Saki is one of Russia's oldest mud resorts. Russian writer Nikolai Gogol and Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka underwent medical treatments there. Medicinal mud was also brought to the capital for Crown Prince Alexei, the son of Tsar Nicholas II. In Soviet times it was nationwide health resort specialising in treating diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous, genitourinary, musculoskeletal and respiratory systems.
Historically, the city's infrastructure is adapted as much as possible for people with musculoskeletal disorders.
The origin of the name Saki is unknown. According to one version, it has Turkish roots and is translated as "muds." Another version suggests that the name stems from Iranian-speaking semi-nomad Sak tribes, which lived on the banks of Lake Chokrak.
The city has a mild climate. In summer the average temperature is about 23˚С. But if it gets too hot, a refreshing sea breeze makes it easy to survive.
In winter the temperature seldom falls below —1˚С. There is not much rain and almost no snow. However, a pleasant summer sea breeze sometimes turns into a piercing sea wind in winter.
Things to see
Saki is first and foremost a health resort but it has some interesting sights as well.
One of them is the Saki Arboretum Park with up to 80 types of trees and bushes.
The Open-Air Kara-Tobe Museum is nearby. Its exposition is based on the findings from a Scythian settlement and antique foundations.
The centre of remote space communication is located in Vitino. This unique facility was built in 1960 and declassified only in the 1990s. After Crimea's reunification with Russia it was incorporated into the structure of the Russian Aerospace Forces. Tourists do not have access to this facility but it is interesting to see giant radio telescopes from afar.
Saki Salt Lake is a city landmark and a major tourist attraction. The concentration of salt in its water amounts to 230-250 g/l, which is less than in the Dead Sea. However, Lake Saki has a lot more lipids and amino acids. Doctors warn that self-administered mud treatments can have dire consequences.
Bakhchisarai, Yevpatoria and Sevastopol are easy to reach by car or public transport.
Hotels and more
As a rule people come to Saki for health treatments, so there are not that many hotels. However, it is recognised as the region's health resort capital. The most famous places are the Pirogov Military Rehabilitation Clinic and the Burdenko Specialised Spinal Centre.
The city has no outlet to the sea and hence no beaches. So if anybody wants tp get a tan they will have to go to a swimming pool. However, there are costal health resorts and guest houses not far from sandy beaches in the region of Saki. They are located in Pribrezhnoye, Novofedorovka and Molochnoye. They do not have four or five star accommodation but offer an affordable and comfortable stay right by the beach.
How to get there
The distance between Simferopol Airport and Saki is about 40 km. It will take 30 to 40 minutes to get there by car or bus. You can take a train to Saki from the Simferopol railway station; the journey will take an hour and a half. The closest big city — Yevpatoria — is 23 km away. It will take half an hour to get there.
Saki has a regular bus service to most Crimean cities.
The distance from the Crimean Bridge is 270 km.