At 2,061 meters (6,762 feet), Mount Hoverla is Ukraine’s highest mountain. Climb it in the summer, after the snow has melted off this Carpathian Mountain peak. Get there by catching a bus from the town of Vorokhta to the gravelly foothills of Hoverla. Alternatively, stay overnight at On The Corner Bed & Breakfast in Kolomyya, and ask the friendly owner Vitaliy to organize an excursion for you. He’ll hire the guide and driver, and you’ll go along for the ride and hike, which you can easily complete in less than a day.
Despite its height, Hoverla is not difficult to climb. From the trailhead, choose the blue 3-km trail or the green 3.6-km route. Ascend through the peaceful pine forest – breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy the quiet – to the rocky area above the tree line. Don’t forget snacks and water, as the trail gets steep and exposed near the top. Rest on the grass at Hoverla’s first summit before the final hike to the top, where you’ll have a 360° view of the vast Carpathian range below you. You may even be invited to join a group of Ukrainians in vodka shots or champagne at the top!
Tammela has walked the very route that she recommends. “From September 2010 to November 2012, I served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. I was posted in a small town in the southwestern part of the country, just over an hour from the Carpathian Mountains. During my time there, I climbed Mount Hoverla twice and went on a few other excursions to the mountains. Tammela’s blog, Wherever I am, you are there also is a combination of travel tales, recipes, running and cycling race and ride recaps, and general musings.