The Crimean coast lies on the far side of the Black Sea from Turkey. Stunning mountain scenery, warm sea and a long season of summer sunshine have made the Crimean coastline the riviera for Ukrainians and Russians since the time of the tsars.
The russian and ukrainian name for Crimea is Krym - pronounced like `cream' with a rolled letter `r'. And it really is the cream as a holiday destination.
Steeped in history, Crimea is a fascinating region to explore, as well as a great place to relax. Across the centuries it has attracted settlers such as the Greeks, the Venetians and the Genoese - all of whom founded cities along the coast and inter-married with the local people. The western terminus of the Great Silk Road was on the Crimean coast. After a long period as part of the Byzantine empire, it was overrun by Chingiz Khan's Golden Horde and remained a Tatar Khanate until annexed by Imperial Russia in the eighteenth century. This rich history is still alive today in its fabulous palaces and historic sites, and in the culture and way of life of today's Crimean people.
Now an autonomous republic within Ukraine, Crimea is busy re-inventing itself after the ending of the old soviet union. Private enterprise is flourishing and well-stocked shops and good restaurants are the norm. Transport and accommodation are cheaper than the mediterranean resorts but the weather is better and the sightseeing amazing!
Visitors from western europe and further afield are welcomed in a country which has opened its doors to foreign tourists by reducing visa requirements to a minimum.
Whether you want wine-tasting or scuba diving, mountains or sea, to visit the Byzantine ruins of Khersoness, or the fabulous Livadia Palace near Yalta, home of the last of the Russian Tsars - or if you just want to relax on the beach and then while away a warm summer evening in a gourmet restaurant, Crimea has something for you.