- Weather and climate on the spit
- Legends and history of the Kinburn Spit
- Kinburn fortress
- Housing and holidays on the Kinburn Spit
- Camping on the Kinburn Spit
- Features of relaxation by the sea
- Photos of the Kinburn Spit
- Kinburn Spit on the map
- How to get to the Kinburn Spit
Kinburn Spit is a resort area with nature and landscape untouched by civilization. Translated from Tatar, the name means a “sharp nose” (Kyl Burun), and from Turkish, “hair cape” (Kılburun). Situated on the Black Sea coast in Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, the area combines a sandy spit with a base in the northwestern part of the peninsula and the villages that are located near the coastline.
The territory is also called the “Ivory Coast” of the Sviatoslav National Nature Park. There are no ordinary entertainment options such as cafes and bars. Instead, people come here to enjoy the purity of air and beaches, and the solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Weather and climate on the spit
The spit is about 40 km long and almost 10 km wide (total area is over 200 acres) with a mild, humid climate characteristic of a unique location between two water bodies - the salty Black Sea and the freshwater Dnipro-Bug estuary. The average daily temperature in the summer season is + 20-23°C. The temperature reaches +35-40°C in some years and rains are very rare here.
There are more than 150 sunny days per year. The region has the cleanest humid air filled with salts of iodine and bromine, phytoncides of the forest and steppe grasses, and a unique microclimate. This makes your time of rest and recuperation not only pleasant, but also good for your health, especially if you combine the beach and swimming with mud treatments in the lakes.
Legends and history of the Kinburn Spit
Many consider the spit as the edge of power, which is actually not surprising, because the area is shrouded in mystery, myths and legends that tell about UFOs, mermaids, and witches.
You can watch dolphins play in the sea, or witness rare animals in their habitat including raccoon, dogs, axis deer, large turtles, birds such as pelicans, cranes, pheasants and many other photogenic species. Note, the mosquitos can cause a bit of discomfort here.
Its convenient geographical location has made the spit a strategically important place since ancient times. According to historians, even during the time of Prince Svyatoslav, merchant ships stopped before long voyages across the Black Sea on the neighbouring island, Berezan. In those distant times, the area was called the White Coast or Borysthenis (in Greek).
In the era of Kyiv Rus, the primary trade routes passed through the spit. Trade in furs, silver coins, honey, amber, and weapons was supported not only by the southern regions, but also by the Byzantine, Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Fabrics, jewelry, wine, and spices arrived to Rus from overseas countries. Prince Svyatoslav himself was said to be a guest of the lands and spent a winter here after his last trip to Byzantium.
There are several salt lakes in Kinburn where valuable iodine salt with a characteristic pinkish color is still procured. Locals actively use it for cooking, and in the old days, the legendary Chumaks were known to sell this salt.
The history of Kinburn is shrouded in many legends and traditions, including:
- A story has been passed down from generation to generation that in these places lived matriarchal Amazon women, who sacrificed men that accidentally wandered onto the spit to the gods. According to legend, the women were defeated by Heracles.
- Achilles is said to have had the most ambitious victory in these lands, in honor of which, athletic games were held on the spit. According to ancient myth, there was a huge temple to Demeter - the goddess of fertility and agriculture.
- The forests were once a sacred grove of Hecate, goddess of the moon. It is believed that the phantoms and ghosts who lived in it are still hiding in the brushwood; many people claim that they have met them in person.
- The most fascinating of all the legends is the story of the Scythian gold, which is believed to be hidden here because the local area was considered sacred by the Scythian tribes.
Sights of the Kinburn Spit are mostly natural, although man-made historical objects can be found among them, including:
- salt lakes containing pink salt crystals reaching a diameter of 15 cm or more, and mud ponds where the largest deposits of skin-friendly white clay in the country are located;
- spire or spit tip where the waters of the estuary and the Black Sea come together (shallow Yahorlyk Bay);
- Kovalivska Saha (according to legend, ghosts live there) and Volyzhin Forest — relic groves untouched by humans;
- Komendantske Tract - a unique oak forest;
- The Turkish fortress of Kinburn, or rather, what is left of it after numerous conquests;
- The White Cossack Cross erected in the memory of Sydir Bily, the first chieftain of the Black Sea Cossacks;
- A monument to Count Suvorov under whose leadership, the Turkish fleet was defeated (in those days a block fort was located in this place).
Kinburn Fortress is an important artifact in history and the most mysterious building of the Ottoman Empire. Once long ago, the fortress was a strategic object that controlled all of the ships entering and leaving the mouth of the Dnipro River. In the 15th century, Turks erected Kinburn as an outpost to protect the conquered peninsula from the Zaporozhzhia Cossacks.
Despite its purpose to serve as a place of defence, the fortress was not exclusively a military structure. There was a port next to it where numerous merchant ships arrived, and a large market that operated continually in the neighboring city. The area was buzzing with significant cultural and economic activity in the era of the Crimean Khanate up to the 18th century.
