Gemba is located in Pylypets (Mezhyhirya district of the Transcarpathian region). There are several one-day cycling routes of varying difficulty, which start from the Grand Hotel Pylypets. To enjoy the picturesque landscapes and natural attractions, you can ride from Pylypets to the Shipit waterfall or to Rostoka village. There are also three routes at the disposal of travelers.

  • MINI. The length is 21 km, the climb is gentle and is only 600 m. A good choice for beginners who want to admire the Carpathian landscapes.
  • MEGA. The length is 48 km, the climb for the entire distance is 1700 m. The route is of medium difficulty, which is suitable for ambitious cyclists. There are breathtaking views of the Beskids and the Borzhava ranges. Narrow paths here alternate with wide rocky paths, steep ascents – with descents, dirt roads – with river fords.
  • GIGA. The length is 64 km, the total climb is up to 2300 m. Suitable for professional athletes and experienced cyclists. Here you will have to overcome a lot of power climbs, which alternate with pleasant descents, so you will need good physical preparation.

In Pilipets there is a bike park with several short trails. It is equipped with additional obstacles, jumps, etc. All trails are marked and designed for descent – the start is a few meters from the top lift station.

  • Romantika. The difficulty is low, the length is just over 5 km.
  • Gorillas. Intermediate level, distance 3.65 km.
  • Kapitoshka. The difficulty is above average, the length is 2.85 km.
  • Super Mario. The most extreme track with a length of 2.35 km.


       2. Verkhovyna

Verkhovyna is famous for its magnificent landscapes, which inspire cyclists to create new routes. The local hiking trails pass through forests and meadows, valleys and slopes. Let’s take a look at the most popular cycling routes in the Carpathians, which start from Verkhovyna or lie in proximity to it.

  • Survey trip. Travelers have to overcome the distance of only ten kilometers from Verkhovyna to the village Ilcy and back. At the same time, you can admire the panoramas of the village, lying in the bowl of the valley.
  • “Hutsul villages”. The route is easy but quite long (37 km) with the start and the finish in Verkhovyna. It leads through Krivorovnya, Verhny Yaseniv, Rovnya, Vyhoda, Krasnoila, Zamagora. If you leave early in the morning, you can return before sunset.
  • Tourist route. Light, but newly developed, so it is better to travel with an experienced guide (not to get lost). Leaving Verhovina, you will follow it to Krynta and Hungarian stone – only about 30 km.
  • “Along the Black Cheremosh”. Start from Iltsov bus station, which is not far from Verkhovyna. The route passes through the villages of Krasnyk and Berestechko to the confluence of the Black Cheremosh with the river Bystren.
  • “Under the old bridges”. The trip goes next to Verkhovyna “tangentially”, but it is worth mentioning – this is an easy and at the same time interesting route. Start in Vorokhta, finish in the village of Voronenko.

       3. Yaremche

Yaremche became a member of the European project “VeloKraina of Ukraine”, which combined the tourist infrastructure of several other settlements and resorts (Polyanitsa, Tatariv, Yablunytsya, Mykulychyn, Vorokhta). Several cycling routes start directly from Yaremche.

  • “Lookout”. It appears at number 304 and has a length of only 7.3 km. It is considered simple, but if you are setting off for the first time, invite a guide – there are surprises of an extreme nature on the route.
  • “Legend”. It is marked with number 303, it leads to the monastery of St. Andrew and ends at the “Legend” camping site. You can overcome the whole path in about an hour, since there are no complex elements here.
  • “Women’s Tears” This is route number 305, which leads from Yaremche through the “Aviaries” (local menagerie) to the waterfall “Women’s Tears”. The road has an average difficulty, and for the first time it is advisable to invite a guide.


       4. Polyanitsa and Bukovel

Summer cycling routes in the Carpathians can be found in the territory of popular ski resorts. A good example is the village of Polyanitsa, located in the immediate vicinity of Bukovel. There are a couple of routes for beginners.

  • “Lookout” Polyanitsa. A great solution for not too experienced cyclists. The road has a length of only 3 km, so it takes a minimum of time. The beginning is on the central square of the village, then the path smoothly rises along the serpentine, revealing a magnificent panorama, and returns to Polyanitsa.
  • “Lookout” Bukovel. Its length is also about 3 km, and the climb is only a little over 100. This is a great opportunity to look at the popular resort from a new angle. The route starts on the main square of Bukovel, passes through the ski run and a picturesque gently sloping serpentine, which returns us to the starting point. With a calm pace of the trip, it will take about an hour.
  • “To Bukovel”. Formally, the 24 km route starts in Vorokhta, but you can also join it in Polyanitsa. In this case the path will be significantly reduced. The finish point is at the Bukovel bike park.

