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Yalta

Travel Guide Europe Ukraine Crimea Yalta

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Introduction

Mountain Foros Church near Yalta

Mountain Foros Church near Yalta

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Yalta is a seaside city in Crimea, Ukraine. There are two terms: Minor Yalta and Greater Yalta. Greater Yalta is an administrative unit which includes the seashore territory between Gurzuf village on the east and Foros on the west with many resort villages and two towns: Yalta and Alupka.

Yalta is located between the Black Sea and the main range of Crimean mountains. Two small rivers flow through Yalta town. The main specialization of Yalta is recreation and tourism. Summer is high season, especially August. Prices rise in this period. Pine tree forests which cover the slopes of Crimean mountains produce curative air rich in volatile production. Nowadays there are many cars and air can be not so clear, but in the 19th - beginning of 20th century Yalta was a well known climatic health resort where Russian people who were ill in tuberculosis were treated. For this reason many famous people had to come to Yalta: tsars family, many writers, poets, painters, musicians became connected with this place.

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Neighbourhoods

Yalta neighbourhoods boast several climbing crags with bolted roots. Around Yalta there are the following crags:
1. Nikitskaya Rashelina is the most popular one east of Yalta. Catch buses going to Nikita or trolleybus 2 on bus stop opposite Sovetskaya square.
2. Krestovaya and Ay-Nikola cliffs near Oreanda village (west of Yalta). Routes on the last two crags are new, guidebooks are being prepared now. But they are more untouched, with nice nature. Buses go from bus station near Cloth market (veshevoy runok) in the centre. Ask driver for Oreanda stop.
3. Simeiz, west from Yalta
4. Red Stone in Krasnokamenka village, east from Yalta

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Sights and Activities

Villages around Yalta are very picturesque and have their own atmosphere. For example, Gurzuf is located on the shore of a cozy sea bay, surrounded by mountain amphitheatre. One of the mountains juts out into the sea as a magmatic cape. Two small cliffs in the sea adorn the scene. There are many parks and palaces in Yalta neighbourhoods. Some of them are tourist attractions, some are luxurious sanatoriums or state summer houses. Mountains are good for hiking, with many trails. But some areas have a status of wildlife reserve and are closed for visits. Book shops sell maps of mountainous Crimea where borders of the reservs are marked as well as main routes and huts.

Centre

The most interesting streets are in the centre. Promenade is the main street for walking and relaxing. All the festivals, concerts, fireworks are organized here. Ekaterininskaya street (perpendicular to Promenade, starts near ship-restaurant) has beautiful old buildings made of Crimean limestone with wooden decorations. Pushkina street starts a bit further to Oreanda hotel direction, goes along the small river. On this street there are beautiful trees, benches, local history museum, fountains, aquarium, wine-tasting and shops. Primorsky park has several fountains, nice pier with view on Yalta bay, Black Sea water pool, tennis courts.

Churches

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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Alexander Nevsky cathedral is located near Morskaya trolleybus stop. Armenian church is on Sadovaya str. (from Sovetskaya square go upwards near Saturn cinema). Joann Zlatoust church is on Polikurov hill (go up from Lenin monument). It is the oldest building of Yalta and is well seen from the Promenade. Chirch in Massandra park near Yalta hotel.

The Armenian Church is considered to be one of the Yalta's most impressive architectural masterpieces. It was built in the early 20th century to order and on money of major Armenian oilman in his daughter's memory, who passed away untimely and was buried in the temple's burial vault. Famous architect Gabriel Ter-Mikaelyan managed the church's building, and talented artist Vartkes Sourenyants created building's design. An image of medieval Saint Hripsimé Church - a part of Etchmiadzin's Monastery in Armenia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - was laid in the project's base.
The temple is built from Foros volcanic tuff in ancient Armenian style and is notable for strict and laconic forms, only tracery that decorates church's walls serves as an intricate decor. The building is crowned with conical dome, standing on elegant tholobate.

Museums

In Yalta itself one can visit several museums: Anton Chekhov's memorial house, Yalta local history museum, Lesya Ukrainka museum and others.

Nature

Ai-Petri (Greek for ‘Saint Peter’) is one of the most famous Crimean mountaints. Its picturesque peaks, which fence off Yalta from the outer world, have become the symbol not just of the southern coast, but also of the entire Crimean peninsula. This legendary massif is attractive for tourists because from its peaks, one can get an amazing view over the whole southeastern coast of Crimea. In order to see these fantastic panoramas, numerous travelers climb the Ai-Petri all year round. Ai-Petri has everything for an adventurous getaway. In the summer, you can ride horses, mountain bicycle, and jeeps, or paraglide here. And in winter, snowy slopes attract ski lovers and snowmobile racers.

