From the Lonely Planet Guidebook
Lviv Ecotour (www.lvivecotour.com) Owner Slav knows the region very well, has plenty of experience in guiding foreigners and speaks fluent English. Highly recommended.
Lonely Planet Ukraine Guidebook:
Marc Di Duca, L. Ragozin, Lonely Planet Ukraine, 3rd edition – May 2011, page 104.
From the Los Angeles Times
…DESTINATION: Ukraine. Westerners have discovered Lviv, a place of fine dining, Baroque and Rococo treasures and excellent prices.
GUIDE: Slav Tsarynnyk, 37 Tiutiunnykiv St., Lviv 79011, Ukraine; lvivecotour.com. In a country where English is not widely spoken, a good guide is indispensable…
Barry Zwick, Los Angeles Times, “A Liberated Lion City is Roaring“, Sunday May 28, 2006 | Special to The Times
Reviews from our Satisfied clients …
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Genealogy Services Testimonials
We will be forever grateful to Slav and our driver/interpreter Igor. Slav helped us to trace and establish contact with relatives in Ukraine where all contact had been lost for more than 40 years. In August 2015, we were then able to visit their small village in Ukraine and meet and spend time with close family members through the invaluable assistance of our driver/interpreter Igor. The families on both sides were deeply moved by this reunion, and the whole experience was life-changing and unforgettable. We highly recommend Lviv Ecotour for their professional, reliable service.
~ Stan and Trish Jarzynski, Canberra, Australia
We cannot praise Slav of Lviv Ecotour enough for his 3-day tour of Lviv and Galicia region this September, discovering our father’s family ancestry and the villages where they lived and enjoyed life before WW2. His attention to detail, his historical knowledge, his advice/recommendations along the way, always thinking ahead of our needs and inquisitiveness. His driving, guiding, spoken English and translations were superb, and above all, his trustworthiness. Lviv is a wonderful city, and we hope soon there will be cheap, direct flights from UK – roll on 2014 when we shall return! And Slav will be the first person to contact beforehand.
~ Marysia, John and Christine Zipser -Nottingham and Bexhill-on-Sea, England
We recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, among other places. Our purpose of touring Ukraine was to explore family history and visit communities in which our families lived. We planned to visit Skvere, a town outside of Kiev, and Podwolchezka, outside of Lviv. In each instance, we searched for an appropriate guide and driver to take us to the respective communities.
During the trip, we learned how difficult it is to find an appropriate guide who is knowledgeable, trustworthy and honest.
We failed in the selection of the guide we hired from Kiev to take us to Skvere. The guide, billing hourly, stretched out the time, and refused to move to the next location without an elaborate lecture and taking us to places we were not interest in.
In Lviv, we felt rewarded! Our guide was fabulous! He is knowledgeable about the western section of the Ukraine and the peoples who lived there. He is college educated, and listens to, understands and knows how to fulfill his client’s personal goals for the trip. His name is Slav Tsarynnyk, whom we are most comfortable recommending to our friends and to relevant publications. His English is impeccable. He makes the trip exciting and an exploration into the area.
~ Rabbi Jay and Barbara – New York, USA
Traveling with my family from Lviv to Germakivka was an experience we will treasure for the rest of our lives. With you as our driver and guide you brought to life the old photos we brought with us, and helped us find the homes and gravesites of our family. We never could have made these discoveries on our own. We are grateful to you for your knowledge, your passion and your good company. With heartfelt thanks,
~ Harriet, Bob, Sherry and Joanna – USA
Our trip with you to the villages where Joan’s grandparents were born, Bazaliya and Izyaslav. was great. The information you provided us about the Ukraine was very informative and it was fun to be with you. Your English is flawless. It was a great help to have you visit with the villagers and translate the conversations for us. The highlight of our three week tour of Central Europe was our conversation with the Jewish lady of Bazaliya, whose personal history you translated for us. We would never have found her without you.
~ Joan and Bill – Wyoming, USA
We travelled to Drogobych with Slav on July the 8th. My father was born there in 1911 and no member of the family has ever been back since 1915 when they left the city during WW1. Slav is a very competent guide, a safe driver (don’t try to rent a car, roads are ugly and you will find it difficult to find your way with only rare Cyrillic information on the road) and a very nice fellow. We had really good time together.
