Sochi is one of the most beautiful resorts, known the world over since time immemorial. It is no exaggeration to say that holding the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 raised Sochi to a resort of international standing.
Officially Sochi is the name of just the central part of the resort, which also includes the districts:
The town of Sochi is situated at the foot of the Caucasus mountains on the shore of the Black sea, at the same latitude as Nice and Toronto.
Sochi covers a total area of 3,502 sq.km., including 30,000 hectares of arboretum, botanical gardens and nature reserves.
The climate in Sochi is Mediterranean, soft and mild, with average temperatures:
- in winter: +8 — +10 C.
- in summer up to +25 —+30 C.
Up in the mountains the air temperature in summer may not rise above +8 C, and in winter it may drop to minus figures.
Thalassotherapy — sun- and air-bathing, combined with sea-bathing — is particularly effective in the resort at Sochi. Cypress and cedar trees, magnolias and eucalyptus, exotic and beautiful palms and cactuses and thousands of other types of trees make a stroll through the eternally green resort unforgettable.
Along with the climate, the main natural healing factor of the resort are the sulphuric and sodium-chloride waters at Matsesta, which are used for bathing, irrigation and inhalation.
Sochi offers guests and residents a multiplicity of ways to spend spare time year round: exploring caves, swimming from the rafts on the river Mzymta or parascending above the sea, out on a yacht or out on horseback, walking in the hills or a trip to the waterfalls which are so numerous here, or up the viewing tower on the summit of Mount Akhun, from which the awe-inspiring panorama of the mighty Caucasus can be viewed.
Places of interest around Sochi
The AJ Hackett Skypark in Sochi is an adventure park in the hills founded by the inventor of bungy-jumping. The park is in the Sochi National Park, in the beautiful Akhshtyrsky gorge, in the Mzymta river valley on the road to Krasnaya Polyana. The park is centred around the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, the Skybridge, at 439 m. long, along which you can take a thrilling walk. And from a height of 207 m. admire the magnificent panoramic views. On the one side — towards the Caucasus mountains, and on the other — towards the Black Sea coast. The Skypark also offers the Mowgli rope adventure park, observation platforms with amazing views, an interactive museum of bungy-jumping worldwide, and an 18-metre-high climbing wall with an area of 1,200 sq. m. For the true adventure lover Skypark offers high-rise attractions from AJ Hackett International. Here you will find one of the highest bungy-jumps in the world, Bungy 207 m., and Bungy 69 m., as well as the highest swing in the world, SochiSwing 170 m., and the 700 m. long MegaTroll which can reach speeds of up to 150 km/hr.
The Nikola Tesla Electrical Museum
The Electrical Museum is a small part of the display, which emphasises the foresight of Nikola Tesla and demonstrates the transport of the future. It is impossible to put into words what takes place during the programme at the Nikola Tesla Electrical Museum. Real lightning with a current of a few million volts, laser effects and a brave tamer of the crazy elements - the Tesla Show "The Megavolt Sovereign of Lightning" is a sight which leaves no-one unmoved!
The Motor Museum is a comprehensive collection of 80 cars of the past and present
The real F1 fireball, Mark Webber's Jaguar R5 from 2004, a row of Corvettes from the 1st to the 5th generation, the Lamborghini LM002 and Hummer H1 - brutal off-roaders from the 80s, James Bond's Aston Martin DB9, the 1,500 hp. Dodge Viper and the 1,400 hp. Mitsubishi Evolution, the Jaguar XJ220, speed record holder of the 90s, the superlight and legendary fireball Ferrari F40, the elegant Aston Martin Lagonda, 5 pace cars from the Indianapolis race track — listing all the makes and all the honours won by the cars on display is pointless, since they really have to be seen to be believed.
Museum of the history of the resort at Sochi
This was created in 1920. There are more than 4,000 exhibits on display at the museum. These include archaeological artefacts from Sochi, displays of ethnography, daily life and culture from the multinational population of the region, documents and photographs. There is a large section devoted to the history of the resort development of the area, and the theme "Sochi — capital of Russian resorts".
The word "matsesta" is from the Ubykh language and means "fire water", catching fire because of its high hydrogen sulphide content. Matsesta is a legendary bathing resort which made the town of Sochi a place of pilgrimage for one's health. The Matsesta sculpture became the symbol of the world famous Matsesta resort, one of the main and best known "visiting cards" of Sochi.
In 1935 it took just 102 days' work to lay a 12-kilometre asphalt road from the shore to the summit of the hill. On the 663 m. summit of Mount Akhun a viewing tower stands, built in 1936 to plans by the architect S.I. Vorobyev. The tower is 30.5 metres high. It is built of hewn white limestone in a romantic style. In clear weather a magnificent panorama of the hilltops of the main Caucasus ridge and the town of Sochi can be seen.
Situated in the very heart of the town of Sochi, at 74, Kurort Prospekt, the Sochi Arboretum (Dendrarium Park) was founded in 1892 by S.N. Khudekov. It holds a living collection of more than 1,500 types of trees and shrubs. There is a large collection of fir trees, 76 types and 1890 examples; the largest collection of oaks in Russia with 80 types, and of palm trees with 24 types; as well as cypresses and a quantity of rare subtropical plants.
