Thrust into the limelight as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi is best known to locals as the subtropical Black Sea beach resort where Russians like to spend their holidays. Nicknamed the 'Russian Riviera', it offers around 300 days of sunshine a year and 150 kilometres of mountainous coastline to explore. From December to March, the alpine area of Krasnaya Polyana offers world-class skiing, luxurious chalets and traditional Russian saunas.
As the world’s second-longest city, Sochi offers plenty of beaches along its 150 kilometres of coastline. Most are private and belong to resorts, but non-guests can enjoy them by purchasing day passes. The Riviera Beach is Sochi’s most popular stop for a dip in the Black Sea, featuring water sports, volleyball courts and restaurants. You can also find many beaches in the nearby district of Adler and the resort of Dagomys.
Although Sochi’s Olympic flame went out in 2014, its mountainous area of Krasnaya Polyana was left with several world-class ski resorts. One such resort is Rosa Khutor, offering over 100 kilometres of pristine slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Other top resorts include Gazprom, Mountain Carousel (Gorky Gorod) and Alpika-Service.
Rivera Park is one of the most popular green havens in Sochi, filled with over 250 species of flora and fauna, an aquarium and a dolphinarium. Over at Sochi Arboretum, there’s not only a huge variety of plantlife to explore, but a scenic cable car ride up to a viewpoint overlooking the city and sea.