To visit stone guards-13. Golitsyn path.
At that early hour before dawn when any self-respecting holidaymaker has his last night’s sleep and half-light reigns in the streets, I stepped onto the still cold after dark steps of the stone arch, which gives rise to the Golitsyn Path.
The steps, worn by the feet of thousands of tourists, seemed to lead up into the sky…
… And then, rounding the cape, they come back to earth.
The grotto of Chaliapin is completely deserted, and if you want you can try the acoustics of the hall yourself. But since childhood I was not given to musical etudes, so I should not even start. By the way, in the Middle Ages the grotto was used by locals for absolutely different purposes and was a cave monastery.
If to continue further, not far from the grotto there is a vast viewing platform, girded with a stone fence from the west and a precipice behind it. On this platform and I was lucky enough to meet another Crimean dawn. The sun had hidden behind a strip of clouds…
But a few more minutes, and the sun colors the cold tones of the night in the soft hues of a summer morning.
Cape Kapchik is warm under the warm rays of the sun. Still, it is incredibly reminiscent of a sea creature that swam ashore to help people from its back to get a better look at the picturesque Blue and Blue Bays.
From the west, the Blue Bay, where the Tsar’s Beach is located, is limited by sheer cliffs of the Chiken-Kaya Cape that resembles a rhinoceros’ head.
And in the east, in the rays of the rising sun, the Blue Bay is guarded by tough stone guardian Koba-Kaya. And the familiar Alchak-Kaya and Rybachy Cape can be seen in the distance.
Despite such an early hour, people start coming to Kapchik. Some of them are having a walk with their dog, some are just jogging in the morning, and some have just come to meet the sun and the beginning of a new day.
It’s not easy to find the continuation of the trail from the cape. There are no signposts, and the many trails running off the top can confuse anyone. I had to use the tried-and-true maps.me program to find the right direction. The right trail begins to take the left, to the northwest, and after a few meters leads to a shallow ravine, at the bottom of which the road to the royal beach runs. On the way we met holidaymakers already rushing to take the best seats on it. It seemed to be useless to find a place there during daytime.
Gradually climbing the slope of the ridge, came out on what is probably the most famous viewing platform Bonsai with a picturesque juniper tree, which is located above the Tsar’s Beach.
Not far from this lookout, the trail splits. The first trail takes a left and goes into Hell Valley. This route is easier. The second trail leads to Paradise Valley, but it requires dexterity, skill and appropriate footwear. The slope is not only steep, but also loose in places. So slippers can play a cruel joke on those who did not take care of more comfortable shoes.
After a small strip of obstacles the path leads to a valley bounded by Cosmos Peak and the beginning of the ridge Karaul-Oba, and from the south by rocky remnants – giants of Cape Chiken-Kaya, behind which hides the Valley of Hell.
Behind a thicket of trees in one of the stone monoliths hides a small grotto in which you can hide from the rain or even spend the night.
And on the other side of the cliff are the Taurus Stairs. The entrance to it from the main trail in the valley leads through a narrow crevice in the rocks.
Honestly, figuring out in the stone jungle what is where is incredibly difficult. There are no signposts that could indicate the direction of travel to this or that attraction. The only place I could find was a stone hut. And my goal was a little different.
I was following the panorama of the southeastern coast from one of the stone sculptures created by the winds. In the bluish haze, on the very horizon are visible mountain ranges of the southern coast of Crimea. And this view is really fascinating and for the sake of it is worth the extra kilometers on the difficult mountain trails.
For myself I noted an interesting thing. The whole valley is strewn with small barnacles, and even the survivors of mollusks clung to the withered stalks of grass.
As I descended into the valley, quite unexpectedly, completely unexplainable things began to happen to my equipment. The trail indicated on the electronic maps did not correspond with reality. It turned out that the navigation seemed to suggest that I was following the trail, but in reality it did not exist. In the end I decided to ascend by the simplest route.
Behind me the rock formations that seemed like giants no longer looked so spectacular.
And as soon as I got to the saddle of the ridge and took one single shot…
… the camera told me that the battery couldn’t be recognized, so the camera just shut down and didn’t show any signs of life. I automatically grabbed my phone to find a way to preserve the memory of the sweeping panoramas of the East Coast. But the smartphone also showed its character by showing the disappointing verdict – the battery is empty, and the phone will be turned off … What could I do except curse my forgetfulness, because I had left the second battery in Dombai? And after that the descent among juniper groves to New World awaited me. To my regret, it was the last day spent in the vicinity of Sudak, and after an hour, our faithful iron horse was taking us along one of the most beautiful coastal routes to the southern coast of Crimea.
The Golitsyn Trail, Space, Heaven and Hell in the New World
Find out how to visit Heaven, Hell and Space at once! And also see Rhinoceros, visit the Taurus and Adam and walk the trail Golitsyn in the Crimea. I tell you in detail about the route in the New World with photos and coordinates of the places.
