The nature of Crimea is unique and diverse. At first glance, it is even surprising how the purest lakes, mountain ranges and steppes could be located on such a relatively small peninsula. More than 75 species of exotic trees grow here, some of which are considered relict, more than 1000 species of mushrooms and plants. The fauna of the peninsula is also diverse. Reserves have been created to protect them.
You can see all the beauty of the Crimean flora and fauna in local reserves and national parks of the peninsula. We will talk about them today.
At the moment, there are about 15 reserves in Crimea: the Crimean nature reserve, the Swan Islands, the Opuksky nature reserve, the Yalta mountain-forest reserve, the Kazantip nature reserve, the Karadag reserve, the Cape Martyan reserve, the Astana floodplains, Kanaka reserve, Agarmysh forest, Chernorechensky canyon, Nikitsky botanical garden, Utes-Karasansky park, Khapkhalsky reserve, Karalarsky natural reserve, and others.
They are considered to be specially protected, as they are inhabited by the Red Book birds, animals, underground springs and unique natural objects. Many reserves are located by the sea. It was possible to get there illegally before, and you could only rely on your own luck and decency. But in 2020, the rules have changed - now, in order to visit a nature reserve or a national park, you need to take care of it in advance.
Last year, many beloved General's beaches were declared a reserve, which had not previously been part of the territory of the Karalar reserve, but were a specially protected area. Despite all the prohibition signs, vacationers often left trash behind, drove up to the water protection zone by car, collected rare plants and even hunted local inhabitants.
Since the disgrace did not stop in other protected and protected areas, the Crimean government decided to limit visits to reserves.
An activist and director of the “Zapovedny Crimea” institution, Andrey Borodin, announced this:
Ecotourism is one of the priority areas throughout the country, on the peninsula they began to approach protected areas more carefully.
Andrey Borodin also added:
They will start taking money for a pass to the reserves of Crimea when the necessary documents are drawn up in 2021. Until that moment, you can still get here free of charge, but with the appropriate entry permit.
Mountain tourism in Crimea - where can a beginner visit?
Getting to the Chatyr-Dag plateau - one of the most popular tourist places in Crimea - is not an easy task, but the difficulties of the ascent will pay off in full. Due to the height of the mountain and its location, the views from the plateau will amaze you with their beauty and diversity.
With good illumination and the absence of clouds, you can see almost the entire Crimea at a glance. In addition, as many as three caves are open on the Chatyr-Dag plateau, free for tourists. And after visiting the plateau, you can go down in almost any direction and continue your journey as you like.
In the last century, landslides have repeatedly occurred on this slope, creating a scattering of rock fragments throughout the valley, which were later hewn by the wind to bizarre shapes.
Many of them resemble certain objects, some even human faces. In addition, due to the peculiarities of the location of the Valley of Ghosts and its illumination, the mountain and rocks manage to change their colors and shades several times a day, making them look unusual and even mysterious.
In addition, there is a legend that climbing to the very top of Mount Demerdzhi, you can see your reflection on the clouds.
Also near the Angarsk Pass is the ancient fortress Funa - an outstanding monument of medieval architecture. The place is designed as an open-air museum.
Many people visit the Grand Canyon in order to swim in the so-called Bath of Youth - a cauldron filled with perfectly clean cool water. According to legends, such bathing rejuvenates and restores health.
The picturesque Crimea has always been glad to tourists. In the south-west, the peninsula is washed by the Black Sea, which separates the Crimea from the Azov Sea. The second washes the peninsula from the east. The nature of the relief is diverse: this is the Kerch Peninsula and the North Crimean Plain with the Tarkhankut Upland, as well as the Crimean Mountains. The climate varies from moderately continental to subtropical. Summers here are very long and hot, and winters are warm and mild, with little snow. For this reason, spending a winter vacation at a ski resort in Crimea would be an excellent solution!
The best time for winter sports is between January and February, although snow in the mountainous part of the peninsula begins to fall in December and can last until April. Due to the rather mild climate, there are avalanches. However, do not worry - local meteorological services will warn of the danger, and rescuers and traffic police are always ready to help.
Ai-Petri takes the first place in popularity among ski resorts in Crimea. Huge queues at the rental points speak for themselves. Professionals immediately set off to conquer the "Snowpark", a descent surrounded by forest, and the longest track - "27th kilometer".
Here they take care of leisure not only for professional athletes - instructors are always ready to help. And on such tracks as "Lyagushatnik" and "Kikchine" even beginners will feel comfortable. Even small children can ski in the "Frog". This trail is also a favorite among connoisseurs of family vacations, because it is here that sledding is most common. For more experienced athletes, the "Laboratory" and "26th kilometer" are open.
Mount Ai-Petri is part of the Yaila mountain complex. Nearby are the towns of Alupka and Koreiz. This place is well known to everyone under the name of the Yalta Reserve. You can climb here only by a lift, but it's worth it - the cable car "Mishor-Ai-Petri" is the longest in Europe and is even included in the Guinness Book of Records! The cost of lifting the cable car will be 400 rubles for one adult and 250 rubles for a child. Also on the territory of the resort there are many cafes, restaurants and places for recreation.
If you love nature and want to stay near this ski resort, you can rent a house in the village of Sokolinoye for 2500 rubles per day. There you can comfortably accommodate from 2 to 4 people. There are houses for larger companies, but the price will be appropriate.
