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The best prospects for hiking, trekking and camping are in Crimea and the Carpathians in the south-west, along with a few scattered national parks. In south-west Crimea, easy hikes lead to the cave cities of Chuft-Kale and Manhup-Kale. Other Crimean trekking highlights include the 300m (985ft) Bolshoy Kanyon and the Dzhur-Dzhur and Uchansu waterfalls. With a good map you can walk anywhere in the Carpathians, where most of the territory is uninhabited and very scenic. A good place to start is the Carpathian State National Park, about 55km (35mi) south-west of Kolomyya and 500km (310mi) south-west of Kiev. Boat trips down the Dnipro from Kiev to Odessa are a fun and relaxing way to see the country.


Ukrainians place gifts under fir trees and sing holiday songs for New Year's Day. The country celebrates Orthodox Christmas Day on 7 January. Paskha (Easter) is the main festival of the Orthodox Church year, beginning with midnight services and continuing with parades around village churches throughout the country. In Lviv, the National Virtuoso fills the month of May with musical and theatrical performances focussing on national themes. The capital celebrates spring during Kiev Days, held the last weekend in May. In August, Crimea fetes itself at Yalta's Crimean Stars. On 28 August, religious pilgrims flock to the monastery in Pochayiv for the Feast of the Assumption. Cities and towns honour Independence Day on 24 August with performances and special events.

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