Batumi is a city of southwest Georgia on the Black Sea near the Turkish border. A major port and trade center, it is also the terminus of the Trans-Caucasian RR, the Crimean-Caucasian steamship line, and an oil pipeline. Batumi is an important petroleum-shipping port and has oil refineries, shipyards, and food-processing plants. Site of the ancient Greek colony of Batis, the city belonged to Georgia in the Middle Ages, fell to the Turks in the late 16th cent., and passed to Russia in 1878.
The Bosphorus divides the City of Istanbul. More importantly, it divides Europe from Asia and East from West. Turkey is located in southeastern Europe and also in southwestern Asia although most of the land is situated in Asia . The European part is known as Thrace and the Asian part as Anatolia ( Asia Minor ). The area W of the Bosphorus being part of Europe. The Asian side joins with Europe in Istanbul via bridges across the Bosphorus.
Nesebur, the ancient Mesembria, has a long and interesting history dating back more than 2,000 years. It prospered through trade with the Thracians but declined after the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC. Under Byzantine rule, Nesebur regained some of its former importance. Remains of the many churches built during this time can still be seen. During the 9th century, Nesebur passed back and forth between Byzantium and Bulgaria, but the town remained unscathed. As the rest of Bulgaria grew, other cities took Nesebur's place, resulting in a decline in active trading. Today, most residents of Nesebur make their living from fishing, tourism and a wine producing industry.
During World War II, Odessa suffered major damage when it came under heavy siege by the Nazis. In recognition of the inhabitants' valiant stand against the enemy, Odessa was proclaimed the "Hero City." Fortunately, many of the 19th-century French-style buildings survived, adding greatly to Odessa's numerous attractions. A stroll along Primorsky Boulevard usually ends at the historic Potemkin staircase, which numbers 192 steps and extends 455 feet. The pride and glory of Odessa is its neo-classical Opera House where musical events conducted by Tchaikovsky and ballets featuring Anna Pavlova were held.
Thanks to a temperate climate and miles of prime beaches, Odessa and its surrounding resort areas are popular tourist destinations. Scores of visitors flock to the "Riviera of the Black Sea," taking the waters in seaside spas, touring opulent palaces and enjoying spectacular performances at the Opera House. Many of Odessa's residents are eager to engage in a conversation with visitors and try their foreign language skills, accepting with pride favorable comments about their "Hero City."
Samsun is situated between two river deltas jutting out into the Back Sea, north of Turkey. West of the town the Kizilirmark (the Red River), one of the longest rivers of Anatolia, produced its fertile delta, East of the town the Yesilirmak (the Green River), a river that passes some remarkable towns on its way to the sea, did the same.
Nestled between the sea and green valleys, Sevastopol sits on a group of hills forming a natural amphitheater that overlooks the magnificent Bakhtiarsky Bay. Translated from Greek, Sevastopol means "majestic city," a name well earned. This second largest of the Crimea’s cities will greet you with bays of astonishing beauty, impressive architectural ensembles, unique museums, charming gardens and attractive squares and boulevards. At the Malakhov Kurgan, the command post of the first defense of Sevastopol, you will see the remains of the bastions that protected the city twice during its 200-year-old history, in the Crimean War and World War II. An eternal flame burns here in honor of Crimean and Soviet naval heroes. The city has a great military and naval history. Its citizens are justly proud to have been recognized for their valiant stand against the Nazis during World War II.
While Sochi may not yet be well known around the world, this city is Russia's leading vacation resort. With a perfect combination of over 150 kilometres of Mediterranean-style coastline and the snow-capped peaks of Krasnaya Polyana at more than 2000m above sea level within an hour's travel distance from one another, Sochi is a truly unique destination. Sochi offers visitors a wide array of sports and cultural activities throughout the year in some of the world's most pleasant and temperate weather conditions. The city is also famous for its 250+ health spas that have been welcoming guests for over one hundred years. With an exceptionally rich history and a booming tourism industry that is continuously developing to offer its guests truly memorable experiences, Sochi is a destination worth discovering.
Trabzon was founded by the merchants from Sinope around 1.000 B.C. and today it is the most important city in the region. It leans with its back against the Eastern Black Sea mountains and it is an important port city. The city is famous for its natural and historical treasures.
Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city. It was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre. Nowadays it is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and Albena, it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms, mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings.
Yalta and its surroundings are protected on three sides by mountains, which account for the region's exceptionally mild climate and its reputation as a favored vacation destination. Situated on the southern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, is the area's largest and most important resort and as such has catered to pleasure lovers and health seekers for more than a century. Here at the Golden Riviera, Russian aristocracy built their elegant summer palaces and palatial villas that rivaled those of Nice and Cannes. Livadia became the summer residence of the tsars and earned fame as the site of the 1945 Yalta Conference. Noted literary greats made Yalta their home, among them Tolstoy, Chekhov and Gorky. Following the 1917 Revolution, the aristocracy was forced to relinquish their grand estates to the People. Most of the opulent mansions were converted into sanitariums where Soviet citizens came to recuperate. Today, restoration of many of the palaces has returned them to their former glory, making them popular attractions for visitors from all over.