Fast Facts

  • Location: In Ternopil district about 130 km east of Lviv
  • Best time to Visit: June to September
  • Preferred Timing: Daytime
  • How to Reach: By road from Ternopil; Ternopil is approximately 130 km east of Lviv
  • Nearest Railway station: Ternopil
  • Nearest international airport: Lviv
  • Time for sightseeing: 1 ½ hour

When you are visiting Optimisticeskaja you cannot ignore Ternopil. Located on the banks of River Secret in western Ukraine it has a history dating back to 1540 when it was established by Jan Amor Tarnowski as a Pole military base. While in Ternopil, stay in Galychina Hotel on Chumatskaya Street, or in Ternopil Hotel on Zamkovaya Street. Ukrainians are excellent cooks and their cuisine is outstanding. Try ‘borshch’ — beet soup, ‘holubtsi’ – cabbage rolls with fillings of rice with a small quantity of hamburger, ‘ko basa’ — smoked ham sausage, ‘varenyky’ — dough pockets with potato filling, and ‘nalysnyky’ — Ukrainian crepe. ‘Horilka’ and ‘Kutya’ are traditional drinks of this nation.

Optimisticeskaja in the Ukrainian language is ‘optimistic’. The existence of 214 kilometers of passageways in three levels under a ground surface of only two square kilometers is unbelievable. This gypsum cave in the Ternopil district of Ukraine is the second-longest in the world after the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The multi-level passageways make the Optimisticeskaja cave stand out among other caves not only in Europe but also in the world. You would be surprised to learn that this ‘maze cave’ of nearly 215 kilometers of passages is entirely within a gypsum layer of 20 meters thick. Not surprisingly the passages are low and often filled with silt. After its discovery in 1965 more than fifty expeditions have taken place, and in each expedition, the passages are cleared of their silt. While visiting Optimisticekaja, do not miss the nearby Ozemaja cave which with over 120 km of passages is the eleventh largest internationally.

Spend a day in Optimisticeskaja and be dazed by the underground gypsum caves. Couple that with a recluse of two days in Ternopil to indulge in the hospitality of Ukraine hotels and their delectable cuisine.

Related Links : Check out the colorful and vibrant beauty of Ternopil in this video.

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