The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is part of the Ukraine. The northern administrative boundaries of the Crimea lie along Perekopsky Val and Sivash. In the north-eastern part of the peninsula lies a long sand spit called Arabatskaya Strelka, and its northern wider half belongs to the Kherson region of the Ukraine. Simferopol, the capital of the Crimea and the hub of business and cultural life, binds together all roads on the peninsula.
Relief. Crimean plains are little different from the steppes of the neighbouring Ukrainian regions, but they blend with the Tarkhankuta limestone escarpment in the west, and in the east they turn into hilly ridges of the Kerch Peninsula. The most prominent mountain ranges on the peninsula are the Crimean Mountains, which form three parallel ridges and extend 150 kilometres from Sevastopol to Feodosiya. Their northern slopes are quite flat, while the southern ones are precipitous. Two lower ridges form the Crimean foothills, cut into separate massifs by picturesque river valleys, while the main ridge rises like a continuous barrier, which goes up higher than thousand meters almost at about every stretch (its highest point is Roman-Kosh, 1,545 m). Near its southern steep cliff, this ridge hides a narrow strip of land, protecting it from the cold wind - the famous southern coast of the Crimea.
Kara-Dag, a volcanic massif in the Crimea on the shores of the Black Sea. It reaches up to 577 m in height. It is an extinct volcano, which was active 150 million years ago;
Demerdzhi-Yaila, a mountain massif in the Alushta region of the Crimea. Demerdzhi-Yaila is part of the main ridge of the Crimean mountains. Located south of Dolgorukovskaya Yaila, near the town of Alushta. Its peaks are Northern Demerdzhi (1,356 m) and Southern Demerdzhi (1,239 m). On the slopes of Southern Demerdzhi, fanciful piles of stones are found – the Valley of Ghosts. There is also a rock there called Catherine the Great’s Head;
Babugan-Yaila, the highest mountain massif in the Crimea. It is part of the main ridge. The highest point of Babugan-Yaila, Mount Roman-Kosh (1,545 metres high), is also the highest peak of the Crimea;
Chatyr-Dag, a mountain range located in the central part of the Crimean peninsula; it belongs to the main ridge Crimean mountains. It used to be much closer to the main ridge, but it was cut off by an errosion and separated from Babugan Yaila by the Ulu-Uzen and Alma Rivers and from Demerdzhi and Dolgorukovskaya Yaila by the Angara River. It consists of a lower and an upper plateau (yaila). The upper plateau has two peaks - Hangar-Burun (1,453 m) in the east and Eklizi-Burun (1,525 m) in the west. At the foot of the plateau, two caves, Mramornaya and Emine-Bair-Hosar, are equipped to receive tourists and there is also a tourist base there. Eklizi-Burun is the highest peak (1,525 m) of the Chatyrdag plateau;
Sokol or Kush-Kaya, a rocky massif near the village of Novy Svet and the town of Sudak. Sokol is an ancient coral reef, the largest in Europe;
Tepe-Kermen, a mountain in the Bakhchisarai region of the Crimea. Located not far from Bakhchisarai, west of Kyzyl-Kermen;
The Baydarskaya Valley, an intermountain depression in the south-western part of the Crimean peninsula. Located in the southeastern part of the Sevastopol administrative territory;
The Baydarskiye Gate, a mountain pass through the main ridge in the Crimean mountains, leading from the Baydarskaya Valley to the southern coast of the Crimea. It is boundary of the southern coast of the Crimea and it reaches 503 m in height;
Ayu-Dag or Bear Mountain, a mountain on the southern coast of the Crimea, 16 kilometres north-east of Yalta, near Gurzuf. The appearance of this mountain resembles a big bear drinking water;
The Angarsk Pass, a mountain pass in the Crimea, the highest point of the route Simferopol - Alushta (752 m);
Ai-Petrinskaya Yaila, a yaila (plateau) in the western part of the main ridge in the Crimean mountains. It borders with Baydarskaya Yaila in the south-west and blends smoothly into Yalta Yaila in the north-east;
Ai-Petri, a summit in the Crimean mountains, part of Ai-Petrinskaya Yaila, 1,234 m high. The Ai-Petri jags include four large peaks (12-15 m high) and a number of smaller steep peaks formed by eroding heterogeneous limestone reefs. At Ai-Petri, a ropeway was set up along the route Miskhor - Sosnovy Bor - Ai-Petri, and it offers the longest no-support flight in Europe;
Magobi, an ancient extinct volcano (804 m) at the foot of Ai-Petrinskaya Yaila, fully covered with dense mixed forest;
Biyuk-Isar, a cliff in the Crimean mountains near the village of Katsiveli;
The Laspinsky Pass, a pass in the Crimean mountains, the highest point of the Sevastopol - Yalta highway, located 700 m north of Laspinskaya Bay;
The Kudykiny mountains, a low mountain range in the Two-Anchor Valley to the south-west of Feodosiya (Crimea), located between the Biyuk-Yanyshar and Tepe-Oba ridges;
Koshka, a cliff in the Crimean mountains near the town of Simeiz.
Rivers. Crimea has over 150 rivers and creeks. Almost all of them start in the mountains. The Salgir River is the longest river in the Crimea (232 km). The eastern Ulu-Uzen River is deemed the most important south-flowing river. The Derekoyka (or the Fast River) is another river, which goes down from the mountains to Yalta. Among the rivers of southern coast of the Crimea, the largest include the Avunda near Gurzuf, the Demerdzhi, the Uskut, the Shelia, the Arshat, the Voron and the Ai-Serez. In the western part of the Crimea flow the Belbek, the Alma, the Kacha and the Chyornaya rivers. The Black River is the utmost western river and the second largest river after the Belbeka. During the summer, many rivers dry out or become poor in water.
Caves. The Crimea’s longest karst cave is the Red Cave, 16 km long, while the deepest cave in the Crimea is Soldiers’ Mine, 517 m deep. The entrance into the Treschinnaya cave at Chatyrdag is located at an altitude of 1,490 m and it occupies the highest position compared to other Crimean caves. There are also such caves in the Crimea as Black Cave, Soldiers’ Cave, Eni-Sala-3, Marble Cave, Red Cave and a nameless cave on the Tarkhankut peninsula.
Sightseeing. Crimea has a vast cultural heritage and a unique natural diversity as well as a great number of historical and archaeological places, most of which are very popular - Ai-Petri, Ayu-dag (Bear Mountain), Bakhchisarai Khan’s Palace, Vorontsov Palace, the Genoese fortress (Sudak), the Valley of Ghosts, the Swallow's Nest, Livadiya Palace, Nikitsky Botanical Gardens and the Adalary cliff islands (the White Cliffs).
Tourism. There is a diversity of kinds of recreation in the Crimea. You can relax lying on the beach, commune with nature and enjoy the clear sea or go to the mountains, either on foot or by bicycle, and explore caves, do some diving or mountaineering. In the south-east of the Crimea, there are well-known resorts, such as Yalta, Gurzuf, Alushta and Sudak.
Climate. The climate is subtropical in the south of Crimea and continental in the north. The coldest months are January and February. The lowest average temperature in the mountains is -4 ° C, in January, while the highest temperature is +5 ° C, on the southern coast of the Crimea. The highest average temperatures in July are +23 to 24 ° C and +16 ° C in the mountains.