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Crimea: The Best Tourist Destination in Southern Ukraine

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Crimea and its top 10 travel destinations

What are the top ten places to visit in Crimea? Have you ever been to southern Ukraine? Crimea is a beautiful peninsula and this is the best tourist spot in the southern Ukraine. Crimea is an autonomous republic in Ukraine, surrounded with Black Sea on the West and South and the Sea of Azov on the East. It has some wonderful tourist spots that you would like to visit. Ukraine is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe and Crimea is a real example of it.

Do you know the capital city of Crimea? Crimea's capital city name is Simferopol. This is where you would find some amazing destinations to explore yourself. Crimea has a long history, in the past many great battles took place in Crimea but today's Crimea becomes the most popular and the most visited tourist attraction not only in Ukraine but also all over Europe. Each and every year a lot of tourists visit Crimea's best destination and rate of traveling in Crimea is increasing as well. Here in this lens you will be exploring the best tourists attractions of Crimea.

Image credit: Argenberg

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

What Crimea is famous for?

Crimea is famous for its -

Castles

Sea beaches

Parks and gardens

Steeps

Resorts

Mountains cliff

Tatar homeland

Crimean wine

Museums

Hiking on Crimean Mountains

Image credit: Argenberg

Crimea Map

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: pavolk

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

When to go to Crimea?

The best time to go to Crimea and travel around it is summer. Beach and sea water become warmer than other season -the temperature of the Black sea in summer is seldom lower than 17-200C. Though, you can visit Crimea in all season but you probably would feel very much cold during winter season because snow falls there. It would hard to get on the Crimean beaches. Why not to spend some days in Crimea during summer vacation? Visit this beautiful peninsula and there are a lot of things to be explored by you.

Image credit: Maxim I.

Ukraine travel guide book - Are you planning to go to Ukraine?

Ukraine is a beautiful country no doubt about that. If you have a plan to go to visit Ukraine you may like to read some books about this wonderful country so that you can expand your travel knowledge.

Beautiful Landscap of Crimea

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Image credit: Maxim I.

Top travel destinations in Crimea

Best and top travel destinations are located all over the cities in Crimea.

Swallow's Nest

Chersonese

Livadia Palace

Massandra Palace

Nikitsky Botanic Garden

Vorontsov's Palace

Feodosia

Ayu-Dag (Bear-mountain)

Mramorniyi Pesheri (Marble Cave)

Balaklava

Ai-Petri

Resort cities of Crimea: Gurzuf/ Hurzuf, Yalta, Alushta, Koktebel

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

1) Swallow's Nest, Crimea

Do you like visiting palace or castle? If you do then I have a surprise for you. Swallow's Nest is a medieval small castle located on Aurora Cliff near Black Sea at Yalta city in Crimea, Ukraine. It is seen as one of the most popular tourist destination in Crimea.

This medieval small castle is also known as "Castle of Love" or "Generalif," especially local people call this way. Between 1911and 1912 near Gaspra, Swallow's Nest was built by a Russian architect Leonid Sherwood. He got such a talent and gave us a nice castle at that time. Now tourists like to visit the castle and they don't forget to look down the Black sea from the castle.

Are you thinking about the size of the castle? Actually it is about 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. Currently this castle is being used by restaurateur, it is an Italian restaurant. Inside the castle there are rooms which look great. The restaurant business works since 1975.

Do you know that the current castle was a timber cottage in the past? Yes! It was indeed and was made by Baron von Steingel in 1911. He was a Baltic German noble. In 1927 a massive earthquake caused destruction but the castle was not damaged much. After that it was remained closed for 40 years. It was remain closed for a long time and then in 1968, renovation and restoration was started by the authority.

Image credit: MeRyan

Picture of Swallow's Nest

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2) Chersonese (Khersones)

Do you like ancient Greek history? It still amazes us, and you will find its marks in Crimea too. Chersonese is a city and colony of Greece and founded more than 2,500 years ago in the southwestern Crimea. It is located in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea. You can see the ruined colony when visit this ancient place. So many historical monuments were found from Chersonese, they are precious monuments which tell us about ancient Greek history in Crimea. The things you can see in Chersonese -

Archeological Museum

Tower Zeno - defense tower

Basilica

White marble columns of medieval churches

Ancient theater - Ruined Theater

The Saint Vladimir Cathedral

The bell of Chersonesos

The museum in Chersonese contains many historical monuments such as a great collection of ancient Coins, Ceramics, Colored stones, Ancient text, Architectural fragments and so on.

