*I swear that neither the Russian government nor my place of employment have paid me a kopek for the 10,000 words I have written about how “Crimea is Awesome” – though on second thought they should totally comp me this vacation.
So, why did I go? I had specific goals for this vacation: regain some mental sanity/physical health after a very stressful spring; get back on a horse (literally) after several failed attempts to do so in Moscow post-riding accident; catch up on my writing; and have an #adventure. Oh, and I wanted to do it all on a pretty tight budget – something which is always a challenge because I want to do, eat and buy everything whenever I travel. I came back from Crimea grinning, glowing, several pounds lighter, with 15,000 hand-written words and 90 kilometers in the saddle under my belt – and 18 days of adventure, all for a price of a 7-day vacation in Italy, Spain or Croatia.
But why should YOU go?
Here are four really good reasons to visit Crimea:
- Go if you are into Nature. This small peninsula has it all: forest trails for hiking, mountains for climbing, rolling hills for riding over and underground cave lakes for exploring. Go on foot, or on a stallion, or an ATV. Go in a group with an expert guide, or, if you’re a little bit mad, go alone! Crimea won’t hold you back.
- Go if you are into History. Whether it’s ancient, medieval or modern. Greek, Byzantine, Tatar, Ottoman, Italian or Russian. Whether you like mountain fortresses, royal palaces or World War II battleships, Crimea has endless tales to tell and will keep ardent history buffs fully enthralled.
- Go for Sea, Sand & Sun. Ok, so I didn’t exactly luck out with the latter every single day of my vacation, but this really was a freak year, weather-wise. Crimea is a great resort destination with clean water, sandy of pebble beaches, myriads of cafes and bars and dozens of water-bound activities (sailing, fishing, parasailing, tubing, swimming with dolphins, jet skis, water skis, etc.) offered daily even in small sea-side towns.
- Go if you are a Wino. I won’t judge. Oh, Crimea… so many vineyards, so little time! From the champagnes of Novy Svet to the deep reds of Massandra to the ports and cognacs of Koktebel you don’t have to spend a minute “dry”, all the while without stepping a foot into the Black Sea, if that is your wish. You might even learn something during the tastings (yup, they do those in English too). And you get to do all this amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!