Reading list | Bahçesaray
Bahçesaray – literally Garden Palace in Turkish – is spelt in various ways including Bağçasaray, or more commonly Bakhchisaray (Ukranian – Бахчисарай). It stands in small valley off the main road from the Crimean capital, Simferopol, to the naval port of [Sevastopol](/guide/sevastopol/).
The town of Bahçesaray was seat of the Tatar Khans, and both the palace and the surrounding countryside – which rises from the steppe in long, sloping escarpments to razor-sharp mountain peaks, reminding one of Alpine Provence – encapsulate the essence of Crimea. Here is the exquisite Khan’s Palace, complete with harem, courtyards, fountains and mosques, a city within a city.
Just an hour's drive from the airport, Bahçesaray makes is a very good base for a short stay in Crimea, offering delicious Tatar food and a delightful boutique hotel in the [Bahitgül Guest House](/guide/listings/hotels/bahitgul-guest-house/).