Nature has endowed the southern shore of the Crimea with exceptional beauty and an inexhaustible wealth of healing powers. It has a rare combination of sun, mountain air and water. Here there is a temperate climate, a calm sea, majestic mountains, and luxuriant subtropical vegetation. About two thousand different species of plants grow in its parks and woodlands: spreading cedars, magnolias, giant sequoias, oaks, box-trees, palm trees, cypresses, laurels… The snow-white buildings of the holiday homes are submerged in a sea of green.
Yalta is the centre of the southern shore, sprawling along a large part of it — from Foros in the west to Bear Mountain in the east, a distance of almost 70 kilometres. This is the so-called Greater Yalta, and includes the town of Alupka, the health resorts of Gurzuf, Livadia, Gaspra, Koreiz, Miskhor and Simeiz, the workers’ settlement of Massandra, with its large dessert wine industry, and also several former state farms.
Yalta has been famous for almost a century as an excellent health resort. It surpasses many of the world’s health resorts in the annual number of sunny days. Its mean annual temperature is +13.1° C.
Before the October Revolution (1917), the healing powers of the Crimea were not used to the full, and only few of people had access to its facilities. In Soviet years has the south coast been transformed into one huge sanatorium for millions of people. Sanatoriums and rest homes for the workers were opened in the nationalised bungalows and rich people’s houses. A great number of palaces of health were built.
The Soviet Government has allocated a great deal of money to the development of health resorts. Greater Yalta, to take only the most recent period, has received several first-class sanatoriums and two complete boarding resorts: Donbas and Marat. The hydrotechnical Yalta-Belbek complex has considerably improved the water supply; the inter-urban trolleybus line now in operation is one of the longest mountain lines in the world. Massive blocks of well-built flats have been erected, cultural facilities extended and new beaches laid out.
Nowadays Greater Yalta is the Ukraine’s largest balneological and climatic resort; it plays host annually to more than a million people and tens of thousands of foreign visitors. There are more than 80 sanatoriums and holiday homes, boarding-house estates and scores of hotels, camping sites and children’s camps. The resorts of Greater Yalta are inhabited all the year round. Guests are not deprived of sea-bathing even in winter: there are swimming pools with heated sea water.
It takes a staff of 17,000 to run the resorts of Greater Yalta. Among them are almost 4,000 doctors and medical assistants. In Yalta there is the Ukrainian research establishment—the I. M. Sechenov Institute of Climatology and Climatic Therapy, where problems of health resort healing are studied, and methods for the treatment of tuberculosis, cardiac, nervous and other diseases are being developed.
The Greater Yalta resort provides all the necessary conditions for a comfortable and restful stay. The sanatoriums have a wealth of medicinal facilities at their disposal: clinical laboratories, physiotherapy rooms, X-ray and functional diagnosis rooms, etc., all provided with the most up-to-date apparatus.
Restaurants in Yalta
Yalta is the true pearl of the Crimean peninsula, and tourists flock here all year long, especially from June to October. However, it doesn’t mean that the city is to be missed in colder seasons of the year, as temperatures only just dip below freezing in winter. Besides, Yalta has great hotels with modern facilities, and swimming in a heated seawater pool is really exhilarating. Yalta’s top-notch restaurants operate all year long. Prices in winter are really affordable, and the eating out scene is quite developed.
Located within the Leto entertainment centre, the Gaskonets restaurant offers its guests a wide choice of international cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Every Friday the restaurant holds a «Seafood Night» serving dishes prepared from freshly imported fish from all over the world. Dorado, sea bass, and oysters are only a few of the wide range of dishes the restaurant offers. Enjoy world wines 24 hours a day, as well as Japanese cuisine. Dinner costs about USD 20.
Reastaurant Khutorok La Mer
Sverdlova street 9
Located on Massandra Beach in Yalta, Khutorok La Mer is indeed a small eatery by the sea, with authentic nautical elements in its interior. The menu offers a large number of dishes made with fish and seafood. Every day Yalta’s fishermen bring fresh fish to the restaurant’s chef, who carefully chooses the fish to appear on your table. An international bar assortment is available, and the choice of vodka is the best in the city. Expect to pay around USD 50 for an average a la carte dinner.