When you raise your eyes to the Kiev skyline, you’ll likely see the gilded green domes of St Andrew’s Church. Its pastel blue and white exterior makes this church look like something straight out of a fairy tale rather than part of a modern European city. Once you step inside, raise your eyes to the heavens once more for the stunning gilded dome and masterfully painted frescos.
Ukrainians know how to party, particularly over the festive period, and the merrymaking certainly doesn’t end on January 1st. Orthodox Christianity follows the Julien calendar which is 13 days behind the traditional Western Gregorian calendar, so Ukrainians get two chances to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. Is there a better way to use those cheap flights to Ukraine? We don’t think so, get ready to celebrate the holidays in style twice.
Skiing is a huge pastime in Ukraine with the season lasting well into March. Most of the action goes down at the lush Bukovel Resort in the Carpathian Mountains. Not only is it the biggest, but this resort is also widely considered to be the best with it 60 kilometres of runs. Skiers of all levels can whizz down the mountainside as it has bunny slopes for the newbies and advanced black runs for the more experienced. Even if you don’t want to ski, there’s plenty of opportunities for ice skating, tubing and dog sledding. If you want to avoid the crowds, why not head to one of the smaller ski resorts? The Carpathian Mountains boast over 120 kilometres of runs, so there are plenty of places to go.
When to go
July and August are considered Ukraine’s high season. During this time, cities like Kiev will experience high heat and high humidity. The mountains are cooler, making them excellent destinations for hiking. With this spike in travellers, airfares will be pushed up. If you book well in advance, however, it’s possible to find some great deals.
Winters are bitterly cold in Ukraine. Temperatures plummet below zero, and snow is widespread, particularly in the mountains. As the ski resorts begin to fill up, expect an increase in fares around the festive period. Once the Orthodox festivities have passed, it’s likely that flight prices will go down again, and plenty of deals will be available for savvy travellers.
To avoid these extremes in weather and to truly find the best offers on flight costs, plan your trip during the shoulder season, which lasts from May until September. There will be fewer tourists, and tickets will usually be quite low.
Airports and airlines
To find the best deals on return Ukraine flights, head to the calendar feature, where you can compare airfares across a whole month. If your dates are flexible, choose to see prices for trips lasting a few days to a few weeks. Once chosen, use the table at the top of the results page to compare costs by airline.
Most flights to Ukraine from the United Kingdom (UK) will require a transfer, usually in Europe or Russia. Direct flights to Kiev, however, are available from London and are often substantially cheaper than flying from other UK airports. This will also offer you more flexibility on departure and return dates and airlines.
Consider departing from London, particularly if you’re going to Kiev. Cheap domestic flights are widely available, and if you’re working to a tight budget, this option may be the most economical. Carriers operating routes to Ukraine include Alitalia, KLM, Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa.