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'''Crimea''' is a region in the south of [[Ukraine]]. The '''Crimean Peninsula''' is connected to the rest of
*The '''Coastal Beach Cities''' -- The Coastal beach cities are very hospitable to tourists (if you speak Russian). Accommodation is plentiful and prices range widely, depending on location and
*The '''Coastal Mountains''' -- The mountain area that stretches from the coast to about 70 km inland contains some very pristine untouched nature. The mountains are formed by ragged limestone that has been shaped into high peaks with canyons, cliffs and valleys transecting them in all directions. Expect a great adventure if you want to go hiking here, but also expect to rough it. Camping sites are few and far between so you'll probably have to just find one of the many secluded fields to camp in. The area has numerous caves as well as small lakes. There are almost no marked trails
*[[Bakhchisaray]] -- Located in a canyon between Simferopol and [[Sevastopol]], this town has a wealth of interesting sites to see including the Crimean Tatar Khan's palace, the cave city and the Armenian monastery that is built in a cave.
*[[Balaklava]] - famous for the Crimea war of the
*[[Feodosiya]] -- Feodosiya is located 100km to the east of Simferopol. From the outskirts it looks like an urban industrial disaster but once past the factories it has a very nice old town. Very similar to [[Odessa]] in architecture but just on a smaller scale. Home to the Ayvazovsky Picture Gallery.
*[[Kerch]] -- Your last stop before reaching the eastern edge of the Crimea and heading across the straits into Russia
*[[Koktebel]] -- Located between Feodosiya and [[Sudak]], this small town has a great beach area that has a carnival type environment. It sits below a spectacular wilderness area to the west that regrettably you can only visit on a guided tour.
You may contact them by email at [email protected] although the best way to receive a response to your email will be to send it in Russian. The archive is open from 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. Individual access to much of the archive is not permitted, although for 30 USD you can pay someone to who works in the archive to do the work for you. Nobody in the archive speaks English so either be prepared to speak Russian or bring along a translator.
The archive is located at No. 3 Keckemetckaj, which is the main street running directly east from the train station in [[Simferopol]](about 1 km).
The archives and its staff are not accustomed to foreigners so be prepared to explain to the guard at the front desk what it is you want to do.
The Lutheran Church in [[Simferopol]] supposedly has a list going back to the early
The city of [[Feodosiya]] has a Jewish Community Center that is very active in doing research on the Jewish community of Crimea. You may contact them at [email protected], they can communicate in basic English (so you can send the email in English) but more than likely the response back will be in Russian.
In Crimea, Russian is the universal language of communication
Memorize your phrase book as you most likely will
Few people speak or understand English.
There are overnight trains running to Crimea from throughout the Ukraine. The cost will vary based upon where you will be leaving from, but from the Slovak border to cost is about
If you travel by overnight sleeper train it is quite comfortable, cheap and the quality is OK. Just the average travelling speed of trains is slow in Ukraine in general (about
There are flights to '''[[Simferopol]]''' from '''Kyiv''', Lviv, Moscow, Istanbul, and many western European cities, including Frankfurt, Tallinn and Riga.
You can get anywhere in Crimea by mini bus. You can also go by taxi. Prices vary; be prepared to haggle a fare as you will always find someone to do a deal with. Many private citizens also work as pseudo taxi drivers; sometimes it is difficult to tell. Taxis range from modern comfortable cars to 1950s gas powered Soviet cars!
Frequently while traveling in the country if you look like a foreigner (for example with a backpack) and you are standing on what passes as a 'major' road people will stop and ask if you want a ride ... for a price. Fortunately that price usually amounts to only a few USD to go some very long distances.
The road system in Crimea, as well as most of the Ukraine, is in very poor repair; expect huge potholes. There is a very strict zero policy to drinking & driving. Police patrols are frequent as well as roadside checks for documents. The death toll on Ukraine's roads is very bad, you have been warned.
[[Image:khans_palace.JPG|thumb|The Khan's palace]]
*'''The Khan's Palace''' -- The Khan's palace is
*'''Chufut Kale Cave City''' -- An hour and a half walk up a beautiful canyon from the town of [[Bahkchisaray]] you will find the '''Chufut Kale''' cave town dating back to the 6th century. It is located high up in the cliffs so the walk is a bit strenuous but not overwhelming. It is a city of what appears to have been several thousand people who built/dug their homes into the limestone rock. The city was abandoned in the 19th century. There are some other Cave cities (about 14), completely different as far as size and picturesqueness concerned
*The '''Bolshoi (Big) Canyon''' -- The Bolshoi Canyon is
*'''Caves''' There are three caves equiped for easy access: Krasnaya, Mramornaya, Emine-Bayır-Hosar. And there are a lot of not equiped caves atractive for speleologists.
*'''Hiking''' in Crimea is wonderful. There are very few other backpackers and almost no clearly marked trails (as in posted signs) so you're going to be roughing it. The trails themselves though appear to be well used. In the mountainous region though you can pretty much pick any two small towns and hike between them and be assured of an adventure. Campsites are few and far between but there is lots of open space for camping, be environmentally sensitive of course about the place you choose to camp. For a brief description of a hike see [[Bahkchisaraj]]
*<do name="Koktebel Jazz Festival" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Takes place each year in September, with some of the acts performing on the nude beach. </do>
Try the regional sparkling wine, produced at Noviy Svet (Russian: Новый Свет, "New Light"), near [[Sudak]]. It's labeled "Шампанское" ("Shampanskoye", champagne). It's very good. Try to buy it somewhere reputable, though, because there are knock-offs. Noviy Svet is a very beautiful spot; you can tour the caverns where the wine is aged.
If you're not going anywhere else in Russia and Ukraine, try kvass (Russian: квас).
It's a very refreshing non-alcoholic drink made of fermented wheat, the traditional drink of farmworkers in the bread-basket of Ukraine, prized for its restorative properties.
Automobiles will be the biggest hazard to your safety in Crimea. Drivers tend to stick to speed limits as there are many militsyia (police) but the road surfaces are poor which leads to some unsafe overtaking, even on the curvy coast and mountain roads. Pedestrians cross roads at their own peril. Be particularly careful if a car has stopped for you at a marked crosswalk; check around the car before you venture past it farther into the crosswalk, because another very well may swing around it and go right through... right where you would be walking. Most cars ignore pedestrians!
Crimea does not have a major problem with crime. However, foreigners are at risk of being robbed if they are not careful about flashing wealth, except in Yalta during the summer which is filled with rich Russians. Foreigners should not hitchhike or take unmarked cabs unless they are travelling in a group. The safest way for a foreigner to travel alone is to take a bus or a ''marshrutka'' (a microbus that follows the regular bus routes).
The countryside, which is extremely poor, is very safe. You are more likely to get kicked by a wandering horse than robbed. Crimeans on the whole are very polite, except when lining up for a bus or service at a shop when pushing to the front has been perfected into an art form. Standing in line is not an option!
There are plenty of
The teenagers in Ukraine (outside of Kyiv) appear to be some of the best behaved.