Sochi (Сочи)



Location: Krasnodar Krai Map


Description of Sochi

Sochi is one of the southernmost places in Russia, the second largest city in the Krasnodar Territory and the most famous seaside resort in Russia, as well as almost the only city in Russia with a subtropical climate. There is a lot of officialdom and pathos in Sochi - government residences, departmental sanatoriums, an elite ski resort. In addition, it was here that they decided to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics, which provided the city with new infrastructure, but hardly added charm to it. On the other hand, Sochi is the place where hundreds of thousands of Russians still go to relax by the sea, so the light, relaxed and somewhat unbridled atmosphere of a summer resort is preserved here. Travelers indifferent to resorts will not be disappointed either: Sochi has many architectural sights, wonderful parks and beautiful mountains. The only public road to Abkhazia runs through Sochi today.

Going to Sochi, it is important to understand that this city is one in two faces. The name Sochi can mean both the Central District (a kind of “old city”) and a huge agglomeration (Greater Sochi), stretching along the coast for more than a hundred kilometers - from Tuapse to the Abkhazian border. Vacationers may be interested in almost any part of the coast, but travelers should pay special attention to the center of Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana and separate, mostly scattered sights in other areas. Finally, those wishing to look at the venues of the 2014 Winter Olympics can visit the Adler District, where all sporting events took place.

Sochi is often called the unofficial "summer capital" of Russia or the "Pearl of the Black Sea". It is Russia's largest and busiest resort, attracting over 4 million visitors annually with its stunning mountainous coastline, endless pebbly beaches, warm sunny days and vibrant nightlife. From May to September, Sochi's population at least doubles with tourists, including celebrities and the country's political elite.

Surprisingly, only 3% of all city guests are foreigners, and the border location of Sochi does not at all contribute to the influx of foreign tourists: neighboring Abkhazia has its own Black Sea coast, and for everyone else, flying to Sochi is no easier than to Turkey or Greece. Perhaps the most famous foreign visitor, who is not a politician, but, of course, connected with politics, was the rock musician Bono, the leader of the U2 group, who was invited in 2010 to stay at the residence of then President Dmitry Medvedev. If we discard this funny and, in general, a single fact, Sochi remains a purely domestic tourist destination, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Another paradox of Sochi is the choice of this warm and southern Russian city, invariably associated in the national consciousness with the south, palm trees and a hot climate, as the capital of the 2014 Winter Olympics. This phenomenon will probably never be fully understood and will be reduced to the eternal formulation “Russia cannot be understood with the mind”, although in addition to the banal politics in choosing Sochi for winter competitions there is also a share of pragmatism: the climate of the coastal and mountainous parts of the city is so different that when The mountains are covered with a multi-meter layer of snow; the coast is still warm and comfortable. Finally, Sochi was just lucky, and the well-known proverb “if I knew the buyback, I would live in Sochi” just connects the city and its inhabitants with luck or, moreover, with sudden, unpredictable happiness and wealth.

Perhaps the Olympic success will help the city to go beyond the national resort and become truly international. Sochi has something to offer lovers of nature, sports, history and beach holidays. This pearl of the Black Sea is still waiting to be discovered.



The city is an urban agglomeration (Greater Sochi) and consists of many villages located on the seashore. The settlements are "strung" on the railway and the highway running along the coast.

Greater Sochi stretches for 148 km along the Black Sea coast from the northwest to the southeast, from the village of Magri to the very Russian border with Abkhazia along the Psou River. Its total area is 3,500 square kilometers (3 times the size of Moscow). However, the majority of the population is distributed along a narrow coastal strip, while the mountainous part (1900 sq. km.) For the most part belongs to the Sochi National Park and partly to the Caucasian State Natural Biosphere Reserve.


Sochi is a large resort city on the shores of the Black Sea in the Krasnodar Krai in the South East Russia. Krasnaya Polyana ski resort near Sochi was also a site of 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games.



