Ukranian Healt Resorts
Already in the 16th century the Polish court’s doctor, Vojtseh Oczko, detected the curative properties of Truskavets’ water. He noted that its characteristics were as beneficial as those of well-known European health resorts like Rosenheim, Baden-Baden and Budapest. But Truskavets did not become a true resort until 1827, when its first water treatment center appeared. After that, city officials started actively developing the city’s infrastructure: hotels, sanatoriums, villas… These buildings are so majestic that some tourists come to Truskavets only to marvel at its architecture. One of the oldest and most interesting buildings in the city is the villa "Gopliana," which now houses the museum of the famous artist Michael Bilas.
By late 19th century, Truskavets turned into one of the finest health resorts in Europe. People came here from Vienna, Krakow, Prague, Warsaw, and Berlin to rejuvenate their health. Its healing springs and first-rate rehabilitation centers, offering multiple treatments, are extremely popular even today, attracting up to 200,000 tourists from Ukraine and Europe annually.
The treasures that make this all possible are the fourteen streams and underground mineral springs, the deposits of so-called mountain wax – ozokerite, and the “Barbara” salt, which is as good for the health as the salt of Czech Republic’s famous Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). “Naftusia” is considered to be the finest mineral water of Truskavets, and it made the city famous far outside Ukraine. It owes its unique curative properties to substances that originate from petrol. These molecules, as a rule, break apart when they come in contact with oxygen, which is why you need to drink “Naftusia” by the building that pumps out the water, located in the centre of Truskavets. It is also advisable drink it out of special cups, to avoid damaging your enamel.
Yet the water’s healing properties are unmistakable. This miracle water helps to fight against diseases of the kidney (and kidney stones in particular), liver, bile ducts; it cleanses your body of nuclides and chemical waste; and it improves one’s metabolism. Truskavets’ sanatoriums and clinics also help to cure cardiovascular illnesses and help to cleanse the endocrine system, digestive organs, and many others.
You can stay in Truskavets for weeks, for treatment and rejuvenation, or you can visit it just a one-day excursion, to try for yourself the curative mineral waters and to walk the paths of the famous English-style park, which is recognized as a masterpiece of garden art.
Location: Truskavets is 100 km away from Lviv, and regular railway and bus shuttles are arranged between the cities. You can also take the train directly from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Moscow, Minsk, Kishinev, or Prague.
Yevpatoria differs from the other resorts due to its abundance of natural remedies. It is one of the sunniest cities of the Crimea, combining the sea and steppe climates. In addition to this, Yevpatoria is famous for its lakes and estuaries, whose mud and water have curative properties. The nature’s riches have led to the opening of dozens of health centers, mud clinics, sanatoriums, and camps. Up to a million people come here each year for rest and treatment.
This amazing place on western cost of the Crimean peninsula was discovered two and a half thousand years ago by the Greeks, who built a settlement here. The settlement, named Kerkinitis, existed for only a few centuries; fragments from its past can be seen in the excavations taking place in center of the city. In the Middle Ages, the Turks, who captured the Crimean land, built on this ground the city-fortress Kezlev, which later became an important trade center.
It is only in the 19th century that the city started to position itself as a resort, after the Russian Empire took hold of the region. The name, again, changed: the Empress Catherine the Second renamed Kezlev to Yevpatoria, after Eupator Dionysius, the king of Pontus, who helped the citizens of ancient Kerkinitis in their fight against Scythians.
You can see Yevpatoria’s rich history in its amazing buildings, which have absorbed the styles of different epochs and cultures. Numerous religious monuments are concentrated here. In one neighborhood, Orthodox churches stand next to mosques and synagogues; indeed, the historic center of Yevpatoria is often called “little Jerusalem.”
