from Europe to CrimeaCrimea 
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (from 1954 to 1991 it was the Crimean Region) is part of the Ukraine.

The administrative border in the north stretches along the Perekop Swell and the Sivash, a shallow bay of the Sea of Azov. In the north east of the peninsula there is a long sand spit, called the Arabat Spit, whose northern half, the broader part, is within the Kherson Region of Ukraine. In the south west of Crimea is the city of Sebastopol, it has, along with Kiev, been self-administered and directly subordinate to the Government of Ukraine.
The capital of Crimea, Simferopol (population about 370,000), is the economical and cultural center, and joins all the roads of the peninsula. The capital’s name, translated from Greek, is the City of Benefit, or City of the Gatherer. Crimea is equidistant from the Equator and the Northern Pole. Lying at the meeting point of Europe and Asia, it has by Antique, Judaic, Christian, and Muslim cultures, and has forever become a crossroad of peoples and civilizations, with an unmatched diversity of natural and historical landmarks.
Area. 30 000 square km, which for a peninsula is quite a lot. Crimea is only slightly smaller than Belgium, Albania or Haiti, and is bigger than Israel, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Crimea  contains a variety of natural features, including mountains and plains, good agricultural land, and has a long beautiful coastline.
Relief. The flat portion of Crimea is much like the neighbouring steppe regions of Ukraine, but in the west, the plain turns into the lime terraces of the Tarkhankut, running their steep edge  into the sea line. In the east are the hilly ridges of the Kerch Peninsula.
The Crimean Mountains in the south extend in three parallel ridges from Sebastopol to Feodosiya, spanning 150 kilometres. Their southern slopes are almost vertical, whilst the northern ones slope gently down into ridge lined valleys or plains. Two ridges in the north, small in height, form the Crimean foothills. They are cut into separate tracts by picturesque river valleys, and the main ridge, called Yaila (in the Crimean Tatar language this stands for «summer pasture») forms as an almost continuous barrier whose central part is over a thousand meters high. The ridge protects a narrow patch of land to the south from the cold winds, the famous Southern Coast of Crimea.
Climate. Overall, it is that of a temperate zone. However, the southern coast of Crimea from Cape Aya in the west to Mount Kara-Dag in the east, is called Sub-Mediterranean, since climatically this coast is similar to the Mediterranean region. The sunshine, water and air temperature, quantity of precipitation, wildlife and vegetation is the kind observed in the subtropics. The average temperature in January is 4 °C. The climate in the northern, flat part of is continental, like a temperate zone. Although infrequently there can be severe frosts and temperature as low as minus 30 °C, the average in January is between minus 2 °C to and plus 1 °C.
Summer in Crimea is hot throughout the whole territory (the average temperature in June is 24 °C, in August the heat can exceed 40 °C, but it is possible to withstand this since the air is dry), and sunny days are refreshed by short showers — mostly in the afternoon. The time frame of the summer vacation period is typically from the middle of May (though the resorts are also popular on national holidays at the beginning of May) through to the end of September. Autumn treats you to frequent sunny days (and sometimes weeks), with some rain as well. Winter normally does not differ much from late autumn, but in the mountains there is a different climate, with dry frosty air, and clean fluffy snow. Crimeans in their thousands travel to Angarsk Saddle-Point and Mount Ai-Petri. In spring, the deep waters of the Black Sea warm up more slowly around Yalta and Alushta, than they do at the northern and eastern coasts of Crimea. Due to this, March and April are much better on the western coasts and in the Foothills.
Quantity of Sunshine at the Crimean resorts substantially exceeds that of both Nice and Sochi. Within the warm period of the year alone, from April until October, in Evpatoria, according to longstanding records, the sun shines in cloudless skies for 1982. This is more than what is received in Sochi for the whole year.
If you start the bathing season in the Steregushchie village on May 6 and finish it in Yalta on October 23, it lasts nearly half a year!
Relative humidityin Crimea is generally always and throughout low, around 65 — 80%, and thus you can breathe easily, even in the heat. The relative humidity in Yalta’s area, according to a number of climatic records, are the lowest in Europe.

Yalta, Massandra, Nikita

Yalta is the most famous city in Crimea, one of the most scenic and beautiful cities of the Ukraine. After receiving the status of a town in 1838, it has made a remarkable transformation from a small fishing village into a popular, fashionable, and elite health resort.

In Upper Massandra, the palace of the Emperor Alexander III is located, a fascinating, fairytale like place. In Soviet times it was used as summerhouse by the authorities, so not very many people knew of its existence. Now it is a popular tourist attraction.

The “ Massandra ” wine cellars and the “ Magarach ” Institute of Viticulture and Wine making enjoy worldwide popularity. They are excellent place to go and taste the fine wines produced there, and to enjoy the surroundings.

