Sochi - Abbey Travel, Ireland


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Welcome to Sochi


Home to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Sochi is nestled in the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains and stretches 90 miles (145km) along the coast of the Black Sea, the longest city in Europe. Referred to as the 'Russian Riviera', Sochi boasts an inviting subtropical climate, pebbled beaches, lush forests, botanical parks, waterfalls, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, and a world-class skiing resort close by - not your typical Russian city. Famed for its sulphur springs and boasting over 200 health spas, including the world-renowned Matsesta, Sochi is more than just a healthy holiday destination. Every summer the elite of Russia descend upon Sochi for the annual film festival, 'Kinotavr' along with two million other visitors who come to enjoy this vibrant season. During the winter, Sochi sees a slew of tourists making their way to the nearby ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana, which is set to host a number of events of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Home of tennis ace Maria Sharapova and Stalin's favourite dacha, the city of Sochi offers visitors great skiing, hiking and sailing opportunities. Any trip here will be a memorable and relaxing one.

Information & Facts


Sochi experiences a humid subtropical climate with warm summers and mild winters that seldom see the temperature drop below freezing. Average summer temperatures range between 77ºF and 83ºF (25ºC and 28ºC) while average winter temperatures hover around the 43ºF (6ºC) mark. The Krasnaya Polyana mountains experience perfect snow conditions and are largely protected from the wind - a unique condition that cannot be found anywhere else in Europe. The ski season is from October through May.

Getting Around

There are trains and buses running frequently throughout the city of Sochi. Taxis are also easily available but can be quite expensive; it is best to negotiate a price with the taxi driver before setting out. With the 2014 Winter Olympics in sight, the city of Sochi is making major changes to its transport infrastructure.

Russian is the official language. Some people speak English, French or German.

The official currency is the Rouble (RUB), which is divided into 100 kopeks. Most major credit cards, like Visa and Mastercard are accepted in the larger hotels and at places that deal with foreign tourists. Currency can be changed at banks, currency exchange booths and hotels. Travellers cheques are difficult and expensive to cash, but if necessary it is advised to take them in US Dollars or Euro. ATMs are widely available in major cities. It is hard to get rubles outside Russia and travellers are advised to take good condition US dollars or Euro notes to change once there. It is illegal to pay for goods or services in hard currency, though it is often accepted.

Also known as Agursky, the Agura waterfalls are one of the most famous tourist attractions in Sochi. Located just outside the city, these majestic waterfalls that cascade from a height of 98 feet (30m) are a popular stop off along this popular hiking trail in the area along the Agura Ravine. The term 'Agura' means river or stream in Ubykhian. At the Eagle's Rocks hikers can enjoy the view of the crystal clear waterfalls crashing down to the oval pool below and enjoy the panoramic views over the city and Black Sea below.

Matsesta, meaning 'fire water', has harnessed the powers of the hot sulphur springs that have become synonymous with Sochi and become the city's most renowned health spa. The water contains over 27 types of minerals and is used to treat people with respiratory and cardiac problems. Featuring a number of bathing rooms, massage tables and inhalation cubicles, Matsesta Spa is a major tourist attraction.

Built in 1936, the Sochi Art Museum is a work of art to look at. The classical architecture lends the relatively small museum a grand and ornate look. The museum's works tell stories of Sochi's history, such as the picture 'Italy' by Isaac Izrailevich Brodsky which is connected to the history of the health resorts. The works are constantly changing to display the art of some of Russia's greats as well as local artists.

The Dolphinarium (also known as the aquatheatre) is a popular tourist attraction for families visiting Sochi. The Dolphinarium's daily performances featuring aquatic life such as dolphins, white whales, killer whales, sea lion and seals is a favourite with both young and old.

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