Sochi belongs to that small part of Russia, which is lucky to be in the subtropics. Unlike the Mediterranean climate, Sochi (like Abkhazia) has high levels of humidity in winter and summer. Sochi can have up to 300 sunny days a year, which is simply unrealistic for central European Russia. Paradoxically, at the same time, Sochi is one of the rainiest cities in Russia; in terms of precipitation, it leaves cities such as St. Petersburg and Murmansk far behind and outdoes even Yuzhno-Kurilsk (whoever was will understand).

Most of the precipitation falls in the winter as rain, partly as snow, but usually there is no snow cover in the coastal part of the city. Stormy weather often sets in, so Sochi residents do not use umbrellas, or buy several pieces per season to replace broken ones.

Sochi residents rarely use winter tires, so every serious snowfall affects the operation of transport.

The climate of the mountainous part of Greater Sochi is much colder and makes a full skiing season possible in winter (from mid-December to mid-April). As a result, Krasnaya Polyana is rapidly developing as a winter resort and hosted open field competitions during the 2014 Olympic Games.

Spring is quite short and is characterized by flowering gardens (usually starts in March, even if the temperatures are lower than in February). This is a pleasant season with less rain but still cold seas. The coldest sea in January-February is about 8 degrees.

Sochi summer is associated with vacationers with the swimming season, which usually lasts from mid-May to mid-October. The real high season with the tourist peak falls on July-August. In contrast to the dry summers of the steppe Kuban, in the Sochi region in the summer there are regular short-term heavy rains of high intensity.

In September and October, the city attracts fewer visitors, partly due to the start of the school year. These two months, known as the "velvet season", when the Black Sea is still warm, the air is not very hot, and the streets are not crowded with tourists, are the most enjoyable time to visit Sochi.

The off-season autumn, which comes to Sochi at the end of October, is warm, but with more cloudy and rainy days. By the end of November, the average daily temperature falls below 10°C.



The center of Sochi is the heart of the city and its most developed and populated part. Most of the city's attractions, hotels and shopping centers are located here. During the summer season, central Sochi is usually crowded with tourists and cars.

The Lazarevsky district is the largest and longest (65 km along the coast) among the districts of Sochi, it is less urbanized than other districts of Greater Sochi. In reality, it includes many different settlements, often poorly connected to each other and with a lack of basic infrastructure.
Dagomys is a large resort village, next to which you can find the former holiday village of Uch-Dere, where several pre-revolutionary buildings have been preserved. And 9 km up the gorge there is a cascade of waterfalls known as the Dagomys troughs. Another twenty kilometers further into the mountains is Solokh-aul - the birthplace of Krasnodar tea with a museum-estate of the breeder Judas Koshman who created this tea.

Lazarevskoye is the administrative center of the district with extensive infrastructure for beach holidays and more; fragments of the old fort, a monument to Odoevsky who died here, an Orthodox church from the beginning of the 20th century. There are many other villages along the coast in the vicinity of Lazarevsky: Volkonka - the ruins of a medieval fortress, as well as Volkonsky dolmen: one of the largest and perhaps the most famous dolmen in Sochi, Mamedov Shchel is a small village near which Mamedovo Gorge is located, famous for its beautiful valley with waterfalls, dolmens and menhirs. Ashe - two beautiful waterfalls up the gorge. Golubaya Dacha is the pre-revolutionary dacha of Golubev, from which the modern name came. Sovetkvadzhe - two well-preserved pre-revolutionary dachas.

Loo is the best-preserved ruins of a medieval temple and the largest water park in Sochi. To the north-west of it is another village - Golovinka, notable for its tulip tree and the valley of 33 waterfalls located higher along the gorge.

