Crimea among top-20 must-see places of National Geographic

Crimea among top-20 must-see places of National Geographic

National Geographic has included Crimea among top-20 must-see places for 2013. The edition especially recommends Livadia Palace, summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II Romanov and venue for the Yalta Conference 1945; Balaclava Submarine Base, a former top-secret Soviet military project, and Massandra Winery with a unique collection of wines.

“Russia needs its paradise,” used to say Prince Grigory Potemkin, general of Catherine the Great, urging the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Empire. And no wonder. The Peninsula is a real paradise with its Mediterranean climate and 300 sunny days per year. Its diversity amazes even most experienced travelers.

The place served as the playground of Russian tsars and then of Soviet leaders. In 1954 Crimea was annexed to Ukraine within the USSR. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of an independent Ukraine.

National Geographic advises visiting Crimea in May-October and tasting Crimean Tatar food: lagman (spicy noodle soup), chebureki (meat pastry), and plov (rice pilaf and lamb).

Summer is high season in Crimea, crowded with Russians and Eastern Europeans. In autumn the air turns soft and it is harvest time at vineyards like Massandra. There you can taste noble Crimean wines and become familiar with wine-making process. The unique collection of 1 million bottles will really amaze you.