Factfile: The Crimea

Factfile: The Crimea

The Crimea

Getting there: Ukraine International Airlines flies to Simferopol in the Crimea from Heathrow and Manchester every Saturday. The flight takes around 4hrs and flies via Frankfurt in both cases. Yalta is a 1hr 30mins ground transfer from Simferopol.

Eating out: local prices in the Crimea are extremely cheap. A three-course menu costs around £4. A local beer in a tourist hotel costs around 60p. A bottle of champagne costs £2-£3 in a supermarket.

Climate: the Crimea is sub-tropical, with average temperatures of 24C in June, few frosts in winter and an early spring in February.

Key attractions: the Black Sea riviera and palaces of Yalta; the historic battlefields of the Crimea; the Chekhov House museum in Yalta, where the Russian playwright wrote The Cherry Orchard; the naval port of Sevastopol, home to the former Black Sea fleet; The Panorama in Sevastopol - a reconstruction of the Crimea's battlefields; wine-tastings of the region's red wine Massandra at local vineyards.

Visa: since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, British nationals have needed a visa. Operators such as Bob Sopel Ukrainian Travel can obtain one on a client's behalf. Agents need to leave 10-14 days before departure for visa processing. The visa service costs around £30.

Hotels: the most exclusive hotel in Yalta is the four-star 170-room Oreanda, built in 1895, situated on the seafront. The other major hotel in the resort is the 2,230-room three-star hotel Yalta - a huge Soviet-era hotel. Yalta also has a selection of guest houses.

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