Ivano-Frankivsk oblast (region) is located in the west of Ukraine; in the northwest it borders on Lviv, in the northeast — on Ternopil, in the southeast — on Chernivtsi and in the southwest — on Transcarpathian oblasts of Ukraine. In the south, it shares borders with Romania. The oblast was established on December 4, 1939, and it had been called Stanislav oblast by 1962.
Its administrative centre is the city of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Ethnic groups of Hutsuls and Boykos live in the territory of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast.
The landscape can be characterised by a great diversity. A considerable part of the oblast is located within physiographic zone of Carpathians, and its extreme southeastern part — within forest-steppe zone. By the nature of the relief, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast is divided into three parts. In the north, there is the Podolian Upland (up to 430 m). On the Dnister right side, there is the Subcarpathian lowland (Pokutska lowland, Voinyliv and Pryluky uplands, Bystrytska, Kaluska and Rozhniativ hollows, Maydanske lowland and others). Almost the half of the territory of the oblast is occupied by the Carpathians. They are divided by transverse and longitudinal valleys into mountain massives and ranges stretching into the southeast — the Gorgany and the Pokutsko-Bukovynian Carpathians. In the south of the oblast, there are the Hryniavy and Chyvchyny mountains, as well as the Chornohora mountain range where there is the highest peak of Ukraine — Mount Hoverla (2061 m).
The climate of the oblast is temperate-continental. In the Subcarpathia and the Podolian upland, winter is mild, summer is warm, the average temperature of January is -5º, of July — +19º. The period with the temperature of +10º lasts for 155-170 days, the frost-free period — for 150-155 days. In the mountains, the climate is much more severe — the higher you are, the colder it is. In average, the temperature shift is -0,5º at an altitude of 100 m. In the mountains, snow covering lasts from the beginning of November to May, its thickness is more than 60 cm at an altitude of 650 m. There are downpours, hail, blizzards, glazed frost, fogs and frosts among adverse climatic phenomena. If you are getting ready for a trip, take into account the difference in the climate — warm clothes and boots may be useful even in summer.
8586 rivers flow through the territory of the oblast. They belong to the Dnister and Prut basins. There are such right tributaries of the Dnister within the oblast: the Svicha, the Limnytsa and the Bystrytsa; and left ones as the Svir and the Hnyla Lypa. Right tributaries of the Prut are the Cheremosh, the Rybnytsia, the Pistynka and the Liuchka; left ones are the Turka, the Chorniava and the Beleluya. The rivers are in a large part fast flowing, they create cascades and waterfalls that are very important for water tourism. There are few lakes here, among mountain ones — Brebeneskul, Lebedyne and Nesamovyte.
Ivano-Frankivsk oblast is one of the richest in forests in Ukraine. In the plain and foothills, they occupy 30% of the territory (hornbeam, oak and beech prevail), on the slopes of the Carpathians — 60% (at an altitude of 800-1000 m - beech, fir tree, spruce and silver fir; up to 1500 m — spruce, fir tree, Swiss and mountain pine). At the altitudes of more than 1500 m, you can find subalpine meadows (polonynas).
Subcarpathia is the land of natural reserves. In the territory, there are 438 reserves and protected objects of the total area of 186,5 thousand hectares. The part of the mountain territory of the area of 503 km2 belongs to National Park "Karpatsky". The upper reaches of the Prut and Chornyi Cheremosh rivers as well as Mount Hoverla with Chornohora and Gorgany natural complexes belong to the park. Its task is to contribute to the preservation of landscapes, flora and fauna, to create appropriate conditions for recreation and tourism, for getting acquainted with natural attractions as well as with cultural and historical monuments.
In Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, there are possibilities for a lot of kinds of tourism: cultural and historical (Halych, Kolomyia, Rohatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk), patriotic (museums, bunkers and tours in places of military glory of the UPA (the Ukrainian Insurgent Army)), rural green, equestrian, water, adventure, ski-tourism and many others. Favorable climate, mineral waters and therapeutic peat muds belong to natural recreational resources of the oblast. Among resorts, there are such low-mountain ones as Yaremche, Tatariv, Mykulychyn, Myslivka, Novy Mizun, Sheshory, high-mountain ones as Vorokhta and Yablunytsya as well as a balneo-mud foothill resort 'Cherche'.
Mineral waters: in the mountainous part, there are chloride-sodium mineral waters (Верховинський and Rozhnyativ district districts), along the Chornyi Cheremosh — carbon waters of low mineralization, near the village of Sheshory — mineral water like 'Naftusia'; in Subcarpathia — chloride-sodium and calcium-sodium waters (Dolyna, Kalush, Starunia, Kosmach, Kosiv); in the plain — iodine-bromine waters of low mineralization and sulfide ones (Bilshivtsi, Korshiv, Horodenka and Cherche). Deposits of therapeutic peat muds are located in Horodenka district, Rohatyn district and Dolyna district districts.
The most famous Ukrainian ski resort Bukovel is also located in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast.
Administrative divisions of Carpathian inhabited localities may seem unusual to the residents of big cities. The majority of houses in villages don't have addresses — streets and house numbers. Most often the territory is divided into village-type settlements that in Yaremche district are often called 'uchastok' (a surzhyk word that means a site used by somebody for a particular reason).
One more peculiarity of the region is celebration of religious holidays. On days like these, the majority of places, where manual labour is needed, for example, service stations, are not working. Some disruptions in the schedule of public transport may occur. Shops and catering establishments work but often part-time. Round-the-clock shops are only in big cities, and also at such gas stations as "OKKO", "WOG", "Lukoil" and others.
Ivano-Frankivsk oblast has advantageous transport and geographical position. Main motorways: Rohatyn - Ivano-Frankivsk - Rakhiv - Mukachevo (H-0З),
Stryj - Ivano-Frankivsk - Kolomyia - Chernivtsi (H-04).
Railway and road network provides a good connection between the oblast and many districts of Ukraine as well as neighbouring countries.