Swallow's Nest


Like many movie stars, Swallow's Nest is shorter in real life than it appears in pictures. This toy-town castle is a favourite subject for Crimean postcards, but it's only big enough to house an expensive and exceedingly disappointing Italian restaurant.

Instead, it's the castle's precarious perch on the sheer cliff of Cape Ay-Todor, 10km west of Yalta, that elicits a minor thrill. On the surrounding walkway, you realise that the castle actually overhangs the cliff. Although the castle looks medieval in style, it was built in 1912 for German oil magnate Baron Steingel, as a present to his mistress.

The most spectacular approach to the castle is over the water, via the ferry (adult/child 20/10uah, up to 20 daily in high season, four in October), which heads from Yalta Pier to the beach and jetty just below the Swallow's Nest.

Buses 26, 27 and 32 also pass this way, stopping directly in front of a row of souvenir stalls above the castle. Stairs, leading to the castle, are on the left side of the row.