Best things to do in Sochi
Find out more about those top places in Sochi
Thrust into the worldwide spotlight with the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi is the gateway to Russia’s Black Sea Riveria and the awe-inspiring peaks of the Caucasus. Sochi confounds stereotypes of Russia with its palm tree lined promenade, sun-soaked climate and Mediterranean-infused nightlife. The center of the city, especially in the tropical summer months, is the promenade, which effortlessly blends the best of Soviet kitsch with the glamour of St. Tropez. Beyond the seafront, the vast Riveria Park is home to a number of retro attractions, including the Dolphinarium and the Alley of the Cosmonauts, while the Arboretum is Russia’s premier botanical garden. Just beyond Sochi’s sprawling city limits is the mountainous Caucasus region, where the Sochi National Park provides spectacular hiking in a sub-tropical rainforest setting.
East of Sochi city center is the Sochi National Park, which covers an immense tract of the Agura Valley in the Caucasus foothills. The park is perfect for leisurely hiking, breathtaking Black Sea viewpoints and nature watching.
The faded grandeur of Sochi was given a much-needed boost thanks to the 2014 Winter Olympics. While the athletes may be long gone, the legacy of the games lives on and tours are available to explore the Olympic complex, including the iconic Fish Stadium, and learn behind the scenes secrets of the opening ceremony.
Is Abkhazia part of Russia or Georgia or an independent republic? Since the 1992-3 Abkhazian War this is a point that is up for much debate. Despite this geopolitically confused status, Abkhazia remains one of the Black Sea coast’s most charming destinations: Soviet era dachas line the coast, including Stalin’s favorite getaway; mosaicked communist bus stops pepper the roadsides; and ancient Orthodox ruins are tucked away in idyllic olive groves. With all this and more Abkhazia makes a perfect full day tour from Sochi.