The end point of the last route is the beginning of a new adventure for many cyclists. The fact is that the bike park in Bukovel offers several downhill trails of varying degrees of difficulty: 

  • the blue one is for beginners;
  • red – for more experienced athletes;
  • black – for professionals.

They differ among themselves in the number of turns, the presence of artificial obstacles. Entrance to the park is paid, but you can enjoy the slopes at least all day thanks to convenient lifts No. 2 and 2R.

       5. Tatarov

Tatarov is a village located on the banks of the Prut River not far from Vorokhta and Bukovel. This place is popular as a mountain resort, so it has a developed infrastructure. One of the easy trails is the President’s. Its length is only 17 km, but due to a small uphill section, the trip will take about 2.5 hours. The total climb in this case will be less than 500 m.

The starting point will be the railway station Tatarov, from where you should move along the asphalt road towards Yaremche. Then you can turn at the sign to Guk Falls or drive further to get to this natural attraction through a suspension bridge. The name of the route was not chosen by chance – on the way you will pass the cottage V. Yushchenko and the mansions of other Ukrainian politicians. But the main attraction is the picturesque Zhenetsky Huk waterfall, whose waters rush down from a height of more than 10 m. It is easy to return to Tatariv by the same road.

       6. Yablunytsya and Mykulychyn

These villages are also located near Bukovel and offer resort guests some simple options for “hiking”. Such cycling routes in the Carpathians allow you to pass in just 1-2 hours due to the short length.

  • “Lookout” Yablunitsa. A short but picturesque road that runs along the outskirts of the village. The length is 7 km, of which the climb will be less than 300 m. To start we have to go to the road that leads to Bukovel, but after a hundred meters we turn to a gentle ascent. Then the route goes through the highway and another ascent, which will lead to the highest point of our journey – it offers a magnificent view of the area. Further, the path will lead to the road, along which you can return to the exit point.
  • “Old Railroad”. This route is quite simple, but longer – about 15 km, so it will take about 2.5 hours. Exit near the cemetery near the river Prut. Most of the route runs along a flat asphalt road through the forest. You can turn around in a picturesque forest clearing before having a swim in the refreshing waters of the river. The curious will want to continue the road and see the active oil fields.

       7. Svalyava

If you feel strong enough for a real bike trip with an overnight stay, we recommend one of the most picturesque and at the same time simple routes called “Transcarpathian Adagio”. It is designed for 2 days of travel, during which you will overcome about 150 km. Start from the city of Svalyava, famous for its springs of healing mineral water. The road then leads through mountain meadows that take you to the Daffodil Valley, so it’s worth planning your trip at the time of flowering. From there the route follows to the village Dolgoe, where you can see the original church in the modern design. On the same day you will get to the village Iza, famous for the masters of vine weaving.

The next day we will move to Mukachevo and visit local sights. Be sure to visit Palanok Castle, admire the ancient city architecture. If you wish, you can also go to nearby Khust, famous for its original wooden buildings.

       8. Volovets

If you choose a cycle route in the Carpathians, from which you can see the best, pay attention to the “Sea Eye”. This walk will take the whole day, during which you will cover about 85 km. The start is in the village Volovets, where the road will take you through Mezhgorye, Synevirskaya glade and Lake Synevir to Shipot waterfall. This route is closer to the average difficulty, but it is definitely worth it to enjoy the Carpathian beauty.

The path runs through two passes and allows you to diversify the route. So, stopping near Synevyr, be sure to climb Mount Ozernaya, from where you can see the “Sea Eye” at a glance. Also on the way you can stop by the Borzhava pastures or set aside an extra day to visit the village Kolochava, where in addition to the magnificent scenery, there are interesting museum exhibits. Another day or so is required to return to the starting point.

All the routes that we reviewed are suitable for beginners or experienced cycling enthusiasts who want to relax. If you want to ride on a more extreme track, you should choose Dragobrat or other special destinations. However, you will have to take your own bike on such a trip. Please note that the optimal conditions for skiing on most routes are established from the end of May to the beginning of June, when dirt roads and trails dry out. You can enjoy cycling in favorable weather until the end of September.

Why should you go on a bike ride?

  • The trip turns out to be budgetary, but rich in impressions.
  • A bicycle is an environmentally friendly mode of transport that allows you to fully enjoy your vacation in the mountains.
  • Unforgettable adventures and the opportunity to see places that take a long time to go to, but it is impossible to drive a car.
  • Healthy physical activity, heart-healthy workouts are provided.
  • Strength test: mountains build character, develop endurance and physical strength.

All this makes mountain biking a great choice for traveling with your loved one, friends or the whole family!