Black Sea is a huge inland sea, covering 196,100 square miles with an average depth of 3,906 feet. Twice the size of Michigan, it is surrounded by Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, the Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey and is connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the half-mile-wide Bosporus at Istanbul, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. Because it has few outlets it has virtually no tides. The water is warm enough for swimming in the summer, and can generate some surprisingly large waves in some places when the wind kicks up.

The Black Sea gets it name from storms that frequently darken the skies over the sea and the sea itself. Black Sea generates a lot its own moisture and winds that blow in from the northwest bring even more. The coastal areas of the Black Sea receive quite a bit of rainfall (mostly in the winter) and are quite lush and green. There summertime temperatures are generally significantly cooler than the Mediterranean Sea but still plenty warm enough for topless sunbathing.

Five major rivers empty into the Black Sea: the Danube, Dnieper, ???Dpro, Along the coast are cliffs, rocky headlands, forests, sandy beaches, pebbly beaches, fishing towns cities and industrial centers. The Black Sea has densely populated horses and heavy maritime traffic. Russia has ports on the Black Sea but ships that use have to pass thorough the Bosporus and the Dardanelles in Turkey to reach the Mediterranean.

Book: Black Sea by Neal Ascherson (Hill & Wong).

Creation of the Black Sea

The Black Sea, Aral Sea and Caspian Sea were one part of a massive inland sea. Around three million years they were part of a true sea connect to the Mediterranean Sea and the world oceans by the Sea of Azov. Around 12,000 years when the last ice age was at its peak the Black Sea was freshwater lake. As the ice age waned and glaciers melted and sea levels rose.

The Black Sea was created around 5000 B.C. when water levels in the Mediterranean Sea rose at end of a long ice age and broke through a natural dam at the Bosporus and poured into the Black Sea, at that time a fresh water lake whose surface was as much as 450 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean. An earthquake may have caused the natural dam to fracture. When the water poured through at its peak it produced a roar that could be heard 300 miles away and unleashed 10 cubic miles of water a day..

Water flowed at rate equivalent of 200 Niagra Falls and caused the Black Sea to rise about six inches a day and covered an area the size of Florida after two years. Archeologists speculate that villagers who lived on the Black that were forced to flee the rising waters were the source of the Noah's and other flood stories. Some flood victims stories no doubt found their way to Mesopotamia, where the first known flood stories originated.

In the late 1990s, archeologists uncovered evidence of great flood that occurred around 7,000 years ago. The archeological evidence was a series of submerged beach at a depth of a around of 500 feet with the youngest freshwater marine creatures radiocarbon dated at an age of between 6,900 and 7,500 years. The beaches are evidence of an ancient shoreline and the freshwater creatures are seen as proof that the Black Sea was a freshwater lake around 7,000 years ago.

Even today the Black Sea remains a freshwater lake resting on a saltwater sea. After the flood the denser salt water plunged below the freshwater and because there has been little mixing since the flood, a 500-foot layer of relatively fresh water sits in a salt water sea with a pth of up to 7,000 feet.

No oxygen enters the lower level and as a result nothing lives there. There is no bacteria or sea worms to bore into wood and archeologist live that could be ancient ships under the Black Sea that are completely intact. Evidence of human habitation before the Great includes a 7,500-year-old structure discovered in the Black Sea found by explorer Robert Ballard.

Noah: The Bible reads: "And the water prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and the all the high hills...were covered." According to Mesopotamian Epic of Gilamesh: "Swiftly it mounted up; the water reached the mountains."

The Black Sea is has tuna, sharks dolphins like the open ocean Fishermen catch mostly mackerel, bluefish, bonito, anchovies and mullet. There is a common saying in the region, “God looks after the poor by providing fish.” But unfortunately these species are becoming more scarce as a result of overfishing and pollution. 21 of 26 major Black Sea fish species are "commercially extinct." One fisherman told National Geographic, “the catch varies a lot year to year, but we still get enough.”

Pollution in the Black Sea

The Black Sea suffers from pollution, shortages of oxygen and jellyfish plagues. About 90 percent of the Black Sea is depleted of oxygen. What little oxygen, near the surface, is consumed as tons of organic matter, dumped into the sea by the rivers that empty inti it decomposes. The Black Sea also suffers from high pollution levels and natural build ups of lethal hydrogen sulphide.

The bottom layers of the Black Sea contain high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide. If an event like the one that occurred Lake Nyos in the Cameroon in 1986, occurred in the Black, there is a possibility that hundreds of thousands of people could die.

Fish populations in the Black Sea are being threatened by a non-native jellyfish species (Mnemiopsis leidyi) that arrived from the Atlantic around 1980, probably in the ballast water of a ship. Sometimes 300 or more jellyfish occupy a square foot of water and it is estimated that more than a billion tons of the creatures cobble up plankton that provide the foundation of the Black Sea's food chain. Oceanographers have suggested introducing butterfish, which feed on the jellyfish in the Atlantic.

Russian Black Sea Coast

Russian Black Sea Coast occupies a small section of the eastern Black Sea coast between Georgia and the Ukraine. The western Caucasus mountains rise up in the background. The main cities on the coast itself are Novorossisk and Sochi. The largest city in the region is Krasador, which is about 60 kilometers inland.

Sometimes called Circassian coast, the Black Sea area of Russia extending from Anapa in the north to Adler in the south, and including cities like Tuapse and Sochi was the coast of historical Circassia. The coastline was ceded to Russia by Ottoman Turkey in 1829 as a result of the Caucasus War and the Russo-Turkish War, However, the Circassians did not accept Russian control over Circassia arguing that because Circassia was not considered a part of the Ottoman Empire, that Circassians were the real owners of Circassia, Russia’s claims were not valid.

The north coast of the Black Sea within the borders of Russia extends for nearly 300 kilometers southeast of Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. It consists of several parts differing in morphology, rock type and geological structure, because the northern part is on the Mesozoic Scythian Plate and the southern part belongs to the structures of the Great Caucasus Mountains.

East of the Kerch Strait, for about 20 kilometers unconsolidated deposits are the norm. The coast here is being intensively eroded and is subjected to landslides. The clayey rocks yield little sediment to the beaches, which composed predominantly of shelly material. In front of the cliffs is a wide shore platform. An irregular coastline predominates due the different erosion rates and resistance of the different types of rock on the outcrops. Further down the coast to southeast, a coastal barrier of quartz sand, about 50 kilometers long, separates a series of large estuaries from the sea. In the west, the barrier is narrow, but it widens to a kilometer in width to the southeast and has small dunes. The barrier is composed of ancient alluvial sediments from the Kuban River

The northern part of the Caucasus Mountains intersect the coastline in Anapa. The coast here has cliffs of strongly folded and faulted Cretaceous rock. The cliffs between Anapa and Novorossiysk are up to 200 meters high. Below the cliffs are narrow boulder beaches. The cities of Anapa, Novorossiysk and Gelendjik lie at the heads of bays.On the 100 kilometers stretch between Anapa and Tuapse there are cliffs and small bays with narrow beaches. There are wide beaches and a coastal barrier in Anapa Bay. Further southeast the Sochi resort area extends for 70 kilometers from Tupase to Alder and has an alteration of cliffed headlands and bays at the mouths of mountains rivers. Narrow shingle and coarse sand beaches lie in the coastal bays.

Tourism on the Black Sea coast centers around towns, sanatoriums and beaches. The beaches unfortunately are rarely sandy. They are usually made up of pebbles or rocks. The water near the cities is sometimes dirty. Some beaches are pay beaches belonging to sanatoriums that define the limits of their beaches with concrete walls.

Krasnodar Krai

Krasnodar Krai is a federal subject of Russia (a krai), located in the Black Sea, North Caucasus region in Southern Russia. The third most-populous region of Russia, it is home to 5.2 million people, about half of whom live in urban areas, and has a population density of 69 people people per square kilometer. Krasnodar city is its capital and largest city. Novorossiysk is Russia's main port on the Black Sea and Sochi was hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014.A krai is an administrative territory of Russia that dates back to tsarist times. Website: The Ministry of resorts, tourism and the Olympic legacy Krasnodar Krai:

Covering, 76,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles), almost the size of Ireland, Krasnodar Krai borders the Black Sea to the south, the Sea of Azov to the west, Rostov Oblast to the north, Stavropol Krai to the east and Karachay-Cherkessia to the south-east. Krasnodar Krai shares an international border with Georgia to the south, and a disputed border with Crimea across the Kerch Strait. Adygea is an enclave entirely within Krasnodar Krai, Most state-like entities in Russia are oblasts (regions). A krai was a type of geographical administrative division in the Russian Empire and modern hin the U.S.S.R. and is one of the types of the federal subjects of modern Russia.

Krasnodar Krai is formally and informally called Kuban, a term denoting former Kuban People's Republic and historic region of Kuban situated between the Sea of Azov and the Kuban River which is mostly composed of the krai's territory. It is the traditional homeland of the Kuban Cossacks. The northern part of the krai is in the Don Steppe, while southern region's Mediterranean climate and is popular tourist area. location. The Caucasus mountains are most prominent in the southeast part of the krai. Part of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet is based in Krasnodar Krai.

Attractions in Krasnodar Krai include Sochi, and various places associated with it such as beaches, ski resorts and entertainment places like Skypark where you test your nerves at 200 meters above the ground. On the Taman Peninsula you can samples beaches on both the Black and Azov Seas. In 2011, Anapa was named the Best Balneological Resort in the World. There are more than 40 fascinating tour routes, you can go horse riding, take a boat trip, go scuba diving or even flying. People go to Gelendzhik, Tuapse, and neighboring areas to check out their historical sites, dolmens and waterfalls. Here there is also a safari park, the romantic Old Park and a space museum. Those into ancient history head to Taman settlement, the former home of the Tmutarakan Principality.

Krasnodar City

Krasnodar (60 kilometers from the Black Sea and 270 kilometers south of Rostov-on-Don) is a city of 600,000 with links to Scythians and Cossacks. Founded on the Kuban River in 1793 as a Cossack fort and originally called Ekaterinodar, it is a typical Russia city. The first church, Branch Church of the Holy Trinity the city, was built when the city was still largely a camp. The Cossacks have traditionally had a strong presence here. Many of the city’s 50 or so churches were built before the revolution thanks to the efforts of the Cossacks, merchants, philanthropists and ordinary citizens.

Krasnodar is the capital and the administrative, industrial, business and cultural center of Krasnodar Krai. The city boasts 13 major shopping centers and more than 200 hotels, inns, guest houses and hostels that can accommodate tourists and visitors on all budgets. In 2017, Krasnodar opened a "Tourist Information Center" geared for budget travelers.

Krasnodar claims to have more than 400 attractions and more than 1,000 events. The regional museum — F. Kovalenko,Krasnodar State Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve. — contains ancient Greek and Scythian artifacts. There is also an art museum — the Krasnodar Regional Art Museum.. On the outskirts of Krasnodar, there is a well preserved village of cottages, streets and landscaping from the time of the Cossacks. Krasnodar Kuban is a religious center. Krasnodar is often called the City of Fountains.. Among them is a unique light and music fountain.

Krasnodar’s pride and joy is its famous State Kuban Cossack Choir under the direction of Victor Zakharchenko. Other drama, entertainment and music entities include the Krasnodar State Academic Drama Theater, Krasnodar Regional Puppet Theater, Krasnodar State Circus, . ED Felitsyna, Krasnodar Philharmonic, GF Ponomarenko, creative association "Premiere", which included: Musical Theater, Ballet Theater Yuri Grigorovich, the Youth Theater, New Theater puppet show theater "Premiere", and the concert hall of organ and chamber music.

Krasnodar is a big soccer town. Attendance at home matches of FC Krasnodar and FC Kuban has been steadily growing, thanks in part to a new modern stadium with 33,000 seats. Other national and even international sporting events are hosted on the city. of Zaton (Victory Park) has has a sports beach and swimming pools.

Northwest Hut Farm Museum of Cossack Society (Near Krasnodar) contains photographs, books, documents, old maps of the Kuban region, household items, kitchenware, household tools, clothing, weapons and equipment, religious books, church painting of the last century and modern paintings related to Cossacks. The museum covers the entire of the Kuban Cossacks from the arrival of the first units of troops to the heyday of the Kuban Cossacks in the late 19th beginning of the 20th century until 1917. Also in the museum presents a modern history of the Cossacks: the history of their since the 1980s.

Sea of Azov

The Sea of Azov (southern Russian) is a sea connected to the northeastern Black Sea by the narrow four- kilometer-wide ) Strait of Kerch. Sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea, it is bounded Ukraine to the north, the Crimean peninsula to the west and Russian to the south and east. The Don River and Kuban River and 20 or so smaller rivers flow into it. There is a constant outflow of water from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth varying roughly between one and 14 meters (three to 46 feet) and averaging seven meters. The sea is greatly affected by the inflow of numerous rivers, which bring sand, silt, and shells, which in turn form numerous bays, limans, and narrow spits and causes the sea to have low salinity and a high amount green algae. Abundant plankton results in greenish water and a large number of fish.

The Sea of Azov is 360 kilometers (220 miles) long and 180 kilometers (110 miles) wide and covers an area of 39,000 square kilometers (15,000 square miles). The coastline is low and smooth. There are numerous spits and sandbanks and these have a lot of vegetation and birdlife. The narrowness of the Kerch Strait limits the water exchange with the Black Sea. As a result, the salinity of the Sea of Azov is about one third of the salinity of the oceans. Tthe Don and Kuban rivers, account for more than 90 percent of water flowing into the sea, with the Don supplying about twice the water as the Kuban. The Kuban delta is located at the southeast, on the east side of the Kerch Strait. It is over 100 kilometers long and covers a vast flooded area with numerous channels. The Don flows from the north into the large Taganrog Bay.

History of the Sea of Azov

The Sea of Azov was frequently the scene of military conflicts between Russia and Ottoman Turkey as Russia pursued naval expansion to the south and worked to achieve its goal of having a warm water port in the south, During the Peter-the Great-led Russo-Turkish War (1686–1700), there were two campaigns to capture the then Turkish fortress of Azov

After the Russians defeated the Turks in 1696, the Russian fleet base was moved to Taganrog and Azov, and 215 ships were built there between 1696 and 1711. In 1711, as a result of the Russo-Turkish War (1710–1711) and the Treaty of the Pruth, Azov was returned to Turkey and the Russian Azov fleet was destroyed. The city was recaptured by Russia in 1737 during the Russo-Austrian-Turkish War (1735–1739). However, as a result of the consequent Treaty of Niš, Russia was not allowed to keep the fortress and military fleet.

Another major military campaign on the Sea of Azov took place during the Crimean War of 1853–56. A naval and ground campaign pitting the allied navies of Britain and France against Russia took place between May and November 1855. The British and French forces besieged Taganrog, aiming to disrupt Russian supplies to Crimea. Capturing Taganrog would also result in an attack on Rostov, which was a strategic city for Russian support of their Caucasus operations. On 12 May 1855, the allied forces easily captured Kerch and gained access to the Sea of Azov, and on 22 May they attacked Taganrog. The attack failed and was followed by a siege. Despite the vast superiority of the allied forces (about 16,000 soldiers against fewer than 2,000), the city withstood all attempts to capture it, which ended around August 1855 with the retreat of the allied army. Individual coastal attacks continued without success and ceased in October 1855.

Azov and the Azov Museum and Reserve

Azov (16 kilometers inland from the Sea of Azov) is a town with about 80,000 people situated on the Don River, Formerly known as Azoff or Azak, the town gave its name to the Sea of Azov not visa versa. The town was founded in the 13th century and achieved town status in 1708.

The Azov Museum and Reserve includes: the 19th-century historic center of Azov; the 18th-century Azov Fortress and ramparts; Alekseevskiye Gate and a Gunpowder Shop; the memorial house of the famous polar explorer Rudolf Samoylovich; and the Metsenat Exhibition Hall. With almost 78,000 square meters of space, the museum hosts over 320,000 exhibits, the earliest of which are around 250 million years old.

Among the main attraction of the museum are a 5.5-6.5 million-year-old deinotherium skeleton and skeleton of a steppe mammoth dated to 600,000-800,000 years ago during the interglacial period. This is the world’s only skeleton that includes an undamaged skull. The paleontological exposition also includes other interesting objects found within the Azov region territory such as trogontherium (giant beavers), Taman elephant, prehistoric antelopes, giant horses, and the Azov giraffe. The Treasures of Eurasian Nomads features more than 20,000 objects dated the 3rd millennium B.C. to the A.D. 4th century. The museum' also has a diplay on the ecology of the Sea of Azov and collections of archaeology, samovars, handicrafts, and figurative art. The 2008, “The Treasures of the Sarmatians” exhibit at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg had many objects from the Azov museum.

Tanais: Greek Black Sea Colony

Tanais (at the mouth of the Don River on the Sea of Azov) is where a Greek settlement flourished from the 3rd century B.C. to the A.D. 4th century. It was the most northerly outpost of ancient Greek civilization. Later, in the 13th century, Genose merchants ran a trading post here that was used to ship Silk Road goods to Europe. It also helped introduce the plague to Europe. There are few remains from these periods. Near the villages of Nedvigorvka is a museum with Greek gods, amphorae, bronze oil lamps and other artifacts that have been unearthed in archeological digs.

Tanais Conservation Area was the first archaeological reserve museum established in Russia. It opened in 1961 on the site of the ancient settlement and necropolis of Tanais and was later expanded. In 2009, the Tanais Conservation Area was nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Prof. I.A. Stempkovsky determined the location of the Tanais in 1823. Archaeological excavations began in 1853 under Prof. P.M Leontyev from Moscow University. In 1854 he published "Archaeological investigations on the territory of the ancient Tanais and its surroundings" Archaeological excavations were continued in 1867 by N.I. Tizengauzen, in 1870 by P.I. Hitsunov, and in 1908-1909 by N.I. Velelovskiy. Since 1955, regular archaeological investigations, including the excavations, have been carried out by Russian archaeologists with help from specialists from the German Institute of Archaeology and the Warsaw University archaeology department. [Source: UNESCO Chair in Urban and Architectural Conservation]

The primary sites are: 1) Main quadrangle is the main part of the city that existed from 3rd century B.C. to the middle of A.D. 5th century. It measures 240 by 250 meters and is bounded by the deep moats and fortified walls with the towers dated to the 2nd century B.C. destroyed by King Polemon and rebuilt in the A.D. 2nd century. In the excavated areas you can make out the streets, side-streets and determine the quarters within dwellings and service buildings.

2) Western region (150 x 125 meters) of the 3rd to 1st centuries B.C. is a separate area with small quarters with the narrow twisting side-streets and passages and the houses constructed according to local tribal traditions. 3) Western subject city covers 1.5 hectares and contains are three farmsteads constructed in sandstone into the Greek architectural traditions. Excavations started in 1998. The site was occupied beginning at the end of the 3rd century B.C. 4) The lower city (2nd century B.C. to A.D. 5th century) is a fortified site of Tanais with the walls and the deep moats.

History of Tanais: Greek Black Sea Colony

According to a report submitted to UNESCO: “The city of Tanais was founded in the first quarter of the 3rd century by Greek colonists who came from Bosporon to the mouth of the Tanais river (now Don) which was the area of habitation and migration of various tribes: Sarmatians, Macotians, Alans, Goth etc. Tanais quickly developed into an emporium (trading settlement) at the farthest northeastern extension of the Hellenic cultural sphere, a natural post first for the trade of the steppes reaching away eastwards in an unbroken grass sea to the Altai, the Scythian Holy Land, second for the trade of the Black Sea, ringed with Greek-dominated ports and entrepots, and for trade from impenetrable north, furs and slaves brought down the Don. [Source: UNESCO Chair in Urban and Architectural Conservation]

“The ancient historian Strabo mentions Tanais in his Geography (XI/2/3, final edition in 23AD):"it was the common marth both of the Asiatic and the European nomads and of those who navigate the lake from the Bosporus, some of whom bring slaves and hides, or any nomadic commodity; others exchange wine for clothes and other articles peculiar to a civilized mode of life''.

“A small emporium slowly became a large center of commerce and handcraft production, its location for a long time determined the role of the city in the realization of contacts between two civilization, the Ancient Greece and barbarian worlds. The influence of the surrounding steppe peoples on all sides of the city-life was much stronger than in other ancient centers on the Black Sea coast and finally a new original culture was born.

“Tanais was a colony of the Bosporian Kingdom but it tried to keep some independence and in 8 year B.C. has been partly destroyed by the forces of the King Polemon. After that from I-middle III centuries AD started the second period of Tanais development. The active new constructions proceeded in II - beginning of III centuries AD. During the II century AD the territory of the main quadrangle transformed into a fortified fortress where resides a governor general of the King of Bosporus. The role of Tanais was raising in the policy of Bosporus taken into account that the governor general has been as mediator in the relations with the Sarmatians tribe the opinions of which the Bosporan Kingdom obliged to take into consideration. In II-III centuries AD Tanais became one of the important center at the steppe region, around of Tanais eared the agricultural settlements.

“In the middle of the III century AD Tanais was bunt and ruined probably by the Goths but in the second half of the IV century AD Tanais was rehabilitated but the site had not the previous significance in spite of Tanais remained the big center of culture and transit point at the ways of nomads. After the first half of the V AD century Tanais became an uninhabited city town, but in the 8th-IX AD centuries near this site appeared the settlement of the Khazar Khanate, but the territory of the ruins of Tanais has not been covered with later buildings and until now is preserved at the initial construction of the ancient city of Tanais.”

Taman Peninsula

The Taman Peninsula (between the Black Sea and Sea of Azov) is a peninsula in Krasnodar Krai, which borders the Sea of Azov to the North, the Strait of Kerch to the West and the Black Sea to the South. Three thousand years ago it was a chain of island that has have evolved into today's peninsula. The ancient Pontic Greek colonies of Hermonassa and Phanagoria were located here was the later city of Tmutarakan. In the A.D. 4th century it was conquered by the Huns; then was capital of Great Bulgaria and then fell to the Khazars in the mid-7th century.

Taman is located in the western part of the Temryuk District, on the shore of the Taman Bay. Pretty much wherever you are going in the Taman Peninsula you have to pass through the town of Taman. Here you can find the remains of Fanagoriyskaya fortress, built in the 18th to strengthen the southern borders of Russia against the Ottoman Turks. The Kuban Cossacks set up a settlement at Zaporozhye. The first Kuban Cossack Orthodox church, the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, was consecrated in 1794. There are a couple of Cossack museums and Cossack-related attractions in the area.

Among the archaeological site on Taman Peninsula is Hermonassa-Tmutarakan, an ancient site located in the center of Taman on the high coastal plateau. The city was founded in the first half of the 4th century B.C. and is currently being excavated by archaeologists. "Fanagoria" and "Kuban-Vino" are winteries with large tasting rooms popular with tourists.

Beaches on the Taman Peninsula and Sea of Azov

Temryuk district is located on the Taman peninsula and washed by the Black and Azov Seas, as well as the waters of the Kerch Strait, which borders on the Crimea. Two shores of seas produce more than 220 kilometers of sand and pebble beaches. The Azov coast, including the Taman and Dinskoy bays, has 195 kilometers of beaches. The Black Sea has 30 kilometers of beaches.

Temryuk district is home to seven holiday villages, which are located in 13 municipalities. Some beaches are open to everyone; others are reserved for pensioners and recreation departments. The beaches of the Azov Sea in the village of Golubitskaya, Peresyp and For the Motherland are shelly. The beach in the village of Kuchugury is shelly with a some quartz sand,. The Black Sea beaches of the Taman Peninsula in the village of Veselovka are wavey and sandy. Popular among tourists are Sea Breeze in Golubitskaya, Poseidon and Golden Beach in Peresyp village and Tizdar in For the Motherland. There is a sandy beach on the shore of the Taman Bay of the Azov Sea.

Primorsko-Akhtarsk is a city on the coast of the Azov Sea, located in a quiet shallow estuary Jasienski Bay. Primorsko-Akhtarsk district has 5 municipal beaches. In the town of Primorsko-Akhtarsk there are four beaches, three pebble and one central, beach, sandy. All the beaches are fully equipped for recreation. Nearby are the outdoor cafes, souvenir shops, entertainment complexes and restaurants in hotels. Another sandy beach is located in a remote area on the banks of the Tamarovskogo Beysugskogo estuary. Yasenskaya Spit - alluvial sand bar, located on the east coast of the Azov Sea, between Jasenská Beysugskim bay and the estuary. Cossack Beach on the Azov Sea is 40 kilometers from Yeisk Spit.

Golubitskaya (eight kilometers from the city of Temryuk) features sand and shell beaches which fade gently into the sandy shallow waters of the Gulf of Temryuk. The water is warm and shallow water makes it ideal for families with small children. Almost all the Golubitskaya coast, from the beach to Temryuk, occupied by recreation centers, cottages and boarding houses. In the village there are 30 recreation centers, more than 80 hotels and guest houses, eight campsites and one children's health center. In the area is is water park, the Amazon zoo, Curved Seashore, Crocodile Farm, and Exotic Park dolphinarium. Sea Breeze is a popular, well-equipped beach located in the heart of Golubitskaya. The beach is equipped with everything necessary for a pleasant and safe. Poseidon Beach on the road to Golubitskaya is newer but also popular.

Eisk is one of the oldest resorts in the Krasnodar region. The town is small, but very nice with straight streets leading to the sea, and the neat houses, with greenery, trees and flowers in the summer. There are various evens for adult and children. At night, nightclubs and discos rock and sway and shows firework shows can be viewed from the beach. The water is shallow, calm and warms up quickly and is safe for children. The camp sites and beaches are concentrated on Yeysk spit. A wide range of health treatments such as baths with ydrogen sulfide and chloride-sodium mineral water and curative sulphide mud from Khan lake are available. You can also get speleoterapija, aromatherapy, phytotherapy, and treatment variables with low frequency magnetic fields.

Ataman' Exhibition Complex: Kuban Cossack Living Museum

Ataman' Exhibition Complex (near Taman) occupies 60 hectares. From May to October, the complex its doors and welcome guests to join in songs and dances of the peoples of the North Caucasus and check out Cossack customs and rituals, folk games, and entertainment. People dressed up as characters from Cossack stories and fairy tales are available for photographs.

Farmsteads, courtyards, and farm structures are open. The interiors of the huts and homesteads are filled with various artefacts of the Kuban Cossacks. Every year the complex adds new buildings and household items to its collection.. Blacksmith and pottery workshops, souvenir shops, and cafes are ready to welcome guests.

The place really comes to life during holidays and festivals, which include a festival of Kuban cuisine and cured fat, beauty contests among the female Cossacks — Garni Molodychka, a wedding festival, the Istoki folk art festival, and Green Christmastide. Trinity, Kubanskiye Poteshki, a regional festival of folk toys and children's traditional games, Ataman” Village Day and more. The biggest event of the year — the Legends of Taman — features equestrian sports, fireworks, performances by the Kuban Cossack Choir, the Kuban Cossack Freemen, the Kuban Brass Band and famous pop bands.


Anapa (30 kilometers northwest of Novorossisk) is a beach resort with a 2,500 year history and the designation of being the sunniest city in Russia, where the sun shines almost 300 days a year, and the swimming season lasts from May 15 to October 15. The shallow water warms up rapidly the summer to 25 degrees and higher, 2-4 degrees higher than elsewhere. The water is generally calm.

Anapa is regarded as one of the cleanest and most comfortable resorts in Krasnodar Krai. The town has clean streets, flower beds, landscaped promenade, tidy houses, and well-equipped, clean beaches. Pioneer Avenue is the main thoroughfare . Along it various health-related businesses. The "terrenkury" walking trails are 22 kilometers in length. They is also a public pump-room with the local mineral water.

Beaches in the Anapa Srea include 42 kilometers of sandy beaches and 12 kilometers of pebble beaches. Golden Sands Anapa is a nice city beach. On the 100 kilometers stretch between Anapa and Tuapse there are cliffs and small bays with narrow beaches. There are wide beaches and a coastal barrier in Anapa Bay.

Ancient City Gorgippia Archaeological Reserve is an ancient Greek site that existed on the shore of Anapa bay more than 800 years — from the th 6th century B.C. to the A.D. 3rd century — with remains of streets, roads, drains, wells, wine-making complexes and fortifications.. Visitors can see the goddess Tyche fate, who had the power decided who would live and who would die. Frescoes depicting the labors of Hercules come from the walls of tomb dated to the A.D. 2nd-3rd centuries.


Novorossisk(160 kilometers from Krasador) is Black Sea port with 200,000 people. Situated like amphitheater around Tsemesskaya bay, it is one of the homes of the Russian Black Sea fleet and the terminus of the 1,330-kilometerr-long Baku–Novorossiysk pipeline, helping bring oil from the oil-rich Caspian Sea area to the Black Sea and Europe. There isn't much to much to see expect for some World War II memorials.

Novorossiysk is the largest port in the south of Russia and is a good jumping off point for the regions Black Sea resorts as well as archaeological and historical monuments such as dolmens, ancient settlements, burial mounds and forts. The Museum of Cement Industry in Novorossiysk itself has a permanent exhibition called "The cement industry of the USSR," with explanations mostly in Russian. The Cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov — a large military ship that was once the pride of the Russian Navy — is moored in Novorossiysk and is a popular tourist attraction.

Novorossiysk Beaches including the city beach on Tsemesskaya bay, which is also where the port is. "Wide Beam" is a long pebble beach. The beach is quite wide and landscaped. You can rent deck chairs and umbrellas. Beach Durso is seven kilometers from the village of Abrau. On both sides of the beach are cliffs. The beach in South Ozereyevka is a pebble beach. Despite being in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges, the beach is quite a quite long — about 2 kilometers.

Abrau-Durso Wine Tourism Center

The Abrau-Durso Wine Tourism Center(10 kilometers east of Novorossisk) was established in 1870 by decree of Tsar Alexander II. Located in Abrau-Durso, described as one of the best wine regions in Russia and belonging to Boris Titov, it produces and sells sparkling wines, and also operates a hotel, spa, and restaurant.

The Abrau-Durso Wine Tourism Center is the most visited wine tourism destination in Russia. Tourists can travel through the old tunnels built at the end of the 19th century by Knyazh Lev Golitsyn, when Abrau-Durso belonged to the royal family. Tourists are able to witnesses the entire process of champagne making, and learn the meaning of “cuvee”, “remuage”, and “degorgage” and learn to distinguish classical winemaking from Charmat and other modern methods. There is also some wine and champagne tasting. At the Museum of Glory, visitors learn the history of Abrau-Durso and its wine-making operation.

The Chateau — a panoramic site lost in the mountains among the vineyards — is available for the guests to stay in from June 1 until September 30. It provides a breathtaking view over the vineyards, the Caucasus mountains, Lake Abrau, and the Black Sea. The true spirit of Abrau-Durso reveals itself here. The pride of Abrau-Durso are the vineyards situated in the immediate proximity of the estate. The vineyards were arranged here over 145 years ago. At present their total area is 640 hectares and continues to grow each year.

For Abrau-Durso visotors, there are hiking and horseback riding, routes as well as roads for the off-roads vehicles and ATVs. Walking along the trails, one can enjoy the views over the valley of Lake Abrau, the mountain ranges, and the Black Sea. Abrau-Durso also has fine restaurants and charming coffee shops, a luxury boutique hotel, a unique Russian wine spa and culinary school that offers classes and workshops.

Old Park Cultural Center

Old Park Cultural Center (in Kabardinka between Gelendzhik and Novorossisk), is an architectural theme park made up mainy of miniature versions of famous monuments from antiquity. Displayed on slightly more than a hectare of land, is stuff from Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.

There is an Egyptian Sphinx, a Pharaoh guard, an obelisk and a pyramid in the ancient Egyptian section. The ancient Greek and Roman section has ancient temple as well images from Greek mythology. The Temple of Zeus (Jupiter) was built according to the canons of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Inside is the sculpture of Zeus.

There is a colonnade and a fountain from the European Enlightenment era. A stone bridge from the Middle Ages and a watch tower bring you up close to romantic architecture. Check out the Cottage for Two from the times of Abelard and Heloise. Eastern culture is represented with structure temple resembling the Taj Mahal; Orthodox Christianity is represented by the St. Nicholas Chapel, which was consecrated by Kuban Metropolitan and Ekaterinodar Isidor.

Among the exhibits of the Old Park are a fountain, rotundas, a cascade, a rockery, a roaster, as well as a landscape with small architectural forms and sculptures. There is also a pond with a medieval tower in the park. The pond has an island with a rotunda consisting of a fountain and sculptures of the Seven Deadly Sins in the medieval tradition. There is a collection of paintings by Russian artists in the Gallery of Modern Art, built in the art nouveau style. The Caucasus House has a small exhibition on the history of the Caucasus.


Gelendzhik (20 kilometers southeast of Novorossisk) welcomes guests all year round abundance of sun, living scenery of the southern flowers and pine trees, a picturesque bay and all sorts of entertainment. The mountain air with the scent of the sea breeze and pine needles, picturesque cozy bay, pine trees - it seems that nature has gathered at the resort a lot just to get people rested and healed here and soul, and body.

Gelendzhik in Turkic means "White nevestochka". This symbol of the city is embodied in a graceful sculpture, which now adorns the center of the promenade. By the way, the promenade - this is the place where every tourist should visit in the resort city of Gelendzhik. It stretches for 12 kilometers along the coast and is considered one of the longest in Europe. Lovers of cycling will appreciate the bike path, located throughout the waterfront. Gelendzhik has a mountain-sea ,dry Mediterranean-type subtropical climate, with an average temperature of 24˚ C in the summer and 4˚ C. Parks, open-air museums, beaches and thousand dolmens are all waiting for travelers.

Gelendzhik Beaches: The total length of the coastline Gelendjik resort area of about 110 kilometers. Beach Resort Kabardinka is a pebble beach Kabardinka that stretches along the coastline more than five kilometers and has plenty of accommodation facilities. Plyazh Resort Betta is in the village of Betta stretches for 300 meters along the bay. Arkhipo-Osipovka (Dating Russian Women) Beach is surrounded by mountains that protect it from strong winds. It is a wide gravel beach with a gentle entrance into the sea. Dyvnomorsk Beach Resort in the village of Divnomorskoye clean seas, fine pebble beaches with gently sloping bottom.

Peasant Farm Dolmen (20 kilometers Gelendzhik, near the village of Pshada) contains dolmens that are between 4,000 and 6,000 years old.


Novomikhailovsky (40 kilometers northwest of Tuapse) lies in a resort area located near Cape Gryaznov. It includes the villages of the Novomikhailovsky, Plyaho, Podhrebtovoe, Ol'ginka and Psebe. Novomikhailovsky has a marina and yacht club with a full-protected harbor. On the property of the yacht club on built is a church. There are some nice hotels on the waterfront.

Novomikhailovsky has a lot of children-realted places such as the Eaglet All-Russian Children's Center. The camp is a unique architectural complex and cultural center. Corps Children's Center Camp is located on the territory of the park, which are rare and exotic plants. Palace of Culture and Sports in located on the beach at the mouth of the Plyaho River near a pier,

Novomikhailovsky Beaches: . The beach at the mouth of the Plyaho River stretches for 300 meters, Beach Poselka is nice, wide and quartz sand beach , with a convenient and gentle descent into the water near where many boats are moored. The beach in the bay Olginskaya is a pebble beach with a difficult run-in. The width of the beach is only about 10-12 meters. The bay is deep, and the deep water starts right from the shore. Beach Village Nebug has a pebbly and sandy beach that stretches over 15 kilometers.

Lermontovo Beach Area

Lermontov (10 kilometers northwest of Novomikhailovsky) is family-oriented beach with a water park, boat trips, boating facilities, numerous restaurants and cafes and recreation and entertainment opportunities. It is possible to swim and go boating in a river and the sea. There are two main beaches: Central and the famous beach "Gold Coast".

According to “The first is very longso that it is not crowded even in the height of the season. There are many shops, cafes, souvenir shops and other useful places for tourists. In addition, you can rent a kayak or jet ski and take a short boat trip. There is also a rental of children's cars and a lot of rides. Thus, travelers of all ages can find entertainment on the Central Beach. It is noteworthy that he likes both lovers of sandy beaches, and prefer beaches of pebbles. Over the entire length you can find places for sunburn of both types. Another advantage of this beach is the relief of the area and the seabed. It is quite flat, which makes the local holiday comfortable for the category of tourists of children and old age.

“As for the beach "Gold Coast", it is locatedfar enough from the center and does not offer such a variety of entertainment for guests. This is where the campground is located, which is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, prices there are significantly lower than for housing in the private sector. Such a holiday in Lermontovo (Tuapse district) will be remembered for a long time. A map of the area will allow you to navigate in this village and find the right place. If desired, you can find very wild beaches, which are known only to local. This will be a good choice for those who do not like a large crowd of people.

“In this village, despite its modest size,You can find a lot of fun. For nature lovers, horseback riding in the mountains, renting a tent and just walking around the picturesque places of the village are provided. The gorges, waterfalls, mountain valleys and rivers - all these scenic spots will not leave anyone indifferent.”


Tuapse (60 kilometers northwest of Sochi) is a pleasant resort town on Black Sea with many World War II monuments. It is located in the valleys of the Tuapse and Pauk rivers. Its name originates from the confluence of two rivers:"Tuapse" means "two waters". The town was badly damaged in World War II. The Nazis attempted to seize the town during the Battle of the Caucasus, and many parts were rebuilt from scratch after the war. For the courage and resilience shown by the workers of the city during World War II and resolver show rebuilding it afterwards, Tuapse awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 1st degree by the U.S.S.R. Supreme Soviet in 1981.

Tuapse has a rail stations and is well connected to other cities by train and bus. In the holiday season there is sea transportation to Sochi and boat trips to Kiselyov Rock. Primorsky Boulevard, is one of the main streets. A small park contains a monument honoring to those killed in World War II, and a little further - a beautiful monument to Maxim Gorky. From Gorky park you can go to the city park, surrounded by sub-tropical greenery of century-old pines and magnolias. The city center called Gorka Heroes, where the Monument to the Unknown Soldier stands with an eternal flame. lit. In the center of the October Revolution Square, there is an obelisk in the form of triangular bayonet, dedicated to the "Fighters for Soviet Power." At Karl Marx avenue is a singing fountain.

Tuapse Beaches: In Tuapse itsetwo beach "Central" and "Seaside" (popularly "Wild"). Both beaches are pebble. Tuapse district stretches along the Black Sea coast for 100 kilometers to Bzhidskogo Shepsi village. On the 100 kilometers stretch between Anapa and Tuapse there are cliffs and small bays with narrow beaches. There are wide beaches and a coastal barrier in Anapa Bay. Further southeast the Sochi resort area extends for 70 kilometers from Tupase to Alder and has an alteration of cliffed headlands and bays at the mouths of mountains rivers. Narrow shingle and coarse sand beaches lie in the coastal bays.

Dolmens in the Tuapse Area

Tuapsinsky District (around Tuapse) is famous for its megaliths, such as dolmens, menhirs, as well as stone and soil burial grounds and tumuli. Megaliths are large stone structures ( mega means "large" and "lithos" means stone ). Megaliths are found in many places in Europe and were independently erected in different sites by ancient farming people. A dolmen is a stone table that is used to identify a group burial chambers, or "houses of the dead." It consists of upright stones capped with a slab of stone for a roof. Two walls side by side, with a cap stone are known as cromleches. A tumulus is a large earthen burial mound. A huge standing stone is called a menhir.

About 400 dolmens have counted in the Tuapse area primarily in the rural localities of Prigorodny, Dzhubga and Novomikhailovsky, around the villages of Teginka and Anastasievka. These Caucasus dolmens were built from dense sandy limestone or sandstone; the silicified and metamorphic rocks were used for this purpose less often. Their construction has been dated to the period from 2400 to 1300 B.C.

The majority of dolmens in Tuapsinsky District are of the so-called plate type. They are composed of large stone plates, four of which are arranged vertically and covered with the fifth plate that forms the roof of stone box or chamber of the dolmen. A front plate is always higher than a rear one so that the plate that forms the roof is tilted backward. The plates are very carefully adjusted to each other by means of special grooves and protrusions. In the front plate of a dolmen there is a small hole of round, oval or more complex form (archaeologists call it “manhole”). Sometimes there is a sixth plate that forms the floor of a dolmen chamber, but in most cases a dolmen is placed directly on soil or on special stones (“heel” stones).

Multiton plates, of which a dolmen is composed, are generally not finished on the outside, but they are carefully aligned and sometimes almost polished on the inner side, which forms the chamber walls. A significant part of the Caucasus plate dolmens has special protrusions of side walls and roof in the front part, forming a kind of extension to the dolmen. This extension is called the portal, and such dolmens — portal dolmens. Sometimes there are additional extensions to the portal, which are composed of separate stones and form an “enclosure”.

It is interesting that near the places where dolmens are found, both alone and in groups, the ground sometimes collapse and landslides and mudslides occur but the dolmens continue to stand. Something else to contemplate is the fact that the dolmens invariability have a horizontal to vertical ratio of 1:1.6 — the same as the human skull.


The Republic of Adygea covers 7,600 square kilometers (900 square miles), is home to about 450,000 people and has a population density of 58 people per square kilometer. About 51 percent of the population live in urban areas. The city of Maykop is the capital and largest city, with about 145,000 people. the Republic of Adygea is entirely surrounded by Krasnodar Krai.

Adygea is regarded as adventure tourism center: hiking, rafting, mountain climbing and caving can all be done here. The highest point is Chugush Mountain, at 3,238 meters (10,623 ft).are all popular here. In an area called the Great Meadow, you can find ancient dolmen and barrows.

Sights including the Lago-Naki plateau and the villages of Kamennomostsky, Dakhovskaya and Hamyshki, around which the main attractions of the region are concentrated. These include waterfalls, lakes and beautiful mountain scenery. There are also thermal spring, a tourist train through the picturesque Guam Gorge and a rock garden in the arboretum of the village of Goncharka.

Many visitors set themselves the goal of climbing Mount Fisht, which gave its name to the main Olympic stadium in Sochi. Mount Fisht is full of caves, karst formation with passages and galleries. There are subterranean waterfalls, cold lakes, glaciers and streams flowing into cracks and holes. In some cases the flowing water makes music as it meanders through the limestone. Mount Fisht also contains the most western and lowest glacier in the Caucasus.

Getting There: By Plane: The nearest airport is in Krasnodar, There are daily flighst from Moscow there. Tickets tickets — from 2000 rubles, in flight — 2 hours 20 minutes. Next, take a bus to Maykop. There are 20 buses a day from the airport. A direct transfer from Krasnodar Airport to the Lago-Naki Plateau takes take 3–3.5 hours and costs 3800–4000 rubles. By Train: Through Krasnodar, Maykop or Belorechensk. Train Moscow — Maykop, then change in Tuapse — 25 hours. The ticket is from 4000 rubles. From Maykop to the mountain resorts you have to go by road. By Bus: Moscow-Maykop, 2600 rubles., The journey takes 19 hours. Getting Around The best way to visit Adygea is to drive your own car. From Maykop to Kamennomostsky, Dakhovskaya, Hamyshek and Guzeripl there are suburban flights, but buses leave for some areas only twice a day.

Adygea People and History and Economy of the Republic of Adygea

The Adyghe people are one of the Circassian peoples, along with the Cherkess (of Karachay-Cherkessia) and Kabards (of Kabardino-Balkaria). The Circassians are an ethnic group originally from the northwest Caucasus but are now more numerous in Turkey and the Middle East than in Russia. Circassians (also known as Abaza) are a very mixed lot, with a lot of European and Asian input. Many members of some tribes have blue eyes and blonde or red hair while others are dominated by people with dark hair and fair skin

The Adygh Autonomous Oblast was established in 1922 as part of Krasnoyarsk Territory; between 1922 and 1928, it was known as the Cherkess (Adygh) Autonomous Oblast. It was redesignated as the Republic of Adygea in 1992. A landlocked sliver of land, Adygea occupies 7,600 square kilometers just inland from the northeast coast of the Black Sea, reaching southward to the northern foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. The oblast was formed by the early Soviet government for the Adygh people. [Source: Library of Congress, July 1996 *]

In 1995 the Adyghs constituted 22 percent of the population of Adygea, which was estimated at 450,400. The rest consisted of 68 percent Russians, 3 percent Ukrainians, and 2 percent Armenians. Adygea is the only Muslim republic of the Russian Federation where the Muslim share of the population has decreased in the last two decades. The official languages are Russian and Adygh. Rich soil is the basis for an agricultural economy specializing in grains, tobacco, sugar beets, vegetables, fruits, cattle, poultry, and beekeeping. Processing of meats, tobacco, dairy products, and canned goods is an important industry. The republic's only substantial mineral resource under exploitation is an extensive natural gas and oil deposit. The capital city, Maykop, is the main industrial center, with metallUgrical, machine-building, and timber-processing plants.

There are 12 Adyghe (Circassian) tribes (sub-ethnic groups).Despite the Soviet administrative divisions that placed Circassians under four different designations and political units, namely Adygeans (Adyghe in Adygea), Cherkessians (Adyghe in Karachay-Cherkessia), Kabardians (Adyghe in Kabardino-Balkaria), Shapsugians (Adyghe in Krasnodar Krai), all four groups are essentially the same people (Adyghe). Each of the 12 stars on the green and gold Adyghe flag represents a different Circassian tribe.

See Separate Article CIRCASSIANS

Caucasus State Nature Biosphere Reserve

Caucasus State Nature Biosphere Reserve (where Krasnodar Krai, Adygeya, and Karachay-Cherkessia come together) is located in the middle part of Northwest Caucasus in the upper reaches of Belaya, Malaya Laba, Golovinka, Mzymta rivers. It occupies a heavily mountainous section of the Northwest Caucasus Mountains the mountain ridges of Krasnodar Krai, Adygeya, and Karachay-Cherkessia.

Caucasus Nature Reserve is the largest and oldest protected natural area in the Caucasus, created in 1924 as the Caucasian Bison Reserve. In 1979, the site was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and in 1999 included in the Western Caucasus UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covering 2,803 square kilometers (1,082 square miles), the reserve is bordered to the south by Sochi National Park and the ridge of the Caucasus bordering Georgia (Abkhazia). Altitudes range from 260 meters to 3,360 meters. There are more than 120 mountain lakes, Most are small and stay covered in ice until the middle of summer.

There are 3000 kinds of flora, more than half of which are vascular plants. Most of reserve is covered by forest vegetation; in the high mountain areas are subalpine and alpine meadows and glaciers. About 20 percent of the vascular plants are endemic to the Caucasus. Some of the coniferous yew trees in the Khosta sector are over 2,000 years old. The typical trees of the lower elevations are oak and alder. The upper forest levels are more dark fir and spruce. Caucasus Reserve forest differ from those of northern Europe by the presence of vines. The animal life of the reserve is noteworthy for the large number of species, particularly of large mammals. Scientists on the reserve have recorded 89 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles, 9 of amphibians, 21 of fish, over 100 species of molluscs, and more than 10,000 species of insects. Bird life is also prolific, with 248 species of birds, including 112 that nest within the borders of the Caucasus reserve.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation (official Russia tourism website ), Russian government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in September 2020

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