Black Sea: to and from

12.07.2013 | Leonid Uzvar

How to find a vacation spot near Odesa or in Crimea

The Black Sea coast of Ukraine extends for thousands of kilometers. Along the coast are hundreds of resort cities and towns. KW selected for readers the best places on the seaside

Odesa oblast

Odesa. This is one of the most intriguing cities in Ukraine. Aside from its many years of history, the city has many points of interest, the locals speak a very specific dialect with a strong sense of humor and the city is considered the best place for vacationing on the seaside.

Odesa is a relatively small city but there is no problem with accommodation. Local residents offer a place for rent to tourists as soon as they get off a train, bus or airplane. Rental fees start from UAH 150. The only drawbacks are that the beaches are crowded from the early morning hours, the tap water is not of the best quality and, as paradoxical as it may seem, the citys night life is quite dull.

Raseika and Katranka. These are the names that locals gave to territories on which budget tourist resorts are located (UAH 40-60 per person) next to the villages Prymorske and Lyman. The road leading to them goes through the regional center Tatarburnary. To get to the seaside you have to walk across a bridge spanning over several canals parallel to the coastline. For entertainment there are a few cafes and discotheques. You can also take a tour of the towns Vilkovo and Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy.

Lebedivka. This is where the bluffs typical along the entire stretch of the Odesa shoreline end. In Lebedevka there are several dozens of village homes and small stores along the main street and dozens of renovated tourist resorts built half a century ago. To get to the beach you have to walk down a steep set of stairs. The main attraction of Lebedivka is its long spit. Within half an hour you are practically the only person on the beach. There you can relax in the private sector for UAH 50 per person or put up your own tent.

Serhiyivka. This is a genuine health resort. The Shabolatskiy Firth provides local spas curative mud. Here you can always find a privately owned room from UAH 50 per night or a room in a ramshackle boarding house for UAH 70.

There are no beaches in Serhiyivka. They are separated by the firth. While the beaches in Katranka or Prymorske on the Sea of Azov are within walking distance, in Serhiyivka the width of the firth is up to 2 kilometers. For this reason, special cutters take tourists from the spit to the village for UAH 5 one way.

Karolino-Bugaz Bay. This is considered the best resort along the Black Sea coast. It is a spit that takes up a wide space extending for several kilometers. The Odesa-Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy highway and railway runs along the spit. The coast is crammed with vacation resorts for UAH 80 per night and mini-hotels from UAH 150 and up that have direct and reliable outlet to the sea.

There are three sections on the spit, each with their own railway station: Central Station (Zatoka), Solnochniy and Limanskiy. Nevertheless, the majority of vacationers get to the resort by route buses.

The positive feature of Zatoka is that is has a nice sandy beach. Koblevo lags behind Zatoka in this respect, though Koblevo, Rybakovka and Skadovsk stand out for the greenery. The beach along the spit is almost fully occupied by houses. Cheap rooms and cabins (from UAH 50 per night) are situated along the 2nd and 3rd lines within a 10-15 minute walk from the sea.

The obvious disadvantage of Zatoka is poorly organized feeding of tourists. All the local establishments are clearly seasonal and they are more oriented to serving vodka instead of a hearty meal. This is obviously not suitable for families with children that come for a 2-week vacation. The same applies to entertainment for children. All that is offered at this resort is rides on inflatable boats.


Yalta. This is the main resort city of Crimea where vacationing is considered prestigious. The chances of seeing some famous movie stars, musicians or politicians on the quay or in the local restaurants are quite high.

On the downside, the prices of accommodation are exorbitant (starting from UAH 400 per night) that the citys infrastructure does correspond to. Indeed, in the summer vacation you may be stuck in traffic trying to get to your hotel, while in the spring it will take only five minutes.

Feodosia. This resort city is traditionally not considered to be at the same level of Yalta, though it is far ahead of other cities in Crimea. First of all, this resort is not appreciated for its beaches as many tourists complain about its proximity to the port and the railway station, rather for its long lasting history of hosting festivals. The most popular festivals in the summer months are the Koktebel Jazz Festival and the WineFeoFest festival. On the whole, this city has a peaceful and romantic atmosphere and the prices of food and accommodation are comparatively low.

Chornomorsk. Every year the western coast of Crimea is attracting more and more vacationers. Here one can rent decent accommodation for UAH 70-80 a night per person, it is quiet as it is family-oriented, does not host noisy festivals, has very few noisy nightclubs, the beach is spacious and not divided into sections that have a manager and offer beach chairs for a fee.

Every year thousands of tourists come to this resort in their private vehicles, where the cool sea breeze allows them to go windsurfing or kite-surfing. Traditionally, the peak season for vacationers in Chornomorsk is from the beginning of July to the middle of August. However, the picturesque cape can be quite dangerous every summer fanatics of extreme sports that are not aware of the particular features of the coastline die.

Yevpatoria: At this resort parents have nothing to worry about as long as they keep a watchful eye over their children. In many sanatoriums where a rest for 21 days costs UAH 4,000 on average, your child can be treated and entertained.

But the local authorities also offer adults some forms of entertainment. The local residents mock the authorities for organizing on a daily basis the most grandiose parade of stilt-walkers, watermelon eating contests and singing karaoke.

Saki: The majority of tourists go to Saki not for the sea, which is a 15-20 minute walk from the place of accommodation, rather health improvement. 14 days in a health spa costs around UAH 8,000. The most frequent tourists here are Germans, Dutch and Arabs. Foreign tourists are attracted to this resort by the local curative mud and brine, which help heal people from many diseases, including skin and respiratory problems. On the downside, the result offers no cultural leisure.

Alushta: Here there are 12 free-of-charge beaches. The city has a Park of Miniatures (a collection of miniature copies of Crimean points of interest half the height of human being) and the Alushta Aquarium (tickets cost UAH 80 for adults and UAH 40 for children). Prices of accommodation start at UAH 200.

Sudak: This is a small resort town where accommodation is cheaper than on the southern coast of Crimea. Here one can easily find accommodation for UAH 100-150 per night and it has all the amenities: nightclubs, sea cruises, a huge castle, stores and taxi services. Two festivals Genoa Helmet that attracts aficionados of historic reenactments and the Film from the Start are held for tourists to the city.

On the downside, the resort is not so popular because there is no free space on the beach at 9 am in the July-August period.

Getting there

As for the availability of train tickets from Kyiv to Odesa and Simferopol, the situation is as follows: tickets for July have been sold out. The number of tickets available in August is higher (Kyiv-Simferopol UAH 200 and Kyiv-Odesa UAH 80-180). The situation with bus tickets is more promising as this form of transport is less popular than trains (Kyiv-Simferopol UAH 260-300 and Kyiv-Odesa UAH 160-260).

Airplane tickets are available for any date, except that tickets reserved two weeks in advance will cost you 1.5 times less. The price of return flight to Crimea will range from UAH 1,800-3,000 and for a return flight to Odesa UAH 1,200-2,200.

The next task is getting to your destination. Next to the train and bus stations that are both close to one another in Simferopol and Odesa there are taxis, route buses, trolley buses and electric commuter trains. Although the latter are the cheapest way of reaching your destination, they wont take you to all cities in Crimea, while all local route buses go to all towns and cities in Crimea and the Odesa oblast. The trip to Yalta takes 1-1.5 hours. If you go by trolley bus it will take 2.5-3 hours. The ride to Zatoka is approximately 2 hours.

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