Alupka Park on the southern coast of Crimea is an unrivaled masterpiece of landscape art. If you go to Alupka, you should definitely visit Vorontsov Palace Park (another name of this place), no matter whether you take an organized tour or just go for a walk in search of a shade under a crown of an old tree. The park was created in the romantic XIX century, and by the present day it’s considered to be one of the most significant cultural heritage objects on the peninsula.
Vorontsov Park stretches a mile from the coast to the foot of the giant Ai-Petri rock. It covers an area of 40 hectares (98,84 acres), so you are sure to find a quiet place to contemplate the nature, especially during low season, which lasts from November to April (the admission is free all year round, by the way).
A long time ago, the uniqueness and splendor of Alupka’s land, its extraordinary landscape overflowing with the spirit of romanticism, and presence of natural water sources became the reasons for creation of the Vorontsov Palace surrounded by a huge park complex. Some elements of the natural landscape which became part of the park composition have remained untouched. These elements are natural groves and separate groups of juniper, oak trees and Crimean pines, as well as mountain streams and gigantic masses of rock.
Creation of Vorontsov Park took place during the boom of landscape park construction on the territory of Russian Empire. A German landscape gardener Carolus Keebach aimed to demonstrate the triumph of human mind over rampant, wild natural elements. However, the major artistic achievement and the main advantage of the park composition are in harmony and accordance with the nearby area. Once you find yourself under an enormous branchy Italian cedar, you won’t be able to say for sure whether it’s a part of the original forest or it was grown by dint of hard work. People usually get the feeling of unity with nature and take this “wild” beauty of luxuriant vegetation for granted. It’s amazing what effort it must have taken to create a truly unique system of lakes, cascade waterfalls and grasslands on the territory previously covered with rocks for the most part!
Gardeners imported a great variety of evergreen and coniferous plant species from different countries. Come here in winter – it’s like a plunge into summer in the middle of January, a period when your eye needs something green to catch. As we already mentioned, the parkland’s native trees like pistachio, juniper, oak, Crimean pine and others impeccably blend in an ensemble with cultivated plants. Even old and damaged trees were used as trellis for climbing plants. The upper terrace of the park is planted with over two thousand species of roses.
If you need a place to stay in the city of Alupka, you might like a small camping on green territory of a hotel called Зелёный Мыс (Zelenyi Mis). There is space for 5-10 tents. The location is quite convenient: the hotel has a private beach (20 meters walk), some stores nearby, and it’s about 10 minutes’ walk to the Vorontsov Park. It is also a great place to spend night before setting off for Ai-Petri.
Have a great time!