Transportation and Traffic
Simferopol is the main gateway to the Crimea, and most visitors arrive through its railway station. In addition, Jankoi is an important railway junction, this is where the main line splits off to head for Feodosia and Kerch. It is possible to travel between these two stations by suburban trains, which also go through Simferopol and onto Evpatoria, Sevastopol, and Bakhchisarai.
For air travel, the Crimean capital's Centralny airport dominates. From here direct flights to many cities within Ukraine are available, as well as to Russia, Erevan, Tashkent, Tel-Aviv, Istanbul (the most convenient transition point), Hannover, Koln, and Frankfurt-on-Maine. There are also a number of flights out of Belbek Airport in Sevastopol, and the airport in Kerch.
Sea Transport. The ferry seaport in Kerch, and the Feodosia marine passenger terminal, both handle cargo and passenger ships. Small motor boats will take you from Yalta to Foros and Alushta. The Yalta Port also takes in ocean cruise liners. In the bays of Sevastopol, amidst the warships of the Russian and Ukrainian navies, water buses scurry around. Several times a month ships leave for Turkey. Evpatoria is a the most popular place for leaving on sea trips to Turkey and other countries.
In all the coastal towns, and in many of the villages, there are yacht clubs, slipways, and boat-hiring stations.
Trolleybus. Bus. Taxi. The Simferopol-Alushta mountain tramway is the longest and most picturesque in Europe. A trip to Alushta takes an hour and a half, to get to Yalta it takes an extra hour. Buses and minivans will get you there faster. The main road does not reach the villages in the western part of Yalta Major, so you have to change in Yalta, and it is more comfortable to go there by bus or taxi. There are departures from the railway and bus stations to all the towns of Crimea.
Traffic. In Crimea the road traffic rules are based on driving on the right, and thus are similar to those active in the majority of the countries of the world. Drivers' discipline is far better than that of Middle Eastern drivers, but it is not yet up to the European standard. When a road accident happens, the drivers tend not to lay much hope on insurance companies, and the damage is normally settled in cash. Where the road condition is bad, the driver has to be especially attentive. In addition, pedestrians are not very disciplined. Therefore in no circumstances can the driver relax.
The petrol station network on all the roads is extensive. Garages that supply parts for most car makes are available in every large town.
Rent-a-car agencies are rather uncommon here. However, at any taxi garage you can hire a car with a driver for any length of period. In addition, jeeps can be rented.
Hitch-hiking, of the kind practised in Western Europe does not exists here. On busy highways, like on the Simferopol-Alushta-Yalta road, drivers will readily pick up travellers, but will expect to be paid, and will often charge more than a regular bus. On rural roads, drivers will usually only pick up people they know. Within a town, charges, no matter whether you use a taxi or not, are substantially higher than long distance travel.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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