Balaklava Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, where to stay, what to eat, and how to get around in Balaklava, Crimea's hidden gem in Southern Russia. Find out about the rich cultural and historical attractions, breathtaking natural sights, and exciting outdoor adventures.

Introduction to Balaklava

Balaklava is a charming town located on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula, in Southern Russia. It boasts a rich history that is closely tied to the Black Sea, and many of its top attractions are natural wonders that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The town also has a vibrant cultural scene, with a range of museums, galleries, and historical landmarks to explore. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, authentic local cuisine, or a dose of culture and history, Balaklava is the perfect destination for you.

List of Places to Visit in Balaklava

Here is a list of the best attractions and sightseeing spots in Balaklava:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Balaklava Fortress
  • Museum of Submarine Fleet
  • Genoese Fortress
  • Balaklava Bay

Natural Attractions of Balaklava: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Cape Aya
  • Mount Parus
  • Fiolent
  • Foros Park

Hiking/Biking Routes of Balaklava

From hiking to mountain biking trails, Balaklava offers various outdoor adventures that any nature lover will appreciate. Experience scenic views and pristine natural surroundings while taking these routes:

  • Hiking to Cape Fiolent
  • Mountain biking around Balaklava Bay
  • Hiking Mount Parus

Best Things to Do in Balaklava: Activities and Tours

  • Explore the Museum of Submarine Fleet
  • Discover the ancient Genoese Fortress
  • Relax by the Bay of Balaklava
  • Take a boat trip to Cape Fiolent
  • Visit the church near Mount Parus

Week-Long Itinerary for Balaklava

Here is a suggested itinerary for a week-long trip to Balaklava:

Day Activity
1 Museum of Submarine Fleet, Balaklava Bay
2 Genoese Fortress, beaches near Balaklava
3 Mount Parus, church nearby
4 Cape Aya, hiking trail
5 Boat trip to Crimea’s Sevastopol, Lenin Square
6 Visit Foros Park, sunset at the beach
7 Explore the local art scene, souvenir shopping

Food and Drink Scene of Balaklava

Balaklava’s cuisine is influenced by both Russian and Crimean Tatar cultures, featuring a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. Explore these must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Khinkali, a meat-filled dumpling
  • Shashlyk, grilled marinated meat on skewers
  • Borscht, a hearty beetroot soup
  • Plov, a rice dish with meat and vegetables

Local Beverages

  • Kvas, a fermented beverage made from rye bread
  • Beer, produced by the local brewery company

Where to Stay in Balaklava: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Visitors to Balaklava will find a range of accommodation options to choose from, depending on their preferences and budget. Here are some great places to stay in the area:

  • Guesthouses: “Old Fortress Balaklava” or “Hermitage Cottage”
  • Mid-range hotel: “Balaklava Hotel”
  • Luxury option: “Balaklava Villa”

What to Buy in Balaklava: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Visitors to Balaklava can take home a range of souvenirs and local products that will provide lasting memories of their trip to Southern Russia. These items include:

  • Handcrafted souvenirs from local markets
  • Traditional kerchiefs and shawls
  • Russian dolls and wooden toys
  • Local wines and spirits

Local Culture and Customs of Balaklava

Balaklava’s culture and customs are rich and distinct, influenced by the region’s unique history and population. Visitors should be aware of the following:

  • Crimean Tatars are the largest minority group in Balaklava
  • Balaklava was a centre of naval power during the Soviet era
  • Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in the area

Best Time to Visit Balaklava

The best time to visit Balaklava is during the spring and summer months, from April to September, when the weather is warm and dry, and the outdoor activities are in full swing. However, Balaklava can be a great destination during the winter months with fewer tourists and pleasant temperatures with the beautiful snow-covered landscape.

Do’s and Don’ts of Balaklava

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while visiting Balaklava:


  • Respect local customs and traditions
  • Try the local cuisine
  • Take guided tours


  • Use offensive language or make derogatory remarks
  • Wear inappropriate clothing at religious sites
  • Wander off alone at night

Safety and Health

Safety in Balaklava

Balaklava is a generally safe destination for travellers, but visitors should exercise common sense and take precautions to ensure their safety.

  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash or valuables in public areas
  • Stay alert when using public transportation, such as buses or taxis
  • It’s recommended to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing, as sunburn is a possibility in the southern region of Russia.

Health in Balaklava

Balaklava has good healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics, but visitors should take precautions to protect their health.

  • Drink bottled water or boiled tap water
  • Avoid swimming in the sea or in other areas not designated for swimming
  • Consult with a doctor before travelling if you have any pre-existing health conditions

Getting to Balaklava: Transportation Options and Logistics

Visitors to Balaklava can reach the town by air, train, bus, car or boat.

Airports Near Balaklava

Simferopol Airport is the nearest airport, around 25 km away from Balaklava.

Bus Stations Near Balaklava

Buses run regularly from major cities like Simferopol and Sevastopol to Balaklava.

Other Options

Taking a road trip to Balaklava would be a great experience since all the roads are in good condition and the scenery is picturesque.

How to Get Around in Balaklava

The best way to get around Balaklava is by foot or bicycle. Taxis and buses are also available and are convenient for travelling longer distances.

Where to Go Next from Balaklava: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Balaklava serves as an excellent base to explore the sights and attractions of Crimea. Here are some must-visit nearby destinations and excursions:

  • Sevastopol, the historical gem of Crimea
  • Yalta, the beautiful resort town on the southern coast
  • Bakhchysarai, the capital of the Crimean Khanate
  • Ayu-Dag, the Crimean Mountains


Balaklava is a unique travel destination with a rich history and natural beauty to explore. Visitors can enjoy a range of cultural, outdoor, and culinary experiences in this beautiful and fascinating town. Use this travel guide to plan your visit to Balaklava and make the most of your time in Southern Russia.