Widely known as the unofficial 'Summer Capital' of Russia, or the Black Sea Pearl, Sochi is the country's biggest and busiest summer sea resort, attracting more than four million visitors annually with its amazing mountainous coastline, endless shingle beaches, warm sunny days, and bustling nightlife. From May to September Sochi's population at least doubles with tourists, including celebrities and the political elite of the country. International travellers, however, make up a very small percentage of that crowd, somehow even the unique location of the place doesn't help.
The Larger Sochi stretches for150 km between Caucasian foothills to Black Sea coast: from the river Shepsi on the North-West to the river Psou on the South-East. 4 main districts constitute the resort: Adlerskiy, Hostinskiy, Central and Lazarevskiy, each of them an independent recreational zone with essential climatic differences between them.
Adlerskiy district of Sochi (Adler) is situated between two rivers – Psou and Kudepsta. It borders Abkhazia on the South-East. The airport "Sochi " is situated in Adler. It includes the famous mountain resort Krasnaya Polyana (Red Glade), which is located 550-600 meters above sea level near the South slope of the Great Caucasian Ridge.
Hostinskiy district (Hosta) stretches for 20 km along the coast from the river Kudepsta to the river Vereshyaginka and is famous for its hydrosulphuric springs.
Central district is the territory between Hostinskiy and Lazarevskiy regions, the historical center of Sochi .In this area also includes The sea port of Sochi, the railway station Sochi, "Riviera" Park.
Lazarevskoye is the main seaside district, stretching for 109 km along the Black Sea coast. This is where one looks to when searching for beaches. The many rocky gorges, a great variety of rivers and brooks open the picturesque view of the area.
Some ideas of what you can enjoy in Sochi:
- Discover more about the events and people who shaped this place, pay a visit to at least one of its many remaining historical sites. Start your history tour at Stalin's Villa or the Loo Temple.
- The river Mzymta is is a picturesque location to spot local wildlife and skim some stones.
- Riviera Park and Aquapark Amfibius are great places to spend some quality time with the kids. Want more? Aquapark Aqualoo and the Trout Farm are also highly recommended by parents.
- Olympic stadiums and arenas are very beautiful.
- Sochi Dolphinarium and Sochi Discovery World Aquarium are renowned for their collection of fascinating sea critters. If you enjoyed those two, you might also want to consider a stop at The Dolphinarium and Aquarium.
- Pack a picnic hamper and enjoy some time to yourself in the peaceful, green surroundings of Sochi Arboretum and Sochi National Park. There's also plenty of space for a game or two on the grass at Luna Park and Agur Waterfalls.
- If you can get up to a high lookout, the view over Orekhovsky Waterfalls and 33 Waterfalls can be quite dizzying.
- Krasnaya Polyana is a world-class mountain ski resort.
- If you would like to have a break from running around, head out to Sochi Beach or Adler Beach. Explore the coast, watch the seabirds soar overhead or just sit back and relax by the water's edge. The Sochi War Memorial and Dagomys Beach are also great options.
- Need a break from the stresses of city life? Head on over to Akhun Mountain and Dolmen of Volkonka. Western Caucasus and Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve are also popular among nature-loving travelers.
- Last but not least, Krasnodar region is one of the four gambling zones in Russia, so please feel free to head to the luxurious ‘Casino Sochi’ in Esto-Sadok village to try your luck!
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The sunny shores and breathtaking mountains of the Greater Sochi are waiting for you!