This historical ancient area is open for all for whole year. Visitors are allowed to enter Chersonese museum from May to October, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and from November to May, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Picture of Chersonese (Khersones)

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Livadia Palace, Crimea

Livadia Palace, Crimea

3) Livadia Palace

Livadia Palace is a beautiful palace in Yalta city, Crimea. Amazing architectural structure and beautiful parks make the palace unique. The park is oldest park in Crimean peninsula and was created more than 200 years ago. The palace was very familiar to the Russian Emperors because they used to spend their vacation in the Livadia Palace. Livadia Palace is now a museum, but in the past Alexander II and his successor Alexander III of Russia used to live in this beautiful palace in the 19th to 20th centuries.

The great Yalta Conference took place here in this palace during World War II in 1945, where three great leaders (Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano and Winston Churchill) had to discuss about the War. Yalta's architect Nikolay Krasnov designed the white palace and it took 17 months to end the whole construction. To make this palace, more than 2500 workers were hired and they worked hard day and night. Livadia Palace (now museum) is a remarkable place Crimea where you can explore the beauty of it and its history. You can go and enter to its boundary all week except Wednesday, from from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Image credit: wikimedia commons

4) Massandra Palace

Massandra Palace is located in Yalta region and surrounded by beautiful forest and mountains. The location is indeed very charming and beautiful. Massandra Palace is located 3-4 kilometers away from Yalta city and you can reach there by bus or taxi. Architect Etienne Bouchard designed the castle and construction started in 1881 for Prince Semyon Vorontsov. The construction stopped because of Prince Semyon Vorontsov death in 1889. Later, Tsar Alexander III called an architect called Maximilian Messmacher and ordered him to complete the palace for his own use. The castle was completely finished in 1900. During Soviet time this palace was used as officials' summer residence, Soviet leaders such as Joseph Stalin, stayed in this palace.

Near the palace you can see a beautiful English style landscape park. As it is located in a nice place and surrounded by a forest with many exotic trees, you don't forget to walk around the castle. The castle is open for all from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm in summer on Tuesday to Sunday. On the other hand in winter you can enter to palace only from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Wednesday to Sunday.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Picture of Massandra Palace

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Nikitsky Botanic Garden, Crimea

Nikitsky Botanic Garden, Crimea

5) Nikitsky Botanic Garden

Do you like garden much? I do. If you like them too, then you definitely would like Nikitsky Botanic Garden which is located near Yalta city in Crimea. This is a very beautiful garden; it possesses varieties of flowers, looks very marvelous. It is seen one of the greatest man made botanical garden in the world. This amazing botanical Gardner has a long history. Russian Emperor Alexander I ordered to make Nikitsky Botanic Garden in order to development of gardening and farming industry in the south part of Russian empire. Today it contains of many plants they were brought from Asia, Europe and America.

The botanical garden has over 50,000 species of plants. A large collection of rare species are found here. Do you know that it has over 2000 kinds of roses! This is very interesting botanical garden, right? You can find a giant sequoia tree located in the garden, it is about 40 meters high. Whenever you come to this place - from early spring to deep autumn - you can see a great collection of seasonal flowers. You are allowed to access to the botanical garden all the week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Don't forget to take many pictures of the garden, colorful flowers and other plants are ideal location to take pictures.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Yalta Picture

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Image Credit: Argenberg

6) Vorontsov /Alupka Palace

Crimea has many historical palaces Vorontsov is one of them. This is great news for palace lover who loves to visit palace. Alupka is a small town located in Crimean peninsula. There is a historical palace built in 18th century, called Vorontsov or Alupka Palace. Alupka Palace is a Tudor style of palace, English architect Edward Blore and his personal assistant William Hunt designed this beautiful Tudor style palace.

A beautiful garden and manmade forest were made by German landscape gardener Carolus Keebac around the palace. That stuffs added extra beauty to the palace. It looks great when you look at the palace from far away. There are 150 rooms inside the palace. Since the palace is now a museum you can see many exhibits inside the palace such as beautiful paintings, flower dcor, interior's woodwork, furniture, books, and decorations. Outside the palace, there are white marble lion monuments, Italian sculptor Bonnani created them.

