The mountains of Crimea are a very interesting destination for hiking and trekking. Dozens of interesting routes have been laid along them. The Crimean Mountains are low, so they are accessible even for untrained people.

In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about the most interesting mountains of the Crimea:

1. Demerdzhi mountain
2. Karadag Volcano
3. Ai-Petri mountain
4. White Rock
5. Cape Aya
6. Peak Cosmos
7. Sokol mountain
8. Chelebi mountain
9. Biuk-Isar mountain
10. Stavri-Kaya mountain

1.    Demerdzhi Mountain

Demerdzhi Mountain is located 10 kilometers north of Alushta. There are many tourist routes in the Crimean mountains and there are many interesting sights, but Demerdzhi Mountain is the most amazing of them. There are several interesting places on Demerdzhi Mountain. Most excursions are limited to visiting the Valley of Ghosts, which is located at the foot of the mountain, near the village of Luchistoe. However, to visit Mount Demerdzhi, it is better to reserve the whole day and prepare for long hiking trips.  

In this case, you can see the most interesting places on the top of the mountain. Not far from the Valley of Ghosts is the mount Southern Demerdzhi, as well as the weathering figures near Mount Alenga. 4 kilometers from Southern Demerdzhi is the top of the Mount Northern Demerdzhi.  

The geological composition of Mount Demerdzhi differs from the rest of the Crimean mountains. Most of the mountains in Crimea consist of limestone, and in Demerdzhi there are many layers of the so-called conglomerate. Under the influence of the atmosphere, these rocks in some places formed a natural "cement" that held together large stones. Under the influence of weathering of sandstone, a large number of figures similar to various parts of the human body appeared on the slopes of Mount Demerdzhi.  

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2.    Karadag Volcano

The Karadag Volcano is located south of the Koktebel resort. It was established in 1979 to protect the ecosystem of the ancient extinct volcano Karadag. Free access to the top of Mount Karadag is prohibited, but twice a day the reserve staff conducts excursions here.

The territory of the Karadag Nature Reserve is 2.8 thousand hectares. The Karadag mountain range is divided into several ridges. From the side of Koktebel, the Kok-Kaya Ridge rises. You can see the Sphinx Rock here. Behind it is located Holy Mountain, the highest point of the Karadag Nature Reserve.

To the south of the Sphinx Rock there is a Dead City – this is the most picturesque place of Karadag. Traces of volcanic activity have been preserved here. On the top you can see rocks that look like people and animals. At the foot of the Dead City is the Golden Gate - the most famous attraction of the Karadag Nature Reserve. This rock is called the same symbol of the Crimea.

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3.    Ai-Petri Mountain

Ai-Petri Mountain is one of the most famous natural attractions of the Crimea, as the Golden Gate in Koktebel or the Swallow`s Nest in Yalta. The teeth of Ai-Petri are visible from many villages of the Southern Crimea from Yalta to Alupka. Ai-Petri Mountain is located on the area of the Yalta Nature Reserve, but thousands of tourists climb to it every day. 

The height of Ai-Petri Mountain is 1234 meters. Its teeth rise above the ridge of the Crimean Mountains, so many people think that Ai-Petri is the highest mountain in the Crimea. That`s not so. The highest mountain in Crimea is Roman Kosh (1545 m).  

Ai-Petri Mount is not even among the ten highest mountains of the Crimea, but it certainly has no equal in its beauty. The Ai-Petri Mountain range is composed of reef limestones similar in composition to the mountains in the area of the Novy Svet Resort. On the upper plateau of Mount Ai-Petri, it looks like a plain with small hills, but the huge stone teeth at the edge of the cliff made it a symbol of the Crimea. These teeth are called the Crown of Crimea.

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4.    White Rock

The main attraction of the city of Belogorsk is the White Rock. The height of its steep slope exceeds 100 meters, and the height above sea level is 325 meters. It is formed by white cretaceous rocks and yellow limestones, that is why it has such a bright color. There are many rocky formations around the White Rock. There are hiking and equestrian routes among of them.  

The White Rock is located far from the Crimean Mountains in the middle of the steppe Crimea. In the Turkic language, it is called Ak-Kaya. In the process of weathering and erosion, as well as permanent scree, absolutely sheer rock slopes, similar to American prairies, were formed. Poppies bloom at the foot of the White Rock in spring.  

Many films about the Wild West were shot in the vicinity of the White Rock. These places are really similar to the American Monument Valley. Sheer cliffs create unique landscapes. There are many hiking trails here, but the steppe nature is best suited for horseback riding. In the vicinity of Belogorsk, near the White Rock, there are equestrian clubs that offer equestrian excursions.  

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5.    Cape Aya

Cape Aya Nature Reserve is located to the east of Balaklava. It occupies an area of 1.3 thousand hectares. At the edge, the cape descends into the sea with sheer cliffs. Their height reaches 300 meters, and the highest mountains on Cape Aya exceed 500 meters. Translated from Greek, the word "Aya" means "Holy". This name has been preserved since the Greek colonization of the Crimea in the 6th-3rd centuries BC.  

The protected area of Cape Aya is one of the most beautiful places of the Crimean Mountains. This is the only place where trekking trails run along juniper and pine forests directly on the seashore along several beaches. In other places of the Crimean Mountains, for example, in the Yalta Nature Reserve, trails for trekking pass a few kilometers from the sea. Many rare plants and trees listed in the Red Book grow on the rocks of Cape Aya.  

