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A Holiday by the Black Sea in Odessa

Odessa in the Ukraine is quite unlike any other city in Russia. This may be because it has always been a leading Black Sea port and a center for trade and commerce. Further, like all ports it is very cosmopolitan by nature and very spirited too. You will discover a blend of Russian, Ukrainian and Mediterranean culture here. Even the Russian spoken here is a uniquely accented dialect.

Referred to as the "The Pearl of the Black Sea", Odessa’s Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Armenian, Moldovan, Azeri and Jewish communities have contributed to make Odessa the unique city it is today. The third largest city in Ukraine, Odessa is the largest city along the Black Sea and a very popular vacation destination.

Its mild climate, warm waters and sunny shores make it a sought after seaside spot. There are plenty of hotels and apartments of various sizes to rent. Arcadia is the most popular beach in Odessa with its shady trees and colorful flowers. Enjoy a drink on one of the lovely terraces overlooking the sea. You can rent paddleboats and rowboats here as a change from swimming and sun bathing. Kids will have a ball at Tropicano Children World.

Potemkin Steps are the best place to view the busy harbors and the bay. Deribasovskaya in the center of the city has an old world charm with its shady linden trees, cobbled roads and no entry for vehicles. The cobblestone and tall acacia trees on Frantsuzsky Boulevard are also reminiscent of Old Odessa. The steep hill separates it from three beaches below and there are paths and stairs going down to the Sea. However you can take a cable-car ride to Lanzheron Beach.

Odessa has some gorgeous architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries and the central part of the city is laid out in a grid. The Opera House is one of the best in Europe with a unique décor in Viennese baroque with touches of the Italian Renaissance and French rococo. There are statues from Greek mythology, stucco moldings and gilt friezes with red velvet seats and boxes-very grand indeed!


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