The palace/museum is open every day from July to August, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm; from September to June the museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can go there and see the beautiful palace all the week except Monday.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Picture of Vorontsov /Alupka Palace

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Kazanskiy Cathedral, Crimea

Kazanskiy Cathedral, Crimea

7) Feodosia/Feodosiya

Feodosia is a port and resort city in Ceriman peninsula, Ukraine. It is located on the coast of Black Sea in south-eastern part of Crimea. The city Feodosia used to be called Theodosia when Greek colonist formed the city during 6th century BC. The city was beautiful, still it is but it was destroyed by Huns in the 4th century AD. History tells us that, the land of this city was very good for agriculture. Kazanskiy Cathedral is located in Feodosia.

Do you know Ivan Aivazovsky? This is the man who was famous Russian seascape painter. What an extraordinary seascape artist he was! Once you see his paintings you would like to see more of his paintings over again and again. Ivan Aivazovsky passed his all life in Feodosia. You must go to a museum called "National Picture Gallery of Ivan Aivazovsky" and look at every painting, they are very beautiful. Except this museum there are some museums such as Museum of sculptor V. I. Mukhin, Museum of ancient things, Literary and memorial museum of Alexander Green.

The beaches of the Feodosia are nice and you can have boat trip. You can find Golden Beach over there made of small seashells. When you travel all over city you would see fortress, ancient churches, Movie Theater and so on.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

8) Ayu-Dag (Bear-mountain)

Ayu-Dag is a famous mountain in Crimea, Ukraine. It is also known as Bear Mountain because the mountain looks like a bear that lies in the water. Bear Mountain is not far from Gurzuf city. It is located in the south coast of Crimean peninsula. The word Ayu means Bear in Tatar, one the other hand Dag means Mountain in Tatar language. It is said that the top of the Bear Mountain summit or peak formed in the result of magma cooling down in the thickness of the earth's crust.

But there is another, more romantic version of the appearance of the mountain. A family of bears lived in thick woods of Crimea, and a girl lived with them - she was an orphan who they brought up as their own kid. When she grew up, she fell in love with a guy from a nearby village. The bears couldn't accept it, and the couple had to escape from them. The guy made a boat, in which they were going to sail into the sea. The oldest of the bears saw it. He was furious, he wanted to drink all the sea water and get the couple. But the sea helped the lovers - it turned the bear into a rock. He will be drinking water for eternity.

Near Ayu-Dag territory, there was a famous sea port in 9th-10th centuries. Ayu-Dag is approximately 572 meter which means it is 1,877 ft long. The mountain shape can be seen from Artek's beach. So when go to Artek's beach look at the mountain and take some photos of it. Though, it is visible not only from that beach but also from all side too.

Ayu-Dag is famous for its natural mineralogical resources of the southern sea coast of Crimea. It has natural resources such as rock diabaz and it is said there are 18 minerals in Ayu-Dag. With this natural resources the tribunes in Moscow on the Red Square, Vorontsov Palace in Crimea were built. Visit Ayu-Dag mountain and its near locations, they are all beautiful and charming. The sea water in Ayu-Dag is clean and very favorable to swim in it.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Picture of Ayu-Dag (Bear-mountain)

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: alexeyklyukin

Crimean War History Book - Learn about Crimea

Are you interested in learning about Crimean history? History tells us many unknown facts, I guess you like exploring about the past. I enjoy reading history related books and honestly, it is great when I discover many unknown facts that I have not discovered in the past.

9) Balaklava

Balaklava is a famous small town near Sevastopol. Gorgeous landscapes, beaches, monument and its history all together make Balaklava a popular tourist destination. This town has a long history, in World War II, Balaklava was used as Soviet secrete submarine base. Have you heard about "Object 825"? It was a secrete naval base of Soviet Union during World War II located in Balaklava.

Balaklava territory has an Italian temple called Twelve Apostles. You still can see this structural monument in Balaklava. There are two most famous sea beaches there, they are: Golden and Silver beach. Balaklava could be a small town to you but it is not small in showing you many beautiful landscapes including beaches, mountain and historical buildings.

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Beautiful Landscape of Balaklava

crimea-the-best-travel-destination-in-southern-ukraine

Image Credit: Argenberg

10) Ai-Petri

Ai-Petri is one of the most famous mountains on the southern coast in Crimean peninsula. Ai-Petri is located near the city of Alupka in the town Koeriz. This mountain peaks are marvelous. You can look over the whole southeastern coast of Crimea from the top of the peaks. The word Ai-Petri came from Greek. Many tourists visit this mountain all the year. It is said as windiest places as well - the temperature on its top is several degrees lower than at the bottom. If you dare to come there, you will be offered warm clothes and hot tea for sure.

