It is the largest district in Crimea washed by the Azov Sea in the north and the Black Sea in the south. This is the only district where holidaymakers can swim in two seas.
Largely undeveloped, the Leninsky District has a lot to offer: sand and shell beaches, the warm sea, therapeutic blue mud, salty water of Lake Sivash, numerous historical and cultural landmarks and a dozen reserves. Shchyolkino is the most popular resort town in the district.
Geography and climate
The climate of the Kerch Peninsula is different from the rest of Crimea, due to its location between two seas and a flat landscape. It is dry with little precipitation, hot summer and short mild winter, and changeable weather. The average temperature in July, the hottest month, is 24.5°С. The average winter temperature is from 0°С to —3°С. It tends to be windy here due to the steppe landscape.
Things to see
The district has many archaeologic and historical and cultural heritage sites. Unique fauna, flora and soil turned part of the area into a nature reserve.
• One of the most beautiful nature reserves in Crimea is situated near Cape Opuk. Koyash Lake, which changes colours depending on the season, is its gem. Its water is the brightest and the saltiest in the peninsula, and the mud there has therapeutic properties. The reserve's flora and fauna are unique, with many species listed in the Red Data Book. History is hidden in the ground here: the ruins of the Greek city of Kimmerikon, a stronghold and dozens of ancient wells. The reserve offers guided tours that follow specially laid eco trails.
• The Karalarsky Natural Landscape Park is a unique area of wilderness. Its steppe, which is a unique natural landmark, is included in the list of the most important areas for the preservation of rare bird species. Settlements dating back to the Bronze Age, the Kemi Oba culture and ancient Greek colonies have been found there. There are routes, ecotrails and recreation sites for tourists.
• If you enjoy peace and solitude, you should visit Generalskiye Beaches or the Coast of a Thousand Bays located in the Karalarsky Nature Reserve in the north of the Kerch Peninsula. You will find picturesque bays with pristine sandy beaches between Kurortnoye and Zolotoye.
• The unfinished Crimean Nuclear Power Plant is located near Shchyolkino, on the coast of the salt Aktashskoye Lake. There were plans to make the city a centre of the Soviet Union's nuclear industry, but the construction was suspended after the Chernobyl disaster and environmental protests. There are tours to the plant's main wing, but tourists can also visit it alone. Nuclear fuel never arrived there, so there is no radiation hazard.
Coastal boarding houses and mini-hotels are the best accommodation in Shchyolkino and Zolotoye. There are also luxury apartments for rent.
How to get there
Shchyolkino is located 173 km from Simferopol Airport. There are buses from the central railway station to the city. The trip will take 4.5 hours.
There is also an intercity bus from Kerch; the trip will take 2.5-3 hours.
The nature reserves can only be accessed by car. The distance between Kerch and Opuk is 55 km, and 30 km between Kerch and the Karalarsky Natural Landscape Park.
Generalskiye Beaches are located 20 km away from Kerch and can be accessed by car.
The abandoned nuclear power plant is situated 5.5 km away from Shchyolkino.