Slav belongs to this new generation of talented individuals that you can often meet today in Eastern Europe. They are the ideal bridge between our western world and the eastern part of Europe with which we share or history. They also need our support. They are the future of their country.
We really recommend Slav services to anyone who intends to visit this part of Ukraine. This is a beautiful and safe country, but it will be always difficult to visit it on your own at the moment.Good luck Slav we hope we will be back.
~ Jean-Pierre Segal, Professor Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées – Paris, France
“We planned a family trip to Ukraine in May 2006 and were greatly helped by Slav from our initial e-mails during the planning stages in creating an itinerary, arranging accommodations, and organizing transportation.
Once we arrived in Ukraine, everything flowed smoothly from the moment Slav picked us up at the airport in Lviv. We did try to squeeze in a lot during our two weeks, and would not have been able to see nearly as much without Slav’s help.
This included a memorable tour of Jewish sites in Lviv (the city where my grandmother went to high school and later lived after she was married), visiting the Ukrainian family in Noviy Rozdil who helped to hide my grandparents, mother and cousins during WWII and saved their lives (Slav helped here with the interpretation from Ukrainian to English), driving out of town to visit relatives in Berezany and in the countryside near Brody (not the best roads, but beautiful at that time of year with apple blossoms and baby chicks and ducklings on the roadside grass- we should also mention here that Slav is a very safe driver and knows how to share the roads with tractors, cows and horsecarts!) and an overnight trip to Przemesyl across the border in Poland to see the house where my mother was born.
This last trip is perhaps best done by train to speed up border crossings, rather than by car, but time was limited and Slav tried his best to make it possible. We were able to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother, Dr. Mina Deutsch, who wrote her memoirs entitled “Mina’s Story: A Doctor’s Memoir of the Holocaust” (available at cma.ca) and really felt that we had explored our family history and had a chance to visit many places in our grandparents lives.A big thank you to Slav for all his help in making our trip possible. We hope to return again soon.”
~ The Andermann and Prokaziuk Families – Toronto, Canada
“Slav was indispensable as guide/translator for my son and I as we recently explored the land that is crockpot to our gene pool. He’s patient, funny, resourceful and, most of all, the consummate professional. The trip was flawless, we found a large, unknown branch of the family and we had a great time! Thanks so much, Slav.”
~ Sandy and Alexander Rothman – USA
“What a remarkably successful journey! Slav drove me to Remezivitsi, a rural village outside of Lviv, with nothing more than a 25-year old photo and a family name to hunt down my father’s cousins. After half an hour and a few queries, he found them. Thanks to his skills as translator, we were able to sit down with the photo albums and fill in the gaps in our family history.I didn’t have high hopes before this trip, and if I’d tried the search on my own I would’ve probably not succeeded. Even reading Cyrillic, getting around Ukraine is difficult. The service Slav provided was critical. Thank you again! Our families are already making plans for a second reunion!”
~ Kathryn Dacko
“Slav made my short trip to the Ukraine in August 2006 a real success. I went in the hopes of locating my great grandfather’s grave, but instead discovered living relatives still farming in the village where my mother was born! Travel in rural western Ukraine would have been very arduous indeed had I attempted it on my own: the roads are in very poor condition and English is spoken by very few locals. It was Slav’s local knowledge, excellent translation skills, and a bit of luck which made my trip possible. I highly recommend his services.”
~ Mark Karaczun – UK
“Thank you Slav for opening me a window to the remains and roots of my family and nation in Galizia.Thank you Slav for showing me the human and nice part of the Ukraine nation.Thank you for giving me an unforgettable experience.Thanks.”
~ Josef Ran (Rand) – Israel
“This August I visited Lviv in the Ukraine in order to visit the village where my grandparents lived eighty years ago. I hired Slav to be my guide, interpreter, and driver. My visit to Lviv, to my grandparents village and surrounding towns and country-side could not have been more successful. It could not have happened without Slav’s enormous help. He is a kind, well-educated, highly responsible, and sensitive man. I thoroughly enjoyed his company as well as his extensive knowledge of the area and its history.