The Tiso-Samshitovaya Grove
In its way this yew and boxwood grove is a living museum, a repository of ancient plants, remaining here almost unchanged since ancient times, around 30 million years ago. Visitors to this protected grove are offered two routes: the lesser, so called Boxwood ring, which is around 2 kilometres in length, and the greater ring of around 5 kilometres, which takes you to view the oldest inhabitants of the grove and the ruins of a Byzantine fortress of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The Friendship Tree garden museum
A unique museum of nature and a vivid symbol of friendship. The garden nurtures a collection of sub-tropical of fruit-bearing, ornamental and floral plants representing 80 botanical families. In 1934 a scientist from the F.M. Zorin Institute planted a wild lemon tree in the garden in order to establish a frost-resistant citrus. Subsequently he grafted 45 types of citrus onto its crown. To date it is now growing branches grafted on by representatives of more than 167 countries worldwide. In total it bears more than 630 grafts. They have been made by many heads of state, well-known public and political figures, cosmonauts, scientists and cultural representatives.
Orlinye Skaly (Eagle Rocks) are vertical limestone cliffs that loom 125 metres over the river and 379 above sea-level. There is a legend about Prometheus associated with Orlinye Skaly which says that it is to these cliffs that the hero was chained when, despite the will of Zeus, he stole fire for mankind. In 1998 a monument to Prometheus was erected on the summit at the very edge of the precipice.
If Sochi is a worldly health resort, then the nunnery is a place of healing for the soul. During a trip to the Troitsa-Georgievsky nunnery you will learn much of interest about the Orthodox faith, and will see unique icons, some of which date from the nineteenth century. Relics of Saint Nikolai the Miracle-Worker are kept within the shrines at the nunnery, and those of saints from the Kievo-Pecherskaya lavra and a relic of Saint Pantaleimon the Healer.
On the ridge where these unique lakes are situated there is a mountain shelter and viewing platforms. From a height of 1,200 metres the grand panorama of the Western Caucasus is laid out before you — 100 kilometres from the town of Fisht to the Bzybsk ridge in Abkhazia.
The Tea-Houses café and museum
An elegant wooden tower where, on the first floor you can try Krasnodar tea with baranka-biscuits, honey and other traditional Russian treats, and on the second floor there is a museum of popular art where creation by Sochi artists are exhibited. All sorts of Krasnodar tea are served at the Tea-Houses: black un-pressed tea, and teas with added herbs such as St John's wort, mint, thyme, cowberry leaves black currant.
Sports venues around Sochi
The 2014 Olympic sites in Sochi are located in two groupings: by the shore, and in the hills.
The shore-side cluster:
The Fisht Olympic Stadium
The building of the Fisht Olympic Stadium is sited in the Olympic Park so that visitors in the stands may, at the same time, enjoy the views of the heights to the north and of the sea to the south.
The Iceberg Winter Sports' Palace
In accordance with the concept of the 2014 Olympic games the Iceberg Winter Sports' Palace was allocated a leading role. This in turn defined where it should be located, in the Olympic Park which was to become the heart of the competitions in the shore-side cluster.
The Ledyanoy Kub Curling Centre (within walking distance of the AZIMUT Hotel Sochi)
Ledyanoy Kub (Ice-cube) Curling Centre is in the shore-side cluster in the Olympic Park complex, within walking distance of the AZIMUT hotel/ Curling is for everyone who loves life, movement, the joy of contact with friends and those who like a spirit of excitement. This fashionable and entertaining game is accessible to all, regardless of age and level of physical fitness.
The Adler Arena skating centre
The Adler Arena skating centre is an oval stadium with two competition tracks and one training track.
The Shaiba Ice Arena
The Shaiba Ice Arena is part of the complex belonging to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
The Bolshoi Ice Palace
The Bolshoi Ice Palace is part of the complex belonging to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), which includes the Bolshoi Ice Palace and the Shaiba Ice Arena for ice hockey competitions and a training rink.
The Formula go-kart club at the Sochi Olympic Park
New speedy go-karts of 6.5 and 9 hp., a timekeeping system, a giant scoreboard and a whole lot of fun from a visit to the go-kart club!
Roza Khutor Extreme Park
Coordinates: 43.65620, 40.32985
Snowboarding and freestyle contests at the 2014 Olympic Games took place to the west of the Roza Khutor plateau.
Sanki luge sports' centre
Coordinates: 43.66769, 40.29106
The luge and bob-sleigh track is at the downhill ski resort at Alpinka-Service, with the finish at Rzhanaya Polyana.
Russkiye Gorki ski-jump complex
Coordinates: 43.67720, 40.24285
The ski-jump complex is on the northern slope of the Aibga ridge, close to Esto-Sadok village.
Site for skiing contests and the Laura Biathlon
Coordinates: 43.69231, 40.32477
The site for skiing contests and the Laura Biathlon is situated on the crest and slopes of the Psekhako ridge 6.5 - 10 kilometres to the north-east of Krasnaya Polyana village.