For several thousand years, one of the most favorite places for recreation for people of all ages and status is the Black Sea coast. Here are the residences of tsars, emperors and presidents, boarding houses and sanatoriums for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. In these wonderful places took place shooting masterpieces of world cinema, found inspiration singers, musicians and artists. And the fertile Black Sea land has always been famous for its harvests of fruits and vegetables, which instantly sold in markets throughout the country.
On the coast of the Black Sea there are many nature reserves. Their inhabitants have always attracted people from all over the world. Given all this, it is not surprising that many people choose to travel to this coast.
General characteristics of the Black Sea
The Black Sea is the inland sea of the World Ocean. It lies within the trench and connects to the waters of the Atlantic through a long chain of straits and seas.
Black Sea on the map
Compared to other seas of the globe, the Black Sea is quite small. Its total area is just over 400 thousand km2, and the length of the coastline is just over 3,400 km. The maximum depth is 2,100 meters. The length of the shelf differs depending on the location. Thus, the shelf of the west coast is gentle. Its length reaches 190 km. But the shelf of the South Coast and the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus is much shorter. Already in a few kilometers the depth can reach 400-500 m.
Several large rivers flow into the Black Sea: the Dnieper, the Danube, the Dniester. They are the main suppliers of water.
The amount of water in the reservoir is more than 550 thousand cubic kilometers. Its replenishment occurs in several ways:
- tributary from freshwater rivers;
- rains and other types of precipitation;
- tributary from the Sea of Azov.
The sea washes the shores of seven states: Russia, Ukraine, Abkhazia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey. Due to the fact that the waterway is an important logistics artery, each of the above countries has its own major commercial seaports: Odessa, Novorossiysk, Feodosia, Kerch, Varna, Batumi, and so on.
Almost the entire coast is dotted with mountain ranges. The mountains of the Black Sea are young. Their formation is still in progress. Therefore, a large number of extinct volcanoes can be found here. They are especially numerous on the southern coast of Crimea and the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.
Despite its small size, the reservoir is also of strategic importance. Most of its large coastal cities act as naval bases.
History of the Black Sea
The reservoir is about 8,000 years old. Before that, scientists believe, it was a freshwater lake with large cities on its shores. People lived, engaged in the trade. But in 5600 B.C. the unexpected happened: the natural dam that separated the lake and the Mediterranean was broken. Salt water gushed into the crevasse at a rate of 40 cubic kilometers per day (for example: the overflow rate of the Niagara Falls is 200 cubic meters). In just a matter of months, the water rose 70 meters. This forced people to leave their homes.
This theory is confirmed by the fact that at the bottom of the Black Sea there is a large accumulation of hydrogen sulfide, the source of which are dead animals and plants.
Some scholars believe that this phenomenon is nothing other than the flood described in the Old Testament. Indeed, not so long ago, in 2007, archaeologists said they had discovered the remains of legendary Noah’s Ark on one of the slopes of Mount Ararat, which is located in Turkey. There are also other theories of origin. Some of them are quite real. And there are fantastic, for example – at the bottom of the reservoir rests a legendary island city of Atlantis.
The Black Sea belongs to the ocean
Like any other body of water on the planet, the Black Sea belongs to a particular ocean. But before its waters end up in the vast expanse of the World Ocean, they have to go through several other bodies of water. And only then do its waters flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Black Sea belongs to the Atlantic Ocean. First the water has to pass a difficult and thorny way: through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, then through the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas. And only then, through the Strait of Gibraltar, do the waters of the Black Sea enter the Atlantic Ocean.
Flora and fauna
Black Sea flora and fauna are considered quite diverse. But despite its diversity, compared to the Mediterranean, the flora and fauna here are not as rich. The Black Sea waters are home to more than 2,000 living creatures. This contrast in the fauna of the two neighboring seas is due to the accumulation of hydrogen sulfide at the bottom of the reservoir. That is, deeper than 200 meters there is no life. Also, the small number of inhabitants is due to the low salt content of the waters.
