ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Livadia Palace
Crafted in white granite and adorned with Carrara marble, Livadia Palace is a grand example of the luxurious residences of Yalta’s yesteryear. Originally a summerhouse for the ailing wife of Russian Emperor Alexander II, it once served as a mental institution and played host to the 1945 Yalta Conference, where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met to re-draw the map of post-war Europe. Enjoy beautiful views of the Black Sea from its extensive gardens of this Neo-renaissance wonder, then step inside to explore the 116 uniquely decorated rooms and learn about its important role in history.
2. The Swallow’s Nest
A Crimean icon that’s widely included in modern media, this fairytale castle perches atop Aurora Cliff overlooking the Cape of Ai-Todor. Designed by Leonid Sherwood for a Baltic German oil millionaire, it survived a serious earthquake in 1927 and now houses an Italian restaurant. Ferries to the Swallow’s Nest are quite regular. Once you’ve marvelled at the picturesque views, head to nearby Charax to explore the excavations of this former Roman military camp.
3. Blue Flag beaches
Day or night, Yalta’s bustling waterfront is the place to be. Frequently likened to the Cote d’Azur, long pebble beaches line the bay and are backed by a popular promenade. Browse the market stalls, pop into a café or applaud talented street performers as you wander along Lenin Embankment. Find a spot on one of the two Blue Flag beaches to soak up some glorious Crimean sunshine, or cool off with a refreshing dip in the Black Sea. If you’d rather escape the crowds, some hotels charge a small fee for you to relax in their grounds, or you can catch a local ferry to a more secluded area.
4. Ascending Ai-Petri
Yalta is surrounded by mountains on three sides, so heading to higher ground is a fantastic way to view this beautiful bay. Catch the cable car from the village of Mishor up to the summit of Ai-Petri, where the weathered remains of a formerly underwater coral reef now present themselves as its jagged peak. Enjoy sweeping Crimean vistas as you soar over vineyards and forest, or travel by road to admire the Uchan-Su waterfall en route. If you have time at the top, take a short detour to the Vanna Molodosti and dip your toe in the ‘Bath of Youth’.