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Koktebel formerly known as Planerskoye, is one of the most popular resort townlets in South-Eastern Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

. Koktebel is situated on the shore of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 about halfway between Feodosiya and Sudak
Sudak or Sudaq is a small historic town located in Crimea, Ukraine situated to the west of Feodosiya and to the east of Simferopol, the capital of Crimea...

 and is subordinated to the Theodosia city municipality. It is best known for its literary associations. The Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n poet Maximilian Voloshin
Maximilian Voloshin
Maximilian Alexandrovich Kirienko-Voloshin was a Russian poet and famous Freemason. He was one of the significant representatives of the Symbolist movement in Russian culture and literature...

 made it his residence, where he entertained many distinguished guests, including Marina Tsvetayeva, Osip Mandelshtam, and Andrey Bely (who died there). They all wrote remarkable poems in Koktebel.

The original name Köktöbel is of Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 origin: in Crimean Tatar
Crimean Tatar language
The Crimean Tatar language is the language of the Crimean Tatars. It is a Turkic language spoken in Crimea, Central Asia , and the Crimean Tatar diasporas in Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria...

 it means “Land of the blue hills” (from kök, “sky blue”, and töbe, “hill” or “mountain”, composed with the collective suffix -el). Its Soviet name of Planerskoye comes from the Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 planer, or glider
Glider aircraft
Glider aircraft are heavier-than-air craft that are supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against their lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine. Mostly these types of aircraft are intended for routine operation without engines, though engine failure can...

: the hills above the shoreline were the site of many early experiments in manned heavier-than-air flight by Russian pioneer aviators. The local airfield is still known as Planerskoye.
The 2003 film of the same name by Boris Khlebnikov and Aleksei Popogrebsky
Alexei Popogrebski
Alexei Popogrebski is a Russian film director and screenwriter. His 2010 film How I Ended This Summer was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.-Filmography:* Koktebel * Prostye veshchi...

 follows the journey of a father and son as they try to reach Koktebel from Moscow.

Koktebel was known as a vacation spot for writers in the Soviet Union. It is also famous for its cognac
Cognac is a commune in the Charente department in southwestern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.-Geography:Cognac is situated on the river Charente between the towns of Angoulême and Saintes. The majority of the town has been built on the river's left bank, with the smaller right...

, its hang-gliding and its naturist beach
Nude beach
A nude beach is a beach where users are legally at liberty to be nude. Sometimes the terms clothing-optional beach or free beach are used. Nude bathing is one of the most common forms of nudity in public. As beaches are usually on public lands, any member of the public is entitled to use the...

, largest in the former USSR.

Nowadays, Koktebel fills up in the summer with tourists from Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. Rubles and dollars are readily exchanged in kiosks along the beaches. There is a mixture of public beaches and private beaches with a paved walkway all along the bay. This walkway is lined with small restaurants, cafes, kiosks, and small market areas selling arts and crafts, dried fish, or slices of home-baked cake. In the evening, the beachfront comes alive with many small discos offering music, beer and shashlik
Shashlyk or Shashlik , is a form of Shish kebab popular throughout Israel, Lithuania, former Soviet Union, Iran, Mongolia, and parts of central Europe. Shashlyk is originally lamb depending on local preferences and religious observances...

. The cuisine is predominantly Tatar but Russian and Ukrainian food is also on offer. There are boat excursions, horse-riding and trips to a nearby monastery or to the cognac factory. Accommodation is either in a small hotel or in one of the hundreds of guesthouses run by local residents. It seems as though the whole population has turned into innkeepers in the summer.

Koktebel is nowadays also well-known for its jazz festival
Koktebel Jazz Festival
The Koktebel Jazz Festival is a well-known Jazz and World Music festival in Ukraine. It takes place annually in second week of September in Koktebel on the shores of Black Sea.- About the festival :...

 that usually takes place in the middle of September. It lures the attention of jazz-lovers from the whole ex-USSR. Cast from the festival in past years included De-Phazz, Nino Katamadze
Nino Katamadze
Nino Katamadze |Georgia]]) — Georgian jazz singer and artist.-Biography:Nino Katamadze was born in Adjara, southern Georgia. In 1990she entered the vocal department of the Batumi Music Institute ZP Paliashvili....

, Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke is an American jazz musician and composer known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and electric bass guitar as well as for his numerous film and television scores...

, Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham
William C. Cobham is a Panamanian American jazz drummer, composer and bandleader, who has called Switzerland home since the late 1970s....

and many other famous jazz and world music performers.

External links