Sochi is the only sub-tropical city in Russia. This resort city is situated on the Black Sea coast and sprawls 145 kilometres along the Black Sea shores. The Greater Sochi area is divided into four main districts: Adlersky, Khostynsky, Lazarevsky and Tsentralny. The health-resort complex of Sochi is the largest in Russia. The city concentrates more than a half of all resort facilities in Krasnodar region.
227 different health and spa resorts, hotels and camping sites can accommodate about 70 000 people in the summer period and about 50000 people all year round. The accommodation ranges from comfortable spa resorts and expensive hotels to less expensive cosy health centres and private boarding houses.
In the summer the average air temperature is +26 degrees, the sea temperature is +24 degrees. The region is not familiar with usual ‘Russian winters’. The average temperature in winter is +8 degrees.
A beautiful climate, the cleanest sea, a fresh sea air, a unique landscape and the luxuriant vegetation of the south – all of these contribute a lot to the health promotion.
Although, caring about health is far not the only reason to visit Sochi. The calendar of this resort city lists famous events such as Russian national and International film festivals ‘Kinotavr’, theatre festival ‘Sochi mellow seasons’, fashion festival ‘Mellow seasons in Sochi’, festivals of organ and jazz music. Sochi also hosts lots of sports events.
Such as the World Pool Championship, the International bicycle racing, a regatta, a motor rally, the Mountain bike Championship of Russia, international shows and fairs. The festivals for children ‘Magic of Dance’,’Kinotavrik’ and ‘Magic of fairy-tale’ also have a high-level organisation.
Holidays in Sochi are not only a quiet relaxation near the sea. Adventure seekers are offered a wide range of activities. Among them, for example, are backpacking trips, mountain biking, caving, mountain skiing, rock climbing, horse riding, canyoning and jeep driving. The sea activities are windsurfing, diving, sailing, seaplane or aqua bike.
In the summertime, Sochi is a holiday place for the political elite. The highest-level leaders combine their active holidays with current affairs – they invite leaders of foreign countries, Russian and foreign politicians, leading bankers and businessmen to Sochi for holidays and business meetings and organise international meetings and forums.
The most attractive and promising area is considered to be the village of Krasnaya Polyana, which is situated in Adlersky district. This fairy-tale mountain country is named Russian Switzerland at a height of 600 metres above the sea level. It offers its guests plenty of mountain skiing and water rafting activities.
It only took this place several years to flourish and win the status of the most respectable ski area in Russia. Its great success and popularity Krasnaya Polyana skyrocketed after the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi.
In the course of preparations for this remarkable event, the village was equipped with new facilities. Among them, modern ski and snowboard trails with comfortable chairlifts, the tobogganing centre, the extreme sports park, several high-level touristic complexes, excellent hotels and restaurants were established.
After the Olympic Games, Krasnaya Polyana continues its development. New cable railways stretch to the mountains, new cafes and leisure centres open. But it happens very carefully and doesn’t disturb the guests.
By the way, winter sports are not the only thing that Krasnaya Polyana is famous for. It is home to very hospitable people who prepare the most delicious honey in the Caucasus. It is a place to breathe fresh air, to admire picturesque views, to enjoy backpacking trips, the sea and walks in the chestnut forest.
Rosa Khutor ski resort.
The best word to describe Rosa Khutor is luxurious. It is that very case when you can believe all the advertising leaflets and enthusiastic reviews. The resort has been awarded by World Ski Awards as the Best Ski Resort in Russia. It is a really great achievement taking into account that the first ski trails were opened at the end of 2010.
For the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the territory of Rosa Khutor was equipped with all the possible facilities for organising the high-level events with high-quality guest service. On the northern, north-eastern and southern slopes of the Aibga range, the Mountain Olympic Village, freestyle centre, a snowboarding park and mountain skiing centre appeared there.
After the Olympics Rosa Khutor continues its development. It has become a high-class European ski resort. In the winter, visitors come here to enjoy excellent ski trails, comfortable cable railways with chairlift stations right near hotels and high-class ski service. In the summer travellers can have fun going hiking; horse riding or cycling on the mountain slopes; doing yoga on top of the clouds; admiring majestic views of the Caucasus mountains from the cable railways or just relaxing in local spa and wellness centres.
The stadium Fisht is the place which hosted the XXII Winter Olympic opening ceremony. This enormous construction is situated in Adler, in the Olympic Park. The stadium can accommodate 25000 people. The size is 105×68 metres. The stadium Fisht got its name after the mountain in the western part of the Caucasus. In the Adygei language, the word ‘fisht’ means ‘a white head’.
Originally the stadium planned to have the shape of an Easter Faberge egg. Finally, the construction reminds a shell and a mountain peak at the same time.
This incredible waterfall is one of the highest in Sochi and its neighbourhood. The water falls from 70 metres above the sea level. This natural wonder is situated not far from the village of Krasnaya Polyana. The nickname of the waterfall is ‘trousers’.
