Horseback tour to Pip Ivan Observatory. 2-day trip

The Observatory on Pip Ivan Mountain is a visiting card of the Ukrainian Carpathians. We offer a two-day horseback ride to the top of Mount Pip Ivan.

Pip Ivan is the third highest mountain in Ukraine (2022 m), also known as Black Mountain (Chornohora). On its top there’s a Polish astronomical/meteorological observatory named White Elephant (Biały Słoń).

The route to the Pip Ivan Observatory from Shybene village is one of the most difficult and most beautiful in the Carpathians. Its length is 16 km, which is mostly a steep mountain slope. Therefore, ascending it on horseback is a good idea and another good reason to book our horse tour to Pip Ivan.

The local horses (of the Hutsul breed) are very calm. They walk slowly and steadily. Riding experience is not necessary. During the tour, a horseman and a guide/interpreter will always be alongside you.

Trip highlights

  • Hutsul horses
  • Polonyna Vesnarka (a Carpathian traditional alpine dairy farm)
  • lunch near the Maricheyka mountain lake
  • experience the Observatory on Pip Ivan
  • overnight in a hunting cabin in the mountains


Day 1
We meet in Ivano-Frankivsk. You can easily get there by overnight train/plane from Kiev or Lviv. We organize the transfer to Shybene village (30 km from Verkhovyna). The road journey from Ivano-Frankivsk lasts 4 hours. Transfers from other cities are also available.

In Shybene we meet the horses, pack our equipment on horses and go. Usually we start before tour to pip ivan start from shybene village

We enter the territory of the Carpathian National Nature Park, next to Pohorilets tract. After around two hours’ riding we reach Polonyna Vesnarka (an alpine dairy farm). Here, from mid-May to mid-September (depending on the weather), Hutsuls (the special name of the local people) produce cheese as it has been made for hundreds of years. It’s possible to make a short visit and see how it looks and tastes.lunch break maricheyka lake tour horses pip ivan

Under half an hour from Vesnarka, we come to Maricheyka – a beautiful lake high in the mountains. Here we stop for lunch (bread, cheese, sausage, fish, vegetables…), and rest.horses observatory pip ivan tour

Continuing the horse tour, in about 2 hours we reach the top of Pip Ivan mountain, where we can explore the observatory, admire the scenery and take pictures.hunters cabin maricheyka lake horse tour observatory

After a rest, we return down the mountain. Approximately 3 km from the Observatory there’s a very nice hunting cabin, where we will stay the night. This is a wonderful place in the woods. The cabin has places for sleeping (in sleeping bags), a stove, table, firewood and water. Our horses will have a rest. We’ll light a cosy fire and have a tasty dinner and relax. There will be local snacks and moonshine to try, before a good night’s sleep.

Day 2
We wake up, have a good breakfast and make our way back to Shybene village at around 11 am, using the same path.breakfast horse tour pip ivan

On the way back, where there are steep slopes, it is better to get off the horse and walk. It’s harder for the horse to go down than up.

At 4 pm we arrive back at the village, where our car is waiting for us. Transfer to Ivano-Frankivsk. End of the trip.

Prices for 2020 (in Euro)

Number of people in the groupTotal price for the groupPrice per person
single traveler (one person)425425

What is included:

  • transfer from Ivano-Frankivsk and back
  • your horse
  • the services of a guide/interpreter
  • the services of a horseman
  • meals (lunch and dinner on day 1 and breakfast on day 2)
  • overnight in the hunting cabin.

What you need to take:

  • your passport (it’s a border zone, a few kilometers from Romania, and there will be a checkpoint)
  • waterproof jacket/trousers. In the mountains, the weather might change very quickly and often, or even rain all the time!
  • sturdy walking boots
  • a sleeping bag (we can arrange it if you don’t have).


  • difficulty: moderate/difficult
  • group size: max. 8 travellers. For a bigger group, please make a request and we’ll arrange that
  • this horse riding tour is available from April to late September
  • the route can be changed at your request
  • it is possible to extend the tour.