Why on earth, you might ask,should you visit Ukraine?Maybe youve never gotten to know this friendly, humble land, but it definitely would love to know you. By the way, this is not your grandfathers Ukraine . . . not even your fathers. This is a Modern-Day Ukriane.After all, Soviet control disappeared roughly 20 years ago. Thats almost an entire generation in the past, plenty of time for a country to become itself again.Indeed, you wont find any more comrades wearing black outfits and women wearing combat boots. Instead, youll encounter a nation of receptive people, ancient history, and beautiful mountains and coastlines. Historically a farming region, the Ukraine is filled with good folks of the earth: people who truly appreciate warm food and cold home-brewed beer - not to mention their fellow human beings. Indeed, Ukrainians are an intelligent, handsome, and life-loving sort, proud of their homeland and dying to show it off to visitors.Furthermore, Ukraine doesnt demand your life savings in exchange for a unique vacation.A rich experience here does not require a rich budget.An open mind and a spirit of adventure will more than suffice.Ukraine youre visiting today is not the country that previously existed.

Ukraine is truly a special place to see. Not only does it boast ancient castles, gold-domed churches, and a myriad of ancient historic places, but it's also home to some of the world's richest hospitality and vibrant cultural traditions. This is a place where three-day village weddings still exist and where national dress can be seen adorning the citizenry, as opposed to merely hanging in a museum. That's why going there now, before this hidden jewel is "discovered," promises to be a rewarding experience.

The map remains the same, with the awe-inspiring, monumental capital of Kyiv at its heart, irrepressible Odessa and striking Crimea on its southern shores, and cozy central-European Lviv near rolling western hills.

Ukraine, whose name means borderland, draws on numerous historical influences trought out the centuries. The dominant culture is Slavic, but in Kyiv, Byzantine mosaics line St Sophias Cathedral, and Scythian gold is still hoarded in the history museum at Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra (Caves Monastery).

Sure, the golden domes of numerous Ukrainian Orthodox cathedrals shine across the entire land. Yet, among the rocky outcrops of the most fascinating Crimea, youll also find Turkish architecture, not to mention ancient cave cities. The countrys courageous Cossacks are remembered on the Dnipro Rivers Khortytsya Island, as well as in in rituals of music and dance. The Russian-speaking east and south might take pride in Cossack history, but the Ukrainian-speaking west of the country lionises the native Hutsul culture of the Carpathians, and the Crimean Tatars are making a comeback on their homeland peninsula.

From hosting the Eurovision talent contest in 2005, abolishing most visas to welcome more overseas tourists, being chosen to co-host the European Football Championships in 2012 and even angling for the 2018 Winter Olympics, this once-overlooked country hopes to show off its increasing capabilities to the world. Already in September 2009 opening ceremony of one of the largest stadiums of the world Donbass Arena in Donetsk has merely thundered. Ceremony has been transmitted all over the world and has been comparable to opening of Olympiad!Ukraines attitudes are more open and its economy more free. The country is quickly becoming more and more accessible.

Hence, if you seek a European holiday thats long on variety, history, beauty, hospitality, affordability, and a surplus of hearty good times, consider a country less traveled.