Gorgany

Do you know where in the Carpathians there are the clearest rivers, the most beautiful forests and the freshest air? In the Gorgany! The Gorgany Natural Resort encompasses 5000 hectares of virgin natural treasures, untouched by human hands. By coming here, you get a unique opportunity to look wilderness into the eyes and to spend some time in contemplation. You won’t find any large settlements here. The population is dispersed, touristic infrastructure is absent. Nevertheless, a trip to Gorgany is worth the effort.

The Gorgany Resort has peculiar landscapes with peaks of moderate height (1400-1500 m) and deep rocky gorges. The highest peak is the Dovbushanka Mount – 1754 m above the sea level. The name derives from its connection to the famous robber Oleksa Dovbush – the Carpathian Robin Hood; he used to come here in winter. There’s a multitude of tales and legends about the mount; the most famous one is about the Dobvbush’s treasure hidden somewhere near.
The resort is very valuable for the scientists, as here there are some unique islands of relict dendroflora preserved. Researchers come here to investigate the process of formation of ecosystems after the Ice Age.

“Gorgany” is a local Hutzul name for the rocky deposits common on the peaks in this region. The rocks often slide from the slope with a peculiar low booming sound that gave a rise to an onomatopoetic verb “gorgotaty”, and thus to the noun “gorgany”. Rocky deposits make 11% of the resort’s territory.There are other versions of the name’s origin. One hypothesis connects the word’s etymology with “gorgons” – the monsters of the ancient Greek mythology.

Gorgany hosts such popular touristic destinations like the Synevyr Lake, the Grofa Landscape Preserve and the Mizun Waterfall. When you stay alone with the wilderness you can’t help but feel mystical nature’s forces around you. The surrounding silence and tranquillity, so unusual in modern life, deepens this feeling. Sometimes during the hike, you feel like you and your tour group are the only people left on the planet.

The Hutzul mythology captivates with its deep ancient wisdom. When you come to the Carpathians and listen to the tales of local lore, nature around you comes to life. Transcendental creatures fill it, some of them here to help people, some – harmful and dangerous.

“Chuhaister”, or the “forest man”, the “one who walks at night”, is one of those mystical creatures; he isn’t known anywhere except for the Hutzul mythology. Hutzuls describe him as a creature of short stature, clad in white or totally nude. Some people say that chuhaister is a man who was cursed by his neighbours. He is not harmful. If you meet him in the forest, he will invite you to dance, as he is very skilful in dancing. He is also the best helper and defender of the shepherds and lumbers.

Very popular are Hutzul legends about forest demons who can turn into beautiful young girls. They have different names – niavka, mavka, malfa, etc. These are the souls of the stillborn or the babies that died before being baptised. These creatures leave footprints of child’s feet; they love to play and to dance in periods of the new moon. Often, they charm young men, leading them astray, so they can’t find the way back home afterwards.

​The Carpathians, and especially the Gorgany keep many mysteries and legends; they make us contemplate the existence of humanity; and they bring us tranquillity and joy with the beauty of their landcapes.