Jutting from the northern coast of the Black Sea ( See the Black Sea map), it is connected to the Ukrainian mainland by the 3-4 mile (5-6.5 km) wide Isthmus of Perekop. The size of the peninsula is 150 miles (240 km) at its widest point from east to west and 100 miles from north to south.
The Black Sea Map.Source: http://www.mytravelguide.com/g/maps/Black-Sea-map.gif
Crimea attracts visitors by its diversity and constant change of scenery. Northern and central part of the Crimean Peninsula is plain steppe. While the Crimean Mountains run three ridges from Sevastopol to Feodosia along the southern coast of the peninsula.
Those mountains protect about a 2 miles ( 3 km) wide strip of the Black Sea coast from the strong winds, making a subtropical paradise of beaches, orchards, vineyards and gardens.
You can usually swim in the Black Sea from the early May to the mid October. Every day water temperatures at the most popular Crimean Black Sea resorts you will find at meteoprog.com (in Russian).
A good idea of Crimea’s climate you can get at www.bbc.co.uk. According to BBC the average amount of sun shine hours per year for Simferoplol is about 2490 (comparing to 1440 hours in London, 1770 in Paris, 2160 in Varna, 2400 in Barcelona, 2490 in Naples).
Crimean Peninsula is famous for its low level of humidity (about 65-70% average). You can easily breath even when it is hot.
I know you will appreciate it if you adore swimming and diving like I do.
The Crimean Peninsula has more than 500 km ( 300 mi) of beaches. Most of them are made of small pebbles. But there are “soft” beaches with gray volcanic sand at Sudak / Feodosia area in the east and with golden sand at Yevpatoria area in the west.
Crimea has plenty to offer for those who enjoy hanging out at crowded beaches. If you are this kind of person, you’d probably enjoy spending a couple days at each of well-known resort cities: Yalta, Alushta, Sudak, Feodosia, Sevastopol, Yevpatoriya, Saki, and Koktebel. For very sociable people they are the best places in Crimea to see.
If you'd like to stay close to the big towns but still prefer less people around , you have a lot of choices, too. There are nice beaches and opportunity to have a good rest at Gurzuf, Partenit, Malorechenskoe, Simeiz, Foros, Livadia , Novy Svet, and Ribachie.
For those who don't belong to people who like to lie all day on the beach playing cards or eating, the Crimean Peninsula has something to offer, too. Unlike many world wide famous resorts Crimea has hundreds of kilometers of undeveloped coastal areas.
One of them is Cape Tarkhankut - the westernmost point of the Crimean peninsula. Its treeless rolling steppe reaches to the Black Sea and then drops straight down a hundred meters or so to the water. There are a lot of romantic “pocket beaches”, opportunities for diving, wind surfing, water skiing, and underwater archeology over there.
More about Crimean beaches is coming.
Warm climate, incredible varied relief, clear water of the Black Sea provide opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities.
For your adventure vacation in Crimea you can chose hiking, cycling, and mountain bike tours. Everybody from 8 to 80 years old can find his own route of any complicity on Crimean Peninsula.
Pictorial and rocky Black Sea bays are ideal for scuba diving. Underwater cliffs, stone gardens, caves, grottos, ancient ruins, sunken ships (including the Russian Imperial Family yacht) await divers.
Rock climbing has always been the most popular sport in Crimea. Stable weather conditions and warm limestone Crimean rocks allow you to climb from April till November. Climbing routes are available from the simplest to extreme.
A lot of Ukrainian travel agencies that specializing in outdoor recreation are available to organize more “exotic” kinds of outdoor activity which include: yachting, windsurfing, spelaeology, horse riding, gliding, hang-gliding, sight-seeing in helicopters. The Crimean Peninsula offers you a lot of options to choose.
You'll find information about different kinds of outdoor activities added as I build this website.
More about outdoor recreation in Crimea is coming.
The Crimean Peninsula is famous for its wines. 290 frost-free days allow the grapes to be harvested ripe and some overripe which adds natural sweetness to the wine. Wine making in Crimea counts many centuries of history and traditions. Crimean wines are highly valued all over the world. They are bright, mildly ardent and fragrant.
There are many wine producers in Crimea - Massandra, Magarach, Inkerman, Novy Svet, Koktebel, Sudak, ets. They produce a wide range of wines. The oldest and the most famous of them is Massandra. Don’t miss an excursion to Massandra to see the largest wine collection (about a million bottles) on the globe and enjoy superb wine tasting at the famous Alupka Wine Tasting Hall. You will have an opportunity to try 8 samples of Massandra’s wines and to feel the romantic atmosphere of the wine tasting ceremony.
Crimean wines are the many time winners at the prestigious international competitions, auctions and shows which were judged by a distinguished panel of experts. Here is one example only from the Sotheby’s auction
"…was the Massandra Collection offered within the sale of Finest and Rarest Wines in London on October 17, 2001 which featured a bottle of Sherry from 1775. One of the few surviving bottles in the world and sold by permission of the President of Ukraine, it set a new world record when it sold to a private collector for $46,140 (£31,900)."
Now, when we have general idea about Crimea’s attractions, let’s figure out how and where to find all these places of the Crimean Peninsula. This information is located at The Black Sea cities and tourist areas page.
If you are planning a trip to Crimea and need help take advantage of knowledge, humor, and an insider's view of Eugene Snezhkin and his personal escorted tour service. Check my recommendation.