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From the North to the South, from the West to the East

Text: Anna Zimina

Top little known resort pearls of Crimea

From the North to the South, from the West to the East

Crimea is the small region. It may seem that we know it inside and out.

But you may trust us, Crimea possesses such pearls, which even local citizens know little about, let alone tourists do. In “The Crimean Magazine”, we especially love these alike corners (by the way, we recommend the “Robinsonade, or 7 beaches for insiders” article published within the issue № 4 of “CM”). Today, we will tell you about seven amazing and little known at the same time resort villages of the Crimean peninsula. You should definitely visit these places! Go there, away from fuss and noisy companies, go for incredible air, starriest skies and mental stability…

Moreover, you will get an opportunity to see pelicans and even flamingoes there!

North

Near the Swan Islands Nature Reserve

The Portovoye village is located eight kilometers from the Razdol’noye settlement in the North of Crimea. At the beginning of the last century, the sand spit, which served as a cattle pasture, ran into the sea from that village. However, after a while the spit was eroded by the sea, which turned it into five small constantly shape-shifting isles. The food-rich uninhabited patches of the land became an attractive place for nesting and bird wintering — that’s how the Swan Islands emerged.

Colonies of sea-gulls, gannets, herons, waders, pelicans and even flamingoes permanently populate in the islands — there are 25 kinds of birds in total. In autumn, the swans, in the honor of which the natural reserve was named, fly in the islands.

It’s rather difficult for tourists to get inside of the territory of the natural reserve, though tourists will be able to watch birds living in Portovoye — the reserve is within walking distance. The village beach is pebble and very wide. Herewith, even in the hottest weather cool wind blows from the sea.

How can you reach?

A tourist has to get to Razdol’noye from Simferopol or Yevpatoriya, and when he/she reaches the place, the tourist has to get on the bus at any bus stop in Razdol’noye and follow the Radol’noye-Portovoye (beach) route. For instance, you can catch a bus near the central market.

At the Bakal’skaya Spit

The Stereguscheye settlement is situated in the North-West of Crimea on the shallow-water Bakal’skaya Bay of Karkinit Gulf. A vacation in these places will be liked by people, who want to leave the civilization for a short time and listen to the silence. Frankly speaking, the local area can offer simplified landscapes — the steppe is right around, but it is the amazing land form in combination with the sea. The sea zone is shallow-water (you will have to walk one kilometer at least before you reach the depth), and this means that it warms quickly and it also possesses the sandy bottom, thus resting together with little kids at this shore is a sheer pleasure. The Bakal’skaya Spit is located six kilometers from the village (Bakal is the previous name of Stereguscheye). The length of the spit is about 12 km, 5 km of which intrude into the water area of the Black Sea. Here, any person can simultaneously see the silent sea on one side of the spit and surging one on the other side. An asphalt road leads to the Bakal’skaya Spit from the village.

The village prices are very affordable — a vacation both in Stereguscheye and Portovoye is one of the most budget-friendly ones in Crimea. We need to take into account the aspect of the local infrastructure, which is still undeveloped — there are several shops, cafeteria, local habitants sell fruit, vegetables and home-made wine in front of their houses, but there is no a market here. That’s why people have to visit neighboring Razdol’noye to go shopping, which is located in thirty minutes by car.

How can you reach?

Stereguscheye is situated 70 km from Krasnoperekopsk and 65 km from Yevpatoriya. Several times a day, a bus leaves for Stereguscheye or Slavnoye (Stereguscheye is one of the bus stops along the route) from the bus station. The travel time is 1 hour and 20-25 minutes.

East

Coast of a thousand bays

The residential settlement Zolotoye (saying more precisely it’s a village) is the tiny and little known inhabited locality situated on the shore of Kazantip Gulf of the Sea of Azov, 30 km from Kerch. Just 120 people inhabit its six streets.