If you want to not only go skiing, but also see the sights, stop in any town in Crimea that is popular in the summer season. For example, renting a double room in Yalta will cost about 3000 rubles. But you can always save money and rent an apartment. Rent will cost from 1000 rubles per day. If the weather conditions do not allow skiing, you can go on an excursion. For example, not far from Yalta are the Swallow's Nest and the Vorontsov Palace.
Getting from Yalta to the Ai-Petri ski resort is very convenient. If you do not have your own car, you just need to take buses No. 102 and No. 132. You can also find private advertisements from drivers and guides on the Internet. You can take a seat on the bus 1-2 days before the trip on a weekday and 2-3 days on a weekend. The ticket price depends on the number of people. Usually this is about 800-1200 rubles for one.
Some tourists choose Gurzuf instead of Yalta. This village is included in the urban district. Yalta. Here, within walking distance are the Gurzuf Park and the A. Pushkin. From Gurzuf you can get to other settlements of the Crimea - Partenit, Massandra and Yalta, and from there to the ski resort. The cost of rooms in Gurzuf is from 2500 to 4000 rubles per day.
Not only beach tourism is in demand on the peninsula, but also recreation in the mountains of Crimea, and not only in summer, but also in winter. One can talk endlessly about the clean mountain air: the smell of pine needles, the aromas of the forest, pristine nature - all this has a beneficial effect on the well-being and health of travelers. It has long been known that heart disease is treated in the mountains. Also, tourists are attracted by excellent panoramic views, a lot of entertainment at any time of the year. There will be no problems with accommodation, you can choose a hotel in the mountains of Crimea, settle in a tourist center or choose a house in one of the villages in the foothills or in the valley.
An important difference between recreation in the Crimea in the mountains in the forest from the beach on the coast is the low price, in general, it is inexpensive tourism. And the places where vacationers can stay are countless. There are many mountain villages, towns, villages and villages on the peninsula. Also, the area is built up with tourist bases, cottages, boarding houses for travelers not only at the foot of the mountains, but also at their tops.
List of the best places to stay in the Crimean mountains:
The most widespread type of entertainment on the peninsula in the mountainous part and the most budgetary one is walking. But vacation in the mountains of Crimea in 2021 can become much more varied if it is supplemented with other events:
Depending on the area where you are staying, you can see:
What is Crimea for a person who grew up in the Soviet and post-Soviet space? Black Sea, pebbles, red wine, an abundance of fruits, pies sellers on the beaches, student hikes in the mountains, children's sanatoriums. Surprisingly, in this sense, Crimea has changed little.
But apart from this, the peninsula, which looks more like an island, boasts many hidden gems that will surely open up to the curious traveler. In addition to the objects of mass tourism, there is something truly precious here, and this “something” is the Crimean nature. For such a relatively small area, it is surprisingly diverse. The peninsula has a huge number of caves, gorges, forests and meadows, rivers and lakes.
Affordable rest and treatment attract many tourists to Crimea. Most of them are middle-class people who choose economical options. Families with and without children go for a quiet vacation on sandy beaches by the sea, young people choose Alushta, Koktebel and the West Bank with their informal atmosphere, parties and discos. Well, people of mature age go to a sanatorium - to rest and get medical treatment.
It is faster and more comfortable to get to Crimea by air. During the tourist season, Simferopol Airport accepts flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and 40 more Russian cities. With the opening of the bridge, the road to Crimea has been greatly simplified both for intercity buses from the European part of Russia and for those who drive their own cars. Now there is no need to stand in line for the ferry and depend on the vagaries of the weather in the Kerch Strait.
Since December 2019, direct trains from Moscow and St. Petersburg have been launched to Crimea.
Read more about how to get to Crimea here.
Conventionally Crimea is divided into 5 zones - Eastern, Southern, Western, Central and Kerchinskiy peninsula. Eastern Crimea stretches from Alushta to Feodosia. The typical landscape is rocky coast and steppe plains. In this part of Crimea, there are 2 state reserves - Karadag and Opuksky. The region is famous for historical and cultural monuments from different eras. The main resorts are Sudak, Feodosia, Novy Svet, Koktebel.
The southern coast of Crimea stretches from Cape Aya to Mount Kara-Dag. Mountains approaching the sea reliably protect the coast from cold winds. The nature is remarkable for its extraordinary picturesque - lush subtropical vegetation and mountain landscapes prevail here. The rich excursion program includes natural and man-made sights - old estates, luxurious palaces, seaside parks, as well as caves, waterfalls and mountain peaks. It was here that Russian emperors and leaders of the Soviet era preferred to rest. The main resort areas are Big Yalta and Big Alushta.
Western Crimea lies in the west of the peninsula from the village of Peschanoe and further along the coast. These places are characterized by a steppe landscape. The flat terrain is open to winds - here you can breathe well even in the hottest weather. The main resorts are Evpatoria, Saki, Sandy, Nikolaevka, the villages of the Tarkhankut peninsula - Olenevka, Chernomorskoye, Mezhvodnoye.
These places keep the legends of shamans, and so far no one has solved the secret of the Dyatlov Pass. The Ural Mountains keep many secrets. What places are worth seeing here, what peaks will you be able to conquer?