As Ukraine forges closer ties with Europe, so it is coming to more people's attention, who come to see the magnificent architecture, mosaics and miles of rolling steppes.
The capital Kyiv exudes a cosmopolitan air yet manages to maintain its heritage; split your time between the buzzing modern areas and the elegant, quaint quarters and see the St Sophia cathedral complex and the city's oldest church, made famous by its underground labyrinth lined with mummified monks.
Odessa is a charming port known as the Pearl of the Black Sea with decent beaches, whilst Lviv, located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains is a strikingly beautiful place with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
The sweeping Carpathian Mountains themselves are a mix of Alpine meadows, woods, rapid rivers and ice-cold lakes. Historical and architectural monuments dot the landscape and there's some excellent walking to be had.
Located in the south, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is the Crimea. The region is steeped in modern history; Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met in the Livada Palace in 1945 and Gorbachev was held in Faros for three days during a coup in 1991. Yalta, at the tip of the peninsula and with a backdrop of sharp mountain peaks, is particularly pretty.