The remains of a hill-top fortress overlook picturesque Kremenets' cluster of pastel-coloured, freshly renovated churches. The Mongols never managed to capture this castle during their sweep through Kyivan Rus in 1240–41 (despite reaching Kremenets' outskirts), but today it's easily breeched by individual hikers and day-trippers.
Its ornate golden domes rising up from the surrounding plain, Pochayiv Monastery is a beacon of Ukrainian Orthodoxy (Moscow Patriarchate) on the edge of a largely Ukrainian Catholic region. Indeed, it's the country's second-largest Orthodox complex after Kyiv's Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra and was founded by monks fleeing that mothership when the Mongols sacked Kyiv in 1240.
The Ternopil region is home to dozens of karst caves, including the 212km-long Optimistic Cave, one of Europe's largest. These are all 100km south of Ternopil, near Borshchiv. It's not really safe to visit without a tour, but unfortunately, as with so many Ukrainian sightseeing gems, tours are sometimes tricky to arrange.
Known today primarily for its striking natural hilltop standing stone, the village of Pidkamin was once most celebrated for its huge fortified monastery. This was founded at the same time as Pochayiv by monks hightailing it from Kyiv before the Mongols hit town in 1240, and was later beefed up to protect the icon of the Blessed Virgin.