Sochi, Russia

Located on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the high Caucasus Mountains and approximately 1,360 kilometers south of Moscow, Sochi is the most colorful and exotic city in all of Russia. Because of its mild subtropical climate, lush vegetation, palm trees and holiday atmosphere they often call this place on the beautiful southern coast of Krasnodar Krai “the Russian Riviera” (or also “the Caucasian Riviera”). Indeed, unlike most Russian cities dominated by large and colorless buildings left after the collapse of the USSR, Sochi is a city-garden surrounded by abundant vegetation, with lovely walking paths, beautiful architecture, churches, squares, fountains, European radiation and numerous attractions.

sochi russiaSochi is also known for something else.

The city, whose population according to data from the year 2010 amounts to 343,334 people, is the center of a metropolitan area stretching approximately 145 kilometers along the Black Sea coast, making it the longest city in Europe.

The first thing that most tourists notice when they walk on the streets of Sochi for the first time is the sense of exoticism.

Here grow a huge variety of subtropical warm loving species of plants, many of which evergreen, and this is something unusual for a northern country such as the Russian Federation.

Sensitive southern species such as date palms have adapted wonderfully to the climatic conditions in the area, although they are not native.

The main charm of Sochi is the combination of a mild climate and sea. During the summer months the beaches in the area are teeming with tourists from abroad and from other parts of Russia.

The beaches themselves are gray in color and are mostly covered with small oval pebbles, which give the seawater a distinctive light blue color with silver nuances. The beaches are an excellent solution to escape the high summer temperatures.

The coastal area of Sochi is an attractive tourist center with a marina, a number of hotels and numerous entertainment venues, and all these attractions are located in a shady park setting.

The biggest attractions of Sochi are its beautiful botanical garden Dendrarium, the Aquatheater (the dolphinarium), the Historical Museum of Sochi and the Art Museum.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, the resort offers an exceptional natural beauty, and the surrounding landscapes are really worth seeing.

Do not miss Sochinsky National Park, which is located not far from the city in the Western Caucasus, the Russian Federation National Wildlife Sanctuary and the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve, famous for its amazing scenery.

Although a Russian city, Sochi enjoys a surprisingly mild and warm climate. Being in the subtropical climate zone, the city is considered the warmest place in the Russian Federation.

There are mainly two distinct seasons, summer and winter. The transitional seasons, spring and autumn, are very short.

Summers are pleasantly warm but not too hot with daytime temperatures reaching around 27 – 28°C in July and August.

The season with temperatures of over 20°C lasts from May to October, and from May to September the weather conditions are perfect for the beach. The sea is warm, and in the height of summer the sea surface reaches about 24, sometimes even 26°C.

Winters in Sochi are mild with temperatures around 10°C during the day and about 3 – 4°C at night. Temperatures around and below zero are very rare in the area. The climate in Sochi is generally very humid, and usually heavy rains fall in all four seasons.

The most abundant precipitations fall in November, and the driest month is June. On the rare occasions when the temperature in Sochi falls around or below freezing is possible fluffy and thick but non-lasting snow cover.

In the high mountains near Sochi the ski season lasts 7-8 months per year on average, starting in October and continuing through April – May.

sochi panoramic viewWhen to visit Sochi? The best time to visit this beautiful Russian coastal resort is during the summer months from early May to late September, when the city is most beautiful, the weather – most enjoyable, and the entertainment opportunities – most numerous.

How to get to Sochi? Sochi International Airport handles flights mainly to neighboring countries such as Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but also to some more distant destinations such as Israel.

Significantly predominate domestic flights to and from cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Omsk and others. The capital Moscow could be described as a connecting point between Sochi and most countries around the world.

Moreover, you can travel by ferry from the Turkish port city of Trabzon.

Significant events:

– The Twenty-Second Winter Olympic Games (7 – 23 February, 2014);

– The International Film Festival in Sochi (in June each year);

– The Beer Festival (annually in May);

– Formula 1 Russia’s Grand Prix (from 2014 for a period of 7 years);