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Crimea Tours

Aristocratic Yalta, Queen of the Velvet Season

Memorial Hill ViewYalta is more aristocratic and standoffh than its South Coast's neighbour Alushta. It is the Crimea's most renowned
city and, undoubtedly, one of the world's most spectacular cities. It is a century and a half ago that Yalta became one of the most popular and fashionable resorts. Since the imperial family chose Livadia as their summer residence  in the mid 19th century, Yalta became not just a fashionable, but prestigious resort.  It was affordable only for wealthy enough people.
The location of the city is just fabulous. It nestles at the sea shore in a deep depression between the valleys of two rivers, the Dereka and the Uchan-Su, sharing the same latitude with Genoa and Nervi. According to the advertising brochure issued by Yalta Town Council in 1910, Yalta "sreads as an amphitheatre over the mountain slopes and hills facing the south, the warm sea which never freezes. On the east, north and west, the city is edged by the Yaila high ridge covered with age-old pine and beech forests, and this fortunate location accounts for Yalta's excellent climatic conditions, due to which Yalta, by right, ranks above all the other world's climatic health resorts.»
This has been true up to now. As far back as 1899, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov wrote about Yalta: «I have got some bad recollections of this city that I have known since long time ago, but I should be unprejudiced and judge fairly. Yalta is better than Nice... The Crimea's coast is beautiful and cozv and I like it better than Nice».
Here, in the centre of the Crimea's South Coast, the Most High created harmony which contributes to your revitalization, brings joy and peace to your mind. The vast majestic amphitheatre of the forested mountains shields the city from cold winds as if with huge hands and that is why, the climate here is as salubrious as that in the well-known Mediterranean resorts of Spain, Italy, France.
Here, no exhausting heat will tire you, as on summer days the air is refreshed by sea breezes, and at night the coast is chilled by mountain soft winds scented with herbs and woods. Yalta's annual air temperature averages + 13 C, in winter the thermometer is never below +4°C, and July`s temperature is +28 C. Snow falls rarely, and if it does, most likely, it just wants to have a look at the holiday-makers. But on Mount Ai-Petri, winter can stay on even in March. So, having enjoyed skiing down the slopes, on descending you will be again amid blossoming flowers and the way, Yalta is the only sea port in th Coast that provides a good shelter for vessels in the storm.
A warm sea, a mix of the healing air of mountain forests and the air of the sea, most beautiful landscapes that none of the renowned resorts can boast of, these are the main therapeutic factors that invigorate people.
Bathing season starts in early June and lasts till mid October. Autumn days, when the sea is still warm and the sun is already not that hot, are particularly charming. And, though Yalta is lovely in its own way in any season of the year, its best time of the year is autumn, the "velvet season".


But it is only its sanatoria that Greater Yalta exending over 70 kilometers, from Mount Ayu-Dag in the east to Cape Sarych in the west, is noted for. It encloses cozy resort settlements, the most known of wich are as follows - Gurzuf, Nikita, Livadia, Oreanda, Koreiz, Miskhor, Alupka, Mukhalatka, Simeiz, Foros, Melas.
The local scenery is fascinating: an amazing coastline, monumental mountain peaks, exotic landscapes, shady parks, most beautiful waterfalls on mountain rivers, cliffs towering above the sea. A clear balmy air smelling of sea, seaside parks and mountain forests and meadows, magnificent palace . ark ensembles of Massandra, Gurzuf, Oreanda, Livadia, Gaspra, Koreiz, Alupka, etc. Captivating with their elegant style and unmatched appearance are the marvelous Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, romantic Swallow's Nest, museums, vineyards and orchards, Miskhor - Ai-Petri cable road. This list can be extended. The mere word Yalta brings to mind delightful memories. But, it would be better to see Yalta, at least once, with your own eyes, to experience its attraction and then to fall in love with this fascinating and amazing city situated on the shore of a beaming sea and to come back again and again. And renowned Massandra wines, the collection of which includes several hundred thousand bottles, are not to be missed either! South Coast and the whole Crimea alike has got a feature: once you visited it, you are sure to come back here again and again...

Sergey Tsarapora private guide