Khostinsky district is located southeast of Central Sochi.
Matsesta, in which there are hydrogen sulfide sources, is the place where they initially began to go for treatment, that is, Sochi owes its resort reputation to it. There are almost no pre-revolutionary monuments left in Matsesta, and the most interesting thing here is the early Soviet architecture, examples of which include Stalin's dacha and several sanatoriums. In Matsesta, which is located in the valley of the river of the same name, routes to the mountains also begin, including the road to Mount Akhun.

Khosta is a village at the mouth of the river of the same name. It is interesting for the pre-revolutionary church and, most importantly, for its natural attractions - especially this object is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with a yew-boxwood grove. This object is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, a piece of ancient forest, in which the ruins of an old fortress are located. On the border with Adler, Kudepsta is located, which is interesting, in fact, for one attraction: a megalithic cult stone.

The Adler district is an important transport hub of the city, including the Sochi International Airport, the Adler railway station (the final stop for most trains going to Greater Sochi) and the only open checkpoint on the border with Abkhazia. After the Olympic Games in 2014, the appearance of the Imeretinskaya Lowland and Krasnaya Polyana changed beyond recognition, as did the local transport infrastructure, and in 2020, the first federal territory in Russia, the village of Sirius, was formed near the border.
Adler is a conglomeration of coastal villages, including Sochi Airport, as well as the Imereti Lowland, where the coastal cluster of the 2014 Winter Olympics (now part of Sirius) is located.

Krasnaya Polyana is a group of villages in the Mzymta valley (Krasnaya Polyana itself, Esto-Sadok, Rosa Khutor and Gazprom resorts), turned into a major ski resort and mountain cluster of the Winter Olympic Games

Also, a significant part of the region belongs to the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve.


Getting here

By plane
Sochi Airport ranks eighth in Russia in terms of passenger traffic, serving not only vacationers, but also all residents of Abkhazia who do not have their own airport. Mostly domestic flights: 15-20 times a day to Moscow, 3 times a day to St. Petersburg. In summer, direct flights appear to almost all major regional centers, but the rest of the time you will have to fly with a transfer. Of the international destinations, Yerevan and Istanbul are the most active. It is curious that there is also local aviation in Sochi: lovers of short flights will be able to go by plane to Krasnodar.

Sochi Airport (IATA:AER). Geographically located in Adler, because only there the mountains move away from the sea a little, and there is a sufficient area for the runway. The airport consists of a single terminal built for the 2014 Olympics. The inside is very nice, spacious and modern. Catering establishments are concentrated in the departure hall before special control: Burger King, Shokoladnitsa, Kroshka Potato (prices are above average for Sochi), Akhun restaurant offering Sochi cuisine (khachapuri - 400 rubles) and home-cooked cafe Babooshka, offering pastries. The most interesting thing here is the exhibition and sale of paintings by Sochi artists. The clean area is no smaller than the departure hall: among the countless fashion stores you will find an expensive coffee shop and a number of expensive cafe-bars, there is no cheap food after special control. Luggage storage: 500 rubles/day. Wi-Fi is fast and free (registration required).

Due to its mountainous location, Sochi Airport is more than usual affected by the weather. Nevertheless, if you have already decided to travel by plane, then you will have to fly either here or to Krasnodar, from where it takes 5-6 hours by train. There are other airports on the Black Sea coast - Anapa, Gelendzhik - but a trip from there to Sochi is unlikely to give you pleasure.

How to get there: from the terminal about 4 km to the center of Adler. You can walk if you wish. Buses/minibuses run to Sochi (105), the center of Adler (135, 173) and Krasnaya Polyana (105, 135). The electric trains launched for the Olympics have been greatly reduced: there are two flights a day to Lazarevskaya and two more to Tuapse.

Taxi services are not organized. At the airport, taxi drivers will pester you all in a row, and they will call prices inadequately high. Better book a taxi in advance. The size of Sochi is huge, the cost of a taxi depends on the distance: to Adler from 300 rubles, to Sochi from 800 rubles, to Krasnaya Polyana from 1200 rubles (2013).

