The coastline position of the region on the international border is
economically important. The wide outlet into the basin of the Azov and
the Black Seas and into large rivers (the Danube, the Don, the Dnieper,
and the Dniester) defines the advantages and transportation means. The
effective sea and river waterways allow the economic relations to extend
to Eastern and Central Europe (via the river Danube). Odessa sea port
and other ports of the region are situated at the junction of intensive
international sea and river transport connections; this defines a great
distribution potential of the ports. On the left bank of the lower
Danube and in the valley between the Kiliyskiy branch and the Dniester
estuary, there are situated freshwater lakes Kagul, Yalpug, Katlabuh,
and the salt lakes – Sassyk, Alibey, Burnas, Budatskos, Shagani; in the
eastern part, there are salt estuaries Khadjibeevskiy, Kuyalnitskiy
famous for their curative muds.
Odessa region is located in the far Southwest of Ukraine and borders on
Vinnitsa, Kirovograd, and Nikolaev regions, as well as on the countries
of Moldova and Romania. The region occupies the territory on the
Northwest Black Sea coast, from the river Danube delta to the
Tiligoulskiy estuary (300 kilometres of coastline), and 200-250
kilometres from the Black Sea to the north. Odessa region is largest in
Ukraine: its total area is 33,300 square kilometres (an approximate size
of Belgium or the Netherlands) which is about 5.5% of Ukraine's
territory. The capital city of the region is Odessa, situated on
terraced hills overlooking Odessa Bay, an inlet of the Black Sea that
forms a natural harbour. The city is among the largest ones in Ukraine;
it serves as the southern gateway of the state. It is an important
agricultural, transportation, industrial, scientific, cultural, and
resort centre, with a population of 1,022,000 (January the 1st, 2003).
The northern part of the region is situated in a forest-steppe zone; the
southern part is in a steppe zone. The average annual temperature varies
from +8.2°C (+46.8°F) in the north to +10.8°C (+51.4°F) in the south.
The vegetation season lasts 180 to 210 days. The average annual amount
of precipitation varies from 340 millimetres in the south to 460
millimetres in the north.
The city of Odessa has a relatively warm, dry climate, with January
temperatures averaging -2°C (28.4°F) and July temperatures, 22°C
(71.6°F). Annual precipitation totals 351 mm. The moderate climate and
coastal lagoons nearby have given rise to beach resorts famous for
therapeutic mud baths.
Odessa's reputation as a health resort dates back to the 1920's.
Therapeutic ingredients in the muds along with the mild climate and
beautiful beaches attracted vacationers and patients seeking a cure from
various ailments: from arthritis to tuberculosis to skin disorders.
Today numerous resorts, beauty spas, and sanatoriums dot a 50-mile
stretch of coast from the village of Fontanka north of Odessa to
0