04/13/2012 07:40 am ET Updated Jun 13, 2012

Crimea, Ukraine's Odd Beach Paradise

"Shrimp, sunflower seeds, baklava!" That odd beach vendor chant is the sound of summer in the Crimea, a small Ukrainian peninsula that juts into the Black Sea. The vendors make their way past sunburnt bodies occupying every inch of the coast, offering Turkish honey pastries or Russian salty shrimp as an appetizer to a sumptuous holiday of contrasts.

The green, mountainous Crimea is a wild and fairly undiscovered beach destination in Eastern Europe. Frequented by Russian holidaymakers, the peninsula has had little influence from the West and is better known for its war history than for the long strips of pebble beach propping the rocky Crimean Mountains.

(Photo: Lexis_2k/Flickr)

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