Trehglazka is a cave which is located at the top of the Ai-Petri. The floor of the cave is covered with ice, it looks fantastic indeed! During summer, Ai-Petri could be your best travel destination of all time. This is where you can see beaches, waterfalls, mountain peaks which are covered with snow. Horse riding over here is common; if you want then you can ride on mountain bike and jeep. Take a car and start your journey all over Ai-Petri. In winter you can do hiking and skiing on the snowy mountain of Ai-Petri.

Crimean Mountain - Picture of Ai-Petri

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Image credit: Argenberg

Beautiful Ai-Petri Crimea

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Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Ai-Petri

Ai-Petri

Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

Mramorniyi Pesheri (Marble Cave)

Do you know that Mramorniyi Pesheri (Marble Cave) is a natural wonder of Ukraine? There are 7 natural wonders in Ukraine and Marble Cave is one of them. It is located at the plateau of the Chatyr-Dag Mountain Range. It is seven kilometers away from the city Alushta in Crimea. As it is formed of marble limestone, inside the cave is colorful and looks amazing. In Europe, due to hundreds of various stalactites Marble Cave is seen one of the top five famous caves. Mramorniyi Pesheri (Marble Cave) is unique and for its uniqueness Marble Cave is famous all over the world. When you go there you would see well equipped lighting room, Fairy Tales gallery, Pink Room, Palace Hall, Luster Room and so on. You can enjoy strange acoustic effects and hear the echo of you own voice, see underground rivers, and marble that has turned into wonderful figures.

Resort cities of Crimea: Yalta, Gurzuf/ Hurzuf, Alushta, Koktebel

Crimea is indeed a nice place of traveling all over its big and small cities and towns. Crimea is famous of its resorts cities such as Gurzuf/Hurzuf, Yalta, Alushta, Koktebel. All these small towns and cities have their own and unique nature of view and landscapes and located on the coast of Black sea. Each of these resort cities is extremely favorable for traveling. Yalta is a great resort city, no doubt about that, In Yalta resort city there are many places to go such as Nikitsky Botanic Garden, Massandra Palace and so on. Koktebel is seen as the most famous tourist attraction for its beautiful beaches. A lot of visitors mainly from Ukraine and Russia come to its beaches in the summer. However, resorts cities in Crimea are rich for their beautiful coastal area, beaches, mountains, palace, fortress, cave, gardens and monuments.

Crimea is not a place where you would be disappointed after traveling to its tourist destinations that I mentioned to you over here. If you read and find this article helpful for you then I will be happy. Visit Crimea someday and explore southern part of Ukraine.

Find more about Crimea Tour!

Ukraine - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture - Learn Ukrainian Culture and Customs

Ukraine is a nice place to travel in Eastern Europe. If you are interested learning its culture and customs then there are many books you find in the market, though you can fine information about Ukrainian culture and customs online.

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New Guestbook Comments

Marina on April 24, 2016:

Crimea is no longer Ukraine. The author is not aware?I wonder why so many people in English-speaking world are so ignorant about history and politics somewhere abroad. And if they know something it's only in the light they want to think.

Delia on November 30, 2014:

This looks like a place I'd like to visit! Great photos and information...Thanks for sharing!

Halloween Cosplay on January 28, 2014:

I've already been to Potsdam, now I just need to visit Yalta!

Value Apartments from London on December 17, 2013:

Amazing lens! I would love to go there. It's on my wishlist now.

talanted_one on November 27, 2013:

Thanks) my favorite places in Crimea,thanks for showing it to world)))

pjsart on October 28, 2013:

So glad I visited. Beautiful photos. This opens up ideas for new places to travel... thanks.

Max Globe on October 24, 2013:

Wow, amazing place!

norma-holt on October 03, 2013:

What a fascinating and beautiful place. I have ever only heard about it due to the Crimean War and never quite knew its location or history. Thank you for the insight and lovely pictures. Well done.

