Yalta is the most famous city of Crimea and one of the most picturesque and interesting resorts of the world. It stretches along the seacoast like a grandiose amphitheatre in a setting of majestic mountains. Its marvelous turning from the small village into modern elite resort was like by fairy Cinderella. Welcome to SunCity Travel’s Top 12 Must See places in the Greater Yalta:
1. Vorontsov’s Palace
One of the most entertaining is the gorgeous Vorontsov Palace, where incongruous architectural styles meet: English Romantic, Scottish, Arabian. Somehow, these styles get along and the palace echoes the capricious shapes of its mountain backdrop. The most exotic palace-gardens complex on the entire coast is located in Alupka, about 16 km west of Yalta. Designed and built between 1828 and 1846 by English architects for the English-educated Count Mikhail Vorontsov, the immensely rich regional governor, the palace is a combination of Scottish castle on its landlord side, and Arabic fantasy facing the sea.
2. Swallow’s Nest
Swallow’s Nest is a tiny medieval castle which may seem small and unobtrusive, but has been featured in many books and short brochures linked to crime and mystery. Due to this, Swallow’s Nest near Crimea has become one of the better-known sights in Ukraine. The castle was built in the early twentieth century between 1911 and 1912 on a cliff that juts out over the Black Sea. The Swallow’s Nest castle overlooks the Cape of Ai-Todor of the Black Sea and located near Yalta on the Crimean peninsula in southern part of Ukraine.
3. Livadia Palace
The beautiful Livadia Palace was a favorite summer refuge of the last remaining Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and is located in Livadiya, 6 km from Yalta City. It was here that many memorable times were spent with his family before their untimely death by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution. Formerly granted to Lambros Katsonis and then a possession of the Potocki family, the Livadia estate became a summer residence of the Russian imperial family in the 1860s, when architect Ippolito Monighetti built a large palace, a small palace, and a church there. During 1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt and many other American delegates were housed within the 116 rooms inside the Livadia Palace, that was later also host to the Yalta Conference. Today, however, the role of the Livadia Palace has changed drastically and is not much more than memoirs of the past housed within a museum. On occasion the palace comes alive, its former beauty exposed in all its glory during international summits held here by the Ukrainian authorities.
4. Ai Petri
Ai-Petri Mountain – summit in the Crimean mountains, in the Ai-Petri plateau. Height is 1234.2 m. It is located above the town of Alupka and village Koreiz. Ai-Petri held cableway “Miskhor – Sosnovy Bor – Ai-Petri” with the longest unsupported span in Europe. With a beautiful view of the mountains to the coast. The plateau is the village of hunting. Tourists usually visit the Ai-Petri meridian – a stone globe with accurate geodetic data, observation platform on the cliff Szyszko, weather station, Mount poor-Kir (here in the winter works a few ski lifts), Three-eyes cave, equipped for excursions. On the hillside by the road from Yalta to the Ai-Petri is possible to see the “drunken” pine grove – the age-old forest of pine, broken by a landslide. Ai-Petri is a popular winter recreation. On the plateau there are several ski slopes, equipped with rope tows. You can hire skis, sleds, snowboards and other winter equipment. Here are the mini-hotels and paragraph Mountain Rescue Service.
5. Massandra Palace
The Palace of Alexander III in Massandra is one of the best architectural constructions on the southern coast of the Crimea, dating from the second half of the XIX century. It stands in beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Yalta. Originally built for Prince C.M.Vorontsov, it was acquired by Tsar Alexander III as his summer palace in 1889. After the 1917 revolution it was used as a holiday residence by high-ranking members of the Politburo – Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev all stayed here at one time or another.In the early nineties the palace was designated a museum and opened to the public. The interior has now been beautifully restored. It contains a significant collection of fine art and period furniture in rooms set out to reflect the grandeur of its original nineteenth century owners.
6. Cable car to Darsan Hill
When we you are walking out to Yalta Lenin’s Embankment, you can see colourful cable cars criss-crossing each other in the skyline. You can find the base station by address 17 Lenina Str. Warning!!! The chairlifts don’t stop at all and you have to hop on board whilst it is moving. So for those who are not fast on their feet, it was not recommended. The trip to Darsan hill takes about 10 min. You can enjoy views of the coast and the coastal part of Yalta during the entire trip, as well as from the top of the hill.