His tour of Jewish Lviv was both sensitive and informative. I was especially struck by the sensitive way he interacted with the locals in the countryside as we sought information about their village and Jewish remains in the area, etc. He was truly excited with me as we discovered the home site of my grandparents, locals who still remember them, and the remains of a hidden cemetery. Again, I could not have done it without him. I can recommend him to you whole heartedly.”
~ Dr. Jerry Diller – USA
“Almost a hundred years ago, 1912, my grandfather Onufry left a small village, Voloshinovo, in the Beskid Mountains for America and now his grandson was the first Lytwak to return from America. Thanks to Slav’s inimitable and irreplaceable help, I was able to reconnect with my Ukranian family in way that I could never have imagined and rediscovered my roots in an experience that was both profound and joyous. None of this would have happened without Slav and our family will be forever grateful to him for reuniting a family so long separated by time, distance and language. Slav you are now part of the Lytwak family in Ukraine and America – thank you!”
~ Ed Lytwak and Becky Robinson – Arlington, VA, USA
“I am back from the most incredible and emotional trip or rather pilgrimage of my life!!! Thanks to Slav (who came highly recommended by other members) 8 members of my family and myself visited the beautiful picturesque Kresy. We found the places where my Dad and his siblings were born, the place of birth of my older brothers, the church (now Ukrainian orthodox) where my parents were married, the exact spot where my parents house stood, the train station (still in use ) from where my parents, brothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles were deported to Siberia and many other places that I knew dearly from the stories of my parents.
My one and only living uncle joined us and was able to fill us in with more stories. It was a very moving experience for all…..a BIG impact on my grown sons who finally understood the incredible life of their babcia and dziadzio. My oldest wrote 3 pages of his feelings in my journal and one line sticks out for me ..he writes “I am most thankful for the opportuniy to come here and truly feel the place where I come from!! I am most grateful to Slav and his cousin Sergiusz who went above and beyond human kindness, to take us us to all these places most of the time driving on the WORST roads in the world…thier poor cars will never be the same!!! I thank them for being so patient dealing with a family of 9 and all the dynamics involved with that!!! Most of all I THANK them for being so sensitive to our feelings and for taking such a big part in all of our emotional experiences. If any of you are considering going there, I say GO …but be prepared for a different world…where time has stopped.”
~ Krystyna Freiburger – Ontario, Canada
“TO ANYONE WHO WANTS RESULTS WITH UNCOVERING THE PAST IN A COUNTRY RAVAGED BY TWO WARS AND A REVOLUTION, SLAV IS YOUR MAN. DRIVING TO SAMBIR AND LOCATING THE PERSONAL RECORDS OF MY MOTHER WHO FLED THE COUNTRY AT AGE 9 IN THE EARLY 1900’S AND WALKING THROUGH THE MARKET AREA THAT WAS THE SUBJECT OF MANY OF HER STORIES TO ME WAS A BIG THRILL. FINALLY SEEING THE LITTLE VILLAGE OF NEARBY BISKOVYCHI WAS AN ABSOLUTE DELIGHT. THANKS SLAV FOR A JOB WELL DONE.”
~ PAUL and JAN
“Hello Slav, Thank you so much for your personal assistance in finding out about my ancestors at the Lviv Archives. Your help was invaluable in locating information it would have taken me many months to obtain. The pictures you sent were of excellent quality. I look forward to visiting you and going to the village of Libochora to see firsthand the village and possibly a relative. Since we now have home numbers and a genealogy chart to work with. Sincerely, Jerome.”
~ Jerome Kaven
“I am unbelievably grateful for all “Slav” has done for me in connecting me with my relatives in the Ukraine. My experience is most certainly a success story. It was well worth his fee if I only received the present day photographs of my ancestor’s village (the pictures are fantastic!!!!) But, I received far more from him than I ever expected or imagined. Slav also managed to find my relatives and put me in contact with them. My experience in working with him has been outstanding. He is very knowledgeable and professional. He always provides a prompt response. He has been a great help with bridging the language gap. His command of English and ability to translate is an invaluable resource. I am very thankful for his service.”
