The Dnister Canyon is the largest canyon in Ukraine and one of the largest in Europe.
The canyon is home to one of the most beautiful European rivers - the Dnister. It is the second largest river in Ukraine, with the total length of 1365 km.
To preserve the canyon’s valuable natural, historical and cultural complexes and facilities, President Yushchenko resolved to create the National Nature Park Dnister Canyon in Borshchiv, Buchach, Zalishchyky and Monastyryska Districts (Presidential Decree No. 96 dated February 3, 2010).
The National Nature Park Dnister Canyon includes 10,829.18 ha of land, including 7,189.65 ha of government-owned land to be provided to the National Park for permanent use (subject to confiscation from land users), and 3,639.53 ha of land to be included in the National Park without confiscation.
The Dnister Canyon is renowned for its unique geological formations. Rocks of various origins have survived all of the geological and biological eras, witnessing the impressive evolutionary events over the past 420 million years. The Dnister Canyon is a live geology textbook with real illustrations demonstrating sections of the earth surface.
The Canyon is home to the famous cleavages (the villages of Stinka and Trubchyn of Buchach and Borshchiv Districts, respectively) containing fossils of flora and fauna. The Park prides on its travertine rocks – stunningly beautiful and relatively young geological formations with mysterious caves and grottos, often covered with emerald moss and algae.
The Park’s territory includes about 50 large and small caves. Some of the world’s longest include Ozerna Cave (105 km) and Optymistychna Cave (230 km). Some of them were used for cult and residential purposes in the old times.
Steep rocks and forests on the banks and picturesque islands contain a lot of rare plants, animals and birds. The relict forest, rock, meadow and steppe vegetation has been preserved on the river banks.Many rare and valuable plant species are protected in the Park.
The fascinating and varied fauna of the Dnister Canyon is not studied well enough as the river slopes are hard to reach.
The warm climate in the region is characteristic for the Dnister Canyon. Its walls accumulate the sun’s heat, due to which in summer the rains are very few, and in spring the vegetation blooms 2 or 3 weeks earlier than in general for the region.
One could never forget the scenic beauty of waterfalls on the rivers and streams running into the Dniester.
The administration of the National Park is located in Zalishchyky. The former dental clinic in the lower park of the town has been converted into the Park’s office. Currently, the building is being overhauled. The Park’s administration and employees have to deal with daily organizational and maintenance issues, although the main attention is paid to research work. On July 27, 2012, the first meeting of the Scientific and Technical Board of the National Nature Park Dnister Canyon took place.