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Crimea Dreams. Gurzuf by edward ,  Feb 12, 2013
I first visited Gurzuf in 2010. Of course, I visited many other charming Crimean places before, but not Gurzuf. No doubt, Gurzuf is among must-visit places. Just several facts about Gurzuf:
  • Gurzuf is located on the South Beach of Crimea between Yalta and Alushta, the two major Crimean resorts. Unlike these, Gurzuf is a rather small township that means clear sea water, fresh air due to not many cars on the streets, and inimitable nature at hand.
  • Gurzuf is located in the vicinity of the highest summits of the Crimean mountains, with Roman-Kosh being the highest (1545 meters above the sea level). The mountains range goes parallel to the sea shore being the natural shelter against north winds.
  • Due to fortunate mountains location and the sea being warm in summer and not freezing in winter, Gurzuf is an area with subtropical climate possibly most nothern in the world.
  • The biggest South-Beach Crimean pine forest grows near Gurzuf being the part of Yalta Mountain Forest Reserve.
  • Enigmatic Krasny Kamen cliff (Red Stone rock) is near Gurzuf. Being about 120 meters in width and 50 meters in height, it lies amid the field separately from other rocks as if some giant has dropped it here. The famous dessert wine, Krasny Kamen Muskat, is prepared from the grapes grown just here.
  • Legendary Ayu-Dag (Bear) mountain that is beleived to be an unburst volcano is also near Gurzuf. It is an exciting opportunity for hikers to climb the Bear mountain (577 meters above the sea level), walk across his "back" and reach isolated Ayu-Dag bays with their crystal clear water.
  • For hikers, Gurzuf provides another excellent opportunity to climb Roman-Kosh. The itinerary starts from Krasny Kamen, goes up the hill through fabulous pine forest turning then into the beech forest up to Gurzuf Saddle pass, then climbs Babugan Yayla, and you are here! From the top of Crimea you can view the sea to the south, west and east, just realizing that you are on peninsula! To the north, you will enjoy with superb views of endless forest of the Crimean Nature Reserve just beneath your feet.
  • Artek is another famous place located between Gurzuf and Ayu-Dag. In the former Soviet Union it was a cult pioneer camp that every child would be happy to get to. But only the best of the best have a chance to enter its gate. Now Artek is an international children center that consists of seven smaller camps. It has excellent evergreen parks inside, plenty of beaches, and is full of the architecture of the Soviet epoch.
  • The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin visited Gurzuf in 1820. It is beleived that his famous "green oak-tree by the lukomorye" from his fairy tale poem "Ruslan and Lyudmila" is still growing in one of Gurzuf parks.
  • Konstantin Korovin, the leading Russian impressionist painter (1861-1939), spent the summer months in Gurzuf in their dacha "Salambo". Many prominent artists such as Ilya Repin, Maxim Gorky, Vasily Surikov, and Feodor Chaliapin visited him at Gurzuf.
  • The great Russian writer Anton Chekhov has a summer house in Gurzuf where he used to hide himself from prying visitors to his major dwelling in Yalta.

First walk to Gurzuf. Just left the bus. September 2010.

First walk to Gurzuf. Looking at mountains around. September 2010.

First walk to Gurzuf. The Alushta - Yalta highway has left behind. September 2010.

First walk to Gurzuf. Subtropical plants are greeting me. September 2010.

First walk to Gurzuf. Stankevich pine, endemic to Crimea. Needles reach 17 cm. September 2010.

First walk to Gurzuf. I'm almost there! September 2010.

The Gurzuf Fountain Square in a cloudy day. Summer season is about to close.

Gurzuf center in a cloudy day. Quite recently it was full of a crowd!

Mediterranean-like architecture of Gurzuf.

Gurzuf on a background of mountains.

Ayu-Dag, Artek beaches, Chaliapin Cliff (at center) and Adalar cliffs (at right) during storm.


Chaliapin's and Adalar cliffs. The famous Russian singer used to sing from the top of this rock.

Chaliapin's cliff. Fragment.

Wild beach with crystal clear water nearby Chaliapin's cliff. Ayu-Dag and lodges of Morskoy (Seaside) camp of the International Children's Center Artek are seen in the distance.

Morskoy camp lodges in closer view.

Gurzuf greenary and cloudy mountains.
Gurzuf in October. The weather turned bad.

Ayu-Dag's wild beach in October.

Ayu-Dag's wild beach. Flower growing on a rock.

Abandoned vineyard. October.

Krasny Kamen cliff (Red Stone). In fact, it is rather of yellow/sand color. Climbers love to train here.

View of Ayu-Dag from the top of Krasny Kamen (Red Stone).

View of the Gurzuf coast from Ayu-Dag (Bear) mountain.

The view from my appartment's window: the top of Bear mountain is covered by the cloud.

Evening view of Ayu-Dag from the sea shore.

Avunda mountain in the vicinity of Gurzuf (1480 meters above the sea level).

View of Ayu-Dag and Gurzuf from Nikitskaya Yayla, the mountain plateau which is 1400 meters above the sea.

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