~ Don Zagurskie – U.S.A
“Thank you very much for the detailed pictures and information you provided regarding my Grandfather’s home town of Nahirne. Not only were you able to track down a distant relative located in the isolated town but you provided many pictures of the community and the residents. I was very happy with your work and look forward to hiring your services in the future for a first-hand genealogical visit to the L’viv area.”
~ Bryan Krawchyshyn
“The comments from Slav’s other customers match my experience exactly. Our trip to my great-grandfather’s hometown in the Carpathians was absolutely incredible especially since we found lots of relatives still living there. Without Slav, none of it would have been possible. His ability to translate was amazing since he had about 15 people talking to him at the same time, half in English and half in Ukrainian. When going on this trip, we thought it would be a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip. However, Slav helped make it so memorable that we are already planning for return trips.”
~ Brian Burychka – USA
“Slav was completely invaluable to my geneological research and my ability to visit the town of my ancestors in Busk, Ukraine. With his help we even found some relatives!!! Without him I would have never been able to uncover 200+ years of family history, documents and present day family members. I am eternally grateful to him.
We used both his research, his tour guide and his driving services for over four days. First he picked us up from our hotel in Przemysl (near the Ukranian border) as promised – on-time and fully equipped – for the drive and the border. He then drove us to Lviv and gave us a magnificent city tour. The next day, he drove us to Busk – a small town about 45 miles from Lvov – and also to Olesko Castle.
He is an extremely safe driver and his car is nearly new and in great condition. The following day he drove us back to Przemsyl. He is extremely professional, fully competent in what he does and flexible with last minute changes which inevitably happen on such a trip. It was a pleasure to be with him. He is very personable, easy to get along with and his english language and translation ability is incredible. He has a formidable language knowledge and speaks english, ukranian and even a little polish with ease. I cannot thank Slav enough. He’s a miracle! I can most highly recommend him.”
~ Vivian Soren – USA
“On behalf of my brother Henry and myself, please accept our sincere thanks on doing our family research, finding our living relatives in Ukraine and for the beautiful digital photos from our father’s home village. Thank you for passing on Henry’s e-mail address to our relatives. They have made contact with us and we are now able to communicate with them on a daily basis. We look forward to a possible tour and would be happy to provide a testimonial should you like us to do so. Thank you so much for bringing our family together again.”
Transportation Services Testimonials
“Slav was wonderful, and I would strongly recommend him to anyone who needs a tour guide (hiking, walking or chauffeur driven) through any part of the Trans-Carpathian region. My husband and I just completed a 5-day circle tour with him by car covering over 1000 kilometers. Slav handled everything: itinerary, driving, lodging, walking tours, translating – the whole works. His organization was superb, and he left no stone unturned in ensuring that we had an enjoyable and productive time. If you need someone to provide expert service and advice, Slav is your man!”
~ Jerry and Betty Wesley
“With the help of Slav my time in Lviv was magical and charming. When I arrived at the airport, Slav was already there waiting, drove me to my hotel and included several descriptions of the sites we passed along the way. He guided me through a city tour of known and lesser known sites per my request. Later that week he drove us to my Grandmother’s village (Markopil) a couple hours away and was very flexible about stopping so that I could take pictures, going to a village that I found on the map and being my interpreter when we got to Markopil. He was always prompt, reliable, professional and friendly. I have enthusiastically recommended him to my friends and associates in the US and Ukraine.”
“Slav was our guide during our visit to Lviv and the villages of my grandparents. His ability as an interpreter and the nice way he has about asking enabled us to obtain a wealth of information. He is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to travel with. We believe that without Slav, our visit would not have been the success that it was. We highly recommend Slav and have not stopped talking about how lucky we were to have him for our guide.”
~ Thelma D’Alessio – NY, USA
“Slav collected three of us from Rzeszow airport in Poland, drove us to Kosiv in Ukraine and delivered us safely back to the airport three days later. His English was first class and he kept us informed and entertained with his local knowledge. He made us all feel as if we were travelling with a friend and the journey was most enjoyable and interesting. He went out of his way to accommodate our requirements and in all ways provided a most professional and efficient service. We would most heartily recommend him and his company to anyone visiting Ukraine.”
