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Sunsets in Sevastopol

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Ukraine is an often overlooked destination when not hosting a major football competition, but it has much to offer those who prefer to get away from swarms of tourists during their holidays. The peninsula of Crimea encompasses many beautiful and historic cities including Sevastopol: port, seaside resort and strategically important naval base.

Like the rest of Crimea, Sevastopol is the perfect place for those who love to be beside the seaside. The beaches are not sandy, but stony, with large rocks providing the perfect nooks and crannies to curl up with a good book or work on your tan. Sevastopol has one of the best climates in Ukraine, so you’re almost guaranteed some summer sun, but if you can’t spend more than 15 minutes in the heat without turning the colour of a phone box, head to the sea in the evening instead. It will still be warm enough for swimming but the sun is less intense, so you won’t have to fret about heatstroke. This also means you will be able to watch the sun set over the Black Sea, a real show of beautiful colours and on a cloudless evening it’s even more spectacular. For a totally unspoiled view, rent a pedalo, head out to sea and enjoy your own private sunset.

Victory Beach in Sevastopol is a popular place with not only locals and tourists, but dolphins too. In late spring and early summer, hundreds of these beautiful creatures come to this part of the sea, to the delight of anyone who can catch a glimpse. Sevastopol has a kind of mini-seaworld where dolphins perform tricks and acrobatics for the amusement of spectators - but seeing dolphins in the wild is, in my opinion, the only way to see them. If you miss them at Victory Beach, head to the swanky area of Balaclava, where boats take tourists from the harbour to the beaches and coves nearby for a better look.

The city also has much to offer history buffs. Sevastopol was under siege for 11 months during the Crimean War, and the Panorama of Sevastopol is an unusual museum, portraying the time during the siege in a kind of 3D painting, housed in a fabulous round building in the city. Take an audio guide or explore at your own pace and soak up the history. On top of that, the ancient city of Chersonesus is Ukraine’s answer to Pompeii, only without the coachloads of tourists. Protected as a national park, the archaeological ruins are a fascinating sight and definitely worth exploring.

In a time when city breaks tend to mean dashing between various over crowded tourist hotspots and frantically rushing round museums, sometimes it’s just nice to sit and watch the sun go down. Sevastopol offers the chance to sit at a beach and wait until the first star appears in the sky before heading out for some night swimming. It’s about getting back to nature, enjoying simple pleasures and most importantly, getting away from the crowds.




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