The main inhabitants of the Black Sea are bacteria and single-celled animals. There are more than 1,500 species of them. Most of them live at depths below 200 meters. In fact, they (bacteria) are the main reason for the saturation of seawater with hydrogen sulfide.
In the upper layers of the Black Sea there is a large number of fish: anchovies, gobies, mullet, flounder, mackerel, herring, barabula. Rarer species of fish can also be found here: beluga, northerner, and sturgeon. But their catch is prohibited by law in the countries of the Black Sea basin, as they are included in the Red Book as an endangered species.
There are even sharks in the Black Sea. These are catfish and catfish – small fish, the maximum length of which is 2 meters. These sea creatures, despite the fact that they have a formidable name “shark”, are absolutely safe for people. Nevertheless, they have all the qualities that other representatives of this predator species have.
Mammals are also found here. There are four kinds:
- dolphin squirrel;
- bottlenose dolphin;
- white-bellied seal.
All these sea creatures are also included in the Red Book and their catch is severely punished.
Also, the reservoir is simply teeming with all kinds of mollusks. Here you can find crayfish, oysters, shrimp, mussels and so on. They are mainly found in coastal areas.
It is also not uncommon to see inhabitants from neighboring seas come here. They pass through the Bosporus, the Dardanelles and the Kerch Straits. But their population is small and numbers only a few individuals.
The coastline is also rich in birds. Here you can observe a large number of gulls and ducks of different species. In addition, cormorants and petrels are often found here. They are all predators and feed on live or dead fish.
The plant world is as diverse as its fauna. There are more than 200 different species of algae. Some of them grow on underwater rocks and cliffs. Others just float on the water.
The most common ones are:
Also on the seashore you can find unique for these places algae Nocteluka. It is popularly referred to as Nochevetka. It is a phytovorus, which can emit a glow at night. Sometimes this light reaches such power that it can be seen even from outer space.
Black Sea Basin
Despite its small size, the Black Sea basin is quite large. More than 10 major rivers from around the world flow into it.
The largest are:
- Danube is the longest river in Europe. It passes through the territory of 10 states. The total length is 2,860 kilometers. It flows into the reservoir near the state border of Romania and Ukraine. The delta of this river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
- Dnieper – passes through the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation. It flows into the Western part of the Crimean Peninsula;
- Dniester – originates on the territory of Lviv region in Ukraine. It passes through the territory of three states – Ukraine, Moldova and the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. The uniqueness of this river is that it actually serves as the state border between the Republic of Moldova and the unrecognized state of TMR. It flows into the reservoir on the territory of Odessa region of Ukraine;
- The Mzymta is a small river in the Krasnodar region of the Russian Federation. The length of this mountain river leaves only 89 kilometers, but, nevertheless, – it is the largest river in Russia, which flows into the Black Sea;
- Psou is a river, only 59 kilometers long, which is located on the border of Russia and Abkhazia. Until recently (until 2008), this river defined the state border between the Russian Federation and Georgia. It flows into the Black Sea waters near Adler;
- The Riona is a mountain river that is located in Georgia. Its length is 327 kilometers. Part of this river is navigable. It flows into the area of the Georgian city of Poti;
- The Chorokh is another mountain river in Georgia. It is located on the border with Turkey. The total length is 438 km. It flows into the resort town of Batumi;
- Kazılırmak is the longest river in Turkey, which at the same time belongs to the basin of the sea. Its length is 1,151 km;
- The Yesilimark is a river that is also in Turkey. Its length is 519 km. It flows into the Black Sea near the city of Samsun;
- Kamchia is a river that runs through the territory of Bulgaria. Its length is 244 km. It flows near the seaport of Varna.
In addition to the rivers, some scientists attribute to the Black Sea basin and the Sea of Azov, which is connected to it through the Kerch Strait.
