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Kyiv - Lviv: A Road movie

Bogdan Logvynenko could very well be Ukraine’s most famous traveller. Together with Ukraїner’s team, he gathers stories from all over the country. And although the outlet’s articles are translated into dozens of languages, the project’s team finds it the most interesting to tell these stories to Ukrainians themselves. Bogdan spends most of his days on the road. He tells Premier magazine about a route he has come up with – a plan for the longest possible roadtrip from Kyiv to Lviv. 

If you’re travelling from Kyiv to Lviv and don’t simply want to get from point A to point B (in other words, if you want to actually see something new along the way), then travelling by car is the only option. As you will see from this article, this kind of trip to Lviv could take up your entire day. So I would advise you to split the stops into two groups – the ones you can see on your way to Lviv and the ones you can see on the way back. By the way, you shouldn’t be afraid to travel in the winter. The road you take is a central highway, and it’s safe all year round.

It’s a pity that the Intercity trains don’t stop near Rivne anymore. Volyn and Polisia are noteworthy regions, and you could make a touristic infrastructure here. But if you’ve ever taken the Intercity train from Kyiv to Lviv, you’ve probably noticed that nobody ever gets off at these stations. So now the train just skips them. 

Whenever I drive somewhere, I always try to discover something along the way. Even the same stretches of the Kyiv-Lviv motorway look different in different seasons. One of my favorite routes now is driving through Ternopil and Zbarazh. After you pass Zhytomyr, you leave the main road and drive past Polonne – a small town in the Volyn region. The road there is great. It’s surrounded by picturesque town and forests, and everything is in bloom in springtime. That’s my favorite route, even though it takes you an extra half-hour. 

But this article is about the more popular (and filled with curious stops) Kyiv-Lviv highway. 

First stop – the Korostyshiv quarry

Time on the road – 1 hour 50 minutes

The flooded granite quarries near Korostyshiv are quite a sight to behold. There are several of them – one is more popular, with many people visiting it in the summer. The others are lesser-known, but all of them are worth seeing. 

Second stop — Zhytomyr

Time on the road — 2 hours

The next stop is Zhytomyr. It's worth stopping there for lunch, as there are several nice cafes in the city centre. My favorite one’s “Buba”, a georgian restaurant opened by the restaurateur Igor Sukhomlyn. Most of the cafes in Zhytomyr are chain places, but they are unexpectedly good. We even stopped by the local “Shokoladna Maysternia” a few times, and it's very cozy there. 

Another place you should check out is the Chatskiy’s Head cliff. It’s a beautiful location and you could have a small picnic there. Zhytomyr also has a cosmonautical museum which is sure to interest space fans.

Third stop — Korets

Time on the road — 3 hours 30 minutes

Next we turn to Novograd-Volynsky, even though we aren’t stopping there. The city has the remnants of an old fort, but our goal is Korets. It also has the ruins of an old castle, but the local monastery and the St. Anthony Cathedral are much more noteworthy. 

There is also a picturesque park (the Nadsluchansky Regional Landscape Park) located above the town, and you can see the remains of the Hubkiv castle beyond the river. If you have some time to spare, this place is worth seeing.

Fourth stop — Klevan

Time on the road — 6 hours 25 minutes

After Korets, we return to the motorway and head towards Rivne. If all of this sight-seeing has left you hungry, there are several cafes where you could eat – for example, the “Home” cafe. Then you should head for Klevan, in the direction of the Tunnel of Love. Later you could return to the highway or drive to Dubne and see the ancient Tarakan Fortress. 

Fifth stop — Olesko Castle

Time on the road — 8 hours 25 minutes

Our last stop on the way to Lviv is the Olesko Castle. It is one of the oldest castles in Ukraine. You can see it from the highway, as it is located on a hill. In 1806, the building was almost lost in a fire and its condition was dire. Luckily, it was restored to its previous glory and the XVIII century design in the 1970s. Now it’s a historic museum surrounded by a beautiful park. 

But just in case you still have some time to explore the Lviv region, I would advise you to drive up to Zhovkva (it has a beautiful city centre) or to Yavoriv, which has a large lake and wonderful nature. Or if you’re not planning on staying in Lviv, there are two more curious locations where you could spend a little more time.

“Khutir Kasen”. This is a small hamlet where you could stay for a couple of hours or even for a few days. It’s not far from the main road, but it's best to call ahead and ask them for directions. You might think that there is a shortcut through the woods, but there actually isn’t one. The settlement is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, cute sheep and hills. And not a soul around.