Guest post by Victoria Radchenko
Beaches may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Ukraine. And even though the Eastern European country does not border any of the Seven Seas, it has a considerable shoreline along the Black Sea.
Our guest Victoria Radchenko tells us about Odessa’s (Ukraine) only Blue Flag beach, that of Caleton in the culturally rich seaside city of Odessa.
Odessa, a historic jewel of the Black Sea coast
Modern Odessa – a famous Black Sea port in Ukraine, commonly known for multiethnic cuisine and global marine trade – for centuries worked as maritime economy city.
The territory of modern Odessa is saturated with up to 5,000 year old Copper Age inhabitant artefacts. Through history, the area belonged to a number of countries, like medieval Byzantine, The Ottoman empire, Poland and Lithuania, and also had cultural influences from various nomads from Northern Italy and the Eurasian grass-steppe, making this northern coast of the Black Sea a melting pot of different cultures which is still today apparent. The area is a place of ethnic peace and pragmatic stability, hospitality and business.
From sea trade to beach recreation
Always the settlements on these coasts were connected to the sea and trade. In modern times, when the city became Russian in 19th century and later – and Ukrainian from 1991 – maritime recreation became important here and the coastal line started to be transformed into recreational beaches. Nowadays, Odessa has dozens of popular sandy beaches such as Dolphin Beach, Chkalovsky Beach, Lanzheron Beach, and a nudist beach section, locally know as “Tikhy” (“Quiet” in Russian).
Caleton, Ukraine’s Blue Flag beach
However, only one of them – Caleton Beach (калетон) has been awarded as a Blue Flag beach for several years in a row and really deserves to be visited by any guest of Odessa.
Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to safe, clean and sustainable beaches around the world. Read more about the organisazation here.
This beach is not large (roughly 200 m. long), and is situated very handy near the city center with coastal greenery providing shadow. Its main characteristic is that it’s operated by a bunch of really dedicated people, who create a unique and stylish aura of true care about each beach lover. Central to the beach is the Caleton Beach Club, providing chilly beach cocktails and comfy beach beds.
At Caleton beach, you will also find some of cleanest sand of the area’s beaches, numerous options of traditional local cuisine, and a microcosm of tranquility and unity with Nature, hidden just steps aside of the busy city streets. A real jewel of Ukraine in the midst of the current rough winds of change.
Caleton Beach Gallery
You can read more about sustainable travel and eco-beaches in our sustainability section.
About the author
Victoria N. Radchenko, Ph.D. in marine biology and Head of the Board of the Ecological Initiative NGO (that is “Blue Flag – Ukraine”).
I am a former inhabitant of Crimea (Sevastopol) – now occupied by Russia, that led to my flee to mainland Ukraine (Kyiv) in 2014. But the Sea is always in my heart. And will always be!