Tourism potential of the Autonomous Republic
During the last years the Crimea takes up one of the leading places in tourism business of Ukraine: as for excursionists servicing - the first rating place, as for the foreign tourists, also a volume of the provided tourism services – the second one. Annually about 5 million people visit the Crimea in order to have a rest and get medical treatment.
Geographical position of the Crimea, its neighborhood to Russia, Asia and Southern Europe countries makes it possible to develop transportation network. Mainly tourists arrive by railway or by cars and buses. Also we have two international airports which can receive regular and charter flights. Seaports of Yalta, Sevastopol, Yevpatoria, Feodosia, Kerch connect the peninsula with southern part of Ukraine as well as with Russia, Georgia, Turkey and Mediterranean countries. Located at the same latitude as Southern France and Northern Italy the Crimea has Mediterranean-type climate with plenty of sunshine. The average temperature in winter is - 1 - +4° С, in summer - +24° С. And we have 225 sunny days per year.
There are about 11,500 monuments of history, culture and architecture related to different historic epochs, civilizations, nations and religions. The most prominent, for instance, complex of cave towns and monasteries, Genoese fortresses, palaces and parks, are used for the purpose of tourism. Six state reserves, 33 wildlife preserves, 87 monuments of nature, 10 nature preserves make together the nature resources of the Crimean Autonomy.
We have about 150 world-wide known archaeological objects of different epochs; some of them are included to UNESCO catalogues and make it possible to make professional archeological excavations. The most popular objects are Chersones, Kara-Tobe and Genoese fortresses, taurian burial grounds.
Due to its location, ecology and history the Crimea had been known as a crossroad of different tribes, civilizations and cultures. Its air itself seems to be saturated with legends of Olympic gods of Greece, Amazons, Cimmerians, Taurians and Scythians who came here from Asia to remain for almost thousand years. For more than 3 centuries the Crimea was a part of the Ottoman Empire.
The Crimean travel companies work out tours devoted to culture, traditions and nations’ way of life, settled in the Crimea, carry out historical festivals and holidays. Now most popular among foreign tourists are the tours devoted to the Emperor dynasty of Romanovs in the Crimea, the Crimean war of 1854-1855, Yalta conference of Allied Power in 1945, etc.
More than 100 nations and nationalities represent the Crimean population and this makes all necessary preconditions for cultural and ethnographic tourism development. The ethnographic museum is functioning in Simferopol. The Crimean Tatars, Germans, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians and other ethnic groups create their own centers and introduce the tourists to the history and traditions of people living in the Crimea.
The Crimea has about 1,500 caves, 4 of them are opened to the visitors. The Red cave, the Marble cave, Emyne-Bair-Khossar, Tryochglazka (Three-Eyed) invite tourists to watch their galleries, corridors and underground lakes.
Recently the Crimea became popular for hunting and fishing. Forest area occupies 274,3 hectares, 26% of them is a preserved zone. Tourists-hunters from Italy, Germany, France hunt for game bird, deer, hare and wild boar while the fishermen come here for trout, carp and sea fish.
To those who are not satisfied with just sightseeing the Crimea offers some dynamic activities. It could be hiking or rock climbing to the Crimean mountain peaks, horse-riding or jeep saphari, diving, paragliding and extreme tours depending on your wish and taste.
For about two hundred years the Crimea is known as a science center. Nikitsky Botanical Garden shows collection of fruit and decorative plants, organizes tasting of exotic fruit. Institute for Grapes and Winery “Magarach” discovered the unique methods of wine therapy and prepared excursions about the history of wine making.
Institute for the Sea Biology in Sevastopol shows rich collection of exotic fish and sea animals. Tourists can visit dolphin shows in Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta, Evpatoria. Methods of dolphin therapy worked out for disabled children were recognized by specialists. Essential oils are very popular in the Crimea and are proposed for tourists as souvenirs.
The Crimean wine trade marks like “Massandra”, “Magarach”, “Novy Svet”, “Dionis”, “Koktebel” and others are world-wide known. All wineries make tasting, wine tours and excursions to their famous cellars.
The Crimea is famous as a health center. Besides this tourism segment is based on usage of mineral waters, curative mud, beaches, climatic and landscape resources, sea and mountain air etc.
Due to its seaside location the Crimea became popular for cruise tourists. Seaports of Yalta and Sevastopol are visited by ships of such famous cruise companies as “P&O”, “Silver Cruises”, “Royal Olympic”, etc. Tourists enjoy special packages: history and culture trips, folk shows, wine tasting.
There are 5 yacht clubs in the Crimea now in Balaklava, Yevpatoria, Feodosia, Kerch.
One of the perspective trends is a development of car tourism. The number of car tourists per year increases and we offer them such facilities as motels, campings, car parking, gas stations and service centers as well as rent-a-car service.
The Crimea is famous for its traditional festivals. These are classical music, theatrical art and cinema festivals and forums. Fireworks Festival in Yalta, Historical Fencing Festival “Genoa Helmet” in Sudak and Aeronautics Festival in Feodosiya, musical festivals "Kazantip" in Popovka village (Evpatoria), "Jazz Koktebel" are the most popular ones.