The Grand Canyon of Crimea, hidden in the depth of the northern slope of Ai-Petri massif, is one of the astonishing natural wonders of the peninsula. This biggest and the most magnificent gorge in the country was formed almost two million years ago as a result of the active shifting of the colossal earth units and is the huge tectonic cleft. The canyon impresses with its grandeur: its depth is over 320 metres, at that the width of the bottom reduces at times to 2-3 metres. The slopes of the gorge that consist of the peculiarly colored limestone are covered with hundreds of tree and herb kinds, including rare. The pure waters of Canyon's rivers and lakes are inhibited with trout, and in the forests, spread in the lower part of the gorge, you may see hedgehogs, badgers and roes.

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.

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Events and Festivals

  • December 31 - January 1 - New Year celebrations. Fireworks, decorated New Year tree on the Promenade.
  • January 7 - Orthodox Christmas.
  • Middle of January - Annual ballad songs festival.
  • Spring - Easter (date varies): People consecrate food, especially paskha (Easter dessert of pot cheese mixed with sugar, butter, and raisins), Easter cakes and coloured eggs.
  • April - exhibition of tulips in Nikita Botanical Garden
  • May 1 - May Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations organised by different political parties and local people.
  • May 9 - Victory Day. End of the Great Patriotic War (1945). Veterans of war and other people lay flowers on the monuments of war, eternal flame. Songs of that period are sung.
  • Second weekend of August - Day of Yalta town. It is the top season. Sometimes there are festivals of fireworks, street shows etc.
  • September - Yalta Rally
  • Middle of October to middle of November - exhibition of chrysanthemums in Nikita Botanical Garden

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Weather

As Yalta lies to the south of the Crimean Mountains and within an amphitheatre of hills, the climate is very mild. Yalta has a humid subtropical climate, that closely resembles the mediterranean climate. Average highs range from around 7 °C in January and February to 28 °C in July and August, while nights are between 2 °C and 20 °C respectively. The absolute high and low are 39 °C and -12 °C respectively. The average annual amount of precipitation is just around 600 mm, with spring and summer being drier than fall and winter.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol, but not in Yalta.

By Train

Railway does not go to Yalta. From railway stations in Simferopol or Sevastopol you'll have to use other vehicle.

By Car

You can take a taxi or rent a car and drive to Yalta along the road from Simferopol or Sevastopol. Taxi prices can differ, so ask several people and compare with ticket prices for bus, for example.

By Bus

Buses and minibuses go in all the directions. Buy tickets in the ticket office, and you will have your own seat place. You can pay directly to the driver but people with tickets have advantage for places. In ticket office you can buy a small book with bus schedules all over the Crimea (Russian only). From Livadia buses regularly go to Yalta.

By Boat

There are no regular boats to/from Yalta for long distances. Only local routes between Yalta town and seaside villages. Cruise ships usually stop in Yalta harbour for a day.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

  • Way to Alupka palace from Yalta - Bus 32 goes from the centre of Yalta (bus station near cloth market, not far from Lenin monument) to Alupka palace and garden. On the way you can visit Swallow’s Nest castle, cable car to Ay-Petri mountain (warm clothes are needed). Ask driver for the stops, he usually forgets them.
  • Way to Massandra palace from Yalta - Start at bus stop opposite Sovetskaya square, you need any bus going to Nikita or trolleybus 2, ask to stop at “povorot na dvoretz”. Then cross the main road, go along the smaller road, see steps on your left, go through forest along the path (5 minutes), then you are again on the road, follow it and soon you’ll see the palace and park.
  • Way to Nikita botanical garden from Yalta - Bus goes from the centre of Yalta (bus station near cloth market, not far from Lenin monument) to the main gates of Nikita botanical garden. Way back 1. by the same bus, wait for it near the lower gates. 2. Descend to the seashore, buy a boat ticket to Yalta – it goes directly to Promenade.
  • Way to Livadia palace from Yalta - 1. Bus 32 (bus station near cloth market, not far from Lenin monument) to Alupka palace and garden. Ask driver for Livadia stop. 2. On foot: Go along the Promenade to the direction of ship-restaurant above the sea, pass it, then you see Oreanda hotel, Gorky monument, go across Primorsky park, see Black Sea water pool. Go downstairs, see tennis courts on your left-hand side. After tennis courts turn left, go along the beaches. Distance is about 4 kilometres one way. 3. Bus 11 goes through the center, look for sign “Ливадия дворец” on it. After visiting the Palace you can go to the Sun Path (or Tzar’s Path) – Солнечная тропа, Царская тропа – which starts near the palace (where sun dial is).

