The historic Black Sea port of Odessa was founded in 1794 by Katherine the Great as a naval fortress, and has survived Ukraine’s conflicts and political change for the last 200 years.
The city itself has a lovely old town with quirky buildings and a beautiful Opera House. The buzzing cobbled Deribasovskaya Street with its cafés and statues, and Primorsky Boulevard that leads to the famous Potemkin Stairs, are the beating heart of the city. There are plenty of beaches for safe swimming in the summer months.
Head 44 km west of Odessa to Mayaky, the entrance to the Dniester Delta National Park. This is a wetland of international importance and home to many endangered species of plants and animals. You can follow nature trails, go birdwatching and enjoy a home-cooked fish menu at lunchtime.