The high rock of Cape Aya protrudes into the sea for 13 kilometers and an excursion to it is accessible only for physically prepared people due to the difficult mountainous terrain and large height differences. Kokiya-Kaya Mountain (558 m), on the edge of Cape Aya, can be approached from the village of Reservnoe. The length of this route is 7 kilometers with a height difference of 250 meters. A much more interesting hiking route to Cape Aya runs along the Great Sevastopol Trail from Balaklava to Fig Beach.  

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6.    Peak Cosmos

Cosmos Peak is a beautiful cliff on the top of Mount Karaul-Oba, which rises from the south side of the Azuer Bay. Translated from the Turkic language, Karaul-Oba means Sentry Mountain. Most tourists enjoy the view of this mountain from the Golitsyn Trail, which ends near Royal Beach. However, the hiking trails on Mount Karaul-Oba are even more picturesque than the Golitsyn Trail or the Juniper Grove. 

The height of Cosmos Peak is 245 meters. It is a rocky cliff on the surface of the mountain. The top of Mount Karaul-Oba (342 meters) is located to the south. This is not a very high altitude for a mountain, but if you consider that all the mountains in the vicinity of Novy Svet are coral reefs of the ancient Tethys Ocean, then this height is quite significant for reefs. 

You can climb the Cosmos Peak as part of a hiking trip to the Valleys of Hell and Heaven. This route begins in a Juniper grove, from which the path leads first along the edge of the Karaul-Oba Mountain, and then rises to the fork where the Cosmos Peak rises. On the right side at the foot of the Peak is the Valley of Heaven, and on the left – the Valley of Hell.

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7.    Sokol Mountain

Sokol Mountain rises from the north side above the resort village of Novy Svet. Its height is only 473 meters. However, due to the rocky southern slope of the pyramidal shape, the mountain looks very massive. The Turks called this mountain Kush-Kaya (Bird’s Rock), the Byzantines called it Senator.  

All the mountains that surround Novy Svet are reefs of the ancient Tethys Ocean. Its waters splashed on the site of the Crimea in the Mesozoic era, about 200 million years ago. Subsequently, tectonic shifts occurred. The bottom of the Tethys Ocean rose and the Crimean Mountains formed.  

Mountain Sokol consists of skeletons of ancient fossil organisms that have been compressed into porous, but rather hard reefs. Cape Kapchik and Mount Kush-Kaya, where the Golitsyn Trail is laid, are also reefs. Their slopes are immersed in seawater, forming a very beautiful coastline of  Novy Svet.  

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8.    Mountain Celebi-Yaurn-Beli

Mountain Celebi-Yaurn-Beli rises above Foros resort. In this place, the Crimean mountains approach the seashore most closely. Directly above the village of Foros hangs a rock with the same name Foros, which is part of Mountain Celebi. It looks as beautiful as the teeth of Ai-Petri Mountain in Yalta. You can climb to the top of the mountain to admire the amazing views of the Crimean Mountains and the Black Sea. 

The height of Mountain Celebi is 657 meters. This is much lower than the highest mountains of the Crimea. For example, the height of Ai-Petri Mountain reaches 1234 meters, and the highest mountain in Crimea, Roman Kosh, reaches 1545 meters. However, these mountains do not hang as beautifully over the seashore as Celebi.  

Mountain Celebi, like other rocky outcrops of the Crimean Mountains, is a fossil reef of the prehistoric Tethys Ocean, whose waters splashed here in the Mesozoic era about 250 million years ago. There are many such reef mountains of the Tethys Ocean left on the territory of Crimea.

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9.    Biyuk-Isar Mountain

Biyuk-Isar Mountain is located on the territory of the Yalta Nature Reserve, near the resort of Simeiz. In geology, such rocks are called "outcrop rock". Biyuk-Isar was once part of the Ai-Petri Yayla Mountain range, but as a result of tectonic processes, it broke off and is now located about 1 kilometer from the ridge. 

The village of Opolznevoe is located 2 kilometers from the Biyuk-Isar mountain. A few hundred meters from the village in the direction of Biyuk-Isar, you can drive by car along a dirt road, but then there is a barrier of the Yalta Nature Reserve. You need to walk more than a kilometer from it. There are two small lakes at the foot of the Biyuk-Isar Mountain. 

From the side of the lakes, the mountain looks absolutely inaccessible, but on the west side there is a path to its top. The climb to the Biyuk-Isar mountain is very steep, but it is quite accessible even for untrained people. You have to remember that there are two difficult sections on this climb. One of them is crossing a narrow ledge over a cliff, holding on to a rope.

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10. Stavri-Kaya Mountain

The Botkin Trail in the Yalta Nature Reserve is one of the most famous hiking trails in the Crimean Mountains. Its length from Kirov Street to the top of Stavri-Kaya Mount is 4.5 kilometers. It starts in a dense coniferous forest, and from the top you will see very picturesque views of Yalta, the Crimean Mountains and the sea.  

The total length of the Botkin trail to the top of Stavri-Kaya Mount is 4.5 kilometers. The climb is 510 meters. The main slope uphill begins at the last section near the mountain. Here the trail leaves the pine forest and goes along the edge of the gorge. The height of Stavri-Kaya Mountain is 663 meters.  

After seeing the beautiful scenery at the top of Stavri-Kaya Mount (Cross Mount), you can go back down the same Botkin trail. However, most people go towards the Uchan-Su Waterfall. This route is called the Shtangeyev trail. The length of the trail is 2.6 kilometers. It is more picturesque, as it runs along the rocky ridge of the Crimean Mountains. At the end of the way you can see the Uchan-Su Waterfall, the highest waterfall in the Crimea and the European part of Russia. A road is laid nearby, thus from here you can take a taxi to Yalta. 

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