Yalta and its surroundings are protected on three sides by mountains, which account for the region's exceptionally mild climate and its reputation as a favored vacation destination.
Yalta, situated on the southern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, is the area's largest and most important resort and as such has catered to pleasure lovers and health seekers for more than a century. Here at the Golden Riviera, Russian aristocracy built their elegant summer palaces and palatial villas that rivaled those of Nice and Cannes. Livadia became the summer
residence of the tsars and earned fame as the site of the 1945 Yalta Conference. Noted literary greats made Yalta their home, among them Tolstoy, Chekhov and Gorky.
Following the 1917 Revolution, the aristocracy was forced to relinquish their grand estates to the People. Most of the opulent mansions were converted into sanitariums where Soviet citizens came to recuperate. Today, restoration of many of the palaces has returned them to their former glory, making them popular attractions for visitors from all over. In addition to opulent palaces and historic sites,Yalta's spectacular setting adds much to its reputation as a popular Black Sea playground. Just stroll along the bustling seafront promenade and you will have no trouble finding some local residents eager to talk to you about their city.