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Massandra is a legendary wine cellar and wine making estate located just minutes from the center of Yalta. Most famous for its underground tunnels, the Massandra cellars were bored deep into the granite mountainside in 1894-1897 so that a consistent temperature of 13-14 degrees C could be maintained to ensure that the wines are stored in perfect condition.
The excursion to Massandra Winery was inexpensive and fun. For less than $10 you get a tour of the museum and winery, and tasting of 9 Massandra wines. The tour was Russian language only, though. At the wine shop you can buy Massandra wines very cheap.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Livadia Palace was built in 1911 for the Russian czars.
The former czar's palace is a luxury indeed.
They knew where and how to built!...
Now it is a place of pilgrimage of lots of tourists.
It attracts us by its history, its design, beautiful parks and splendid sea views.
You can have a tour of the palace visiting the famous hall where the Yalta Conference of the Allied Powers was held in February 1945.
Updated Jan 30, 2011
Visiting the settlement of Massandra located about two miles to the east of Yalta along the Simferopol motorway is a must for a visitor of Yalta.
This small town is famous all over Ukraine and Russia for its winery founded in 1936.
You can have a rest and taste some marvelous Crimean wine in this town.
Updated Dec 4, 2009
Visiting the Miskhor resort located approximately six miles away from Yalta is also a must in Yalta.
You can see Cape Ai-Todor with an unusual castle on it called Lastochkino Gnezdo (Swallow’s Nest)
This unique castle was built in 1912.
Like a swallow’s nest the castle sticks to the 38-meter-high cliff.
You can admire its turrets, spires, crenellations and loopholes and have a bite in the café located inside the castle.
Updated Jul 31, 2009
Visiting the Yalta waterfall called Uchan-Su.
Uchan-Su is the biggest of all the Crimean waterfalls (98 m high) and the most spectacular one.
There is an observation platform on the upper part of the waterfall.
That place is called Eagles’ Nest. The ancient Greeks called the waterfall
The Turks called it Uchan-Su
and now it is often called simply the Yalta waterfall. The waterfall is very beautiful in spring and in the rainy season.
Updated Jul 3, 2009
Livadia Palace is best known as the site of the Yalta Conference in February 1945 between the Big Three, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Roosevelt was extremely ill and died in Apri, 1945, just 2 months later, perhaps the outcome would have been different if he had not been on the edge of death.
Lonely Planet oddly refers to Churchill as heat allergic and saying that "steamy Crimea" was the Riveria of Hades, however, it was February when the conference took place and the pictures of the three at the conference show Churchill in a rather heavy wool jacket so I think if Churchill made that reference at all, it was probably to imply that Stalin was the devil.
The tour of the interior takes you through the 1st floor where the meeting between the Big Three took place, you can see the table where they sat and some photos and documents from the meeting, captioned in Ukrainian and English.
Upstairs is devoted to the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family. The Palace was built in 1911 for the Tsar, they spent just four summers here before being arrested in 1917 and subsequently executed. There are lots and lots of photos of him and his family but no explanations in English.
Updated Jun 14, 2009
Swallow's Nest is the perfect photo op, beautiful photos of it appear on postcards and picture books, but that's about it. The "castle", built in 1912 by German oil magnate Baron Steingel for his mistress, has a stunning setting on a cliff overlooking the Black Sea. You can't go in the "castle" unless you eat at the restaurant on the ground floor, both of my guidebooks did not recommend it.
If you take the boat from Yalta, you can get some nice pictures of it from the water. The boat lets you off on the dock below the cliff, climb up several flights of stairs until you get to the two goons collecting 5 uah per person for the privilege of walking a bit closer to it. If you don't find it necessary to walk around the perimeter of it, you can also take a much longer flight of stairs up to the main road if you are heading on to Aluptka Palace like we were. On the way up those stairs you will be ambushed by men with birds of prey, a man with a capuchin monkey, another man with a peacock and yet another man running a carnival game, this is one giant tourist trap!
In addition to the boat from Yalta, you can also take a bus, the ferry was quite easy as it's quite obvious when you get there. I'm not sure if you'd be able to see the Swallow's Nest on the bus but you can ask the driver to let you know when to get off. There are a bunch of souvenir stands on the road and a couple of plastic palm trees that also might help you find it. It's 10km from Yalta so don't try to walk unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
Updated Jun 14, 2009
I can't even believe I got in this thing, much less paid for the pleasure of it, I'm a bit afraid of heights and I'm really afraid of heights when I'm swinging in a plastic car a 100 ft. off the ground suspended by a cable that was installed by Ukrainian workers.
Written Jun 11, 2009
An obvious tourist trap you cannot miss, since it's on the cover on every Ukraine travel books and Yalta posters.
To get there take a bus or marshrutka.
Entrance Fee: 2 gryvnyas
To get back to Yalta I recommend to take ferry. It's a nice scenic ride to see Swallow's nest from the bottom and look at palaces and sanatorium on the coast.
Written Oct 29, 2007
A must see place when in Yalta. Historically important to see where signing of treaty was signed after WWII by big 3 shots at that time.
You will see "the" table where the signing happened, rooms where Churchill and FDR resided. Previous tsar belongings and the rooms they occupied. Walk around the park.
To get there: Instead of taking a tour, go with a public transportation (.50 kopeyek) or local taxi called marshrutka (2 gryvnyas). The driver will let you know where to get off and help you out how to get there from the drop off.
Written Oct 29, 2007
4 Reviews and 25 Opinions Constructed about 100 years ago in 1907 the hotel is considered the best in the city. There is a...
2 Reviews and 45 Opinions I stayed here with my future Ukrainain wife. We found the room to be excellent. A great bed and the...