The territory of Ivano-Frankivsk region is relatively small, but its relief is one of the most picturesque in Ukraine. One third of the territory is occupied by the Carpathian Mountains and two thirds – by foothills and plains. The flat terrain in the northeast is adjacent to Dniester. Regional center, Ivano-Frankivsk (255 m above the sea level), is situated here. Piedmont part consist of hilly foothills. The mountainous part of the region is occupied by the Eastern Carpathians that are divided into the mountain ranges of Gorgany, Chornohora, Pokutsko-Bukovynski Carpathians, Hryniavy and Chivchyny.
The highest mountain of Ukraine – Hoverla (2 061 m) is situated on Chornohora range, on the border with Transcarpathia.
Climate conditions – mild winter with an average temperature of -5 ° C and warm summer (+ 18 ° C) – are perfect for the year-round rest and treatment. Snow covers the slopes of the Carpathians for several months, which is important for skiing development. Rivers are mostly fast-flowing, they form cascades and waterfalls that are valuable for the water tourism. The largest rivers are gray Dniester and fast-flowing Prut, which begins from the foothill of Hoverla.
Region has ten resort areas. Climatic treatment and mineral baths are used for spa therapy. Resorts destinations include Tatariv low mountains, Yaremche and Mykulychyn of Yaremche City Council, Myslivka and Novyi Mizun of Dolyna district, Sheshory of Kosiv district and Kosiv, high mountains of Vorokhta and Yablunytsia of Yaremche City Council and balneo-mud foothills resort of Cherche, Rohatyn district. The most famous in Ivano-Frankivsk region is spring water "Horianka" (Novyi Mizun village, Dolyna district), similar for its healing qualities to Truskavets spring water "Naftusia". The unique properties of "Burkut" spring are famous from the beginning of the 19th century for useful treatment of internal organs.
The city of Yaremche is a well-known tourist center of Ivano-Frankivsk region, located in a picturesque valley between mountains, on banks of Prut river (on the territory of Yaremche City Council there are more than 200 tourist and recreational establishments and more than 500 farmhouses).
Carpathian land has a glorious princely past. Six cities of the region are mentioned in an Old Russian chronicles. Tysmenytsia (1143), Sniatyn (1158), Horodenka (1195), Tlumach (1213), Kolomyia (1240) are among them.
The most ancient is Halych, the first mention of the city dates back to 898. It is known that Halych was the capital of the powerful Halych Principality and Halych-Volhynia Principality. "An ancient Halych" National Reserve was created here.
The largest cultural and economic center of the region is the regional center Ivano-Frankivsk (237 thousand inhabitants), with a history that dates back to over then three and a half centuries.
An important cultural and spiritual center of the region is Kolomyia city, the third largest city, after Ivano-Frankivsk and Kalush, according to its population. The population of the city and its suburbs creates many pearls of spiritual and material culture. The treasury of folk crafts is the National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttia Folk Art named after J. Kobrynskyi in Kolomyia (operating since 1935) and the Pysanka Museum with its original architecture (built in the shape of Easter egg), which has collected over 12,000 samples of Easter eggs both from Ukraine and foreign countries.
Ethnographically, the population of Ivano-Frankivsk region is divided into Opillia, Pokuttia, Boikivshchyna and Hutsulshchyna. Their inhabitants had preserved some differences in language, clothing, culture and way of life, and with this attract attention of tourists.
Different types of artistic folk crafts are developed in the region. Carvers, potters, scribes and weavers create art products that are spread around the world. Kosiv is the well-known center of Hutsul art and is famous for its art fair.
Ivano-Frankivsk region has a great cultural and historical heritage. It has ancient and valuable monuments known outside the country, among them the Panteleimon Church near Halych (XII century), Maniava Skete (XVII century), wooden hutsul and boyko temples, including two UNESCO church monuments in Rohatyn and Nyzhnii Verbizh of Kolomyia district.
The most popular tourist destinations in the region:
- Maniava Skete (Bohorodchany district);
- Maniava waterfall (Bogorodchany district);
- Hoshiv Monastery (Dolyna district);
- Hoverla mountain (2 061 m);
- former observatory at Pip Ivan Mountain;
- high mountain lakes Nesamovyte, Maricheika;
- "An ancient Halych" National Reserve;
- Museums: Pysanka Museum and the National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttia Folk Art (Kolomyia);
- Dovbush Rocks (Bubnyshche village near Bolekhiv);
- "Pysanyi Kamin" rocks (Verkhovyna district);
- "Sribliasti" waterfalls (Sheshory village, Kosiv district);
- Bukhtivets waterfall (Nadvirna district);
- narrow-gauge "The Carpathian tram" (Dolyna district);
- Sokilskyi range (Kosiv district);
- Carpathian National Nature Park
- and many others.
Interesting tourist routes in the Carpathian:
- mountainous routes (Chornohora, Gorgany);
- water routes (Dniester canyon, Bilyi and Chornyi Cheremosh rivers, Prut);
- bicycle routes (Yaremche and Kosiv districts);
- automobile routes, including "Zolote kiltse of southern Halychyna", which focuses on many monuments of Ukrainian, Polish, Austrian, Romanian, Tatars culture and architecture.
Ukrainian ski resort #1 – "Bukovel" is situated in Polianytsia village, Yaremche district. Tourists also have the opportunity to ski in Yablunytsia, Verkhovyna, Vorokhta, Vyshkiv, Kosiv, Tiudiv and other destinations. On the Dniester River, in Odaiv and Isakiv villages (Tlumach district) there are picturesque places suitable for hang-gliding and paragliding.
There are also routes for hikers where you can ride mountain bikes, ride horses and ATVs etc.
Water routes for tourists are very popular, including rafting down mountain rivers Bilyi and Chornyi Cheremosh, Prut, Limnytsia or plain Dniester. The best time to cross Carpathian rivers is the end of April - the first decade of May, when the snow melting is the most intense. From May to September tourists can raft down the Dniester Canyons.
Existing base of accommodation places of different forms of ownership (more than 500 units for 20 thousand places) gives an opportunity to expand medical-health, tourist, sport and entertainment services both for local and foreign tourists. Modern hotel industry establishments suitable for holding of different business events (forums, conferences, seminars, round tables, etc.) are situated on the territory of the region. Services are provided by more than 200 tourist entities; network of nine tourist information centers is available for visitors.
Rural tourism is becoming increasingly popular. Today, up to 800 villagers are ready to welcome guests. Tourists are attracted by the convenient settlement system, proximity with nature, value for money, hospitality and home atmosphere, delicious national cuisine.