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Yalta

N 4429.665', E 349.678'
2013-05-01
http://www.toyalta.com/
Our rating: 7.80
Overall rating:

Yalta is the main resort of Ukraine. Together with nearby towns it forms the Big Yalta, a special administrative unit, the territory of which stretches 70 kilometers along the Black Sea from mount Ayu-Dag to Foros. Because of the sea and the mountains, the climate here is very different from the climate in the rest of Ukraine. It is more similar to the Mediterranean and flora and fauna is similar to that of subtropics.

Since the mid-19th century, rest in Yalta was considered aristocratic. This is a fairly young city: in 1838, when it became a town, only 130 inhabitants lived here. Growth and attractiveness of Yalta as a resort began after the end of the Crimean War, from the 1860s. By the end of the 19th century Yalta became a luxury resort and the nearest suburb Livadia became the southern residence of the royal family. In the days of the Soviet Union hundreds of sanatoriums and health resorts were built in Big Yalta. Many of them are unique palace and park complexes.

Reading the numerous forums and comments of Russians and Ukrainians, I can always find the word "sovok". This word means "Soviet style of life". I believe that those who write that either never visited Crimea or simply don't know how to relax. It all depends on your mood. Don't try to find the "sovok", and "sovok" will not find you.

Before the trip, we have been chosing the hotel for a long time: they are expensive in Yalta and not many rooms were available because of the May holidays. Some hotels put crazy prices but still have enough visitors. For example, Villa Elena or Oreanda with the cheapest accommodation for 4000-5000 UAH ($500 - $600).

Villa Elena Hotel
Villa Elena Hotel Yuriy Buriak

For comparison, price at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, the construction cost of which is $6.4 billion, is $400 per night! The same prices are in gold hotel Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, with construction cost of $3 billion. It's a mystery to me how elite hotels of Yalta generate such prices. 

We found a hotel called Crimea, which is located on the waterfront in the center of Yalta (booking.com). This is an old 100-year-old building. But at the same time we paid just 500 UAH per day ($60) for a suite. The suite has two rooms, two balconies and sea/waterfront view. The building has a good canteen (in Soviet style, by the way) where we ate every day. Also McDonald's is in 10 meters. All minibuses to the attractions stop in 100 meters from the hotel. We were very pleased, almost no bad comments, except for the noise. The hotel could replace the windows, as it was noisy until 10-11 pm because of concerts on the waterfront.

We lived in a room on the third floor with views of the waterfront.
We lived in a room on the third floor with views of the waterfront. Yuriy Buriak


Hotel Crimea room
Hotel Crimea room Yuriy Buriak


Hotel Crimea room (second room)
Hotel Crimea room (second room) Yuriy Buriak


View from our room in the Crimea Hotel
View from our room in the Crimea Hotel Yuriy Buriak

There are many other cheaper types of rooms in the same hotel. But don't book them, book only a suite or better.

In general, Yalta is an ordinary resort city, which is ideal to stop if you don't plan to spend much time on the beaches (city beaches are too small and dirty). If you want to relax on the beach without crowds, it is best to go to an elite area of ​​the Massandra beach (~$19 per person). Other beaches are also not free, but the entrance fee is much lower.

It is very comfortable to reach all sights from Yalta. Taxis, buses and trolleybuses from the central market can take take you to any attraction. There are no remarkable sights in the city, except for the waterfront, the sea and great landscapes. Probably the city cable car will be interesting to tourists. It is quite unusual, just look at the pictures. This cable car appeared in the Soviet movie Assa.

Yalta cable car
Yalta cable car Yuriy Buriak


Yalta cable car
Yalta cable car Yuriy Buriak

And of course the granite waterfront of Yalta, which is the most popular place in the city and where almost all tourists spend time.

Yalta waterfront
Yalta waterfront V.S. Biletskiy / wikipedia.org


Yalta waterfront
Yalta waterfront Yuriy Buriak


Tourist information center
Tourist information center Yuriy Buriak


Yalta waterfront
Yalta waterfront Yuriy Buriak


On Yalta waterfront
On Yalta waterfront Yuriy Buriak


Fountain with foam on Yalta waterfront
Fountain with foam on Yalta waterfront Yuriy Buriak

To sum up, we can say that Yalta is an ideal city to visit Crimea from mid-October to mid-May, i.e. not in high season. And if you don't plan to spend much time on the beach, then come here any time, since the infrastructure is the best.

View from the cable car
View from the cable car Yuriy Buriak


Some old houses in Yalta
Some old houses in Yalta Yuriy Buriak


St. Alexander Nevsky athedral
St. Alexander Nevsky athedral Yuriy Buriak


Crimea hotel
Crimea hotel Yuriy Buriak


Monument to a bribe-taking Mayor
Monument to a bribe-taking Mayor Yuriy Buriak


Interesting clock on Yalta waterfront
Interesting clock on Yalta waterfront Yuriy Buriak


Yuriy Buriak


Yalta
Yalta Yuriy Buriak


View from the cable car
View from the cable car Yuriy Buriak


Street behind the Crimea Hotel
Street behind the Crimea Hotel Yuriy Buriak


View from the cable car
View from the cable car Yuriy Buriak


View from the cable car
View from the cable car Yuriy Buriak


Apelsin (Orange) entertainment center
Apelsin (Orange) entertainment center Yuriy Buriak


View from the top station of the cable car
View from the top station of the cable car Yuriy Buriak


View of Yalta
View of Yalta Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: You can go by Crimean trolleybus from the train station in Simferopol, it'll be a very cheap and eco-friendly trip. Buses from Simferopol go every 10-15 minutes, from Sevastopol every 30-40 minutes. Taxi between Simferopol and Yalta costs about 400 UAH ($50).

Tags, Ukraine: city, mountains, sea, ski lift

Tags, all countries: city, mountains, sea, ski lift
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