By Boat

  • Boat trip to Swallow’s Nest castle - From the corner of Morskaya street and Promenade, where little church is, go downstairs on the lower ground, and near the church you'll find ticket office. Trip takes 1.5 hours, return to the same place.

In summer there are many boat trips to/from Yalta. They reduce in winter. These routes connect Yalta and seaside villages situated nearby. Some of them include Russian-speaking guides who comments the seashore landmarks.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
HU Kirov Holiday Center39 Kirova str.Hotel-
Yalta ApartmentsKarla Marks Street 11, Fl. 28Apartment-
Leonidova Ludmila ApartmentsK/Marks street 11 house 1 apartment 28Apartment83
Bristol Hotel10 Roosvelta Str,HOTEL-
Bristol Hotel Yalta10 Roosevelta StreetHotel-
Green Point (Zeleny Mis)First of May Street 3G Alupka Autonomous Republic CrimeaApartment-
Yalta Hostels39 Kirova, lit.A kv.3Apartment76
Yalta Hotel Complex50 Drazhinskogo st. CrimeaHOTEL-
Yalta Summer HostelKievskaya, 8 - ap. 22HOSTEL-
Znanie Ltd ApartmentIgnatenko Str., 12Apartment-
Igor ApartmentLenina1/33, streetAPARTMENT-
Sobaka HostelChernova Str., 29AHOSTEL80
Apartment Ignatenkoul. Ignatenko 7APARTMENT-
Yalta Intourist50 Drazhinskogo st.HOTEL-
Amazonkaul. Turistskaya 5 AHOTEL-
Knyajiy Gradul. Lesnaya 10 BHOTEL-
Mednyi Vsadnikul. Turistskaya 5 AHOTEL-
Corsair Hostel14 “B” Biryukova Str.HOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet develops quickly in Ukraine, and therefore, today it is no problem to get access to the world wide web - both wired and wireless. There are more access points in big cities, nevertheless there are also some in small settlements. The majority of Ukrainian hostels and hotels of different level have Wi-Fi points, which allow visitors to use high-speed Internet. Most Ukrainian restaurants and many cafes are equipped with internet access points, there are also Wi-Fi zones in terminals of the international airports. You may also access Internet from your cell phone, if your device supports GPRS or one of the 3G standards. All cellular carriers in Ukraine offer access to the mobile internet. Moreover, it's usually no problem to find Internet-cafe in Ukrainian cities. "Ukrtelecom" company offers Internet access as well. Its offices are easy to find in any town of Ukraine. The cost of one hour of Internet access usually doesn't exceed €1-2.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international phone code for Ukraine is 380. The general emergency phone number is 112 and there are special ones for fire -(101), police (102), ambulance (103) and even gas leaks (104).

Although cell phones are becoming more and more popular, a lot of people still use phonecards and this might be a good and cheaper option for travellers as well. If you are here for any length of time it is worth investing in a local sim-card for your mobile. No major international mobile operators exist in Ukraine (yet) so if you have Vodaphone or T-mobile (etc) your phone may not work here. Kyivstar and MTS are the biggest Ukrainian operators.

Post

Ukraine Poshta is the national postal service of Ukraine (website is rather slow and not always working). Unfortunately, the postal service in Ukraine is unreliable or at least inefficient and slow. Most packages get stolen or searched for things that can be sold. Post offices exist in all cities and towns and postcards can be sent quite safely, but the service may be slow. Like many other businesses, post offices are open from around 9:00am to 6:00pm with a lunchbreak between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, though opening times may vary. Smaller ones in rural towns keep shorter hours, while the largest ones in Kiev are usually open very late, during weekends or even 24 hours! If you want to send a letter or postcard and buy stamps, just queue up at the line where you see envelops and cards. Be prepared to wait a while, also regarding the time it takes to send a postcard to Europe (a week) or the USA (two weeks), let alone places further afield. Always send letters by airmail (avia in Ukrainian). For faster (but more expensive) sendings of parcels, try companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.

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This is version 34. Last edited at 8:44 on Apr 22, 14 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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