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Have a Nice Trip: Tourist Season Kicks Off in Crimea

© Flickr / Fr Maxim MassalitinSwallow's Nest castle in Crimea
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The tourist season opens in Russia's Crimean Federal District on May 1; a whole array of variety acts and musical performances are scheduled for later in the day, according to Crimean Resorts and Tourism Minister Elena Yurchenko.

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Since the advent of rail travel in the 19th century, Crimea has primarily been regarded by Russians as a destination for tourists.

May 1, which is celebrated as Labor Day in Russia, is also the first of the tourist season in Crimea, where a wide range of variety acts and live musical performances will be held for visitors, Crimean Resorts and Tourism Minister Elena Yurchenko said, according to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

"We understand the approximate number of applications for the active phase of the summer tourist season in 2015. And already today we can say that the tourist season will take place", she said.

According to her, 250 sanatoriums and other resorts are already opening their doors for tourists in Crimea, and their number will increase to 680 by June 10. Although sanatoriums in Europe and North America were once primarily associated with the treatment of long-term illnesses such as tuberculosis, in Crimea and elsewhere in Russia the term is used to describe wellness resorts.

Separately, tourists can use rented houses and private mini-hotels in Crimea.

A total of 20 tours to Crimea to mark the May holidays have been prepared by local tour operators, Yurchenko said, adding that a tour lasts between two and eight days. The cost usually varies from 2,800 to 30,000 rubles per person.

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When in Crimea, tourists can visit picturesque palaces such as Vorontsov Palace, Livadia Palace, Massandra Palace and Khan's Palace, as well as the neo-Gothic  Swallow's Nest castle, the Genoese fortress of Sudak, the ruins of the classical Greek city of Chersonesus and the llya Aivazovsky National Gallery.

The number of tourists that are expected to visit the peninsula in 2015 stands at 4.3 million tourists, which is a 15 percent increase over with the number of those who visited Crimea in 2014.

At least 125,000 tourists are expected to visit the peninsula in the next few days, which should see fine weather, according to forecasters.

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