From the moment you arrive in Yalta you are instantly greeted with Ukrainian history. As your ship makes its way into port you are met with the incredible sight of the turreted Swallows Nest Castle that towers over the docking areas placing the destinations captivating medieval past right into your path. It is this dramatic entrance that sets the tone to the day when sailing into this glorious port of call as medieval and modern history come together to combine and create a wonderful day’s exploration.
Perhaps the most intriguing and interesting attraction within the city is the famous White Palace of Livadia where one of the most important and decisive conferences in history took place. It was here that three of the world’s most famous leaders came together to discuss the future of Europe following WWII. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at this very location to make decisions that would impact the world over. You will have the opportunity to take in Roosevelt’s quarters, visit the apartments of the Tsar’s family on the first floor and witness the conference room itself where the famous leaders came together.
Throughout Yalta you can take in many intriguing sites including that of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the most beautiful orthodox temples in Yalta. Today, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Yalta’s main operating orthodox temple. The décor’s richness and variety and light colours give the temple a beautiful and airy feel. You will also have the pleasure of seeing the stunning Archangel Mikhael Church, which is situated in the most sensational location, right at the foot of the impressive Ai-Nicola Mountain. From this very point you have the ability to enjoy the captivating views over Greater Yalta and the Black Sea as well as enjoy the spectacular design of the five dome church itself.
When heading into the centre of Yalta you have all the pleasures of this Ukrainian gem and be sure to stop off at one of the traditional cafés that line the streets for a taste of the local cuisine. There are many endearing sights to see, but the aforementioned Swallows Nest, known as the ‘Castle of Love’ is an absolute must. It’s not hard to miss when arrive into Yalta but give yourself the chance to take a closer look at one of the most stunning sights of the Crimean coast from Swallows Nest that towers over the port itself. The enthralling spires and towers dominate the skyline and balance delicately over the edge of the Aurora cliff. This cliff point is 130 feet high, providing some breathtakingly views.
The grand palace theme of the city continues with a visit to the Alupka Palace. Did you know that this palace took an unbelievable 23 years to build? Although the Palace has adopted the name of Alupka Palace name internationally, it is locally referred to as the Vorontsov Palace down to the fact that it was constructed for Count Michael Vorontsov. When you consider the architect of the building was Edward Blore, whose previous works included constructing roles in Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace, you can imagine the sheer splendour of this marvellous structure.
Another architectural gem, designed to look like a 19th century French chateau and not to be missed is Massandra Palace. This palace was just one of the summer homes built for Russia's Romanov family and was later used by Stalin. Located in a remote picturesque location, surrounded by forests and mountains, Massandra Palace is reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle.