Crimea is a fascinating region to explore, as well as a great place to spend a vacation. Across the centuries it has attracted settlers such as the Greeks, the Venetians and the Genoese - all of whom founded cities along the coast and inter-married with the local people. Crimean resorts is a prime vacation destination for millions of tourists from all over the world. Crimean health resorts are famous for their mineral waters as well as wines. Private enterprise is flourishing and well-stocked shops and good restaurants are the norm.
When to visit Crimea
Crimea is one of the largest and most famous health resorts of the former USSR. Stalin, Khruschev, Brezhnev, and other powerful leaders of the former Soviet Union often visited Crimea for relaxation and vacation. Crimea's high season starts in July and lasts till September. Tourists start coming in mid-April when it usually gets warm. September is a perfect time to enjoy the resorts with less crowds, and October brings wonderful, golden colors to the peninsula. Even though winter months bring occasional snowfalls, there are usually periods of sunshine every day.
The temperature of the water of the Black Sea usually ranges between 22-25°C (72-78F) during summer months and is usually warm enough to swim in untill late October. Occasional strong winds can cause chilly water to reach the surface and stay there till it warms, so it is difficult to forecast water temperature based only on air temperature.
Getting to Crimea
Simferopol is Crimea's main transportation hub. You can get to Simferopil from Kyiv by plain. Zhuliany airport in Kyiv has daily flights to Simferopol that cost between $35 and $60 one-way. There are two pretty comfortable trains to Simferopil from Kyiv (# 12 and #28 respectively) and one from Odessa to Simferopil (#650). The train trip from Kyiv to Simferopil takes about 18 hours, from Odessa to Simferopil - one night.Train tickets are around $7 for third class, $10 for second, and $20 for the first. All trains have beds for sleeping. Some other trains you can use to get to Crimea go to Sevastopil, Kerch, and Feodosiya. Other destinations, the South Shore in particular can be reached by car or bus. You can also get to Yalta by taxi ($40-50), trolleybus ($2), or bus ($4) from the Simferopol train station (100 km trip), but buses and "marshrutkas" run from Sevastopol either.