17kms from Yalta in the Crimea is the resort town of Alupka. Famous as a beach resort and a favourite holiday destination for many citizens of the former Soviet countries. Alupka is also where the Vorontsov Estate is be found. Alupka can be reached by taking a mini bus number 26 or 27 from Yalta.
Constructed between 1828 and 1848 as the home of Mikhail Semenovich Vorontsov Field Marshall of the Russian army, and hero of the Napoleonic wars and Governor-General of the Novorossiisk region. Vorontsov spent a vast fortune on this palace, employing the skills of english architect Edward Bloor, who is best known for his work on Buckingham Palace in England. As Vorontsov was brought up in england as his father was the Russian Ambassador, he loved most things english.
As a result the palace is a mixture of Scottish Manor house with Moorish traditions taken from the 14th-century Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. The palace has outstanding views across the Black Sea and is overlooked by the mountains and Ai-Petri (St Peter) in particular.
At 1234 metres Ai-Petri overlooks the city of Yalta. Ai-Petri is reached by one of the longest cable car rides in Europe at 3 kilometres and spilt in two parts, the journey offers spectacular views of the Crimean coast. At the top you will be greeted by the local Tartar inhabitants who live here. Cafe's, souvenier stalls and the chance to ride a Tartar horse are on offer. To reach the highest peak you will need some stout shoes as their are no real paths over the rough rocks and through the trees, but the effort is worth it.