The unique scientific institution near the settlement of Naúchniy, Bakhchisaray district, is not a tourist attraction or an official tourist location, but the world of stars and planets attracts people with inexplicable force, therefore, along with traditional types of recreation, astronomical tourism is gaining more and more popularity.

"I am taking more and more people to evening stargazing. Astrotourism in Crimea is definitely gaining momentum," said May Krymskiy, the organizer of tours to interesting locations and viewpoints of the peninsula.

The settlement of astronomers will certainly take its place of honor among your vivid memories of the summer!

Secrets of the stars

The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO), located in a mountainous area at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level, is an ideal place to study the Sun, stars, galaxies and the planets of the solar system. There are about 170 clear nights a year. Research in Crimea allowed the development of astrophysics. More than a thousand small planets and asteroids, a huge number of variable stars and several comets were discovered by the observatory specialists. It was the Crimean scientists who discovered volcanoes on the Moon and the Sun pulsation phenomenon!

Наблюдение за звездами в Крымской астрофизической обсерваторииStargazing at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

Even if you are far from science, you will be delighted with the contemplation of the shining placer of stars and the view of impressive giant telescopes. One of them is the largest in the territory from Spain to the Caucasus − its mirror has a diameter of 2.6 meters!

Mirror telescope at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

The guides – members of the scientific staff of the observatory − have a lot of interesting and amazing stories for tourists to tell. It is worth mentioning the German trophy telescope, which is over 100 years old and is still in use. World-class discoveries were made on it at the Crimean Observatory.

Excursion to the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

The dome of the newest telescope of the observatory will serve as an excellent viewing platform for you. In clear weather, it offers panoramic views of the Crimean mountains:  Ai-Petri, Chatyr-Dag, Chernaya and the highest peak of Crimea − Roman-Kosh.

Territory of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, mountain viewTerritory of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, mountain view

Tours of the observatory are held both during the day and in the evening. On the first one, you will be able to observe the Sun and learn first-hand about its research. The main objects of the evening tour will be the Moon, stars, planets, clusters and nebulae. And you will also have an interesting overview lecture on celestial bodies, history and outstanding achievements of the scientific institution and its staff that have devoted themselves to studying the mysterious depths of space.

Excursions are conducted by appointment with the organizer by phone: +79788061374 (from 10:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.).

Southern Nights and Astroholidays

In addition to the main excursions, for those who are seriously interested in the science of the Universe, the settlement hosts annual gatherings of astronomy lovers:  Southern Nights and thematic educational events − Astroholidays.

New knowledge, skills and experience, as well as a lot of impressions from the vacation "with an astronomical bias" are guaranteed to all participants of the rallies. They are held all year round, with most astronomic journeys taking place during summer. Arrival dates can be found here.

Astroholidays perfectly complement Southern Nights. Participants will have interesting lectures, professional workshops and, of course, observations of objects in the gorgeous August sky! The scientific part will be mixed with hiking and trips to local attractions.

Наблюдение за звездами в Крымской астрофизической обсерваторииStargazing at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

Astroholidays are conducted by Sergey Nazárov, researcher of the observatory, who is passionately in love with his work. By the way, a few years ago, an enthusiastic scientist, together with colleagues, restored the unique Sintez telescope with a half-century history, which had been on a closing-down at the Crimean observatory for many years. Now the telescope, which was created in the Soviet years to overtake American astronomers, is again serving science.

"This is a unique instrument – the first telescope in the history of mankind with a segmented mirror made of hexagons. The idea was advanced for its time and undeservedly forgotten. The technology was invented in the USSR and then it was abandoned. But the technology was introduced right here, in Crimea, and spread all over the world!" Sergey Nazarov said.

The data received thanks to the Sintez are transferred to the International Center of Small Planets. But the telescope works to only a 10% limit of the possible resources. A new mirror is needed to operate at full capacity, which is worth several million rubles. Scientists are looking for donors and believe in 100% recovery. You can learn more about the project by phone: +7 978 847-29-47.

Peculiarity of the settlement and surroundings

Seeing the galaxies and hearing the whisper of the stars, you will be filled with impressions that will stay with you forever. But no less interesting is the acquaintance with the life of the settlement itself, built for the employees of the observatory.

Buildings in the Stalinist Empire style on the territory of the observatory and a solid Soviet flavor of the scientific town will give you a real walk into the past.

Поселок Научный The village of Nauchny

Here you will certainly meet kind and intelligent residents of the scientific village and even try local rose jam and fragrant honey.

If your plans include a night of star observations, there is a hotel on the territory of the observatory. You can book a room by phone: +7 36554 71-5-22.

Hotel in the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

In a beautiful mountain settlement with heady fresh air, you can stay for a day or two to enjoy the wild nature, the aroma of herbs, see the forest lake and walk along the shady paths. It is good for everyone there:  families with children, romantic couples, and those who decided to escape from the "stone jungle" for a while to be all on their own.

To make your wish come true, there is one recipe − just touch the stars!

Top 5 Observatory Facts

  • The Crimean Astrophysical Observatory holds one of the world's leading positions in space research.
  • The Observatory specialists have discovered more than 1.5 thousand asteroids, many variable stars, volcanic activity on the Moon, several comets, discovered the phenomenon of solar pulsation.
  • On the territory of the CrAO there is the largest number of telescopes among the observatories of the former USSR − more than 20.  
  • The Shine Mirror Telescope (the observatory's 'main caliber' since 1961) is still one of the largest in Europe. One lens weighs almost four tons.
  • The second instrument of the observatory is a trophy German telescope made in 1944. According to legend, this was a gift from Hitler to Mussolini in order to create an observatory in Italy. After the end of the World War II, the Crimean Observatory received it as reparation and installed it in 1949.