~ Norman Shuttleworth – UK
“Dear Slav, Our visit to the Ukraine under your guidance was one of the highlights of our Poland trip. We definately could not have located the small villages, where my parents, came from without your help. We were very pleased with the accommodation, which you arranged for us, and for the pick-up and delivery at the train station. For your information, I did send for and receive a package of documents from the archives, which were very useful for my genealogy search. I am pleased to add my voice to the many that provide you with thanks for your help in making our Ukraine experience so wonderful. We even enjoyed the changing the bogie wheels on the train at the Polish/Ukrainian border.”
~ Henry and Carolyn Krzywicki – Ontario, Canada
“I would like to thank Slav for his unexpected transformation of a journey that spanned the personal, genealogical and literary. His honesty, intelligence – and perhaps above all – his interest in and appreciation of all three cultures (Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian) with their roots in the Western Ukraine made manageable and enjoyable what at first seemed to me a challenge.
His thoughtful, sensitive and illuminating tour of Jewish Lviv showed me the surprising as well as the personal; it was with his help that I was able to locate and visit the house of my mother’s father and visit the former labour camp of Janowska, where my mother’s siblings are buried.Together we made a partly personal, and partly literary, journey of over 1000 kilometers around the Western Ukraine up to very borders of the old Galicia.
I was constantly impressed by the depth of his knowledge, his insights into the past, present and future of his country, and his willingness to search out the unexpected, the unusual and from time to time the extraordinary. The respect and kindness with which he dealt with the local people was impressive, and the journey was enlivened by his illuminating conversation.
Slav’s help to me in Ivano-Frankivsk was invaluable. I was able to see the interior of the house where my father was born, meet the remarkable people who now live there and spend a morning with the Rabbi visiting various sites in the old Ghetto area connected with my family. And in the space of same day we drove to the magnificent Carpathian Mountains. The contrast – and perhaps the thoughtfulness – were far in excess of my expectations.
In a country which can still be a little formidable for the individual traveler, a guide like Slav is invaluable. He will take you beyond the ordinary and beyond the expected – with care and attention, and an appreciation of all that is beautiful in his country. I thank him for an astonishing journey.”
~ Leon Perlman – Australia
“I highly recommend Slav. After reading other testimonials about Slav on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree website, we contacted Slav early in 2007 to see if he could take us across the Polish-Ukraine border to visit our ancestral village in the Western Ukraine. We spoke little Polish and no Ukraine so we quickly realised that we could do with some help. Slav was highly professional – emailing responses to us promptly. He helped us book accommodation in Sambir, met us in Tarnow, Poland, and took us across the border and back again. He knew the Sambir region very well, was an excellent translator and made some investigations about my family at the village post office. He was honest, helpful and a really nice travelling companion. Thank you so much Slav, we really appreciate everything you did for us.”
~ Brian and Anna
“The time we spent in Ukraine was a highlight of our European vacation thanks to Slav, Terry and Serhiy from Lviv Ecotours.
It had always been my dream to visit the town in the Carpathians where my father was born and not only did I visit the town but I actually met an elderly gentleman who remembered my father and his family. I was able to visit the site where the family home had stood and my husband and I attended a service at the church where my father had been baptised. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. None of this would have been possible without the help of our English-speaking Ukrainian tour guides, Terry and Serihy, who deftly navigated the difficult Ukrainian mountain roads and acted as interpreters—a must in this part of the country where few speak English.
Both gentlemen were knowledgeable and well-informed about local customs and were great company as well. They were concerned for our comfort and safety at all times and could not do enough for us. Slav did a great job of coordinating everything including our hotels which were beautiful—we were very impressed. Slav also helped us connect with a driver/guide in Krakow, Kevin Martin, who was also great company. Thank you to Slav and to the folks in Ukraine who helped make this such a special experience. We would highly recommend this organization—well done!”
~ Julia and Andrew MacRae – Ontario, Canada
“There is good and there is great. After experiencing the Ukraine with our Lviv Ecotour guides Taras and Marta I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. Both Taras and Marta were able to provide a highly engaging itinerary for three generations (Grandmother, mother and daughter)and took every aspect of our comfort into consideration. Their attention to detail ensure we have experienced a trip we will continue to talk about for a very long time. Our sincere thanks!”
~ Natalie – Australia