Best time to travel to Ukraine

Tunnel of Love in Ukraine 2024

One of the world's most romantic places is frequented by couples and singles who wish to find a match

Best time: mid-May–mid-September (year-round)

Tunnel of Love
Tunnel of Love
Tunnel of Love

The world-famous Tunnel of Love is a 2.5 mi (4 km) arch that runs through the forest along with a railway. That railway connects two villages—Orzhiv and Klevan, in the city of Rivne. While the railway is man-made, the lush arch formed by trees and bushes intertwining at the top is a purely botanical phenomenon. Experts assume the tunnel could be entirely overgrown if not for the train that still operates here. The site is said to have a special atmosphere and is believed to bring luck in love affairs.

So how did it happen that the railway was constructed right in the midst of a forest? According to a romantic legend, once there was a Polish architect who lived in the village of Orzhiv, and naturally, he fell in love with a Ukrainian girl from Klevan. Her parents didn't approve of the relationship on the religious grounds (he was a Catholic, and she—an Orthodox). The lad was assigned to build a railway in the area, and he didn't have to think too long. Quickly he decided to pave its way through the forest as it was the shortest way straight from his home to the beloved girl. Moreover, the accurate tunnel shape allowed lovers to communicate via their secret lantern language.

Eventually, the boy went back to Poland, and the girl gave her heart to another man, yet both cherished the memory of their love forever. Although the love story doesn't have a happy ending, the place has always had a magical power to assist lovers. A more prosaic explanation of a railway in the forest is that it was hidden on purpose because of some military bases located nearby. Well, regardless of all fairy tales and sentimentalism, the tunnel is beautiful without a doubt. An interesting fact: in 2014, the Tunnel of Love had become the setting for the same name Japanese romantic drama.

The easiest way to get to the Tunnel of Love is from the city of Rivne, in 18 mi (30 km) from Klevan. Take a bus from Rivne to Klevan or a train to Lutsk. If you go by car via Rivne-Lutsk road, you should reach crossroads at the village named Zoria and follow the signs that will direct you to the tourist attraction. The place may be visited year-round, as it has a unique appearance in every season. Still, we recommend mid-May to mid-September as the most successful time, when the tunnel is lush green. Golden autumn in late September to mid-October is beautiful as well but not as vibrant, and falling leaves may create a sad impression of the tunnel falling apart. Winter snow-arch looks charming, but the weather is rather unpredictable. In early spring, you'll find bare trees, a bit empty and quiet overall.

If you're interested to spend more time in Klevan after you've seen the Tunnel of Love, you can also explore local architecture. In particular, visit the ruins of Klevan Castle, built in 1561, along with the Baroque Church of the Annunciation with its bell tower (1630), and the Church of the Nativity (1777).

Practical info

What is the most beautiful time to visit the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, and why?

The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine offers a romantic atmosphere all year round, but it's most beautiful from mid-May to mid-September when the lush green trees and bushes create a stunning appearance. Another great time to visit is during the golden autumn from late September to mid-October, but the weather can be unpredictable, making the trek more challenging. Show more

Where can I locate the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, and what transportation options are available?

The Tunnel of Love is located near Rivne, Ukraine, between the villages of Orzhiv and Klevan. There are several transportation options available, including taking a bus from Rivne to Klevan of a train to Lutsk. Alternatively, you can drive and use the Rivne-Lutsk road that has signs directing you to the attraction, approximately 18 miles (30 km) from Klevan. Show more

What is the romantic story linked to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine?

Legends surround the famous Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, but the most romantic tells the story of a Polish architect who fell in love with a girl from Klevan, and to express his love, he built a railway track through the forest to his lover's village. The trees grew over the tracks, creating a tunnel where the architects and his lover communicated through a lantern secret language. Although the couple's love had no happy ending, the tunnel's romantic atmosphere attracts visitors worldwide. Show more

Aside from the Tunnel of Love, what other attractions await me in Klevan, Ukraine?

Klevan boasts historical and architectural landmarks that visitors can explore, including the ruins of Klevan Castle, an ancient structure established in 1561. You can also visit the Church of the Annunciation, a Baroque-style edifice with a bell tower, or the Church of the Nativity erected in 1777. Besides the landmarks, tourists can sample traditional Ukrainian cuisine and purchase local artifacts from the town's shops and restaurants. Show more

Is the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine accessible year-round, and how does its appearance transform in various seasons?

The Tunnel of Love is accessible to visitors throughout the year, with each season unveiling its unique appearance. From mid-May to mid-September, the tunnel is lush green, creating a romantic atmosphere. Golden autumn from late September to mid-October is also an ideal period to visit. In the winter, the tunnel transforms into a snowy arch, providing a different appeal. Visitors seeking a more sober environment can explore the bare trees, quiet ambiance of early spring. Summer visits are discouraged due to crowding. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych