The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon of Crimea, hidden in the depth of the northern slope of Ai-Petri massif, is one of the astonishing natural wonders of the peninsula. This biggest and the most magnificent gorge in the country was formed almost two million years ago as a result of the active shifting of the colossal earth units and is the huge tectonic cleft.
The canyon impresses with its grandeur: its depth is over 320 meters, at that the width of the bottom reduces at times to 2-3 meters. The slopes of the gorge that consist of the peculiarly colored limestone are covered with hundreds of tree and herb kinds, including rare. The pure waters of Canyon's rivers and lakes are inhibited with trout, and in the forests, spread in the lower part of the gorge, you may see hedgehogs, badgers and roes.
Its main treasures, however, this unique natural formation owes to the water. The Auzun-Uzen River, which flows at the bottom of the Canyon with multitude of blocks and boulders, forms over hundred of 2-3 meter deep erosive cauldrons and gullies that look like porcelain sinks. These are so called baths. One of the biggest baths - the Bath of Youth (Kara-Gol) - is situated at the canyon's entrance. The water temperature in it is 10-13 degrees all the year round; it is astonishingly pure and refreshing, and, according to the legend, rejuvenating.
One of the most vivid treasures of the Grand Canyon of Crimea - the waterfall of extraordinary beauty Silver Streams - is situated near the Bath of Youth. It is a small grotto covered with brightly green moss, along which the water flows in narrow streams, forming crystal veil at the entrance. This natural wonder amazes in summer, when thousands of drops sparkle in the sun, as well as in winter, when its waters freeze, and the waterfall becomes reminiscent of some unusual musical instrument with glass strings.
The Blue Lake, which, as if a chameleon, changes its color depending on the time of the day and season - from green to emerald, - and the biggest karstic spring in Crimea - Pania - are among others most interesting and attended sites of the Grand Canyon.
Important! Going for a stroll through the canyon remember that the rockslides increase here in extremely dry weather and right after rains. Therefore, try to avoid coming too close to the walls of the gorge, if possible.
Getting here. There are two ways to reach the Grand Canyon. The first one is to ascend Ai-Petri from Yalta and then walk to the gorge along the mountain paths. The second and more convenient one is to reach Sokolinoye village from Bakhchysarai, Yalta or Simferopol. There is a tourist station 'The Grand Canyon', where tourist buses stop, five kilometers higher from it, on the left side of the road. If you walk from the station a bit further along the road, you will get right to the beginning of the path, leading to the gorge.