Does Ukraine Have Pink Lakes? Yes… Dozens!

, Does Ukraine Have Pink Lakes? Yes… Dozens!, The Travel Bug Bite

Even though I am Ukrainian, I was today years old when I found out about the pink lakes. In my defense, I left the country when I was four. But now I’m researching all the exceptional travel destinations that I hope to visit once the war is over. I am excited to share my birth country’s beauty with as many people as possible, so bookmark this page for more Ukraine travel content.

Here is some info, photos, and videos about five of the many pink lakes in Ukraine. Oh, and I’ll explain why all these lakes are pink at the end of this article. I bet you are dying to know!

For those who want to donate to reputable organizations in Ukraine click here.

1. Lake Henichesk

Our first pink lake is Lake Henichesk (Озеро Гені́чеськ), sometimes spelled Henyches’ke or even Genichesk, although this last one is based on the Russian pronunciation of this Ukrainian region. It is a salt lake with an internal drainage system, meaning the precipitation that falls within does not flow out but may only leave by evaporation and seepage. 

According to Alona Tiunina on her blog, Jet Set Together, you can get here from Henichesk city, which is located in the very north of Arabats’ka strilka. There are buses that go here from Kherson. If you want to visit for a few days, consider staying at a hotel in Shchaslyvtseve city. You can get to Lake Henichesk from there easily, and you can enjoy some beaches on the Sea of Azov here.

Alona warns that you will see 200 meters of black mud when you first approach the lake. The mud, she says, is said to be as good for your skin as the mud from the Dead Sea. However, you have to keep going to see the pink lake. She also explains that it gets pinker as you keep going, so prepare for a trek if you want to see the best parts!

Enjoy these photos from Find-Way and please make sure to give them credit when you share them!

2. Lake Lemuria

The second on my list is Lake Lemuria (Лемурійське Озеро). It is also located in the Kherson region of Ukraine, along with most of the pink lakes. This one is in the western part of Syvash Bay. The salinity of the lake water reaches between 270 and 300 grams of salt per liter (0.2 gallons) of water.

Lake Lemuria is known as the Dead Sea of Ukraine. It is rich in minerals, acids, magnesium chloride, potassium, sodium iodine, etc. According to the Pure Travel blog, the Lemurian Lake came to be after the 1970s, when a military plane full of ammunition crashed into the area where the lake is now, creating a 40-meter hole that eventually filled with pink water.

Enjoy these photos from Find-Way and please make sure to give them credit when you share them!

3. Kinburn Spit Lakes

Large quantity doesn’t always mean good quality, but when it comes to the Kinburn Spit Lakes, you get both! There are around twenty lakes here and they are all a gorgeous pink color! The Kinburn Spit Lakes (Озеро Кінбурнська Коса) are located near the village of Heroyske in the Kherson region.

Unlike some of Ukraine’s other pink lakes, which look a bit like industrial zones, these are more natural. You will also see large mountains of extracted white salt, red poppies, and seashells on the sandy bottoms of the lakes. This location is also ideal for birdwatching – you can see pelicans, cormorants, and seagulls here!

These photos are from Kraina UA, please make sure to give them credit when you share them!

It looks like this from above. Photo credit belongs to, please make sure to give them credit when you share them!

, Does Ukraine Have Pink Lakes? Yes… Dozens!, The Travel Bug Bite

This YouTube channel, Here and There, has a video about it:

4. Zyablivske Lake

Zyablivske Lake (Зяблівське Озеро) also spelled Zyablivs’ke Lake, is also located in Kherson. According to Things To Do, this region is considered to be the ‘fruit basket’ of the country, as many of the oblast’s agricultural production is dispersed throughout the country.

Promote Ukraine reports that the water level in the lake is 1-1.5 m below the level of Syvash Bay, with which it is connected by a canal to replenish water. Depth in spring is only 0.3-0.7 m, and in summer it is even less – 0.1-0.3 m. The salinity of water in summer is 22-26%, and dissolved salts are dominated by table salt.

I couldn’t find too many pictures of this one specifically, but here is a drone video featuring various pink lakes in Ukraine. This channel is called My Country in Ukrainian.

5. Kuyalnik Estuary

It is hard to say which pink lake is the most beautiful, but the Kuyalnik Estuary may take the cake. Just in March 2021, the government agreed to turn this into the Kuyalnik National Nature Park. The Kuyalnik Estuary (Лиман Куяльник) is located in the Berezivskyi and Odessa districts of the Odessa region.

It should be noted that Kuyalnik Estuary is not always pink, but during warm summer months when the salt content becomes high, the water does turn a pinkish color. Many blogs and websites refer to it as a Martian pink.

These photos are from the Odessa Journal, please make sure to give them credit when you share them!

Are There More Pink Lakes in Ukraine?

Yes! These are just a few of the most popular of many pink lakes in Ukraine. Since some of these are multiple lakes grouped under one name, it is hard to say how many there are exactly. While they are not unique to Ukraine and can be found all over the globe, I am most excited to visit these because they are in my home country.

The photo below is from A Nomad Passport. Check out their article on pink lakes next! But don’t miss me explaining why they are pink below.

, Does Ukraine Have Pink Lakes? Yes… Dozens!, The Travel Bug Bite

Why Are These Lake Pink?

Especially when so many refer to these as Martian pink lakes, the logical answer should be aliens. Just kidding! While in the past, humans may have thought these were extraterrestrial, magical, or mythical, science always has the perfect explanation. When water has high levels of salt in it that is exposed to heat and sunlight, accumulate carotenoids such as beta carotene are produced by microbes. These dye the water pink!

In Ukraine, these lakes are even used by the salt industry. In the 19th century there were only four salt mines in the entire world and one of them was in Ukraine. Read more about Ukrainian’s salt industry on RFE/RL. If you wish to visit these one day and want to find ways to donate to Ukraine amidst the war, check out these reputable organizations.

, Does Ukraine Have Pink Lakes? Yes… Dozens!, The Travel Bug Bite

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