Zolotoye is the nearest populated locality on the way to the General’skiye Beaches and it makes the settlement especially attractive for tourists. The General’skiye Beaches stretch for 26 km and consist of a cavalcade of small-size rocky bays — it is not by chance that this place is called the coast of a thousand bays. That’s a real paradise for people, who dream to enjoy only a sea and nature far from people and civilization. Some of harbors possess sandy shores, whose color is golden. Other ones combine sandy shores and rock ledges. There are also completely cliffy bays or so tightly closed in by rocks and ledges that it’s impossible to reach them. Anyway, the Zolotoye settlement is located at the coast line and though its pebbled-sandy beach is not as exquisitely beautiful as the General’skiye ones are, but tourists can relax their mind in this beautiful corner of nature. The sea zone is shoal here and it has a sloping bottom, as well as almost all the shore area of the Sea of Azov has the same terrain.

How can you reach?

The shuttle bus № 75 Kerch — Nizhnezamorskoye comes from Kerch to the Zolotoye village. Get off at the next-to-last bus stop near Zolotoye.

The distance is 40 km. There are 6 kilometers from Kurortnoye to the General’skiye Beaches, which can be covered by hitchhiking or resorting to the assistance of local citizens.

Near Kara-Dag

The Kurortnoye village is situated at the South-Eastern shore of Crimea, right at the foot of Kara-Dag. The nearest populated localities are Koktebel — 15 km, Sudak — 27 km and Feodosiya — 30 km.

In beauty of landscapes, it can be considered one of the best places of Eastern Crimea: the rocks of the Karadagskiy mountain range are quite near on the left side, the Cape of Meganome can be seen far in the sea on the right side, fanciful Medovaya Mountain rises in the settlement and if you want to go for a walk in the Lisiya Bay (it’s an hour’s walk, though tourists will have to go through mountain trails to reach the place), then you can enjoy the views of great Echki-Dag.

Kurortnoye possesses pebble beaches and of course, they are free of charge. In summer, the local beaches attract crowds of people, but in comparison with neighboring Koktebel, they are very spacious even at the peak of the season. There is the biological research center of Kara-Dag, built in 1907, and oldest dolphinarium of Crimea in Kurortnoye. Tourists may also go on excursion to Kara-Dag or take a boat trip along the extinct volcano. And you should definitely visit the local chebureks-house, which is located at the embankment. Many people say that such tasty chebureks can’t be offered to clients by any Crimean resort.

How can you reach?

The bus № 101 Feodosiya — Biological research center regularly comes from the city bus station of Feodosiya (not to be confused with the interurban station) to Kurortnoye. The route passes through Koktebel to Schebetovka. The travel time to Kurortnoye is under an hour.

Lighthouse and pink lake

If you want to see an uninhabited island, then you should go to Yakovenkovo, which is a tiny settlement, located at the shore of the Black Sea 45 km south of Kerch. (The distance from Simferopol to Yakovenkovo is 200 km and from Feodosiya is 110 km). Here, renting a dwelling, you won’t have the Internet access, but you will be able to see sandy beaches instead of it, which are considered to be almost the most uninhabited beaches in whole Crimea, and clear sea water, besides of it, dolphins swim here in the mornings. Apart from privacy, this place is also attractive because of the Opukskiy Nature Reserve, located five kilometers from the village, and Koyashskoye Salt Lake. Depending on the season, the color of the sea surface changes from pale pink to deep red.

The Skaly Korabli located in the sea can be seen from the shore — it’s a stone range, whose shapes look like silhouettes of sailboats. The highest cliff rises 20 meters up. These rocks are always full of seagulls and gannets. The same-named lighthouse, which was built in 1875 and still functions now, rises above the Cape of Kyz-Aul. Its eight-canted white tower with black stripes on it goes 30 meters up in the skies. Tourists can also go on foot from Yakovenkovo to the lighthouse of Kyz-Aul. The lighthouse’s territory is for authorized personnel only, but the facility is available for watching from outside.