The Turkish period left the biggest imprint on the city. It was during their rule - in the 16th century – that one of the main architectural gems on the peninsula was built, the Juma-Jami Mosque. It is the only multi-domed mosque in Europe, recognized today as a monument of international significance. This building was designed by the infamous Turkish architect Sinan, who, among many other feats, created the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Not far from Juma-Jami is the Gate of the Wooden Bazaar, the first gate to the ancient city, built in the 15th century. It lasted for 500 years, and in its place now stands the new gate, an exact replica of its predecessor. In the gate tower are a traditional cafe and a museum, whose main exhibit is a unique model of the Kezlev Fortress.
One more original sample of Muslim architecture has survived in Yevpatoria since Ottoman times: the Tekie Dervishes (Abode of Dervishes). It is a former monastery of wandering monks - the followers of one of Islam’s most mysterious branches, Sufism. The Tekie Dervishes is the only Muslim monastery that has survived on Crimean territory in its original form.
The 18th century established historic and architectural landmarks in the city that are no less interesting than their predecessors. How magnificent is the Karaite Kenasa - the temple complex of Crimean Karaites, one of the most interesting and unique peoples on the planet! The complex is made up of amazingly beautiful buildings, the Large kenasa and the Small kenasa, which were erected in place of a crumbling Karaite temple. Now, the complex is occupied by the Museum of Karaite Culture.
Yevpatoria wins the hearts of its numerous guests with its endless possibilities. But its real charm lies in the genuine hospitality and warmth of the city’s denizens, regardless of the season!
But Yalta is best known as a splendid resort with many first-rate sanatoriums. The mountain air is filled with the scent of conifers and the sea, making a visit to this city a rejuvenating sojourn. It is not by mere chance that in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Yalta was a coveted resort town for Russia’s aristocrats and emperors. The numerous villas of royal family in Yalta’s suburbs are a testament to this fact. The three most famous summer residences, the Vorontsov, Livadia and Massandra Palaces, adorn the South Coast of Crimea.
Legend has it that Greeks named the city Yalta in the first century. Some sailors, who had lost their way, were looking for shore; when they finally saw land, they decided to build a settlement there and gave it the name "Yalos" ("shore"). In ancient times, the city was a part of the Roman Empire, and during medieval times, it became a part of the Byzantine Empire, as well as the Genoese colonies. At that time, it became known as Yalita.
In late 18th century – when the Russian Empire conquered the region - the Crimean Tatars inhabiting this lands started to abandon the peninsula. Yalta became almost deserted, and had the appearance of a small fishing village. Only half a century later would the city rise and, step by step, turn into a splendid health care resort, whose reputation among travelers grows each year.
Yalta is an unusual resort. It is attractive not only because of the potential health benefits, but also because it has a treasure trove of cultural wealth. It is for good reason that this gem is called an outdoor museum.
The most popular place for leisurely walks among locals and guests alike is the picturesque Lenin Boardwalk, whose architecture has incorporated the most unthinkable styles. Yalta’s main street is full of entertainment centers, coffeehouses, restaurants, and attractions; life here does not stop pulsating even for a second. From the boardwalk, you can gaze at snow-white yachts, and then begin your own boat tour to admire the exciting Crimean nature.
Yet the most worthwhile of Yalta’s landmarks, according to many tourists, is the White Dacha, the House-Museum of Anton Chekhov. The great Russian writer, who came here to improve his health at an old age, spent the last five years of his life in Yalta. Here, he wrote his most famous works: the short story "The Lady with the Dog" and the plays "The Cherry Orchard" and "Three Sisters.” The most remarkable thing about the museum is that the furnishing of the rooms has remained just the same as it was during Chekhov's life.
Yet another point of interest for Yalta’s visitors is its sacral architecture. The most famous temple is the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the Old Russian style in late 19th century. The Roman Catholic Church, combining the Roman and Classical features, and the Armenian Church, located on a hillside, both give Yalta an inimitable charm.
Yalta conquers hearts not only with its fairy landscapes and natural and handmade sights, but also with the hospitality it offers to each guest. All this makes it the most welcoming city on the peninsula, attracting thousands of tourists all year long.