7. Lenin’s Embankment
Lenin’s Embankment is a central promenade street of Yalta, one of the oldest streets of this city. The embankment is framed with palm-trees and is filled with continuous rows of attractions, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Different architectural styles are merged in the Embankment, it is plated with polychrome red granite and light-grey porphyry. At the moment there are the main post office building, “McDonald’s”, as well as a popular place for an informal gathering of local youth – a monument to Lenin on the Embankment. In the same area is the lower station of the cable car. One of the noticeable places is the restaurant “Golden Fleece”, which rises above the sea and is styled in the form of a Greek ship.
8. Primorskiy (Seaside) Park
Primorskiy (Seaside) Park is a favorite place for citizens of Yalta. Instead of neglected lands which were here before the war, citizens of Yalta created here a vast park with numerous decorative trees and bushes. Along the alleys there are flowers and among them one can see wonderful roses of Yalta. Primorskiy Park is one of the most beautiful and the oldest parks of Crimea. Its area is stretched along the western coast of Yalta Bay and represents a natural extension of Yalta’s Embankment. During a walk along the alleys of park one can see rare species of plants collected all over the world. These plants are mostly evergreen, and some of them are 200 years old. On a shore in this park there is a pebble beach which is also an extension of Yalta’s Embankment.
9. Nikitsky Botanical Garden
Located not far from Yalta, the Nikitsky Botanical Garden is a real outdoor museum, one of the most unique landmarks of southern Crimea. This man-made park is recognized as a masterpiece of landscape art and is one of the oldest and the most famous botanical gardens in the world. It is rightfully called the ‘green treasure’ of the peninsula: unique types of plants from all regions of the planet are gathered on the garden’s huge territory. Nikitsky Botanical Garden’s history began almost 200 years ago, in 1812. It was created on the order of emperor Alexander I in order to develop gardening and farming in the south of the Russian Empire. The founder and the first director of the Garden, prominent botanist Christian Steven, brought together samples of plants from different regions of Europe, Asia, and America. Today, thanks to his large collection of rare species, breeds, and forms of plants, the Nikitsky Botanical Garden is one of the most picturesque attractions on the peninsula.
10. Massandra Winery
The Ukraine’s oldest winery Massandra has been producing fine wines for more than 110 years and has won international acclaim for their exceptional quality. The winery was built in 1894 – 1897 near Yalta, Crimea. The subtropical air climate of the region and the protective shields of mountain chains create unique conditions for the production of high quality fortified and dessert wines, which combined with the extraordinary architectural merit of the cellars, have earned Massandra a position as one of Ukraine’s nationally important sites. You can taste a number of well-known local beautiful wines including dry table Cabernet, Sauvignon and Saperavi, dessert wines White Muscat, Surozh Kokur Dessert, Rose Muscat, Black Muscat, South Coast Pinot-Gris, Bastardo, Ayu-Dag Aleatico, South Coast Cagors, Ay-Serez, Prince Golitzin Seventh Heaven and liqour wines Red Stone White Muscat, Livadia White Muscat, Dessert Rose Muscat and Ai-Danil Pinot Gris as well as unforgettable Black Doctor.
11. Skazka Zoo
The Skazka Zoo, located in the city of Yalta, has received more than a million visitors since opening in 1995. Established by local businessman Oleg Zubkov, Skazka means ‘Fairy Tale’, and is the realization of a dream to present animals from all over the world for the public, particularly children, to view and learn about. Also referred to as the Yalta Zoo, the park is home to more than 700 creatures, representing over 120 species of birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and fish. Great care is taken to ensure comfortable living conditions for each inhabitant and the success of various breeding programs is an indication of the wellbeing of the animals. Babies born at the zoo include lion cubs, camels, raccoons, baboons, chimpanzees, tigers and macaques.
12. Massandra Beach
The Blue Flag member, fine-pebble Massandra Beach is inherently very different. Massandra Beach could be mentioned among the best and well known urban beaches of Crimea, not only because of its central location in Yalta – the unofficial capital of Crimean Southern Coast, marine resort of international standing famous for its unique environments, dry healthy subtropical microclimate with hottest august maximum not exceeding 40° C, intact natural beauties, old traditions of tourism management, extensive ancient heritage and picturesque views on Mountains and the Sea, but also because it has well developed infrastructure, modern approach to management and different facilities for sport, education and time-passing. It is 460 m long and divided into seven sectors. There are sectors with free admission and VIP-zones with symbolic price for a day of relax: from 5 to 10 Euros. Security here as well as in Yalta is a default option.