The Nikita Botanical Gardens were founded in 1812. Amongst all the parks of the southern coast, these are the ones that best bring together the nature, history, art and science of the region, and are rightfully the best known and most popular of them. Their collection includes more than twenty eight thousand plants from all over of the world. There is also a little patch of untouched nature — the Cape Martyan Reserve .

Livadia, Oreanda, the Swallow’s Nest

West of Yalta are a succession of excellent parks and beach resorts. It feels like a kind of country settlement, consisting of palaces and castles whose luxury has been set by their creators’ imagination and taste.

In 1834, Count Pototski purchased Livadia. He had a house built for him here and a grand park was laid out for his use. In 1860, the Province Department acquired Livadia for the Emperor’s family. Already by that time, the Romanovs possessed the “Oreanda” Manor, with its palace and park.

For 60 years Livadia was used as the summer residence of the Russian Emperors Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. Livadia’s Great White Palace was constructed between 1910 and 1911, following the design of the architect N. P. Krasnov. It was here in February 1945, that the governmental heads of the three allied powers — USSR, USA and Great Britain — held the Crimean Conference. Along with decisions about Germany’s future and settlement of the other European nations, the leaders decided on the creation of the United Nations Organization.

Sebastopol, Balaclava, Inkerman

Sebastopol heads the list of all Crimean cities for the greatest number of foreign tourists, who come first and foremost from England, France, and Italy, often to visit the heroic battlefields of the Crimean War of 1854 — 56.

In the ancient town of Balaclava are the remains of a fine Genoa fortress, though it was not the first building at this location, as people have lived at this site for thousands of years before it was built. Homer may even have referred to them in his “ Odyssey ” , where they are called the Lestrigons. There are also numerous legends about immeasurable treasures held in an English frigate called “ Prince ” , which sank in 1854 during the Crimean war. Many members of the aristocratic families of Great Britain perished here during the famous battle of Balaclava.

In the Soviet times the town contained a rather unique factory used to repair submarines. It was located inside a rocky cliff, intended to provide defence even from a nuclear attack.

The small town of Inkerman is just outside Sevastopol to the north west. It also has rich historical monuments. Fortress Calamita was constructed by the Byzantines during the fourth century on the approaches to the then, city of Chersonese. The monastery of St Clement was founded between the th and 9th centuries. It was consecrated in the name of the sacred martyr St Clement, who was one of the first Bishops of Rome, and was executed here. Also here is one of the largest cave temples in the Crimea.

The city of Bakhchisarai (in the Crimean-Tatar language it means the Garden Palace) was founded at the end of the 15th century as the capital of the Crimean Khanate which came about after the Golden Horde. In what was once the Khan’s Palace, is housed the History and Cultural Reservation Museum, located in the centre of the old city.

The Koktebel settlement is famous for its cultural traditions and is associated with a number of famous historical characters. The must sees  in Koktebel includes the gliding museum,  and the museum of the poet, artist, and philosopher Maximilian Voloshin. The local wines, as well as cognacs, should be tasted.
Silent soaring above are the paraplanes, gliders and hang-gliders, and they form part of the spirit of this place. The air-gliding museum is on Klementyev’s mountain (Uzun-Syrt).
Unforgettable views can be seen on sea walks, especially to Karadag (“Black mountain”). The names given to some of it rocks are like a fairy tale, for example “the King and Queen astride the Throne”. ”The finger of the Devil” throws a long sharp claw into the sky (many metres in height). However the best known  rock is  called “Shaitan — Kapu”, or better known as the Golden Gates. The village Kurortnoe with Fox bay is the closest settlement to Karadag.

Cape Kazantip, reaching northwards far out into the Sea of Azov, is an exceptionally interesting place. The Kerch landscapes are not the same as those on the southern coast, there are no bright colours and lush floral tints, but the land forms contain some amazing and bizarre rock formations. If you look closely you will discover new features in this wild, deserted, and somewhat out of this world landscape.
A decision had been made by the authorities to build a nuclear power plant on Cape Kazantip, on the coast of the salty lake Aktashski. The construction was stopped by the energetic efforts of the Crimean environmentalists, who even resorted to hunger strikes to make their case. The town of Shcholkino is named in honour of the academician Kirill Ivanovich Shcholkin (1911 -1968), who studied at Simferopol University, and later became the father of the soviet nuclear bomb and, naturally, also of atomic power.

Guidebook across Crimea
-> Routs and transport service in Crimea
-> 100 miracles of Crimea
-> Photo GALLERY
-> Video Crimea
-> History and Culture
-> Simferopol and the surrounding area
-> Sebastopol
-> Bahchisaray and cave cities
-> Great Alushta
-> Great Yalta
-> Sudak and Novy Svet
-> Feodosia, Golden beach and Koktebel
-> Kerch & Cap Kazantip Nature Reserve
-> North-west
-> West coast  KaZantip Music Fest