The Crimean Peninsula is a patchwork paradise shaped by a turbulent history. Cornucopia’s issue 49 devotes 100 pages to this bewitching land, now part of Ukraine, and celebrates its Turkish legacy, from coast to coast, mountain to steppe. Simferopol, the capital, is a short flight from Istanbul. Once there, the easiest way to get around is to hire a car and driver at around £100 for a day trip or £125 per 24 hours. Travel tips welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crimea’s golden hills reveal the pavilions of the Khan’s Palace and an Ottoman world in miniature; the last strongholds of the Goths and the Golden Horde; and the hunting lodge of the prince who killed Rasputin.
Simferopol (Akmesçit to the Tatars, Neopolis to the ancient Scythians) is a city of wide streets and low houses. The Palace of Bahçesaray, the west coast battlefields, art nouveau Yevpatoria and Yalta’s subtropical riviera make good day trips.
The Yalta Riviera is where Tsar Nicholas II built his holiday palace, Chekhov planted his cherry orchard and the map of Europe was redrawn. And Tudor turrets meet Mughal domes in the fantastical creation of Count Vorontsov.
Two handsome seaside cities make ideal bases from which to explore the west coast and the battlefields of the Crimean War. Sevastopol, in the south, was built to rule the waves; Yevpatoria, in the north, existed to enjoy them.
The unsung wonders of Kerch include the golden steppe, ancient Scythian tombs, the Russians’ secret wartime castle, and the Sea of Azov’s white sand beaches.