The Sea of Azov is one of the smallest and shallowest seas on the planet. The maximum depth is just over 13 meters. But, nevertheless, it is a very important logistics hub. On the shores of the Sea of Azov are major commercial ports: Mariupol, Berdyansk, Taganrog and Rostov-on-Don. It also has one of Europe’s largest rivers, the Don, which is 1,870 kilometers long.
If you add up all the flowing rivers, it turns out that the basin of the reservoir is more than 10 thousand square kilometers. It is second only to the Mediterranean, whose basin is formed by the longest river on the planet, the Nile.
Countries with beaches on the Black Sea coast
The Black Sea coast has long been famous for its resorts. People came here in the summer to bathe in the warm water and take sunbaths, and in the winter, – just to walk on the snow-covered mountain slopes, to ski.
On the southern coast of Crimea and the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus are located boarding houses and sanatoriums narrow profile work. People suffering from chronic diseases of the heart, stomach, kidneys, and respiratory organs undergo rehabilitation here. There are also unique sanatoriums where specialists help people suffering from tuberculosis.
As for the usual summer vacation, perhaps the most popular resort is the Crimean Peninsula. In terms of beaches, terrain and climate it can be divided into three parts: east, west and south coast.
The South Coast is considered the most popular. The South Coast is located on the southern side of the Crimean Mountains. The main thing that attracts tourists – it’s unique subtropical climate. Such a unique place was formed thanks to the Crimean mountains. Despite the fact that they are relatively low (maximum height of 1,545 meters), the mountains detain and prevent penetration into the coastal zone of the cold northern air masses. That’s why the average temperature here in the winter is +6-10 degrees Celsius.
Among the most popular resorts of the Southern coast of Crimea should be noted Yalta, Alushta, Alupka, Koreiz, Gaspra, Kanaka, Simeiz, Foros, Gurzuf.
The western coast of Crimea is characterized by steep cliffs of loose soil. But there are exceptions – it is popular and famous in all countries of the former Soviet Union resorts Evpatoria and Saki. Here the entrance to the water is shallow and shallow. The entire west coast is dotted with estuaries and lakes of various sizes. The most famous of them are: Donuzlav, Dzharylgach, Kyzyl-Yar, and Kiyatskoe. Also here are located and other settlements, where you can relax: Nikolaevka, Chernomorskoe, Storozhevoe, Mezhvodnoe, Znamenskoe.
The eastern coast of Crimea is a mountainous area, which is famous for its bays. Also on the coast of this part of Crimea, you can even find volcanoes.
The most famous resorts in this part of the peninsula are:
- Sudak – an ancient city, which was once the largest fortress on the territory of Crimea. It is well preserved and accessible to the public. You can also admire the beautiful mountain scenery here.
- Feodosia is a major resort city. It does not boast beautiful views, but nevertheless, it will be interesting to those who are interested in history. After all, the city used to be home to the world’s largest slave market, Cafa.
- Kerch is a major seaport. Also popular with tourists. Here you can see and take a ride on the world famous “Kerch Bridge”, which connects mainland Russia to the Crimea.
- Koktebel – country cognacs. On the territory of this city is located a cognac factory, which produces the “drink of kings” of the unique varieties of grapes. This small town is located at the foot of the volcano Kara-Dag. It is noteworthy that scientists around the world can not decide whether this volcano is active or extinct. The last eruption was 10 million years ago. If it turns out to be active, its eruption could destroy the entire Crimean peninsula.
- Novyi Svet is the favorite place of Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Here there is a champagne factory of the same name and a unique man-made grotto of Chaliapin. The famous singer was supposed to sing on the cave stage to the Russian ruler.
Coast of the Caucasus
No less unique place to rest, which stretches for 60 kilometers from the Taman Peninsula in the north, to the state border between Georgia and Turkey. Thus, this zone is located on the territory of three states: the Russian Federation, Abkhazia and Georgia.
