Getting there & away
The bus station is in front of the train station on pl Pryvokzalna. There are numerous services into the Carpathians including to Yaremcha (12uah, one hour and 10 minutes, half-hourly), Kolomyya (8uah to 10uah, one hour, every 15 to 30 minutes), Chernivtsi (24uah, four hours, at least three daily) and Rakhiv (18uah, four hours, three daily).
Heading north from Ivano-Frankivsk, at least 12 buses daily go to Lviv (20uah to 24uah, three hours), leaving every hour until early evening. Longer-distance buses also go to Kyiv (66uah to 78uah, 12 hours, twice daily).
From Ivano-Frankivsk train station (212 223) there are daily trains to Kyiv (95uah, 12 hours) and twice-daily trains to Lviv (from 24uah, 3½ to seven hours), plus services to Uzhhorod (56uah, seven to eight hours, twice daily), among others.
Local train services serve Kolomyya (5uah, four to five daily) and Rakhiv (4uah, 5½ hours, twice daily). Three to four trains daily pass through to Chernivtsi (18uah, 3½ hours), but only one at a sensible time.
CARPATHIAN NATIONAL NATURE PARK
This is the heart of the Carpathians and Ukraine’s largest national park. However, it’s a very different sort of national park – industrial logging occurs here, for example. Only about a quarter of the area is completely protected, but that hasn’t detracted too much from the natural beauty of the place…yet.
Founded in 1980, the Carpathian National Nature Park (CNNP) covers 503 sq km of wooded mountains and hills. Parts of it shelter small numbers of animals and there is a lot of flora. Realistically however, hiking and skiing are the main reasons to come here.
Train services are less frequent and extensive in the mountains than in other Ukrainian regions, so be prepared to ride the frequently old and crowded buses and marshrutky, and budget for the occasional taxi. Otherwise, agencies and hotels in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyya can organise guided tours and transportation.
Because its stands a little apart from the main CNNP, the adjoining Carpathian Biosphere Reserve is discussed under its main entry point, Rakhiv.
One airline’s flights between the rest of Europe and Ivano-Frankivsk’s small airport (598 348; vul Yevhena Konovaltsya 264A) were canned during a 2007 EU safety move, but there are still planes to Kyiv and possibly some other charter services. The airport is 10km south of the city, and is served every 15 minutes by buses 21, 24 and 65 (1uah, 30 minutes) from the train station.