You are at the top of 1234 meters, and below you can see almost the entire southern coast of Crimea. Mount Ai-Petri is the most visited place in Yalta. In summer, there are always many tourists who stay until sunset to admire the night lights of the peninsula.
There are several ways to get here. The easiest and fastest is the cable car “Miskhor – Ai-Petri”. 15 minutes – and you are on the observation deck. The second option: by car or minibus along a steep mountain serpentine. The road is not easy, but very beautiful. Those who are confident in their abilities and at least a little extreme climb to the top on foot along specially equipped trails.
Cozy cafes are open on the plateau, we advise you to order a barbecue or lagman. There is a small but picturesque market where they sell sweets, tea, souvenirs, warm chuns from sheep skins.
History of the Mount Ai-Petri
Approximately 230 million years ago, this place was the bottom of the sea. Ai-Petri at that time was a huge coral reef. The water began to recede about 2 million years ago, after which the peaks, which are called “Dragon’s Teeth”, became visible. Since then, the mountain looks like it does now.
From Greek “Ai-Petri” is translated as “Saint Peter”. During the Middle Ages, there was a monastery in the valley that bore this name. As such, the monastery has not survived, only ruins remained.
The cable car “Miskhor – Ai-Petri” is included in the Guinness Book of Records. The longest unsupported span in Europe stretches between the middle and upper stations, its length is 1679 meters. The length of the entire road is 2,980 meters.
The mountain has an Ice Cave with a freshwater lake and stalactites. Scientists believe that for the ancient people it served as a kind of refrigerator, where they put the prey caught in the hunt.
Ai-Petri protects the southern part of Crimea from the winds, while it is itself considered the most windy and foggy place on the peninsula.
There is the highest waterfall in Crimea – Uchan-su. Its height is 98.5 meters. In summer, it often dries up, and sometimes freezes in winter, so its beauty can be appreciated in autumn or spring.
Just above the waterfall is the Silver Gazebo, a beautiful and romantic place. It is called so because from late autumn to spring it is covered with frost, in the sun it seems that it is silver.
On the plateau itself, they offer horseback riding and quad biking. Look into the caves – three are open for tourists: Yalta, Geofizicheskaya and Ledyanaya (also called Trekhglazka). Free admission.
For extreme lovers, a suspension bridge is stretched right above the abyss, between the Ai-Petri teeth. Before you walk on it, you will be instructed and a safety rope will be fastened. The bridge is rope, in the wind it sways pretty much.
Mountain at different times of the year
In summer, there are always a lot of tourists on Ai-Petri, there are often queues for the cable car. The ideal time for walking along the plateau is autumn, when there is no heat, but there is little rainfall, there is no risk that the trails will be flooded or washed away.
In winter there is a sleigh ride with huskies. There are slopes for skiers and snowboarders. They even wanted to make a year-round ski resort here, but due to the warm climate, they still abandoned the idea.
The lift operates on the 26 kilometer track, its length is 600 meters. There is no special preparation of the route, this is the most suitable slope for skiing. You can approach the highway from the side of Bakhchisaray highway. The descent is located approximately five kilometers from the weather station.
The Kichkine track consists of two short slopes: 320 and 450 meters. The descent is located 1.2 km from the meteorological station along the Bakhchisarai highway. On Ai-Petri in winter there is a threat of avalanches.
In the spring there is still snow here, but the sun is already shining like summer, the trees are blooming. Waterfalls are gaining strength, and mountain streams are turning into fast rivers.