Alushta is famous for its unique climate, which enables the city to flourish as a first-rate health resort, and places it as a near equal to better-known resorts like Yalta and Sochi. The finest sanatoriums exist here, and they treat respiratory, nerve, and cardio-vascular problems.
The history of the city started in the 6th century, when Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the Aluston fortress to be built on the peninsula’s southern coast. Subsequently, it turned into an important trade centre for two centuries. In the Middle Ages, Alushta was captured by the Genoese, who built a new fortress on top of the ruins of the sacked town; you can see the remains of their fortress in the city center today. Only in the 19th century - after Russians took control of the land – did Alushta start to develop as a resort.
Today, it is a popular getaway with comfortable beaches and a warm sea. Its numerous guests like to spend their time on the busy boardwalk, where you can admire the breathtaking mountain and sea landscapes, sit in a cozy café, or take a boat ride along the coast. Alushta is also famous for its innumerable parks and public gardens, for which it earned the name “the greenest city of the Crimea.”
But the main tourist attractions you will see are on the city’s periphery. The best known is Demerdji Mountain - one of the most beautiful mountains of the peninsula. At its base lie the surviving ruins of the ancient Funa, and on its slope is located the famous Ghost Valley, made up of rocks with the most incredible forms and seizes. One more remarkable massif near Alushta is Chatyr-Dag, world-famous for its unique caves.
If you are planning to travel to the south of Crimea to rest and relax, admire nature’s beauty, and go on interesting excursions, Alushta is an ideal place you!
Feodosiya, whose name in Greek means "a God's gift," is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Ancient Greeks founded it in 6th century B.C. The antique polis had existed for a thousand years, until it was completely destroyed. In the 13th century, the Genoese came to Crimea and built a city-fortress on its ruins. The city was named Caffa and became the administrative center of Genoa’s colonies in the Northern Black Sea. It soon turned into a large port for international trade and became one of the most diverse cities in the Crimea.
A tragic event in Feodosiya’s history is connected with the Genoese period. In the 14th century, the plague broke out among the forces of Golden Horde who were besieging the fortress. Then, the nomadic warriors, determined to seize Caffa, began to catapult dead bodies over the city’s walls. The disease quickly spread among the Genoese and forced them to run out of the city. On their way to Genoa, the disease passed to the people they came in contact with. In medieval Europe, the horrible disease extinguished 75 million lives.
The Ottoman Turks, who ruled the city in the 15th century, turned it into the slave trade center in Black Sea basin. The city slave market was known far beyond the borders of the Crimean peninsula. When the Russians took over, Catherine the Great renamed the city to its ancient Greek name; the city itself sank into decay. Only in the late 19th century did the city regain a sliver of its former prominence, and a hundred years after that it became a tourist hotspot.
Numerous architectural monuments from different eras remind us of the city’s rich and bright history. The most attractive of these are the leftover fragments of the Genoese Fortress: the St. Clement and Crisco towers, the citadel gate, and a bridge. Turkish baths and several churches also survived on the territory of the fortress. The remarkable heritage of the Middle Ages is the St. Sergius (St. Sarkis) Armenian Church. It is famous for the unique collection of stone slabs, khachkars, which are considered to be the pride of medieval Armenian art. The temple’s history is closely connected to the great Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky, who was baptized, got married in, and (according to his last wishes) is buried on the church’s territory.
The famous seascape painter left his legacy, embodied in the Aivazovsky National Picture Gallery, to Feodosiya. The gallery, which is in the painter’s house and studio, is one of the oldest museums in Ukraine and its collection includes over 12,000 paintings of the sea and its inhabitants.
The city’s main avenue is also named after Aivazovsky. One of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Feodosiya is situated on this street, the Stamboli summer house, built by tobacco manufacturer Iosif Stamboli as a present to his wife on their tenth anniversary. This quirky two-story building is one of the most popular sights not only in Feodosiya, but in the whole Crimea.
Feodosiya’s countless natural, historic, and cultural treasures have solidified the town’s reputation as a top-notch resort, which caters to all needs and can satisfy all desires!