In 1736, the fortress was captured and destroyed by Russian soldiers. Turks restored it, but it was no longer of such great strategic value. In 1774, it became a wholly Russian city where the Russian garrison settled and reinforced the structure. At that time, under the leadership of Suvorov, the fortress building was strengthened with a square main fort, corner bastions, and a circular armoury. The Russians filled up the ramparts, built an arsenal for gunpowder and a soldiers’ barracks. In 1855, the fortress was attacked again, this time, by the Anglo-French fleet under the pressure of which the soldiers had to capitulate, and the building itself was almost completely destroyed.
In 2009, priests erected a cross with a sign on the preserved ramparts that describes the history of the war with Turks under the command of Suvorov.
Recently, archaeologists have shown an increased interest in this area. Large-scale excavations are being carried out here, promising many interesting findings.
Housing and holidays on the Kinburn Spit
The season in Kinburn begins with the calendar summer in early June, when the sea temperature reaches +20°C and lasts until the beginning of October.
At this time, “for rent” signs appear on nearly every house in the village because room rental is a significant source of income for the residents. Despite the fact that the resort does not have developed infrastructure, it is quite possible to find a modern base or a guest house with cosy accommodations here. Some of them even offer a wonderful all-inclusive stay with a buffet and entertainment.
There are several accommodation options for every preference and budget:
- Camp in tents - the most affordable way to sleep. You can rent a tent or set up your own for about 100 UAH a day (per person) in the designated camp area, in close proximity to the sea.
- Private guest houses. This category mainly includes rooms in residential buildings in the nearest village of Pokrovka but there are also smaller rooms in mini-hotels. A room with common conveniences can be rented for 100-150 UAH a day per person.
- Rooms in hotels start from 200 UAH a day per person. The furniture and furnishings are modern and many rooms have air conditioning.
- Renting a separate cottage. Accommodations in a two-story bungalow start at 2,000 UAH. The building accommodates 6-10 people, so you can share it with another family as a cost-saving measure.
Camping on the Kinburn Spit
Most visitors prefer camping because of its proximity to the sea. Conveniences include:
- sockets for charging phones;
- toilet and shower with fresh water;
- affordable, cooked meals (you need to order meals in advance).
You should bring along:
- a tent;
- a sleeping bag;
- a ground pad (karrimat);
- your own dishes, so as not to pollute the environment with plastic and trash.
This equipment can be rented at the campsite as well. Their availability and price should be clarified in advance of the trip to ensure you can get the supplies you need.
You can use grills in the common areas and get hot water from the kitchen. It may be difficult to buy food so you should bring your own. The residents of the surrounding areas mainly offer just milk and eggs and they bring fresh fruit to the camp area a couple of times a week.
Considering that the reserve on the Kinburn Spit is a national park, it is not recommended to put up a tent in just any random place. Only camp in the areas designated for camping. Otherwise, you may have to pay a penalty.
Features of relaxation by the sea
What to do on the Kinburn Spit? First, relax in peace and silence — observe birds and animals, watch dolphins, collect shells on the beach and visit local attractions. Considering the "wildness" of these places, it will not hurt to do the following:
- bring along repellent and/or a fumigator - there are many mosquitoes on the spit, and their number decreases only in August, but not always;
- stock up on provisions - the prices at the local store are very high, and choice is limited;
- carry things in a backpack, not in a suitcase, because there are no asphalt roads here for pulling a heavy suitcase along.
From the seaside, the spit is a long snow-white sandy beach spangled with shells of extraordinary beauty. The coast is the same everywhere - flat, without bays and harbours - so a fairly strong storm and significant changes in water temperature are possible because of bad weather.
Tourists like the local beach for the smooth sloping entrance into the water and a shallow sand-bed making it safe for even small children to swim here. According to guests’ reviews, the water is crystal clear with a turquoise hue, which is not surprising because there are no industrial facilities, large roads and other sources of pollution nearby.
You should definitely take a walk to the spot where the sandbank ends and the estuary merges with the sea. This place is ideal for impressive and unusual photos because the waters of the estuary and the sea collide with the waves, forming a picturesque landscape. Swimming in and around this area is strictly prohibited, as the currents are very strong.
Photos of the Kinburn Spit
Kinburn Spit on the map
The Kinburn Peninsula and the similarly named spit are located north of Mykolaiv, east of Kherson and on the Northwest of Odesa. It is easy enough to get there from these cities.
How to get to the Kinburn Spit
Those who want to get directly to the spit by their own car are advised to use an off-roader with all-wheel drive. Also, carry a number of items such as:
- a tow rope;
- a shovel;
- boards, to get out of the sand, just in case;
- phone number for a local guide who will help you get there in time.
On the usual road, you can reach the village of Heroiske and leave the car under supervision in the parking lot for 10-15 UAH per day, or you can leave the car in Ochakiv right on the pier (parking costs from 20 UAH per day) and then go by boat.
Regular buses go to Ochakiv from many cities. The closest and least expensive way to get to the city is from Mykolaiv — the road will take only 1.5 hours. During the vacation season, buses also go from Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Kherson and Kyiv.
Water transport runs back and forth to the spit from Ochakiv three times a day, and the ticket price costs about 100 UAH per person. You can also rent a personal boat (prices start at $50). There is one pier on the peninsula — near Rymby (village Pokrovske). You can take an all-wheel drive taxi from there or public transport – (the off-road vehicle Ural). Recreation centers offer their own transfer from the pier.