Sochi

As the 2014 Winter Olympics host, Sochi is massively upgrading its already- established tourism and sport infrastructure. It is the largest spa resort in Russia, and with mineral springs, attractive coastal and mountain scenery, long beaches and a subtropical climate, it is easy to see why both Russians and foreigners alike flock to this resort city. Krasnaya Polyana, one of the world's most popular skiing resorts, is located here. You can swim in the sea here from April til October, and go skiing from October til May.

 

You might find teachers:

- hitting the slopes at “Laura”, a ski resort built by Gazprom, the most popular ski park in Krasnaya Polyana.

 

- sipping tea at the Dagomys tea plantation, as well as sampling homemade pies and learning about Russian folklore from a presentation performed by a local dance company.

 

- staying a night at Stalin's dacha (cottage) in Sochi, located on the top of a mountain range between Matsestinskaya valley and Agora canyon.

 

- swimming under the Agora waterfalls, a gorgeous sight with a picturesque lake, beautiful falls, dark ravines and a magnificent gorge.

 

- checking out all the entertainment and surprises on the beach boulevard, where you can see monkeys, crocodiles, and take pictures in Russian costumes.

 

 - getting in touch with their cultural side in the Art Square where the Art Museum is located, and then continuing on to Theatre Square and the Summer Open Air Theatre.

 

- making honey at the Bee-Keeper's farm. Honey is yet another thing that puts Sochi on the map. Of all places in Russia this is the only area where you can buy chestnut honey.

 

- getting a photo of Michaelo- Archangel Cathedral, the only Russian Orthodox Church out of 9 built before the XXth century to survive the revolution and war events.

 

For history buffs:

- In Akhshtyr cave, a popular landmark of modern Sochi, traces of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon men have been found. Today 150 archeological monuments in Sochi have the status of federal importance.

 

- According to myth, Zeus crucified Prometheus on a deserted rock, which many people believe to be on Fisht mountain. Its summits are distinctly seen from the Sochi seaside.

 

- Before Russian troops arrived, Circassians occupied the area. Some travelers described them as bloody pirates and Byzantine historians called them Sachi, from which came the name Sochi.