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Black Sea Coast of Krasnodar Area stretches for hundreds of kilometers. From Anapa to Adler, there are a great number of resort settlements, however, Sochi is still the main seaside resort of Russia.

To be more exact, we mean not only the city of Sochi itself, but so-called «Greater Sochi», which covers the territory of 140 kilometers from the settlement Magri to the border of Abkhazia on the Psou River. This area includes four districts: Lazarevsky, Central, Khostinsky, and Adler. At one time these were separate settlements (Lazarevskoye, Loo, Dagomys, Khosta, and Adler), but with the growth of population and development of infrastructure they merged in a single resort zone.

In Soviet time they sang a song about Sochi: «In the land of magnolias the sea is lapping». It sounds quite romantic, but it`s true. The fact is Sochi is the northernmost subtropical region in the world. The climate is due to the tall range of the Caucasian Mountains, which shields the resort from cold northern and eastern winds. From the south the resort is favored by the winds from the Mediterranean Region and the sea. That’s why there are growing magnolias, palms, mimosas and the other subtropical plants.

The snowy peaks of the Caucasian Mountains look rather unusually against the back-ground of this subtropical vegetation. Downhill skiing resorts are literally 50 kilometers of the beaches. So, you may have a rest there all round the year: to go skiing from December to April, and bathe and get browned from June to October.

However, if you really plan to go to Sochi, you should remember not only the songs about magnolias. The problem is the resort infrastructure of Sochi is very different from that of Egypt or Turkey. As a rule, even big hotels haven’t their own premises here, and most of them are rather far from the beach. So, when you reserve a hotel room, you should ask how far the hotel is from the beach.

The beaches of Sochi are covered with pebbles, and in the residential districts (Central, Adler, and Dagomys) concrete breakwaters are also spaced 50 meters apart. Alas, these don’t make the beaches of Sochi any more picturesque.

In the Soviet period Dagomys, Adler and Khosta were the most popular resort settle-ments. So they are today. They are small settlements, and what is more important, you can go on foot from your hotel to the beach or some other entertainment centers.

Central District is too big and overloaded with traffic, so that you can feel the resort atmosphere in full. There are almost no seaside hotels. However, most part of night clubs, concert halls, conservatories, arboretum, museums and theatres are located just in this district.

Adler would be the optimum variant. It is located near the entertainment places of the Central District and the airport. Adler has good beaches, and it is just from there that you could most easily go on excursions to the mountain regions of Krasnaya Polyana (Red Glade) and Abkhazia.

The Caucasian Mountains are what you should go to Sochi for, and even shut your eyes to certain infrastructure inconveniences. The famous resort Krasnaya Polyana is only 39 kilometers of Adler. It is just there that Winter Olympic Games 2014 was held. In Imeretinskaya valley Olympic park is located.

You must plan mountain excursions, if only one day long. If you have some basic training, you should buy 2-3-day mountain tours. If you go to the mountains for several days, you will need a guide, however, if you go on a day excursion, you can do it alone.

Apart from mountain excursions, it will be very interesting to go to Abkhazia. In Soviet times resorts of Abkhazia - Gagra, Pitsunda and Gudauta, - were the most popular recreation zone on the coast of the Black Sea. They are actively being developed today.

If you go on excursion to Abkhazia, you must visit New Athos Monastery and adjoining New Athos Cave (in fact, the largest cave in the Western Caucasus), as well as Ritsinsky Forest National Park. In this park Ritsa Lake is located, the most famous and most beautiful lake in the Caucasus.

Photo Gallery
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The torch of the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, in the center of the Olympic Park on the Medal Plaza
Upper pond in the Southern Vegetation Park in Sochi
Skypark suspension bridge in the Akhshtyr Gorge, 20 kilometers from Sochi
Sycamore trees on Resort Avenue in Sochi
Modern hotels and a musical fountain on Resort Avenue in Sochi
Palm trees and tropical plants in the squares adjacent to the Resort Avenue in Sochi
Seaside Park on the high shore above the Central beach of Sochi is the best place for evening walks
Modern hotels in Sochi Seaside Park
Magnolias planted by cosmonauts in the Friendship Glade in the Riviera Park in Sochi
Alleys of the Riviera Park in Sochi, where trees and plants of subtropical climate are planted
Vasily Khludov`s house in the center of the Riviera Park in Sochi, recreated in 2008 in the Russian terem style
Riviera Beach is the best beach on the Black Sea in the Central district of Sochi
View of the Great Caucasian Ridge from the tower on Mount Akhun in the vicinity of Sochi
Joseph Stalin`s summer cottage in Matsesta is located on a hill between the Agura and Matsesta rivers
The figure of Stalin in the museum of Stalin`s summer cottage in Matsesta, where you can see his personal belongings
The monumental building of the Matsesta Balneary (No. 4), built in 1940
Mayak Beach near the main coastal hotels of Sochi
The Lighthouse beach in Sochi has a Blue flag, but it is quite narrow and there are concrete breakwaters
The central embankment in Sochi near the Festival concert hall
The embankment at the foot of the Sochi Lighthouse, built in 1880
The Marine Terminal, built in 1955, is a symbol of Sochi
After the 2014 Olympics, only private yachts are moored near the Sochi Sea Station
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel - the main Orthodox church in Sochi
The Art Museum in Sochi was built in 1936 in the style of an ancient Greek temple
Postcard of the 19th century: this is how Sochi embankment looked liked at the foot of the lighthouse
Entrance to the Sochi amusement attraction-park near the Olympic Park
Imereti embankment stretches for 5 kilometers from the Sochi Olympic Park to the Psou river
Imereti embankment near the Sochi Olympic Park
Entrance to the Moorish pavilion at Sochi Arboretum
Aqua park on the territory of Adler Resort Town
Olympic stadiums, Formula 1 track and Bogatyr hotel in Sochi Olympic Park
Tunnel of Adler oceanarium
«Coral» Building on the territory of Adler Resort Town