Nestling on the easternmost shores of the Black Sea, enclosed by the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, the subtropical resort of Sochi is unlike anywhere else on the planet. A long-time favourite with Russians, Stalin had a dacha there, Sochi came to the notice of the rest of the world when the most-costly Olympic Winter Games in history were held there in 2014. As a result, Sochi has a legacy of outstanding facilities to complement its natural attractions. Where else in the world can you hike snow-capped peaks and a thirty-minute bus ride later be sun-bathing on a sub-tropical beach
Skiing – You really are spoilt for choice: four ski resorts and 142 kilometres of slopes, with pistes that are wide and sweeping.
Iceberg Skating Palace – This visually stunning 12,000 seat arena was built as a venue for competitive events in the Winter Olympics, now it plays host to spectacular skating shows and thrilling ice hockey matches.
Fisht Olympic Stadium – The site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, this 40,000-seat arena was re-opened in 2016 as a football stadium in preparation for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Sochi Casino and Resort – This multi-season mountain resort in Gorky Gorod is a global entertainment complex, in the spirit of a top Las Vegas casino. From the 3rd-14th September of this year it will host the $9,000,000 partypoker Millions Russiak.
Amphibius Aquapark – Fun for all the family at this two-hectare site with seventeen rides on offer. And if you are left still craving excitement then you can move on to the Mountain Beach Water Park on the top level of the Gorky Gorod Mall, where you can luxuriate in thirty-degree heat with white sand and palm trees, all beneath a massive transparent domed roof.
Swissotel Resort Sochi Kamelia – Just thirty minutes from the airport, this elegant, sophisticated hotel provides its guests with luxurious, spacious rooms, private balconies with sea views and a chic, contemporary ambiance.
Black Sea Seafood – Straight from the sea, fresh seafood as it should be. Sochi has a growing number of outstanding restaurants but be sure you check out Baran Rapan and CORKS. The former takes its name from the fusion of two local ingredients, baran, lamb from the mountains and rapan, conch from the Black Sea. It offers sophisticated haute cuisine and excellent service. The latter is a wine bar and kitchen in central Sochi, perfect for people watching. It offers an impressive array of Russian wines and outstanding food.
A promenade by the waterfront – Its sub-tropical climate means that you can enjoy an evening stroll for most of the year: browse the port and admire the yachts and ocean-going cruisers and then stop off in one of the many lively bars.
Hike the Agura Valley – For a more energetic amble, a short journey from Sochi will land you amid waterfalls and stunning unspoilt mountain scenery.
Steam away your aches and pains in a Banya – Built from Siberian cedar this very steamy sauna involves repeated heating up and cooling down as well as a bit of snacking and a few drinks.
Just So You Know…
- Peak season is from June-August when many Russians choose to spend their summer holiday here. For skiing, the busiest months are from December-March. It’s advised to book accommodation during high season well in advance.
- Sochi plays host to a number of events and conferences, with many taking place in the Sochi Exhibition Center. You can see more information on the aforementioned partypoker MILLIONS event here.There are multiple daily flights to Sochi from both Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- Aside from seafood, it’s recommended to try other regional specialities such as Solyanka soup, Khinkali (a type of boiled ravioli/gyoza) and the cheese filled bread called Khachapuri