Jags of Ai-Petri
The main ridge of the Crieman Mountains consists from yaylas – separate mountain plateaus with hilly surface. One can get to yayla of Ai-Petri (4014 ft.) either by a highway leading from Yalta, or using a cable-car road starting in Miskhor. The jags of Ai-Petri are formed by four huge (39-46 ft.) and a series of small steep peaks, formed of reef limestone.
Many tourists are acquainted not with Ai-Petri plateau in general, but with one of its peaks with a row of exotic stone peaks called jags. This top of the southernmost peak of the plateau is named Ai-Petri, which gave its name to the whole plateau and became symbol of the Southern Crimean Coast. The jags are formed of four big (39-46 ft. high) and a series of smaller steep peaks formed of reef limestone. There one can find wonderful opportunities for active tourism, riding horses and camels, mountain bikes, jeeps, paragliding, shooting military action and science fiction movies.
Ai-Petri has an elevation of 4014 ft. above the main sea level. Along its all length the plateau is faced southward towards the sea. Its formidable walls of rock are sometimes extremely steep and sometimes graduated, but anyway they are difficult to access. Rare mountain paths, formed by humans in far antiquity and their paths and cart routes are still serving as pathways from the Southern Coast of Crimea to the plateau. From the top of Ai-Petri townlets of Gaspra, Oreanda, Foros, Koreiz, Simeiz, Goluboy Zaliv (Blue Bay), and town of Alupka can be clearly observed…
Southern precipices of Ai-Petri plateau and its northern gently sloping mountainsides are extremely picturesque. But a panorama of the Crimean Southern Coast unveiled from the top of Ai-Petri is unparallel in its beauty. There is scarcely a citizen of Crimea who never observed a sunrise from atop of Ai-Petri, at least for one time in one’s life. The height of the plateau worth ascending – the moments when a burning flame round of sun is almost floating upward from the dark-blue deep of the sea.
A reserved beech grove, the greatest one on the main ridge, grows not far from the jags. There is an aircraft-shaped pine-tree growing near the edge of the yayla – this pine is almost 300 years old. Visitors always come to observe the Ai-Petri meridian – a stone terrestrial globe model with indicated precise geodesic data. Tourists also visit an observation platform on Rock Shichko, a meteorological station, Mount Bedene-Kyr (where several ski-lifts are operating), Tryokhglazka (Three-Eyed) Cave open for guided tours. On a slope near the highway leading from Yalta to Ai-Petri one can observe a “drunken” pine –tree grove – the centennial Crimean pine-tree forest was disrupted by a landslide.
Photographs are donated by crimea-photo.com