The Travel Portal of the Republic of Crimea prepared a rating of the most unusual excursions available to the guests of Crimea. Experienced guides to the world of Crimean tourism helped us to compile the TOP rating.
Excursions in the darkness
Since 2018 a unique interactive "World in Touch" space has been working in Simferopol, which offers you to pass through unforgettable excursions in pitch darkness and learn to "see" not with your eyes, but with other senses. Five locations are there: "museum”, "street", "room", "market", "café", through which the guide leads the visitors.
"For our locations we specially recorded Simferopol sounds, and the sound are in 3D. In addition, we perfumed the premises. For example, on the "market" you can smell spices, vegetables and fruits. All this is done in order to enable guests to use hearing, smell and tactile senses. Or, let’s say − taste. In the "café" we give visitors a drink with a request to try and guess what it is. And you know, many are mistaken! This is how the brain can behave unpredictably in the darkness!", — the project manager Yekaterina Matveyeva told the Crimea Travel Portal.
Besides, according to her, there work blind guides, who conduct blindfolded guided tours for those who wish to the central streets of the Crimean capital. The sighted guides, who accompany such groups and make sure that they do not come across complex obstacles, are responsible for the safety.
Interactive science tours
Znanium is the first in Crimea interactive science and entertainment center for the whole family in Simferopol. Here, a huge number of exhibits demonstrating the laws of physics, biology, astronomy and mathematics are collected on the area of 500 square meters. Here you can touch everything and to do unusual experiments.
For example, a guest can sit on nails, raise himself sitting on a chair, set in motion various pendulums and mechanisms, inflate a soap bubble of human height, and to face tête-à-tête electric lightnings in the Tesla hall. Another unique location is Arena Space, which demonstrates the latest virtual and augmented reality technologies.
"In just three hours you can learn as much as you won’t know in a lifetime. Moreover, adults in the Znanium are just as interested as children. I highly recommend it", — advises the guide, journalist and traveler Yevgeny Bondarenko.
Extreme excursions under water in the Red Cave
For fans of extreme entertainments, a guide of the 1st category Dina Mulyanova recommends going to the Red Cave and trying to pass the untrimmed bed of the underground river − the so-called beyond-the-siphon section. Tourists (over 16 years old and able to swim surely) are given wetsuits and all the necessary equipment.
According to the organizers of the extreme excursion website, the siphon is a completely flooded section of the tunnel, which can be passed only by swimming. The temperature of the air and water in the cave at any time of the year ranges from +8 to +10°C (46-50°F).
For several kilometers of the route, sightseers will encounter avalanche halls, quartz outcrops, calcite crystals, gypsum helictites. In the Red Cave there are also the largest stalactites in Crimea, reaching a height of more than 8 meters. The culmination of the excursion is the underground 20 meters high "Waterfall of Pink Streams".
Airplane and helicopter tours
It is possible to take inspiration from the romance of the Crimean sky, to appreciate the palette of landscapes opening from a height on airplane and helicopter excursions. The pleasure, of course, is not a cheap one, but so much adrenaline and unforgettable impressions!
The Yak-52 two-seater aircraft, as well as helicopters − domestic Mi brand (with a capacity of up to 5 passengers) and Robinson R44 (up to 3 passengers) − take the guests of Crimea for an air ride. Such services are provided, in particular, by the Sevastopol flying club.
The hooks of "airplane walks" are that a professional pilot, according to your desire, can perform aerobatics: loops, coups, turns, zoom climbs. In good weather, you will even be given the controls for a short while.
A more relaxed tour awaits helicopter passengers: they can fly past the Fiolent and the picturesque Balaclava bay, over the blue Laspi lagoon and the steep wall of the Batiliman coast, take a panoramic tour of Yalta and then return to Sevastopol, appreciating the bird's-eye view of Chufut-Kale, Eski-Kermen and the majestic Mangup. They ride on Mi for about 40 minutes, on Robinson − from 15 minutes to several hours.
Excursions to a non-traditional winery
Arriving in Crimea, you can’t help but visit its famous wineries, get acquainted with the history of Crimean winemaking, taste the "sunny drinks", which are in the top ratings of Russian experts.
But along with this, as Yevgeny Bondarenko advises, one can visit wineries both with traditional technologies (Massandra, Solnechnaya Dolina, INKERMAN), and with non-traditional ones.
Alma Valley winery in the Bakhchisaray district is the only winery in Crimea using the gravity flow winemaking process. It is a modern technology which, unlike traditional one-level cellars, allows for the wine to stream from winery levels without use of pumps or any mechanical force, enabling the grape must to extract gently. Proponents of the technique insist that this gives wines additional subtlety and structure. Guests will not only see the production processes with their own eyes, but also learn a lot about the Crimean vineyards and discover the terroir of the Alma Valley.
If you love pedaling and are in excellent physical condition, you will surely like bike excursions to the most picturesque places of Crimea, which can last from several hours to several days.
For example, you can choose the 20-kilometer 5-hour Demerdzhi and the Valley of Ghosts route. The start from the Angara Pass through the beech forest. Next − a visit to the ruins of the Funa fortress built in the 13-14th centuries. After that − see the "Nikulinskiy Walnut Tree" near which the episode of the famous "Caucasian Captive" movie was filmed. Then − a walk to the Valley of Ghosts and in the end − descent to Alushta.
The option for the most hardy is the 5-day bike tour named "From the Capital of the Crimean Khanate to the Sea" (an escort car provided). Among the locations that the tourist will have to visit there are the medieval fortified town of Chufut-Kale, the cave fortress at the top of Mount Tepe-Kermen, the Holy Assumption Monastery. The extreme part of the tour will be going up the serpentine to the Ai-Petri plateau.
In Simferopol, according to Dina Mulyanova, bicycle excursions are held in the Gagarin Park, the Old Town, near the Simferopol Water Reservoir and Naples of the Scythians archaeological site.
Excursions to enterprises
Do you want to see with your own eyes how this or that product is produced? Then welcome to the Crimean enterprises!
"Very interesting excursions are offered by the ice cream factory in the village of Dobroyeh: for guests there are tasting, acquaintance with the production process, quests, and holiday events. You can recall the "Taste of Childhood" at the Crimea Brewery and Non-Alcoholic factory, which retains old Soviet-time technology for the production of traditional lemonade loved by everyone. Many are also attracted to cheese dairies and bakeries. And in the center of Simferopol there is Sweet Home café-confectionery which organizes a unique tour: the host confectioners in a ceremonial way bring out a cake into the hall to the music of the country where this delicacy was first created. And in parallel, they tell the story of the invention of the sweet masterpiece. We didn’t have this before", — admitted Dina Mulyanova.
Of course, this is not all the unusual excursions that you can undertake in Crimea. Among other interesting options there are speleological tours, motorcycle tours, quad tours, equestrian tours (not to be confused with simple horseback riding), hot air balloon flying, kayaking. The so-called "Industrial" excursions are also gaining popularity – a visit to abandoned objects with a military past, for example, the mysterious Object 221 in Balaclava.