Mount Bear (Ayu-Dag)
This is one of the ID cards of Crimea: this mountain is often represented on souvenirs for tourists and advertising posters.
The mountain is on the border of the Yalta and Alushta municipalities − between the villages of Gurzuf and Parthenit. The Mount Bear was named thanks to its outline: it looks like a huge bear that lies on the shore, plunging the muzzle in the sea. All legends about Ayu-Dag are associated with this animal.
The height of the mountain is more than 570 meters. Dozens of species of plants and animals from Red Book live on it. At the foot, in Gurzuf, there is the world-famous "Artek" children's camp.
By the way, Mount Bear could become a volcano. Its dome formed about 150 million years ago, when magma began to rise from the depth of the earth. But it never erupted to turn into a real Ayu-Dag volcano.
Coordinates: 44.561324, 34.332834
Mount Cat (Kosh-Kaya)
The cat "overlooks" the South Coast village of Simeïz, which comfortably lies near its paws.
The bizarre skyline of the rock justifies its name: curved, a cat-like, "back", the "ears" and "tail" are clearly distinguished by the pointed peaks, the "fur" is guessed in the shear-cliffs.
The height of the mountain is 254 meters. Relict vegetation is scattered on the slopes. Mount Cat is the only habitat of a Fumana Thymifolia in Crimea. 16 species of local plants are listed in the Red Book. The remains of the ancient Roman fortress were also preserved on the rock.
Not far from the stone cat there are no less known Diva cliff and the buildings of the Simeïz observatory.
Coordinates: 44.404243, 33.994612
Mount Sokol (Kush-Kaya)
This giant coral reef 474 meters high is between the town of Sudak and Noviy Svet. In 1920, when studying the ruined caves, local historians discovered there the remains of the 8th century cave monastery, carved in the thickness of sandstone. The north-eastern part of the rock is covered with evergreen pines and junipers and resembles a senator's mantle. There is also a healing, as it is believed, water spring of St. Anastasia.
Many climbing routes have been laid on the rock’s walls. Some of them are only for professional climbers, while others can be passed by many tourists.
By the way, the rock received its name ("sokol" means "falcon") due to the fact that many predatory birds live in its vicinity − falcons, eagles, kites, ospreys, hawks, owls and others.
Coordinates: 44.836059, 34.927580
Mount Oryol (Koba-Kaya)
This "bird" mountain rises above Noviy Svet. The Oryol (means "eagle") rock rests by the sea, dividing the coastal water area into Blue and Green bays. The height of the rock is 165 meters.
The outline of the mountain is quite well known, because one of the branches of the famous Golitsyn trail is laid on it. This ecological route was carved and paved there in 1912 before Tsar Nicholas II visit. This was done by order of Prince Golitsyn, so the path was named after him.
In the rock there is the legendary Chaliapin grotto. It can be visited while walking along that route. It is believed Fyodor Chalapin performed there. There is even a legend that a crystal glass of champagne crashed by the powerful voice of that famous opera bass singer. And besides, at his time, Prince Golitsyn created a winery in that grotto. The stone arches in which he kept maturing champagne can still be seen today.
Coordinates: 44.823244, 34.918104
Mount Crocodile (Arman-Kaya)
The rocky massif, resembling from a distance a back of a crocodile, is in the Bakhchisaray district, near the Krasniy Mack village. The rock stretches along the most full-flowing Crimean river − Belbek. The height of the "reptile" is about 300 meters, the length is 560 meters.
The path passes along the "back" of the crocodile − from its "nose" to the "tail", and allows tourists to admire the incredibly beautiful surrounding landscapes. It is quite the reason for connoisseurs of memorable photo sessions to come there.
In the rock there are even small caves that appeared due to erosion of limestone with air and water. There is a version that in the Middle Ages there was the observation post of the principality of Theodoro.
Coordinates: 44.653068, 33.788187
This is not all the "beast" mountains of Crimea. There are also: Mount Camel (Egher-Oba), Frog Rock (Baka-Tash), Turkey Rock (Kokush-Kaya), Mount Goat (Echki-Dag), Swan’s Wing Rock (Kausha-Kaya), Cape Chameleon (Toprakh-Kaya) and other stone species of the fauna.