Fountain Ukraine
EuropeFrom the road

Cycle touring Ukraine

When I decided to take Ukraine to my route, I had already read some travel reports from other cycle tourers and their experiences through Ukraine. My intention was to cycle through the carpathian mountains, not in Romania like most of the people do, but in the country which offers a even bigger contrast from a cultural point of view. Although I cycled Ukraine, my experiences only cover a small part of the country, the south-western region. Regarding the area, Ukraine is the biggest country in European soil and I only cycled through 3 of 15 districts.

My first look at Ukraine was at the border stone in Lekárovce at an alleged border crossing, which of course, was not! I was counting too much on the Maps.Me Navigation, which lead me to this point. So instead of crossing the border into Ukraine, I had to explain myself to the Slovak border-patrol, which appeared after only a few minutes.

The result: 

Instead of cycling north the last 5km to Uzghorod, it ended with a 30km detour towards south. This way a 105km leg turned into a 135km day and as a reward there was a strong headwind from the south. Arrived at the „official“ border crossing, it were the custom officers which helped to improve my bad mood. 

As I asked the Slovak officer „can I pass?!“, he nodded, so I walked by, followed by a loud „PASSPORT!“. The Ukrainian officer however looked out of the window down to my bicycle and asked „from Switzerland to Ukraine with bicycle? NO!!“. When I smiled and answered with „yes“, he shook his head, said „Crazy..Crazy!“ And stamped my passport.

In Uzghorod I unloaded my bike and luggage at the hostel, went to the nearest Pizzeria and treated myself with a 40cm Pizza and a big beer, which was exactly what I needed at this time. After I demanded the bill and paid a total of 4.50.- Euros, I definitely knew I arrived in a new country.

Uzghorod was a rather small city with many young people, a pulsating market hall, diverse little coffee places and restaurants so as a busy but green riverside. In Uzhorod I took a day off to recover my tired legs, do some writing for the blog and to explore the city, taking some pictures and videos.[/penci_text_block][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Uzhgorod Bridge
Uzhgorod Bus
Uzhgorod Sunset
Uzhgorod Synagogue
Uzhgorod Cherry blossom
Ukraine Bus Station
Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains
Ukrainian Church
Ukrainian Church
Ukrainian fields
Chalet Ukraine
Ukrainian carphatians
Ukraine Veretsky Pass
Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains
Veretsky Pass
Thunderstorm Ukraine


Matt Hinks 12. June 2019 at 14:46

I prefer to read about the challenging days you’ve had, so I hope you encounter more crazy mountains!
Enjoy the good life!!
How is your knee?

Fabian 13. June 2019 at 18:47

Matt! How are you?!
That’s good to hear, cause there are a lot more coming in turkey!
And hope to cycle some hills together with you in the future 😉
Thanks, I’ll do! The knee is fine, never had problems again since I left in March, hope it stays that way.
Take care bro, all the best! Best wishes to Jasi!

From rural Romania along the Black Sea to Bulgaria - alongtheearth 12. August 2019 at 17:44

[…] headwind which was already giving its best at 07.00 in the morning. As I already cycled some of the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine and decided to skip the Transylvania region, my route through Romania was quite simple: cycling […]

Stephen 9. September 2019 at 15:56

In my original plan through Europe, I’d intended to spend a lot of time in Europe. Brexit changed all that (I would have been travelling on my British passport – I’m a dual Australian/British citizen). Thankfully, Ukraine survived my route surgery.

Valentin 17. December 2019 at 17:49

Hey Fabian!

We are Sam and Valentin from Sweden /Australia and we are going to start a round the world bicycle journey in February. Our route will take us across Ukraine and we recently heard horror stories about border crossings from Poland to Ukraine. All cyclists we know say it’s forbidden to cross the border on a bike since 2018. What is ur experience?

Thank you!
Best regards,
Valentin & Sam

Fabian 7. February 2020 at 8:52

Hey Guys!

Thanks for the question. I didn’t have any problems, though I crossed from Slovakia (in Veľké Slemence) and not from Poland. When I prepared for my route I read the blog post from Darren Alff ( where he is writing about that issue. Sadly don’t have any further information about that. I wish you both a good start to your journey and an awesome adventure!

safe travels!



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