The climate in this part can be compared to that of the azure coast of France and the Italian Riviera. The resort areas in each state have their own characteristics.
The Black Sea coast in Russia stretches for 350 kilometers. Here are famous to all post-Soviet countries resorts:
- Anapa is the northernmost settlement of the Caucasian coast. On its territory is a large number of boarding houses and recreation centers.
- Novorossiysk – in addition to the fact that it is also home to large hotels and resorts, this place is one of the many bases of the naval fleet of the Russian Federation. It is also a major commercial seaport.
- Tuapse is an area where many dolmens are located – burial places of the ancient culture, which lived in this area many centuries ago.
- Sochi is probably the most famous resort in Russia. The world learned about it only recently, in 2012, when the Winter Olympics were held here. In addition to beaches, Sochi is also famous for its ski slopes, which are located close to the coastal city. The urban district of Sochi includes several other resort settlements: Lazarevskoye and Adler.
Partially recognized mountainous state, which was part of Georgia back in 2008. On the coast of Abkhazia are also small resort towns that have always been famous for their food, wine and hospitality:
- Gagra – an ancient fortress, which is located in a picturesque place on the seashore. The fortress and castle of the former ruler of these lands are preserved here to this day.
- Pitsunda is a small resort village, which is famous for its sanatoriums and resorts. All buildings of the resort complexes were built according to the same project on the city’s waterfront.
- Sukhumi is the largest city of the unrecognized republic. This place will be interesting to visit for people who are interested in history. On the territory of the village are the Castle of Bagrat, the Great Wall of Abkhazia. You can also stroll through the Botanical Garden and the monkey nursery.
Batumi is the most famous resort in Georgia. Until recently, the village was in a deplorable state: there were no basic conditions for the tourist business. But over the past few years, it transforms just before our eyes: luxury hotels are built, modern elements of architecture are erected, the waterfront is reconstructed. In another 5-7 years, Batumi will not be inferior to the resorts of Monaco or Ibiza.
Poti is a resort town, which is also the largest commercial port of Georgia. Until 2008, it was home to the country’s naval base.
Black Sea coast of Turkey
The owner of the longest coastline on the Black Sea is Turkey – 1700 kilometers. The tourism industry on the north side of the country, compared to the south, is poorly developed. There are several settlements where you can find quality and decent service: Samsun, Sinop, Rize, Hopa.
The coastline, which stretches for 400 kilometers from the state border with Romania to the border with Turkey. The total length of sandy beaches is 130 kilometers. There are more than 15 resorts that are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. The most famous of these are:
- Golden Sands is a Bulgarian resort, famous for its sanatoriums and resorts. Here they practice hydrotherapy, mud, disease prevention with the help of medicinal plants;
- Sunny Beach – a resort that was founded in 1958. Now it is one of the most famous holiday destinations in Europe. In 1990 there began the mass construction of hotels, which continues to this day.
Romania is a country washed by the Black Sea. There is not much international tourism, and the local resort towns work only at the expense of local vacationers.
Romania’s coastline is 256 kilometers long. Among the many small villages for vacationers can be distinguished:
After the Republic of Crimea became part of the Russian Federation in 2014, Ukraine lost its main resort on the Black Sea. Today it continues to operate resorts and recreation centers in three regions: Kherson, Nikolaev and Odessa.
The Black Sea in Art
The Black Sea and coastal mountain ranges have always inspired masters of art. These places lured absolutely different masters: artists, musicians, writers, directors. Thus, the world-famous painter Ivan Aivazovsky painted masterpieces in the Crimea. The Russian writer Anton Chekhov liked to spend time here.
Spa towns of the Krasnodar region, Abkhazia and Georgia often became a platform for the filming of famous Soviet films: “Sportloto 82”, “Caucasian Captive,” “Hearts of Three.
And many also came here to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, to think in silence, to create another miracle.