Buky canyon is often compared to Switzerland and the Norwegian fjords. I visited neither the first one nor the second one and in my opinion our canyon is completely different, cozy and cute and beautiful in a special way.
The canyon starts from the bridge in the village of Buky, Cherkasy region. There is the dam of the old hydroelectric station about two meters high near the bridge. The dam and the underlying narrow, rapids channel of the Gorny Tikich river form the Vir Falls. It is most interesting in the spring, during the flood. In the summer, you can catch a full-fledged waterfall, as well as an almost dry course - it depends on the rainy days of the previous weeks and the activity of farmers who use the water of the river for irrigation.
A walk through the canyon can be started right from the waterfall. Even in the spring, in narrow places, you can safely pass over the stones without getting your feet wet. Initially, it is more convenient to go along the right (if you look downstream) shore. There is a well-preserved gutter, which supplied water to the hydroelectric power station. It is laid along the main channel, the edge of the gutter is about half a meter wide and most of the way to the hydroelectric station it is in perfect condition, you can walk along it and admire the rapids on Tikiche.
After inspecting the hydroelectric station, you can go to the other side (but the path near the well there rests on a cliff and you have to finish the tour) or go higher up the slope and walk along the upper edge of the canyon - there is a great path there. Here is the most picturesque and photographed part of the canyon - with steep walls and a narrow strip of the river. Along the route there are small sites with a great view of the canyon - you can just admire the view and take a photo for a memory. Farther the height of the canyon walls gradually decreases, wide glades and a lot of fishermen appear along the coast, and the river becomes wider and deeper. In case you get a very steep part of the trail on the way - look for a detour, it’s there. At the end of the canyon there is no possibility to cross the river, you will need to return to the hydroelectric station and go over the rocks - then along the left shore you can go to the road and by it back to the bridge.
There is also a path along the left shore, from the waterfall to the well you can walk along the river (sometimes you will have to jump on the rocks), and then go upstairs and admire the rest of the canyon from the top.The whole walk will take at least two hours - the places are really picturesque.
In the Buky canyon you can enjoy rock climbing, highline, rope jumping and take a ride on a canoe or catamaran in one weekend. Here is a great place for climbing and mountaineering - here are routes both equipped with bolts (hooks) varying difficulty - from 5a to 8b and mountaineering routes where you have to maintain your own safety points (most of this routes start from a boat). Or maybe you’re lucky to see a local fisherman who is going up with a fish in one hand next to the climbers. But the fishermen have a small steel ladder.
To climb the rocks of the Buky canyon, take your climbing friends with equipment with you or join the training trip of the climbing club. There is no equipped safety ropes on the routes, you need to make your own.
Besides the usual slackline, slack gyus can stretch the highline between the banks of the canyon. Between the same banks other sportsmen stretch the rope for rope jumping. In order to raft on kayaks, you don’t even need to have water tourists friends. Locals organize rafting and boat trips.
According to geologists' estimates, granites forming the Buky canyon are about 2 billion years old. This is part of the Ukrainian Crystal Shield - the oldest flat plate covering almost the entire territory of Ukraine. Millions of years of erosion under the influence of water and glaciers created a canyon.
After Buky Canyon, Gorny Tikich merges with Gnily Tikich, forming the Tikich River, which across the Sinyukha and Southern Bug rivers (flowing along through another picturesque canyon - Aktovsky) flows into the Black Sea.
Where to stay
If you have a tent - both sides of the canyon have many places for camps, some already with comfortable logs for sitting and equipped fireplaces. You can also have a picnic there if you come for one day. Water can be collected in a well near the rocks (it is of good quality despite the toad living in the well) or from the locals.
Often there is a lot of garbage in the canyon and in the river itself - the territory is rarely cleaned, and there are many different people. Be prepared to make a comfortable space yourself. There are few rental housing in the village - the locals have not yet adjusted to the increased flow of tourists. The only camp site "Buky canyon" both rents housing at various levels and provides kayaks for rent. There are few more hotels in Zhashkov.
On summer days there are many tourists of different cultures and needs, so if you want relatively silent and solitude rest it is better to visit the canyon in spring, when you can admire the flowering of rare early flowers in the forest surrounding the canyon or in autumn.
How to get there!?
The most convenient way is by car. It is better to go through Kiev because the road through Cherkasy is of very poor quality. From Kiev, on the Odessa highway, go south to Zashkiv, there is a pointer to Buky in the center. In the direction of the pointer, through the villages of Sorokotyagi and Chervonyi Kut, go to Buky. You can also drive through Uman (where Sofiyivka Park is located): along the same Odessa route, to the turn to the village of Mankivka, then through this village to Buki. Be careful, there are one more Buky in the Kiev region - also a village and also with a landmark - an excellent landscaped park, but without a canyon. For accuracy, use the coordinates.
By public transport:
Buky can only be reached through Kiev. From the central railway station there is a regular bus to Zhashkiv. Also from the Odessa Square (opposite the Magellan shopping center) you can go there by a private minibus. From Zhashkiv get the passing bus to Buky. There are usually 3-4 buses per day, mostly in the morning. The bus schedule can be checked at the Zhashkiv bus station at (04747) 6-23-78.