Kara Dag Mountain in Crimea

Kara Dag Mountain in Crimea

Kara Dag Mountain in Crimea is located on the eastern coast of Crimea. This is a volcanic massif, on the territory of which the consequences of the eruption process have been preserved. It is a unique geological complex. In the Jurassic period, this region of Crimea was the center of volcanic activity. Land masses have undergone various changes. As a result of a powerful split, part of the land was torn off and went to sea.

Volcano Kara-Dag in Crimea
Volcano Kara-Dag in Crimea

Volcano Karadag in Crimea

From the side of the sea on the Kara-Dag one can see a cut of rocks. The volcano is frozen and you can observe all the richness and variety of mountain forms. Now it is a mountain range with traces of lava that have taken on fantastic outlines. The massif partly hangs over the sea, the rest of the territory is located on the coast, creating a fairy-tale world with its rocks, small valleys, steppe areas, groves and small picturesque bays. Kara-Dag is an amazingly beautiful corner of Crimea, unique in its natural originality.

In 1979, a biological reserve was created on its basis, which was included in the UNESCO Heritage List. On its territory you can find hundreds of rare plants and dozens of rare animals. Some of them are considered endangered species. Many species of birds fly here, about ten species of various reptiles and amphibians live, more than a hundred species of fish are observed in the coastal waters. There are so rare trees growing here that there are literally a few of them all over the world. The area of the reserve is small, only about 3000 hectares, part of the reserve is the water area of the Black Sea.

Kara Dag Mountain in Crimea. The origin of Karadag

The name of the volcano comes from the Turkic name Black Mountain. The ancient inhabitants of these lands were so afraid of the appearance of this mountain that they believed that it was here that the entrance to the afterlife was located. There is a legend about this place that a bloodthirsty one-eyed giant lived on the mountain, who demanded to bring tribute to himself and bring innocent girls. The brave young man deceived the giant, and his girlfriend shot him in his only eye. The giant went blind and disappeared in the depths of the sea. The mountain collapsed, leaving behind jagged rocks and placers of carnelian, fragments of which are still found on the shore.

Around the reserve there are small resort villages of Koktebel, Schebetovka, Kurortnoye. Before the creation of the reserve, the territory was subject to an influx of thousands of tourists who, as “savages”, rested in this beautiful place, harming the ecology of the area. Now the entrance to the reserve is prohibited. The territory is considered the cleanest and most pristine in the whole Crimea. The reserve is monitored by gamekeepers, scientists and ethnographers. You can get there by signing up for a walking tour that follows a well-worn hiking trail. You can also admire the beauty of the frozen lava from the sea by buying a ticket for a sea trip on a boat.

Golden Gate in Koktebel
Golden Gate in Koktebel

Golden Gate in Koktebel. Sights of Kara-Dag

The main attraction of Karadag is the Golden Gate Rock. She stands in the sea at the foot of the mountain. You can sail through the rock by boat, as the sea is quite deep at the rock. You can throw a coin into the rock by making a wish. Local residents are confident that wishes will come true. A boat trip along the reserve provides for a short landing on the beaches of picturesque bays, swimming in the open sea, admiring the Roaring Grotto and the rocks of the Coastal Range.

During the walking tour you will come to the Ivan the Robber rock, you can see the Devil’s Finger rock, see the highest point of the entire massif, Mount Svyataya and many more rocks with different names, get enough of the aroma of steppe herbs. In the protected area of the massif there is the Dead City, which is a group of dilapidated rocks in a huge bowl. It is impossible to approach it if you do not know one secret inconspicuous path.


There are many caves and grottoes on the territory of the reserve. Unforgettable Mouse’s Ear Cave, into which you can only crawl sideways. Kara Dag Mountain in Crimea will not leave anyone indifferent with its majestic view with many natural attractions. You have probably already seen some of the tracts, rocks and bays of the Kara-Dag in Soviet films. The films “Pirates of the XX century” in 1979, “Scarlet Sails” in 1961, “Amphibian Man” in 1961, “Sportloto-82” in 1982 were filmed here.

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