Transcarpathia, Ukraine: Exploring Tustan & Korostiv 🇺🇦

After two incredible days exploring the city of Lviv, Ukraine, I headed south from the city for some unforgettable adventures in Transcarpathia, Ukraine! Come with me on my Ukrainian fish farm experience and explore the attractions in Korostiv, Ukraine!

My guide Diana from Tours by Locals began our day in Lviv. During our three-hour drive down to the Transcarpathia Region, we’d make a few stops, including an 11th-century fortress and a fish farm!

Preparing to drive from Lviv to the Transcarpathia Region

Driving to Transcarpathia

Transcarpathia, Ukraine is a region that borders Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland, so there are lots of different culinary and cultural influences down there. My father’s family is from Hungary, so this was a special part of my trip for me!

Driving through Transcarpathia, Ukraine

We passed through some farmland and villages after sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to get out of the city. Outside of the city, it was beautiful! The highway winds through hills, farmland, and lots of nature. It reminded me of driving through Poland! We made a right off the highway through a village and we stopped at an old, wooden bridge that links two villages across a river from one another. It had been painted blue and yellow.

A wooden bridge on the way to Tustan, Ukraine

Tustan Fortress

We hopped back in the car and drove to the fortress, which sits atop a massive stone cliff. Nearby is Tustan, where you can find vendors selling craft goods, tea, jam, coffee, and more. Admission is 65 hryvnia/roughly $3 USD.

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We followed a wooden plank path through a forested area to a set of wooden stairs heading up the monolith. Climbing to the top reminded me of the time I climbed up the Rock of the City in Permet, Albania. At the top is the former site of Tustan Fortress, an 11th-century wooden fortress that burned down.

Tustan Fortress in Transcarpathia, Ukraine

The views over Transcarpathia, Ukraine are beautiful! The rock formations and forests are gorgeous. There’s also a nearby museum and an archaeological site. Back at the base was a woman who sells baked goods. For 30 hryvnia/$1 USD, I got a poppyseed bun. Poppyseeds are very popular in the local cuisine. It was almost like a cinnamon bun!

The views over Transcarpathia, Ukraine

Next, we saw a woman grilling potato kebabs at the craft area, as well as some liqueurs. I loved her cherry liqueur and honey liqueur before driving to a waterfall. Along the way was a rough, bumpy road that led to Kamianka Waterfall!

A wooden lodge near Kamianka Waterfall

Some farmers passed us with horses and buggies as we arrived. The waterfall, nature, and beautiful weather made for a super peaceful experience! They say if you wash your face in the water, you’ll stay young forever. It’s ice-cold! Nearby is an artisanal street with about 7 vendors selling mushroom kebabs, pork kebabs, chicken kebabs, potato kebabs, tea, jams, and fish. They had some rainbow trout and a drink that contains a venomous snake!

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One of the women let me try some pine nut jam and some smoked coffee! While I waited for the coffee, I tried some amazing honey vodka and cherry vodka. They were incredible! The root vodka was strong and earthy, and the herb vodka was also super strong. Then I tried a delicious pickle!

A food vendor selling kebabs in Transcarpathia, Ukraine

Next was kvass, a non-alcoholic drink made from bread. The woman there was so nice! They kept feeding us! Next was the coffee, which was very smoky and tasty!

Zolota Forel Restaurant

Ten minutes later, we arrived at Zolota Forel, or Golden Trout Restaurant, which has about a dozen ponds around it. I couldn’t wait to fish for our lunch and eat some trout and caviar!

The fishing pond at Zolota Forel Restaurant

I got to feed the fish. Some of them are huge! You put some corn on the hook and drop it in. It took me seven tries to get one! Then, it was time to eat! The restaurant is large and rustic and has several huge dining halls. I could see vodka and jams on the walls and pictures of celebrities and European buildings.

One of the boats at Zolota Forel Restaurant

There, we started with caviar, smoked trout, marinated trout, pickled veggies, fish pate with toast, and some drinks. The caviar was unbelievable, like little gushers in my mouth. We enjoyed it with some fruity, dry white wine.

Delicious trout at Zolota Forel Restaurant in Transcarpathia, Ukraine

Next was the trout tartar, which was delicious and fishy. But I couldn’t stop eating the caviar straight from the bowl! The marinated trout was tougher but had a creamy texture. The smoked trout had some bones but was extremely flavorful with a nice, smooth texture. I suggest going in with your hands to separate the bones from the meat. It was incredible, but the tartar and the caviar were my favorites.

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The fish pate was crazy good as well. We also had some cloudy, fermented kvass and pickled vegetables. The pickled plums were sweet and sour, and the peppers were very hot!

Caviar at Zolota Forel Restaurant

Next was Ukha, a type of trout soup with potatoes and carrots. There was no salt, pepper, or marination, but it was still hot and flavorful! We followed that with grilled trout and baked trout. The waiters pull out the spinal column for you. I loved the smoky, barbecued flavor of the grilled trout. It was amazing with lemon. The baked trout with pine nuts was more tender! It was a wonderful way to end my Ukrainian fish farm experience in Transcarpathia, Ukraine!

Enjoying a fresh trout lunch in Transcarpathia, Ukraine

I hope you liked coming with me on my Ukrainian fish farm experience in Korostov, Ukraine! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!

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