go to content go to search box go to global site navigation
Travel alert: The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to Crimea. Please check with your relevant national government.

Introducing Balaklava

From the bloodthirsty pirates featuring in Homer's Odyssey to the Soviet nuclear submarine fleet – everyone used this beautiful curving fjord, invisible from the sea, as a secret hideout.

The British army wintered here during the Crimean War when a storm destroyed many supply ships moored outside the bay. Reading about it in the Times, concerned women back home began knitting full-cover woolly caps for the freezing sailors. These garments became known as balaclava helmets, or simply balaclavas.

Today the bay's turquoise waters surrounded by arid, scrub-covered hills shelter an armada of yachts, while pretty much the entire Ukrainian navy is tucked in the far corner.