For a long time, Sochi remained the cherished dream of any Soviet traveler. At the end of the 90s, the only resort with a subtropical climate, where you can swim in the sea, and go skiing, somewhat lost ground, giving way to an all-inclusive vacation. However, after the Olympic Games in 2014, Sochi was again chosen by tourists, and many foreigners appeared among them.
The resort has changed a lot since the time when Soviet workers, who came here on trade union permits, mastered the Black Sea coast. Today Sochi has changed, and a huge selection of hotels, resorts, spas, entertainment and attractions has made it a place where everyone can organize their ideal vacation. BeautyHack has put together a short guide to the popular resort.
Climate. Sochi has a mild climate. There are no fierce winters, and the average monthly air temperature in January is +9 ° С. You can swim in the sea from April to October. The end of the season (mid-September) is an ideal time to relax for those who cannot stand the heat. At this time, the water temperature is about +25 ° С, air temperature - 25-26 ° С.
Subtropical Sochi is not a typical southern region. The warm sea and snow-capped mountains offer unique opportunities for year-round outdoor activities. Sochi is surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains, which protect it from icy winds. By the way, the geographical latitude of the resort corresponds to the geographical latitude of Nice, and the coldest months here are March and April.
Districts. The Municipal Formation of Greater Sochi is a real mystery for a tourist. So, for many it becomes a discovery that Adler is not a separate resort, but an area of the city, which includes the village of Krasnaya Polyana. There are four such districts in total: Adlerovsky, Lazarevsky, Khostinsky and Central.
The airport and railway station are located in Adler, and they are an attraction in themselves. You can easily get to other districts of Sochi by the Aeroexpress or the Lastochka electric train (a great option for those who do not want to spend hours in traffic jams). A bus ride around the city will cost 19 rubles, a trip from Adler to Sochi - 70 rubles.
Many hotels have bike rentals (some are free). This is the best option for moving around the area. The iron horse will deliver it to the right place and will provide an excellent cardio load. Stock up on drinking water, sandwiches and go on a bike ride in the Olympic Park (by the way, you can also use the rental services there).
Lazarevsky district is located farthest from the center. However, it has undeniable advantages: clean sea and the most convenient transport links.
The central region is the historical part of Greater Sochi. It consists of many neighborhoods. When choosing the latter, be careful! There is access to the sea only in the microdistricts of Jamaica, Central, Svetlana, Yana Fabriciusa and New Sochi.
Khostinsky district is a balneological resort. Of course, there are beaches for relaxation, but there are much fewer of them than specialized sanatoriums. The main asset of this area is the famous Matsesta waters (mineral waters with a high content of hydrogen sulfide) and silt mud (sulphide mud containing mineral salts, iron, zinc, lithium and manganese).
In the Adlerovsky district there are mountains (Krasnaya Polyana) and the Olympic Park. It is he who is most popular among tourists today. Adler is a great place for families with children. The infrastructure is well developed, there is an amusement park, a promenade and a beach club with golden sand.
Local residents and experienced tourists are advised to give up living in Loo, Khost and other similar villages. There are already not the cleanest beaches there, and after a storm, you don't have to expect to be quickly removed. In Adler, you should not book hotels on the streets of Gogol, Vzletnaya, Leskov and Mendeleev: they are located in the immediate vicinity of the airport, where a plane lands or takes off every 20 minutes.
As in any resort town, Sochi is full of mini-hotels, guest houses, hotels and sanatoriums. Seasonal prices vary from 700 to 50,000 rubles per day. Of course, the lower the cost, the less comfortable living conditions you will be offered. By the end of the season, prices even in five-star hotels are much lower and there is a chance to relax almost twice as cheap as, for example, in July.
Wellness. In Sochi, it is difficult to count the number of sanatoriums, spas and health improvement places per square meter. There is where to roam with any budget, even on city beaches there are massage cabins. We offer you our top.
While resting in Sochi, be sure to visit the Banya-Land health complex! An unforgettable experience and complete relaxation are guaranteed. Banya-Land is located in Krasnaya Polyana and consists of four spa complexes: Hagakure (a steam room with a grass roof), Valtazar, Boyarskaya Banya and Shamantabkharda. Each complex has a Russian steam room, a Roman therma, a Turkish hammam and a Japanese bath ofuro, as well as a font with spring water and a relaxation area. As additional services, you will be offered peels, scrubs, massage, rubbing and much more. The cost of visiting the Banya-Land complex starts from 9,000 rubles for three hours (for two). Moreover, all the staff will work only for you! The price includes Maltese tea and aromatherapy procedure.
The Matsesta hydrotherapy center is the largest balneological resort in Russia. Its main wealth is hydrogen sulfide water, the healing properties of which are legendary. It copes well with skin diseases, stimulates the cardiovascular system and heals the entire body. The balneological resort includes not only a hydropathic establishment, but also a polyclinic department, a radon laboratory and a drinking pump room. Matsesta works all year round. Prices for procedures start at 500 rubles. The building of the hospital itself is an architectural ensemble of the Stalin era. After crossing its threshold, forget about gadgets and problems: there is no Internet, no ATMs (keep in mind that you cannot pay with a card), no TVs. Even those hourglass clocks. There are many options for accommodation at the balneological resort. We advise you to pay attention to the hotel "Rest-Matsesta", which is within walking distance from the hydropathic establishment. There, prices for accommodation in October start at 3,800 rubles per day (for two adults).
The Mikhailovskie Movnitsy Bath Spa Complex is located on the territory of the Savva boutique hotel, located in Krasnaya Polyana. Here you can not only enjoy the authenticity of a traditional Russian bath, but also lie down in the hayloft, drink herbal tea with honey or jam and, of course, pamper yourself with pleasant and relaxing procedures. Rent of the complex starts from 4000 rubles for two hours (for two people).
Soul Spa is located within the Marriott hotel. The total area of the center is as much as 2,000 square meters, on which there are nine massage rooms, a swimming pool (there is a children's area), a jacuzzi, saunas (Russian and Finnish), a hammam, a vitamin bar, a fitness center, a beauty salon and a relaxation area. The atmosphere at Soul Spa is conducive to complete physical and emotional relaxation. The cost of visiting the complex starts from 1,800 rubles.
What to bring. In addition to traditional souvenirs with Olympic symbols in Sochi, you can buy a lot of tasty and useful gifts. From local delicacies that will not deteriorate during a long flight, one can name dried persimmon (it is called "natural candy"), which strengthens the immune system and has a beneficial effect on the work of the cardiovascular system; cone jam, which is an excellent antiviral agent, and chestnut honey, a powerful natural antibiotic.
Don't pass by the stalls with Krasnodar tea! There you will find the widest range of herbal preparations for treatment, and for cleansing the body, and for stimulating immunity. In Sochi, there is a huge selection of nuts, some of which come from Abkhazia. Be sure to try pecans, which are high in vitamins A, B, E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and potassium.
Where to buy … In Sochi, souvenir and food shops are at every turn. However, do not rush to shopping: in places where tourists are concentrated, not only the highest price tag, but also the quality is not the best. For fresh honey, go to any beekeeping industry on the way to Krasnaya Polyana. In Adler, there is a beautiful old market located on the banks of the river. There is a wide range of vegetables, fruits, nuts and other local delicacies. But for those looking to save money, this is not the best option. Thus, prices for seasonal fruits on the market can be significantly higher than in Moscow. True, you can always bargain. For nuts, spices and jam, it is best to go to Gagra (if, of course, you decide to shop thoroughly). The distance from Adler to them is 68 kilometers, and the quality of products and prices are much more pleasant there.
Text: Natalia Kapitsa