With its mountain peaks and seafront natural parks, a trout farm and Stalin’s summer house, Russia’s leading resort boasts an impressive variety of natural attractions and tourist sights.
This itinerary starts at the Roza Khutor mountain ski resort and gradually descends down the mountains along Route А148, going through Krasnaya Polyana and Kazachy Brod to Adler. From there, head along Route А147 to Khosta and then on to Matsesta and turn right to Semyonovka.
Krasnaya Polyana features mountains, waterfalls, ancient dolmen tombs, ravines and mineral water sources. It also has three mountain ski resorts: Roza Khutor, Laura and Gornaya Karusel, which are the best of their kind in Europe today. Chalets, restaurants, shops, clubs and children’s playgrounds are connected by paths and rope ways. In the summer, when there is no snow, the cycling season opens in the resorts. Twenty minutes away by car, heading towards the sea, the Sochi district of Adler spreads out. The famous resort city has recently acquired many new sources of pride: a new airport and a plethora of sports facilities, the centrepieces of which are the new Fisht Stadium and Russia’s largest aquarium, Sochi Discovery World.
- Ulitsa Forelevaya, 28, Kazachy Brod village, Adler District, Sochi
- Ulitsa Forelevaya, 41a, Kazachy Brod Village, Adler District
- show glassblowers: adults - 300 rubles, children - 150 rubles; master class: 500 rubles
- +7 (988) 235 24 00
- Kazachy Brod Village, Adler District
- from 80 rub.
- 7 (862) 262 18 42
- Ulitsa 50 Let SSSR, 28, Khosta Settlement, Khostinsky District
- from 45 rub.
- +7 (862) 265 34 85
- Khosta Settlement, mountain Akhun, Khostinsky District
- from 100 rub.
- Kurortny Prospekt, Matsesta Settlement, Khostinsky District
- Izmaylovskaya Ulitsa, 141, Izmaylovka Village, Khostinsky District
- from 300 rub.
- +7 938 500 68 77, +7 (861) 239 78 21
From Volnitsa, picturesque paths covered with box-trees and cherry-laurel lead to a cascade of 18 waterfalls, known as Gnomiki (Dwarves), Egipetskie Piramidy (Egypt Pyramids), Konsky Khvost (Horsetail) and Usy Dyadi Styopy (Uncle Stuyopa’s Moustaches).
- Semyonovka Village, Matsesta Settlement, Khostinsky District
- from 150 rub.
- 7 (989) 757 00 44, 7 (928) 853 00 44
Boasting one of the richest collections of marine inhabitants on the Black Sea coast, the Matsesta Aquarium opened in 2005. Besides the traditional aquariums with saltwater and freshwater fish, the aquarium offers several pools with crocodiles, a hippopotamus, penguins, iguanas and animals from the northern seas such as the walrus and several varieties of seal. The real stars of the aquarium, however, are the river otters Ashley and Garry. In 2014, this pair foretold the outcomes of sporting events at the Sochi Olympics! Visitors to the aquarium can also watch sharks, penguins, the crocodile and the hippo being fed, or enjoy one of the daily shows with the walrus and seals.
- Cheltenham Alley, 4, Khostinsky District
- adult - 500 rub.; child - 300 rub.
- 7 (862) 267 72 26
The dacha for Joseph Stalin, who led the Soviet Union between the years 1922 and 1953, was built in Sochi in 1937 to the design of Miron Merzhanov, the creator of the Bocharov Ruchey Dacha and the Voroshilov resort centre in Sochi. Stalin’s family spent summers here, but Stalin himself preferred to visit in autumn. He would also receive foreign heads of state here. In memory of the visit of Mao Tse-tung, the founder and ideological leader of the People’s Republic of China, the silver stationary set he gave Stalin is on display at Stalin’s Dacha. Both the dacha’s exterior and interior have been kept intact, complete with the interior finishing of fine wood, the chandeliers, leather couches, Stalin’s custom-made writing table, and his family photographs. The first thing visitors see on entering the ground floor is Stalin’s wax figure at his writing table.
- Kurortny prospekt 120/1, Khostinsky District
- 7 (862) 297 05 02
Specially appointed pathways lead the tourists through the thickets, precipitous rocks and stone labyrinths past the ruins of an 11th/12th-century fortress and some caves, dead-ending at a turbulent mountain stream. The sprawling tops of the mighty, ages-old yews keep most of the grove in the cool shade even on a scorching summer day.
There are two excursion routes one can follow, two and five kilometres long. On the way, you can rest in the secluded arbours or on benches. The sign-posts will inform you of the local florae and faunae, as well as the directions.
- Ulitsa Samshitovaya, Khosta Settlement, Khostinsky District
- from 150 rub.
- 7 (862) 265 00 97
One of the places you should definitely visit while in Adler district of Sochi is the trout factory, which is located on the way to Krasnaya polyana. There in the lakes with purest water – it is the one, where only can live the trout fish – there are thousands of fish of different types, including the one fish-farmed in Sochi – the coast rainbow trout Adler and Adlerskaya yantarnaya.
Today this is the only factory in Russia, which provides fish seeds and caviar for fish-farming to other fish farms in the country. Tourists may also come on a tour there. You can come on an excursion to the farm and find out everything about the fish-farming of the “royal fish”. The most captivating experience is feeding of huge fish in open ponds.
The main part of the program is a meal in the tasting hall. In the farm shop you may buy fresh fish, as well as semi-processed food and caviar.
- Kazachy Brod Village, Forelevaya Ulitsa, 45А, Adler District
- from 150 rub.
- 7 (988) 400 48 16