Departing from the pier, you'll travel just west of Sevastopol to the well-preserved Greek ruins of the city of Khersonesus. Founded in the 4th century BC. and located on a craggy section of coastline that offers sweeping views of the Black Sea, this ancient city was for many centuries a very important political, economic and cultural center. Part of the city's captivating history was its role as an intermediary between Byzantium and Russia after a 9-month siege by Russia in 988. It is also widely held that Khersonesus is the site where Christianity purportedly first entered Russia when Vladimir, the ruler of Rus, married the Byzantine princess Anna. Upon the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Khersonesus then became part of the Byzantine Empire. This lasted until the 13th century when the trade routes shifted to Eastern Crimea and raiding nomadic tribes brought about irreparable losses and the city's eventual abandonment.
Khersonesus today affords visitors the opportunity to view an amazing collection of ancient epigraphical monuments, works of art, tools and artifacts. The old city walls are the largest standing monument of classical antiquity on the Black Sea and an impressive Greek theater, dating to the 3rd century BC., is the only one to be found in the region. As you stroll along the streets of this fascinating historical city, you'll be transported back in time seeing the stately white marble columns that were once part of a graceful temple that overlooked the azure sea. Intricately tiled mosaic panels and the medieval temple walls with their once full vaults now devoid, only add to the haunting beauty of Khersonesus. Another dramatic highlight is Zenon's tower, the largest tower found in Khersonesus and considered to be the most interesting monument of the Northern Black Sea Coast with its outstanding architectural detail. There is some limited time provided to shop for mementos at the site before departing for the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking and/or standing, at times on uneven ground and is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Hats and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of sites visited may vary.