By train
In terms of the number of long-distance trains, Sochi can easily compete with large regional centers. The route network still reminds us that Sochi was once the main resort of the USSR: there is a direct railway connection with Minsk, Kiev, Kaliningrad, the cities of the Urals, Siberia and the Arctic. At least 10 long-distance trains come to Sochi every day, in summer their number doubles. Basically, these are trains from the European part of Russia, following through Rostov-on-Don (8-10 hours), Krasnodar (5-6 hours) and Tuapse (2 hours). There is also a daily night train in the direction of the Caucasus - through Armavir to Mineralnye Vody (10 hours), Kislovodsk and even Vladikavkaz. The journey from Moscow takes 24-30 hours. Plans to launch high-speed trains for the Olympics, reaching Sochi in 15 hours, have successfully failed and, most likely, will never be realized. However, on the occasion of the 2014 Olympics, new trains were launched from Moscow to Sochi with double-decker cars and poor internet.

Suburban communication connects Sochi with Tuapse, where slow electric trains (3-3.5 hours) and express trains (2 hours) go. Some of them are connected to electric trains further north: in this way you can get, for example, to Krasnodar or Maykop (5.5 hours), although there are enough long-distance trains to Krasnodar. Three electric trains go to Abkhazia a day, in the morning, afternoon and evening, the travel time to Gagra is a little less than two hours. You can also use the Moscow-Sukhumi PDS, which here is also a suburban one, but it runs at not the most convenient time.

The railway runs along the coast of the Black Sea. On the territory of the Sochi agglomeration there are a dozen stations and an uncountable number of stopping points. The terminus for all trains (with the exception of the Moscow-Sukhumi train) is Adler. The Abkhaz border is located south of Adler, and all domestic Russian trains go north, passing the entire vast territory of Greater Sochi in 2 hours. Main stations:

Station Adler. A new railway station built for the Olympics in the center of Adler. Free Wi-Fi provided.
Sochi station. Station in the central area of Sochi. Free Wi-Fi provided.
Loo station. In the village of Loo.
Station Lazarevskaya. In the village of Lazarevskoe.

For detailed descriptions of the stations, see the articles about the respective areas.

All trains, without exception, stop at the Sochi station. They also make a stop either in Lazarevskoye or in Loo, and sometimes both there and there. Express trains on Tuapse also stop at some other stations - for example, Dagomys, but slow trains stop everywhere.

By car
From Tuapse along the coast through the whole of Sochi to the Abkhazian border runs the highway M27 / A147. For the road to Tuapse and the northwestern cities of the coast, see the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Territory. In different sections the road is very uneven: somewhere a narrow serpentine through the mountains, and somewhere a normal highway.

The administrative border of Sochi passes in the area of the village of Magri, but from there to the center of Sochi - more than 100 km along a winding serpentine. The most dangerous section of the road is from Tuapse to Dagomys, it is recommended to pass it during the day and in good weather. The locals tend to drive along the serpentine like a highway: keep a safe speed and let the riders pass - stopping pockets are regularly installed on the two-lane serpentine. If you are not an ace of mountain roads, then it is better to leave the car in Tuapse and transfer to the train.

Distances from some cities to Sochi: Moscow - 1660 km, Voronezh - 1150 km, Rostov-on-Don - 570 km, Krasnodar - 300 km, Novorossiysk - 280 km. Usually, the road to Moscow takes 2 days, and to Krasnodar - 5-9 hours, depending on the traffic situation.

By bus
Sochi bus station is located next to the railway station in the very center of Sochi. The second most important bus station is located in Adler.

