15
Apr-2013

Travel Green – Why you should stay in rural guesthouses

Whenever the travel bug bites us and we decide to jump off and visit a new place, ‘where to stay’ is at the top of our decisions list. With so many alternatives available out there – Bed & Breakfast, international chains, local hotels, or home stays – it’s easy to get lost in search and take up the first well-reviewed decent-looking option.
This might be the easiest solution, but is it the most sustainable one? What about staying in a place, that you can call ‘home away from home’? A place, where food is made by people you  actually know; where real conversations happen and your money helps the development of local community?

The story of Ukrainian village

Mouth-watering smell of freshly baked bread. Tempting jar of warm milk. A well, a garden, and a field of potatoes. Chattery ‘babushka’s, wrapped in colorful kerchiefs. Old men with big hay stacks on their bike frames. Empty dirt roads, with early morning cow parades or occasional bunch of cheerful kids in the afternoons.  Meet Ukrainian village: authentic, sincere, imperfect, and most real. 

Ukraine has always been a rural country.  During tough communist times it was the village communities that helped preserve local culture and traditions. For centuries the country survived because of villagers’ hard work.  To this time – going to the countryside is Ukraine’s most popular national pastime. Ukrainians owe it to the villages, and there is no better place to experience the true country, than to spend a day in the heart of Ukraine – a rural home.

What should you expect?

Comfortable rooms

Rural homes offer clean and decent accommodation, that can differ from most basic to more luxurious, depending on the home location and years in service. Don’t expect the newest designs, but look forward to cozy and traditional environment.

Delicious food (and we mean it!)

Usually scrumptious, filling, plentiful, and organic. Most home owners garden and grow their own food. Absence of big industries and heavy pollution, clean air and beautiful landscape make every bite taste particularly well. Your hosts will usually be willing to fix up a special dinner for you, or accommodate your meal requirements.  What’s more, the hostesses will try their best to impress you with their cooking skills and you are definite to leave with a few gained kilograms!

Real and genuine local culture

No hotel can give you an opportunity to feed a goat or a cow, wake up to the sound of a rooster, pick up home-grown berries and fruits or learn to make the famous Ukrainian borscht!

Welcoming smiles

Most home owners receive intense training on servicing foreign visitors, but even without it, your hosts will be usually warm, welcoming, and ready to do anything for you. Only here you can experience traditional Ukrainian hospitality at its best!

Positive impact

Your money goes directly to the grass-root community, and contributes to the people who need it most. Choose to stay at villages away from the main tourist routes, and your impact will be immense!

Ok, I’m sold. Where do I find a rural home?

Great! You’ve just moved one step to making your travel vacation in Ukraine more meaningful and responsible! You can find the list of rural homes per region at the website of Union for Promotion of Rural Tourism in Ukraine. It has a great list for initial browsing and detailed explanation of certification system.

There are no options for rural home stay in Kyiv, Lviv or large cities in Crimea. Your best bet would be Carpathian Mountains, smaller coastal town in the south, villages in the heart of Crimean Mountains, or any other countryside areas of Ukraine.

Few rural homes are available online and the best way to reach them is over the phone. Since not a lot of rural home owners speak English either, let us know which area of the country you are heading to, and we’ll be glad to find you the perfect option!

Share with us: What accommodation options do you prefer? Have you ever tried out home stays? What were your experiences? And finally, what accommodation would you recommend for a responsible traveler? 

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  • Sandra Mead says:

    I am a 58 year old female single traveller who would like to experience village life in the carpathians for about 4 days from approx. 7 may to 11 may. I dont like hiking because of knee problems but am happy to explore by car or cart and horse. Can you help me or offer suggestions?

  • Walid says:

    Hi Oksana,

    i just stumbled across this site and found it interresting, me and my friend want to travel to ukraine to have a ski vacation for about 7 days, please can you provide me with some details as if i can find a home near the slopes on drahobrat? it should be of a walking distance from the slopes, and also please mention the rates of these rural homes.
    p.s: the trip should occur in 1st of march till the 7th of it.
    thank you in advance.

    • oksana says:

      Hi Walid,

      I just sent you an email. Let me know, if you receive it.

      Looking forward to hosting you in Ukraine!
      Oksana

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