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A picturesque Saint Bay has a secret on the bottom—a drowned village


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Today the name of Bakota refers to the Dnister reservoir, nestled among picturesque landscapes. But a few decades ago, it used to be a village and the center of Modern Podillia. What is odd is that the settlement managed to survive numerous invasions, two world wars, and two famines, but unfortunately collapsed during Soviet times. The communist government decided to construct a hydroelectric power station on the Dnister River. Thus, in October 1981, the villagers were evacuated, and Bakota disappeared from the map of Ukraine for good.

Bakota's highlights

Not many people know about this beautiful place. But those who do, plan on visiting the site. Just imagine what it feels like to float above the village drowned deep on the bottom. Tourists stop by while vacationing to go fishing and boating. Additionally, you can explore Bakota's hidden treasures on a hike. The best panorama is revealed from the top of "Bila Hora," which means White Mountain. Other highlights include numerous caves, the remnants of ancient St. Michael's Monastery in the rocks, and three miraculous sources. Hence comes the reservoir's name of Saint Bay.

How to get to Bakota

If you decide on seeing Bakota, get ready for a dreadful 30 mi (50 km) road from Kamianets-Podilskyi to Stara Ushytsya. The road is entirely filled with pot holes, and to top it all off, the final kilometer is not even a road at all. Still, the rewarding view is worth the effort.

Where to stay at Bakota

As for accommodations, the most convenient option would be a hotel in Kamianets-Podilskyi. The options are labeled on the map below. Consequently, all your shopping needs to be done in the city, since you won't find many food stalls at the reservoir. If you prefer to stay closer to water, rent a trailer at Bakota or bring your own tent.

Best time to visit Bakota

The best time to visit Bakota is in the summer. Mid-June to mid-August is the peak swimming period in most of Ukraine. But thanks to the surrounding mountains, Bakota boasts a more extended season from as early as mid-May well into mid-September.

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