Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine

With its pleasant climate, Yalta is the most popular holiday destination on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea. Nowhere else in Crimea can you find so many sights so concentrated - from magnificent castles and enchanting churches to picturesque bays and waterfalls.

The Ukrainian city of Yalta is the tourist centre on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea. Its pleasant climate, which can be compared to the Côte d'Azur in France or the beaches of Croatia, makes Yalta a lively holiday resort, especially in the summer months.


As early as the 19th century, the Russian high nobility appreciated the excellent climate and the sensational landscape around Yalta, and so some of the most beautiful palaces of the tsars were built around Yalta. The former fishing village soon developed into one of the much-visited Crimean health resorts. The first-class sanatoriums attracted many spa guests to the "Pearl of the Crimea", then as now.

Yalta does not have its own airport and is unfortunately not connected to the Ukrainian railway network, but can only be reached from Simferopol by trolley bus on the longest trolley bus line in the world. The journey is over the picturesque Crimean Mountains and offers some unforgettable views of the Black Sea.

Yalta Harbour Promenade

Yalta may not have the dreamy beaches of other Crimean resorts, but the city's palm-lined harbour promenade is at least as worth seeing. From the Lenin Monument, visible from afar, the promenade invites you to take a leisurely stroll along the Black Sea. There are numerous cafés and bistros where you can relax against the backdrop of the Crimean Mountains and watch the sleek yachts in the harbour of Yalta. Some hotels and sanatoriums are located directly on the narrow pebble beach, which is then only accessible to guests.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is one of the most important churches in the region. It was built between 1891 and 1902 by Nikolai Krasnov, who later also built the Livadiya Palace. On 5 December 1902, the typically Russian church with its yellow and white decorated façade and golden onion domes was consecrated to the Russian national saint Alexander Nevsky under Tsar Nicholas II. The cathedral was also built in memory of Tsar Alexander II, who fell victim to an assassination attempt in 1881.

Armenian Church

The Armenian church in Yalta on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine, impresses with its detailed stone façade - © Travelpleb CC0 1.0/Wiki
© Travelpleb CC0 1.0/Wiki

The Armenian Church in Yalta is only a 10-minute walk from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and overlooks Yalta from a small hill. Built between 1909 and 1919, the church is worth seeing mainly for its detailed architecture and offers a magnificent view over Yalta.

Chekhov Museum

In Ulitsa Kirova is the Chekhov Museum, which shows the life and work of the Russian writer Anton Chekhov. His former home, where the famous artist spent the last five years of his life, can also be visited. However, this is located in the Crimean spa town of Hursuf, just 20 km away.

Massandra Palace

In the north-east of Yalta, a quarter of an hour's drive from Yalta's centre, sits the French-inspired Massandra Palace. It was built in the first half of the 19th century by a Polish nobleman and has already served as a magnificent summer residence for the Russian Tsar Alexander III and the Russian dictator Josef Stalin. After a guided tour of the cellars, visitors can take part in a wine tasting at the adjoining winery.


Trip to Swallow's Nest Castle

Right at the beginning of the harbour promenade, the boats leave for Swallow's Nest Castle, surely the most romantic approach to the picturesque fairytale castle, which, perched on a prominent rock, is considered a landmark in the greater Yalta area and the southern coastline of Ukraine.

The picturesque Swallow's Nest Castle is considered the most popular post-Karen motif on the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine - © Sergii Votit / Shutterstock
© Sergii Votit / Shutterstock

Excursion to Liwadija Palace

Livadiya Palace is located in the town of the same name, only 10 minutes by car from Yalta. The magnificent palace was once the summer residence of Russia's last tsar and has been one of the Seven Wonders of the World in Ukraine since 2007. In February 1945, it gained worldwide fame as the venue for the Yalta Conference held by the Allies.

The Livadiya Palace on the Crimean peninsula was built in 1910 and served as the summer residence of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, Ukraine - © Brykaylo Yuriy / Shutterstock
© Brykaylo Yuriy / Shutterstock

Trip to the Botanical Garden in Nikita

The small town of Nikita is barely half an hour's drive from Yalta and is famous for its magnificent botanical garden. It was founded in 1812 and is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Under fragrant cherry blossoms and between cooling water basins, it is wonderful to stroll and marvel at the exotic plant world.

The Uchan Su waterfall near Yalta in the south of the Crimean peninsula is one of the highest waterfalls in Ukraine - © Amaga PD / Wiki
© Amaga PD / Wiki

Excursion to the Uchan-Su waterfall

Utschan-Su is located on the way to the Ai-Petra mountain massif about 7km from Yalta and is one of the highest waterfalls in Ukraine. Translated unimaginatively from Crimean Tatar, Uchan-Su means "falling water" and plunges 98.5 metres into the depths over two steps. Since 1947, the Uchan-Su on the southern slope of the Ai-Petra has been under nature protection and has been part of the Yalta Mountain Forest Reserve since 1973. The river of the same name, the Uchan-Su, flows all the way to Yalta, where it empties into the Black Sea.