David Edward Lynch from Port Elizabeth, South Africa on September 06, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this lens, some nice photos, Crimea looks like a good place to visit

TipsForMoms on September 03, 2013:

Great info, looks like a beautiful place to visit. That photo of Swallow's Nest Castle scares me, LOL!

fleecemeister on August 12, 2013:

I really enjoyed learning about Crimea. It's a part of the world I know little about. Thank you!

k4shmir on July 17, 2013:

nice photo and nice place to visit. thanks for sharing

tinamojojojo on June 09, 2013:

Crimea is very close to my homeland. Never know it's such a beautiful place! Definitely will try to visit it next year. Thanks!

jdpslc on June 04, 2013:

Simply Beautiful!

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on May 25, 2013:

Wow, these are very dramatic views. I would love to visit Crimea one day!

katiecolette on May 14, 2013:

Crimea is one of my favorite places on Earth. Growing up, I remember going there just about every summer. Miss the Black Sea...

stephen downing on April 09, 2013:

Such a fantastic lens, I really like this.

anonymous on February 11, 2013:

I have a few friends from Crimea that would like to have me come visit them, this place is on my "places to visit" list and I hope I will be there very soon! ;D

miauw99 on February 05, 2013:

Wow, these places are beautiful, I hope I could visit them someday. Thanks a lot for the lens on these amazing places, I never know about this before.

webmavern on January 28, 2013:

Crimea looks a beautiful place to visit. Hopefully I will get to go there one day, thanks!

blastfromthepas1 on January 23, 2013:

Really enjoyed this lens including the spectacular photos! I have a lens on the Crimean War that you might like to visit some time.

Lorna from USA on January 16, 2013:

Lovely place to visit, I like all the attractions in Crimea.

Takkhis (author) on January 13, 2013:

@PNWtravels: Thank you. Crimea is really beautiful and lot to explore.

WriterJanis2 on January 06, 2013:

I really enjoyed the pictures.

kulla on January 05, 2013:

Before I read this lens, I had only a hazy idea about Crimea. Thanks for such a beautiful lens with so much information and dazzling pictures

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on January 03, 2013:

I had no idea there were so many beautiful castles, gardens and landscapes in Ukraine, until I read this page. It would be a great place to visit.

goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on December 31, 2012:

Would love to visit someday!

anonymous on December 16, 2012:

This is very good information, I like it, thank you for sharing. :)

Takkhis (author) on December 08, 2012:

@Pangermia: Yes! Ukrainian people are wonderful, i love Ukraine.

Pangermia on December 08, 2012:

Ukrainians are wonderful people. Hospitality is fantastic. Too bad i'm a vegetarian and there wasn't too much for me to eat!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on November 26, 2012:

What a beautiful place! After seeing this article, I would love to see Crimea in person!

sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on November 26, 2012:

lovely pictures and information on crimea. thanks for a virtual tour.

Takkhis (author) on November 26, 2012:

@kemskiy: I will add more new things to help Crimea's traveler and of course i am thankful to you for your advice.

Takkhis (author) on November 26, 2012:

@Loganor: Thank you for your comment. I am glad to know that you would like to print it out if you ever go to Crimea. I hope you will go someday.

Takkhis (author) on November 26, 2012:

@crstnblue: You are welcome.

kemskiy on November 26, 2012:

When you go to Ukraine, it is better to have phone numbers of local taxi services in your pocket. You dont know when you will need it, and it is not recommended to stop an accident car if you want to be safe in this country. Use licensed taxi services and be secured. This is my list of Ukraine taxi ukraine-vacation-guide.com/dir/taxi/20 all of these services are appropriate and rates are not expensive. If you know more good taxi services in Ukraine, please add them to this Ukraine travel guide.

crstnblue on November 23, 2012:

Great work! Thanks for sharing!

Loganor on November 22, 2012:

Wow - this is an excellent travel guide. If I ever get the chance I will print this out and take it as the perfect list of things to do and see! The Marble Caves and the castle are top of my list!

Takkhis (author) on November 22, 2012:

@WriterJanis2: Thanks for visiting, yes Crimea is a beautiful place.

Takkhis (author) on November 15, 2012:

@Heidi Vincent: Thanks for Blessing :)

You're welcome. I hope someday you and your all family members would visit Ukraine and of course Crimea.

Heidi Vincent from GRENADA on November 15, 2012:

In particular, I would love to visit the Mramorniyi Pesheri (Marble Cave), It sounds quite beautiful. The Picture of Ai-Petri is also beautiful. It has a fairytale-like appearance. Thanks for sharing about the Ukraine, takkhis. Have a blessed weekend.

WriterJanis2 on November 15, 2012:

This looks like a very beautiful place to visit.