More a village than a town, the former capital of Crimean Tatar khans is cradled in a narrow valley squeezed between two limestone escarpments. Its name means 'garden-palace', and it's a garden that needs a lot of tilling after 50 years of neglect, when its owners lived in exile. Now the Crimean Tatars are back, and although lacking resources, they have already orchestrated a minor renaissance, which benefits travellers more than anyone else.
Forget the nouveau-riche tackiness of seaside resorts! This is the place to stay with local families, drinking Turkish coffee on their verandas and gorging on homemade Tatar sweets. But that's not all – the place is full of remnants of past civilizations and is a great base for outdoor adventure in the Crimean mountains.