The castle, the beaches and the knights of Sudak

The castle, the beaches and the knights of Sudak

Sudak is a small resort town located on the southeastern coast of Crimea. Sudak Bay is famous for its crystal clear water, pebble beaches and unique low, picturesque hills. The town is located around an impregnable fortress that has witnessed the region's tumultuous history. Every July and August, the fortress hosts the Genovese Helmet chivalry festival with historical re-enactments, simulated battles, jousting and workshops focusing on old crafts.

According to the most popular theory, the first settlement on this site was founded by the Alans AD 212. But the town began to prosper in the 12th century, when it became an important hub on the Great Silk Road.

When tourism and health resorts flourished in the Russian Empire, Sudak became a popular destination in Crimea frequented by Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Aivazovsky and many other artists, writers and scientists.

Today, Sudak provides substantial leisure opportunities for people from all walks of life. A waterfront with beautiful beaches stretches along the length of town, with its numerous cafés, restaurants, night clubs and shops attracting holidaymakers.

People visiting the nearby Novy Svet are offered guided tours of its sparkling wine plant, Chaliapin Grotto and Tsar Beach. Speedboats also whisk them to unique bays renowned for their rare azure water.

Поединок на рыцарском турнире на Международном Рыцарском Фестивале «Генуэзскией шлем» в Судаке
Отдыхающие купаются и катаются на парашюте в Судаке
View slideshow



RIA Novosti, Artem Kreminskiy


Tourists on the beach

RIA Novosti, Alexey Malgavko


Genovese Helmet chivalry festival

RIA Novosti, Sergey Malgavko



RIA Novosti, Artem Kreminsky


Tourists in Sudak Bay

RIA Novosti, Alexey Malgavko


The town's name has changed many times through the ages. The Greeks called it Sugdea, while in the East it was known as Sudagios and Suagdag. Ancient Russian chronicles and Western Europeans called it Surozh and Soldaya.

According to most scholars, the town's name is derived from the Persian word Sugda meaning "holy" or "immaculate." The current name Sudak consists of two Tatar words: Su (Water) and Dag (Mountains). Therefore, it can be translated as "water near the mountains" or "mountains near water."

Geography and climate

Sudak is famous for its mild climate, similar to other places on the southern Crimean coast but with more arid summers. The summer's heat is not oppressive because of the fresh breezes. There are hardly any temperature fluctuations in this part of the peninsula. Average temperature is 23.2˚C in the summer and 2˚C in the winter. The sea is warm in the summer, starting at 19˚C in June and reaching 25˚C in August.

See also
Mount Sokol
Mount Sokol
Things to see
  • The Genovese fortress on the slope of Fortress Hill. Visitors can explore the trade capital's history either individually or with guided tours, walk up to the top of the hill, visit the Consular Castle and admire an exhibition with items dating to various eras.
  • The Sudak water park, dolphinarium and crocodile farm that also breeds raccoons.
  • Alchak-Kaya Bluff, a former coral reef, now popular with hikers.
  • A sparkling wines plant founded in 1878 in Novy Svet by Prince Lev Golitsyn. The winery offers guided tours and wine tasting to the sounds of classical music.
  • The Golitsyn Path in Novy Svet was built on orders of Prince Golitsyn in honour of Emperor Nicholas II's visit to Sudak. The Chaliapin Grotto, whose walls remember the great Russian opera singer's powerful voice is also located here.
  • The Solnechnaya Dolina (Sunny Valley) winery, also founded by Prince Lev Golitsyn, features a museum and wine tasting.
  • St Elijah Cathedral, the oldest functioning Crimean church, was built in Solnechnaya Dolina in the 9th century.
Генуэзская крепость в Судаке
Завод шампанских вин «Новый свет»
Грот Шаляпина
Свято-Стефано-Сурожский монастырь
View slideshow


Genoese Fortress in Sudak

RIA Novosti, Alexey Malgavko


Novy Svet Champagne Factory

RIA Novosti, Taras Litvinenko


Shaliapin Grotto

RIA Novosti, Artem Kreminskiy


St Stephen of Sourozh Monastery

CC BY-SA 3.0, Victor Korniyenko

Hotels and more

Sudak has Soviet-era and modern world-class hotels and resorts. The region also has numerous guest houses to suit every taste and budget. Ethnic-style hotels, as well as cafés and restaurants offering multi-ethnic Crimean cuisine, are very popular. The pebble beach waterfront is 2 km long.

How to get there

Sudak is accessible by bus or car. The bus covers the 100 km distance from Simferopol airport in 120-150 minutes. It takes about four hours to reach Sudak from Yalta along a winding 115 km seaside road.

See also
Sudak Bus Station
Sudak Bus Station

Around the clock hotline of Ministry for Health Resorts and Tourism of the Republic of Crimea: +7(800)5118018

Local Administration hotline: +7(36566)31523

Official site of administration:

Telephone code: 36566

Bus station: +7(36566)34615