|Select magazine number|
The Crimea in between the tourist seasons
Tetyana PANINA invites you to come to Yalta in the off-season.
Many people think that if they failed to go to the sea and “improve their health” during the summer, then time for good rest and health improvement has been lost. Not so, say doctors and health improvement specialists in Yalta. Come any time of the year, they say, adding that the fall and winter months for many people have even certain advantages.
It was determined that “the solar activity” was higher in the past few years than before, and it means that in the summer the amount of radiation your body absorbs is also much higher. In the fall and winter there is no such problem. Yalta is surrounded on three sides by mountains which are overgrown with coniferous trees and cypresses. In the morning the winds bring the salubrious air from the mountains into the city and in the afternoon the sea air moves in. These two air masses mix up and the resulting air cocktail is very good for health. In the fall and in the winter the air is particularly clean. In the spring, during the blossoming period, the air is permeated with fragrances. Also the pollen from the deciduous trees and substances exuded by the coniferous trees which come back to life has medicinal properties (though some people may be allergic to them). Experts claim, that the air in Yalta is more salubrious than the air on the Mediterranean coasts. The medicinal properties of the Yalta air were discovered at the end of the nineteenth century and since then further studies have confirmed the correctness of this discovery.
According to the World Health Organization, the most effective way of preventing the cardiovascular diseases is physical exercise that includes swimming, walking and running.
Many of the sanatoria (here and everywhere the word is used in the sense it is used in Ukraine: a combination of a rest home and a hospital for people suffering from all kinds of diseases or just wishing to improve their health), rest homes and health-improvement centres in Greater Yalta have parks big enough to provide a lot of space for walking around. There are several paths that wind on the slopes of the mountains and are excellent for walking exercise (The Czar’s of Sunny Trail, for example). Even if you take walks, without doing any other exercise, it will be good for your health. Besides, the doctors in sanatoria, rest homes and health-improvement centres will help you to determine the optimal speed of walking and the distances you should walk to get the best results. Such walks are particularly good for people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, from hypertension and for aged people. In such places as Gurzuf, Alupka, Miskhor and Simeiz most of the sanatoria, rest homes and health-improvement centres are situated in big parks or are surrounded by forests and it provides additional opportunities for hikes and long walks.
Those who do not mind a bit of climbing are welcome to go for hikes in the mountains. The most scenic mountain place in Greater Yalta is Mount Ai-Petri to the top of which you can get by car or by the cable car road. The panoramic view from the top is truly breathtaking. On the way to the peak you can stop to have a good look at the Uchan-Su Waterfall or explore the Trekhglazka eave. On the way down you are welcome to pay a visit to the Polyana Skazok Camping Site, to have a meal at the restaurant or to take a swim in the swimming pool or to relax in the sauna bath. Incidentally, the camping site offers accommodation in log houses equipped with all the modern conveniences. You can even fish straight from your balcony — the artificial lakes of the place swarm with trout.
The word means “treatment with medicinal plants.” At most of the sanatoria, rest homes and health-improvement centres you will find doctors who specialize in phytotherapy and who will advise which herbs and plants would be best for you. Treatment with plants is particularly advisable in the spring when our bodies experience shortage of vitamins. There are many medicinal plants growing in the Crimea and the selection is wide enough to treat all kinds of health problems.
The Nikitsky Botanical Garden is particularly rich in medicinal plants. You should not try to collect them yourself — they are offered for sale dried and packed, and also you can buy booklets that provide exhaustive information on the plants you buy.
But it is not only in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden that you can find medicinal plants — they can be purchased elsewhere in the Crimea. Herbs, teas, and preparations made from the medicinal plants are offered in most of the sanatoria, rest homes and health-improvement centres. Aromafiolent is a company that specializes in selling phyto-teas, herbs and medicinal-plant preparations; it also provides information and advice on how to use medicinal plants. The Crimean medical plants are good not only for treating internal diseases but for improving the skin condition as well. You can improve your complexion if you need it. Women may be particularly interested.
In the fall, Yalta offers grapes in abundance. Starting from the end of August and all through the fall and winter, grapes are recommended as an excellent product good for many of the bodily functions. The Magarach Institute in Yalta offers a concentrate of the grape extract, Enoant, as a food additive. The Crimean Medical University has approved its use and the Miskhor, Ukrayina, Ai-Petri and Livadia sanatoria are already offering Enoant to their patients. The effect is said to have been significant.
Crimean wines are excellent not only as far as their flavour and mood-improving qualities are concerned. Dry red wine is advised by doctors as being good for your health if taken in small quantities. In October, the local fishermen catch a lot of fish of all kinds which are a culinary treat.
In the period from September to May a lot of seminars, conferences, meetings and symposia are held in Yalta. It is all but natural that the participants of these conferences want to use their stay in Yalta not only for attending these conferences and meetings but also for improving their health. The Vremena Goda rest home offers premises for holding conferences and at the same time you can go through a health rehabilitation course. Doctors will tell you what is particularly advisable for you. If you stay over a longer period of time, Vremena Goda doctors will offer you such health improvement programmes as Aphrodite and Casanova which are greatly popular with those who attend conferences or come to rest at the Vremena Goda rest home. If you become a member of the Timeshare Club you will be given considerable discounts and privileges.
The Yalta-Intourist Hotel is a leader in providing conference services. The general level of other services is not as high as it should be but the hotel, the biggest in Yalta, has a big conference hall equipped at the cutting edge of technology, swimming pools and a developed tourist infrastructure. Participants of conferences are offered buffet breakfasts.
VIP conferences are organized at a higher level of services provided at the Oreanda Hotel. It is the best hotel in Yalta — but also the most expensive one too. The hotel has its own cinema hall, bowling centre, fitness centre with a swimming pool, and a sauna bath.
Small hotels such as Bristol, Levant and Leto offer their conference halls of smaller size for conferences with fewer participants. Each of these hotels boasts a good retardant with live music, and Leto has a bowling centre too. The Levant Hotel offers conference participants to take advantage of a possibility of having a full course of comprehensive diagnostics and health improvement at the Orlinoye Gnezdo Sanatorium. The Bristol Hotel has a sauna bath; also, it offers services of a manual therapeutist whose fame has spread far and wide — German tourists come to take a treatment course from him.
In the winter, Yalta enjoys warm spells of weather which are the result of Yalta geographical position. On all sides — except of the seafront, of course, it is protected from the northern winds by the mountains and the air has time to get warmer than in the outlying areas. When the tops of the mountains are covered with snow you can sport a T-shirt on such warm days walking around Yalta without any fear of catching a cold. Lightly dressed, you can enjoy a leisurely walk along the renovated Yalta waterfront with all of its cafes, restaurants and other lures. The mountains that frame the city, ocean liners in the harbour, the seagulls in the air, the evergreens and the warm sun create an unforgettable atmosphere of relaxation and good mood. If you so desire you can go to the maintains to ski or ride on snowboards.