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The map of the Crimea Zoom in




Map. The environs of Yalta. Zoom in




 
Geography in brief

        A traveller can come to Yalta either by sea or by land. To tourists coming on board a ship the town does not open at once. First, a passenger sights on the horizon ehead in the ship's course a little lilac stripe - the Main Range of the Crimean Mountains. Then the mountains grow higher but Yalta cannot he seen ... yet. And finally somehow at once at the foot of the mountains on the very seashore the light spots of sanatoria come into view... Therefore, when guides tell bout the origin of the town's name linking it with the legend of the shore of salvation for the Greek seafarers, tourists can easily imagine how it all happened...
        In remote times several ships set sail from Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire in search of new fertile lands. The voyage was not an easy one, the Pontos Euxenos - the Black Sea - met the seafarers with storms and gales. When the tempest had abated the impervious blanket of fog covered the sea.
        The ships drifted at random for many days. The sailors ran out of fresh water and food, tired and exhausted they lost all hope and resignedly expected to die.
        But once, early in the morning, a fresh breeze started blowing, the fog cleared out and right close by there appeared lilac-green mountains.
        "Gialos! Gialos! Shore! Shore!" - shouted the look-out. The travellers heartened up and steered their ships to the inviting shore.
        Here they founded a settlement and named it by a long-awaited word "gialos" (yalos) which is Greek for shore.
        So a town arose which bears now the name of Yalta.
        Of course, it is but a legend. Perhaps it has been prompted by the view of the town that opens up from the sea.
        It is quite another matter for those coming by land. Going in a bus or a trolleybus from Simferopol via Alushta you pass the final sharp curve and all of a sudden the panorama of Yalta unfolds below right before your eyes.
        The town cosily spreads out along the seashore facing south. Its parallel of latitude runs almost midway between the Equator and the North Pole viz: in the area with the optimum climatic conditions for human organism. In Yalta like on all the South Coast of the Crimea it is not very cold in winter and not exceedingly hot in summer.
 

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