Under the boring term “sanctuary” in the New World is a treasure trove for lovers of wandering along the trails and fantasize about the disappeared peoples. I’ve been to these places three times – it’s time to run a fashionable author’s tour
This is probably the most full of different attractions in the Crimea! There are so many things: the trail Golitsyn with breathtaking views, grottoes, waves crashing on the rocks, intoxicating aroma of juniper berries in the hot air, wild beaches under the cliffs, the most picturesque cape Chiken (Rhinoceros), the valley of Hell and Paradise, the staircase and the sanctuary of the Taurus aged 2500 years, Adam’s bed, a stone maze, Space peak with a chair Golitsyn and finally, Karaul-Oba – Watchtower Mountain. Intrigued? Let me tell you all the details.
View of Cape Kapchik and Skvornoy grotto from the trail that leads to Kosmos Peak.
Golitsyn Trail: Chaliapin’s Grotto, Black Passage and Cape Kapchik
Start with the Golitsyn Trail in Novyi Svet. It is easy, even a small child can walk it! Along the way, enjoy the cool views and check out the spacious grotto of Chaliapin. Inhale the intoxicating aroma of juniper in the hot air, catch the salt spray and swim on the wild beach under the cliff.
Reach Cape Kapchik – its isthmus offers the best view of Cape Chiken (aka Rhinoceros). I love this cape very much. You can also see Tsar’s Beach from there.
Shalyapin’s Grotto on Golitsyn’s trail.
Here begins the most interesting for adventurers! Not far from the forbidding sign, do not miss the right stairs to the Through grotto (Backdoor). It is closed with bars, but we climbed from below. Inside is a narrow, windswept passage with a colony of bats. The coordinates are 44.819221, 34.908045.
Go back up. At the isthmus behind the forbidding sign is a small and cozy lookout, but an unsafe trail over the bluff leads to it.
From this point tourists usually go back through the juniper grove to the village. Few enthusiasts go further, but there hides so much beauty! I advise to go to visit the Taurus, as well as to visit Cosmos, Paradise and Hell. Impressed by the names? Then follow me!
Cuddling with the pine trees along the route is a sweet deal!
Taurus Heritage, Cosmos, Heaven and Hell
From Kapchik, walk along Dry Gulch through juniper forest, cross the gully, and climb the gently marked trail at the sign for Karaul-Oba and Cosmos Peak. There will be stunning views along the way, and I especially like the Bonsai Lookout. It smells deliciously piney. Note the Stankevich pines – they are so twisted and clinging to the slopes with their roots.
By the way, if you go straight along Dry Gully to the sea, you will get to Tsarsky Beach.
Almost the whole path is easy – treaded paths with stones, roots of pines and junipers. However, there are some steep climbs!
Then a couple of steep climbs where you have to grasp roots and rocks, and you’re there! Here you can take a breath and think about eternity. They say there used to be a Taurus sanctuary here. Coordinates of the sanctuary: 44.819082, 34.894621.
From here you can climb up to Kosmos Peak and descend to Hell Valley (coordinates: 44.817682, 34.896018). It is accessed by a steep trail of tree roots and rocks. Hell is picturesque, but we did not go down there – we went to Cosmos and Paradise.
We conquered Cosmos Peak. You could see everything from Cosmos!
On the place where there was a sanctuary, find dark and spooky crevices that reek of the deathly cold. Continue through the stone labyrinth and the narrow Adam’s Box, in the middle of which a tree grows, and you will come to a dangerous ladder of Taurus.
Adam’s Box is covered with ivy and there is a tree in the middle. The stairs are semi-erased.
It is believed that the stone spiral staircase is more than 2.5 thousand years old. Whether it’s true or not, you will be impressed with the descent of the stairs. Be careful – the staircase is limited only on one side and goes along the rock. In some places, its width is only 40 cm, and the steps are half-destroyed and worn out. About halfway up, you have to cross a dangerous passage over a cliff and a crevasse – it’s really scary. The rocks are slippery!
Our editor Alexei Sinitsyn descends the Taurus ladder.
After the stairs, go through the stone hut and down the loose paths to the valley of Paradise, sandwiched between the mountains. With its sparse trees and shrubs, it looks very idyllic, like a garden – by the way, you’ve seen it from the Cosmos. From here on, paths lead to the top of Karaul-Oba Mountain.
View of Paradise Valley from Cosmos Peak.
This valley can also be accessed by a simpler but less beautiful trail. Just turn right at the fork (fork coordinates: 44.819282, 34.897206). From Paradise Valley up to the Peak and the Taurus you will go up by the path: 44.819879, 34.893654.
Time to hike: Approximately a full day’s sightseeing.
How much does it cost: The trail begins in Novy Svet, at Zelenyi Bay. Admission to the trail is 100 rubles, but we never caught the ranger on site and passed for free. Keep in mind that parking at the resort is paid. I think you can find a free spot in the residential area.
What you need: Shoes on non-slip soles, hat, water, snacks, a phone with GPS and a mobile app MAPS.ME with a downloaded map of the Crimea.
View of Cape Kapchik from the observation deck “Bonsai”.