Shatsky lakes, which are also called “the blue eyes of Volyn,” are located in the north-west of Ukraine, not far from the Polish and Belarusian borders. They can be reached from Kovel (86 km / 53 mi) or Lutsk (157 km / 98 mi).
The cascade of 30 freshwater lakes is famous for its incredible purity; in calm weather, the bottom can be seen at a depth of 10 m (33 ft). Svityaz, the largest of them, is the second largest reservoir (27 km2 / 10.5 mi2) and also the deepest lake in Ukraine – deeper than the Sea of Azov and the famous Synevyr Lake. Not a single river flows into Svityaz; it is fed only by artesian springs.
The lakes are known for their health-improving properties due to their mild mineralization, sodium-bicarbonate composition, silver, and glycerin. This is truly “living water,” which heals wounds and softens the skin (in the 19th century, Shatsky water was even taken to Germany and Poland for the baths of women from wealthy families).
The Shatsky Lakes are known for their health-improving properties.
The ecology is good in the area (there are no sources of pollution nearby), and a comfortable climate; it doesn’t get too hot, as the forests fill the air with coolness and the smell of pine needles.
Shatsky Lakes have clean, wide beaches and water you can swim in without worry. It has never been contaminated, and in the summer, it is wellheated by the sun.
For fishermen, the Shatsky Lakes are a true paradise. You can fish only in designated places, but you will enjoy fishing here – there are up to 30 unique types fish, and the most popular local delicacy is eel. Fans of “quiet hunting” will be pleased with chanterelles and many other kinds of mushrooms, and will find berries in any season: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries.
In Lake Svityaz, there is a small mysterious island, called the Isle of Lovers. Rare plants grow there and even orchids can be found.
To protect the unique nature here, Shatsky National Natural Park was created in 1983, with an area of 32,850 hectares (31,174 acres), and today it is a protected UNESCO site.
This article was published in the book Interesting Ukraine.
You could download this book in PDF file for free here.
© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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