The Crimea is a marvellous treasury, a natural storehouse of the secrets of milleniums.
Various reserves occupy sixty-seven thousand hectares Among them you can find Lebedyni (Swan) Islands, a bird sanctuary of international importance; the Karadag, an ancient volcanic massif on the Easern Coast of the Crimea, associated with numerous legends; a majestic and awe-inspiring Great Canyon with its 320-metre sheer slopes; the Kizil-Koba, a cave in the western slope of Dolgoru-kov mountain pasture — the total length of its six-storey underground galleries exceeds thirteen kilometres. Even this brief mention of some of the reserves shows that there are of natural wonders here — canyons, caves, islands and mountains.
Now the Crimea has one hundred and seventy-five officially registered monuments of nature.
The Crimea ancient and modern, the Crimea of beautiful landscapes and numerous historic monuments attracts many visitors. You can meet them at any time of the year — hikers, travellers, tourists, rock-climbers, people enchanted by the Crimea.
Here the sun shines brighter, the parks and forests are greener, and the air is saturated with the fragrance of flowers the aroma of the sea and the intoxicating perfume of pine forests combined with the bitter scent of wormwood blown in suddenly by a scorching steppe wind.
The Crimea awakens the artist in a man. Thus, a unique open-air museum has been established in Yalta where works by both professional and amateur artists are exhibited, works inspired by the fabulous beauty of surrounding areas. The museum is called the 'Fairy-Tale Glade', and as it should be in a fairy-tale, old stumps and snags, golden straw and rough granite boulders are oil here together creating a special world.
It has probably always been so: the Crimea has enthralled our ancestors as well, stirring their sense of the beautiful and perfect. Take a good look at outlines of walls and towers in the Sudak Fortress or try to reconstruct in your imagination Chersonesus...
If stones could speak... We could learn a lot of interesting stories from the fountain in the Livadia Palace and from the famous Alupka lions. And the cliff where the Swallows Nest perches surely remembers how already in our time workers hanging at a dizzying height over the sea reinforced the cleft rock and the castle's foundations, thereby saving it from destruction.
The breath-taking serpentine course of mountain roads and the tracery of the Alupka Palace, the fragrant roses in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden with their, unique shades and fantastic shapes, the scarlet flashes of sunset, the ever-changing choppy sea and primeval silence of the steppe, the incessant sounds of water-falls and high-rise buildings along the Southern Coast — nobody could claim to have become accustomed to this wonderful land full of life and surprises.