Due to its location in subalpine meadows, there is snow near Polikar’ waterfall even in June and July. The route to the waterfall follows a winding mountain road which goes up through the forest and reaches the height of almost 2000 metres above sea level. It takes about half an hour to get there by offroader and you can admire the virgin beauty and uniqueness of the Polikar’ waterfall and the great views of the mountain peaks of the Caucasus.
The Witches’ Cave is said to be the entrance to the Wonderful Valley. Still, neither diggers nor explorers have ever managed to reach its end.
To get to the Witches’ Cave, you will have to move along the Ashe River edge into the valley and use the longest monkey bridge in Sochi to cross the river. You will see the entrance to the cave on the slope. A small black opening looks rather scary, and inside the cave turns out to be frightening and mysterious.
There aren’t any cave stones but the walls are decorated with weird pictures-patterns which were made by the drops falling from the top every day for thousands of years. It ‘s not that easy to explore this stone maze – at some points, icy cold water gets over your knees and you can only guess what hides in the deep.
There are many ideas behind the origin of the name of the Witches’ Cave. Some people say that in ancient times, women who were suspected to deal with magic were murdered in the walls here. The other idea is that the word “Witches’” was added by Russian settlers. The Caucasian people used to call it “Janym” that means “Genie”. According to the legend, in ancient times people hid in the cave to save from enemies. There they found the entrance to the Wonderful Valley which can be opened only to the privileged.
Sochi City Marina:
The Marina was opened in 1955 and is a significant sample of architecture. It has two floors and an L-shaped gallery. In the very centre, there is a steeple which is 71 metres high. It is made of stainless steel. The tower is decorated with four sculptures – the symbols of four seasons and four compass points. At the entrance, visitors can see a fountain with a sculpture of the Goddess of Navigation. Sochi City Marina has two piers which are together 330 metres long. There is also a dry-cargo and ferry piers.
The airport Adler-Sochi is the main international airport in Sochi and the 8th largest airport in Russia. It is also the biggest airport in Southern Federal District. It has been upgraded recently, so now it meets all European standards. Its capacity is about 750 passengers per hour. The key feature of the airport Adler-Sochi is its problematic geographical location. Because of the mountains, landings and takeoffs are only possible from one side.
Sochi Discovery World Aquarium occupies the area of 6000 square metres. It is situated in Adler Region of Sochi and considered to be the largest in Russia.
There are 29 aquariums where one can see a great variety of the most different inhabitants of the sea, ocean, rivers and lakes. In Sochi Aquarium, you can see exotic piranhas, discuses, cichlids, catsharks, hound sharks and nurse sharks. There are fish such as sea unicorns, globefish, sea hedgehogs, surgeonfish.
In the aquarium, you can also visit a hall that shows the environment of a rainforest. It has a real waterfall with more than 100 freshwater fish from the Amazon and Australia. The other hall presents various inhabitants of the sea and the ocean. Here you can walk through the 44-metres long tunnel and watch sparkling corals, skates, sharks and catfish of different sizes from microscopic to the enormous ones. It really makes you feel as if you belong to this underwater world.
Greater Caucasus Mountain Range divides the region of Caucasus into two parts – South Caucasus and North Caucasus. It spreads from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea (from south-east to north-west) and it is more than 1200 km long. Greater Caucasus Mountain Range is situated on the territory of a national park.
It includes high-mountain and mountain masses of the Western Caucasus. Great combination of freaky landscape and mild climate makes this place an ideal destination for any type of holiday throughout the entire year. Some of the highest peaks of Greater Caucasus Mountain Range are Hukho, Venets, Fisht, Chugush, Assara. It was proved that this mountain range used to be the bottom of the ocean.
The nude beach “Sputnik” is situated not far from the Loo near the viaduct and the railway. It is one of the most popular nude beaches in Sochi. It is near the place where the Agura River flows into the Black Sea that is 10 km away from Sochi. The surrounding area belongs to the International Tourist Centre ‘Sputnik’.
It is not that easy to get there as there is no direct way to the beach. On the other hand, it that makes the place relatively calm. Although the beach isn’t equipped with sun loungers, the sea here is clean and the sea bottom and the sand are comfortable for swimming. The nude beach is separated from the public coastline by some long breakwater that is a good place to take photos on.
The Historical Museum of the resort town Sochi is situated in Krasnodar Krai. It started in 1920 as Local History Museum based on collections of former Caucasus Mountain Club. The neoclassical building of the museum was set in 1936. In the beginning, the building hosted a school but later it was given to the museum.
The construction is a typical example of an urban planning of that time. Together with the railway station nearby, the Historical Museum helps to imagine the town image that was formed at the beginning of the 20th century (which has been unfortunately lost forever for future generations).
The main themes of the museum expositions are the nature of the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, local archaeological findings and the history of the region and the city. The museum is also a large cultural and educational centre. There are regularly organized classes and lectures for school and university students of the city.