Ukraine mean 'borderland' and the country used to be at the crossroads of trade routes between the Baltic and Black Seas and between Europe and Asia.
After the break up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became an independent state in 1991 and inherited the finest stretch of the Black Sea coast including Yalta, the Crimean and Carpathian mountain ranges and cosmopolitan port of Odessa.
The Ukraine offers architectural beauty, peaceful and safe streets, low prices and very friendly people
The Ukraine is one of the most fascinating destinations for travellers to the former Soviet Union, with a fine combination of natural beauty and culture. The country offers very good value indeed and visitors can return with a wide variety of high quality local goods like original oil paintings, amber jewellery carved wooden artefacts and exquisitely painted wooden eggs, mother dolls and boxes.
Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, boasts around 300 parks, and with tree-lined boulevards is often referred to the 'Garden City'.
The old town is dominated by the impressive St. Sophia Cathedral whose golden cupolas glisten in the sunlight. Nearby is the reconstruction of the Golden Gate, the entrance to the old city where many of the buildings are in the baroque style. Perhaps the most striking of Kiev’s monuments is the Caves Monastery with a distinctive array of golden domed churches, exquisite monastic buildings and a maze of caves housing the mummified bodies of monks.
The Ukrainian Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life - several village homes are set out and furnished as they were during past centuries.
Kiev is a beautiful city to walk around, starting from the central Kreschatuk Street and taking in museums, restaurants and gardens. It’s a remarkably friendly city, a place to explore at leisure, and be sure not to miss the delightful coloured houses in the historic Podil district.