go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Introducing Bakhchysaray

Travel Alert The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to Crimea. Please check with your relevant national government.

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.