The Carpathians are a mountain range located in the eastern part of Central Europe, on the territory of Ukraine, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Austria. In Ukraine, the Carpathian Mountains cover the section of the Eastern Carpathians.
Within Ukrainian, the Carpathian mountain ranges cover over 24,000 sq km. Here you will find mountain ranges separated by deep transverse valleys that extend from the northwest to the southeast.
It is a wild and remote place but offers the intrepid traveller willing to explore some wonderful experiences. For any keen hiker there are many different trails depending upon you ability. For lovers of flora and fauna, the ecology of the region is certainly a large attraction.
The Ukraine Carpathians is a uniquely beautiful region of high mountains, steep streams and clean air. Visitors to the area come for the beauty of its natural landscapes and the rich fauna and flora as well as the historical folk customs and the options to stay in a traditional home.
For anyone travelling to Ukraine and wishing to explore the Carpathian Mountains, then a visit to the Hutsul region is required. It covers an area which includes parts of Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and the Zakarpattya regions of modern Ukraine. For several hundred years, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, Hutsulshchyna was a part of Poland, before then becoming part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
The Hutsuly (Hutsuls) are a sub-ethnic group of Ukrainians who live in the area and have retained more of their customs, traditions, ways of dressing and talking than people in many other parts of Ukraine.
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Why visit the Carpathian Mountains?
For what is actually one of the smallest regions of Ukraine, the Carpathian region is among the richest in natural, historic and cultural treasures. The Carpathians have changed a lot over the last 15 years, transforming from a backward provincial area with poor infrastructure into an almost-all-year-round resort with a wide variety of accommodation types and outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, horse-riding and rafting.
In the Ukrainian Carpathians there are now nine national parks and two biosphere reserves. The local and national authorities in Ukraine are working hard to try and preserve the unique ecology of the region. There is now a general ban on tree felling in any of the coniferous forest areas above 1,100 metres in an attempt to preserve this part of the larger Carpathina range.
It is important as in these mountains can be found the last intact virgin forest in the temperate latitudes of Europe. Trees live to be a hundred years old in these forests, providing an important habitat for flora and fauna such as mushrooms, moss, lichen, insects, rare birds (e.g. capercaillie and black grouse) and mammals including brown bear, wolf and lynx.
Tourism and the income that comes from visitors to the region is being used to protect these important ecological areas. It is also important that local businesses benefit from the tourism spend and that local people are stakeholders in the protection of this very special region.
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