It often happens that tourists and locals have visited the Black Sea more than once, but still have got no there’s much more to it than just beaches and city landmarks. The region hides multiple deserted islands with incredible nature and even more fascinating history — described in works of Greek historians, these spots carried great importance thousands of years ago. Can it still be revived today?
The largest island in Ukraine with incredibly rich history — Khortytsya — traditionally occupies the first place in the rating of the most beautiful islands to visit in the country. Located in Zaporizhzhya, Khortytsya is officially listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. It’s not surprising: the large island has an incredibly diverse geography, offering picturesque landscapes with forests, lakes and vast fields. The history of Khortytsya dates back to the 7th century B.C. The island extensively becomes more important during the times of Kievan Rus and reign of Princes Askold, Dir, and Princess Olga.
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However, the most memorable era is certainly related to the times of Zaporozhian Sich – the administrative center of Cossack Army. Up to date, visitors can witness a real-life picture of Cossack livelihood on the territory of historical and cultural complex ‘Zaporozhian Sich’, built on the prototype of the historical landmark with its fortifications and unique structure. Besides, Cossack battles are re-enacted in the ‘Zaporozhian Cossacks’ horse riding theater, where masters of the trade show off numerous tricks with swords.
Often referred to as Ukrainian Maldives, Dzharylhach Island is also included in the list of Seven Wonders of Ukraine. Due to the remote location in the Black Sea, this picturesque spot is not often visited and remains deserted even in summer. The vast island makes up about 42 kilometers of different nature zones, from sand dunes to marshy lowlands. Besides, there are more than 200 estuaries located on the island that are still intact due to the fact that the place is inhabited.
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The water in such estuaries is believed to have curing abilities. As for the landmarks, not many people know that the lighthouse located on the Dzharylhach Island was engineered by Gustave Eiffel, famous for the same-named tower in Paris. The island can be reached by car or a boat from Skadovsk.
Herodotus and Ovidius mention Snake Island in their works concerning the history of Ancient Greece. Also called the Serpent Island, it has been the place of great importance during the period of Greek colonization — in the 6-8th century B.C. warriors and merchants often visited the Thracian Apollo temple that was located here. Moreover, according to the epic poem by Arctinus Miletus, the remains of Achilles and Patroclus were brought to that island to be rested forever.
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Up to date, there are 4 public beaches with crystal clean sand. Besides, it’s an undiscovered paradise for divers — the underwater flora and fauna can be easily seen due to the clear water. The island lies in 120 kilometers from Odesa.
The history of Monastery Island in Dnipro dates back to the 7th century B.C., making it one of the most ancient sightseeing spots in Ukraine: it has seen the Scythes, the Mongols, two World Wars and numerous events all to survive up to this date. Apart from wondrous nature, St. Nicholas`s Church, constructed in 1999, is what makes the island especially beautiful. The building can be observed from any part of the city and is easily recognizable because of its white-and-gold exterior.
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Nowadays entertainment on the island is represented by various rides in an amusement park, numerous cafes, a zoo, and even a horse-riding club. Besides, an aqua-park located here is one of the most popular kid-friendly getaway spots in Dnipro. Monastic Island can be reached by a bridge and cableway, where visitors can enjoy the city stunning panorama.
Finally, an island located in the Black Sea near Mykolaiv region, Berezan was once a home for one of the earliest-mentioned Greek colonies visited by Herodotus and described in his works. Berezan also served as a fortification for Ukrainian Cossacks against the Crimean Tatars attacks during the 17th century.
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The island still hides mysteries and numerous historical artifacts like ceramics, weapons, and décor. Bezeran is a part of the National Historical and Cultural Reserve Olbia, which can be accessed by a bus from Mykolaiv railway station.
Photo sources: ua.discover.net.ua, shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.