The Small Canyon of the Crimea stretches along the Black River for 12 km. Full flowing river changes to quiet backwaters along the way. River ledges, rapids and waterfalls take turns with flood plains encasing small rocky islands and shadowy banks. Open spots on the banks are covered with old Crimean junipers, shadowy beech trees shelter green ferns. When sunny, the fast waters of the Black River splash over heated rubbles, with rainbows glittering over them. There are plenty of safe deep baths in the canyon, and the water in these “tubs” is warmer than in the Grand Canyon. Though beware of the flow, the Black River is the fastest in the Crimea. Summer warm months are good time for hiking in the canyon. Hikes without a guide are not safe in the Small Canyon due to abundance of various trails, some of which may appear to be either quite challenging or undoable.
The Ukraine is a beautiful and fascinating country, but also a difficult one to get around in without local knowledge, especially of the language. It is also one of the very few places I have visited where people are uniformly polite and friendly with visitors and where virtually no one tried to rip me off. Fantastic.
Tanya and Igor worked tirelessly to give me the holiday I wanted at the price (not exorbitant) that I wanted to pay and always with a rare charm and personal attention. I spent two weeks in Odessa staying in a private, rented apartment and I had a brilliant time. It's a wonderful, beautiful and vibrant city. Catch it now, before the package tourist hordes discover it. I arranged and paid for it all by e-mail through Unipress and it was the easiest to arrange and best organised trip I've had in a very long time.