How can you reach?

The shuttle bus № 67 Kerch — Zavetnoye comes from the bus station of Kerch.

The bus route reaches Yakovenkovo twice a week on Fridays and Sundays: one bus comes early in the morning and the other one comes in the afternoon.

As the result, it’s rather difficult to get to these places without having a car — there is a reason it’s called the lost world.

West

Red cape and dark blue lavender

A small village called Andreyevka is located within one of the most picturesque zones of the South-Western coast of the Crimean peninsula near the beautiful Cape of Lukull. The settlement is 20 km from Sevastopol and 60 km from Simferopol. The local sea area is amazingly clear — the cape is bended around by several streams, which purify the harbor from any pollutions. The local climate is wonderful — it’s usually compared with the Mediterranean one. To come down to the sea from the village, you will have to go through the thickets of conifers and juniper — just imagine the air and aroma inside of this place. Palm trees, rhododendrons, magnolias grow along the embankment. The Cape of Lukull offers amazing views of the Western and Southern shore of the peninsula.

In itself, the cape is very picturesque: its sheer walls, plunging down from the height of 15 meters, formed of red clay. In summer, fragrant lavender fields bloom near the village. Of course, tourists will not be disappointed by the local beaches — they are mainly pebble, though there are sandy ones, which are rather wide.

How can you reach?

The public transport bus № 42 regularly comes from Zakharov Square from Sevastopol to Andreyevka. The travel time is 30 minutes.

Buses from the “Zapadnaya” bus station from Simferopol head that direction too, but there are just 3-5 bus routes, it depends on a season, thus you should know departure time beforehand. The time travel is an hour and half.

South

Within the juniper thickets

The Kanaka resort is located 40 kilometers from Alushta and 37 kilometers from Sudak on the Southern Shore of Crimea (SSC — editorial note) — it’s one of the most peaceful and secluded places of the SSC. The Kanaka Gulch is famous for its relict juniperic grove, thanks to which the air is always clean here. There is a sandy-pebble beach, whose length is 2 kilometers and width is 20-25 meters. It’s very nice for the Southern Shore of Crimea and the beach is very spacious even during a peak of a tourist season. The local sea zone is very clear — it is rather obvious, as it’s located far from towns (the Rybachiye village, which is situated approximately 5 km, is the nearest inhabited locality). The major sightseeing attraction of Kanaka is the grove of hundreds of old trees of juniper and pistachio. Their average age is 250 and some of them exist about 400-700 years!

It’s a real heaven for the people, who like trekking in forests and mountains — the whole eastern slope of adjoining Yan-Turu Mountain is planted with Crimean pines. You can go on excursion to the Khapkhal Ravine to the Djur-Djur (it’s 25 km from the village) or to the Panagiya Ravine (you will have to walk 30 km to reach it) from this place. It’s an interesting fact that Kanaka is the only populated locality, which is built up only with guest houses, mini hotels and cottages.

Vacation in Kanaka can be very budget-friendly. Guest house and mini-hotel density within this resort is very high, thus supply usually exceeds the demand.

However, due to the distance of resort from the civilization, prices of the local market are overvalued 1,5-2 times. We advise tourists to think about all required things in advance, especially about meds — there is no a pharmacy here.

How can you reach?

The public transport doesn’t come to Kanaka. Thus, you will have to go from Simferopol to Rybachiye and then get a taxi.

Tourists can also arrive in Alushta, after they will have to board on a bus to Privetnoye and get off at the “Kanakskoye Gulch” bus stop.

The resort is located 2 kilometers from the bus stop: you can overcome the distance on foot or by hitchhiking.

P.S.

Of course, it’s much easier to reach these sightseeing attractions by car using a navigator. Nevertheless, if you don’t have such an opportunity, then you will have to recruit your willpower — you can travel by bus or hitchhiking or go on foot. Any way you like! You should definitely see these places, you won’t regret it!