International bus routes:
Chisinau, Moldova (30 hours, daily, except Friday and Sunday)
Odessa, Ukraine (27 hours, weekly on Sundays)
Sukhum, Abkhazia (4.5 hours, 3 times a day)

Main intercity flights:
Anapa (10 hours, daily, 400 rubles)
Astrakhan (26.5 hours, daily, 1300 rubles)
Krasnodar (8 hours, 2 times a day, 350 rubles)
Maykop (8 hours, 2 times a day, 420 rubles)
Makhachkala (27 hours, daily)
Nalchik (17.5 hours, daily)
Novorossiysk (8.5 hours, daily, 320 rubles)
Rostov-on-Don (12.5 hours, on odd days, 650 rubles)
Stavropol (14 hours, 2 times a day, 750 rubles)

On the ship
With some skill in Sochi, you can sail from other Black Sea ports:
Trabzon (Turkey) - hydrofoils (4.5 hours) and cargo-passenger ferries (12 hours), tel. +7 (8622) 60-98-65, +7 (9882) 33-38-10.
Batumi (Georgia) - hydrofoils (4.5 hours). Perhaps there are also ferries. For reasons that are not entirely clear, only citizens of Russia, Georgia and the CIS countries are transported from Sochi to Batumi.

Tickets are sold at the box office at the sea station. You can and should book by phone. The schedule is unpredictable; depends on the season, weather and other factors. Vessels do not run every day, but in principle you can sail away - even in winter. The price of tickets is high, comparable to the plane. In the summer there are flights to the Abkhazian Gagra (1.5 hours) and to Novorossiysk (3.5 hours) - also hydrofoils, but of some other company.

Sochi is also visited by large ships cruising the Black Sea. Including Russian liners on their way to Crimea, with prices from 25,300 rubles / person for 7 days (2018). The main port is Marine Station 6 in the center of Sochi.



There are no trolleybuses or trams in Sochi, and even the Olympics did not become an occasion for the development of these types of transport. Buses and minibuses have the same numbers and traffic patterns. Two-digit numbers denote city buses inside Sochi (Central District and its immediate environs) or, more rarely, inside Adler. Fare: 22 rubles (2018). Routes with three-digit numbers are suburban, the fare depends on the distance: for example, from Sochi to Adler about 80 rubles (2018).

The main transport hub is located in the center of Sochi: these are railway and bus stations, less often a sea station. From here there is transport in all directions. In the direction of Adler, the main routes are 105C (reaches the Adler railway station, then turns to the airport), 105 (the same goes further to Krasnaya Polyana) and 125P to the Psou post, the border with Abkhazia. In the direction of Lazarevsky bus 155.

By train
The length of Greater Sochi at 105 kilometers makes rail transport unconditionally the best means of transportation. The railway was single-track for a long time, went from Tuapse to Abkhazia and consisted of 5 stations and 28 platforms within the city. In preparation for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russian Railways added two lines, from Adler to the airport and from the Imeretinskaya lowland to Krasnaya Polyana, with a total length of 28 kilometers with 5 new stations and platforms.

On the Tuapse-Adler section, the number of electric trains increases in summer, and on the branch to Krasnaya Polyana - in winter. In the low season, you can count on two or three trains a day to the mountains and 4-6 along the coast. In addition to intra-Sochi electric trains, there are Lastochki to Krasnodar and Maikop, which also make stops at large stations in Greater Sochi. Trains run all along the coast to Adler, stopping at Lazarevsky, Loo, Sochi and Khost, but ticket prices start at 500 rubles, regardless of distance.

There is no light metro, the mention of which the Internet was filled with, in Sochi.


Sochi Travel Destinations

Medieval fortresses and temples: all medieval buildings on the territory of Sochi are poorly preserved. If you are interested in the ruins, you can see the Byzantine temple in Loo, as well as several ruins of fortresses - Gadlik in the village. Volkonka, Khostinskaya in the yew-boxwood grove in Khosta and Achipsinskaya near Krasnaya Polyana. Fragments of walls and towers have been preserved, but information about these objects remains extremely scarce: it is not clear who built them, when and why.

Dolmens, that is, burial and religious buildings of the Bronze Age, have been preserved in Sochi in large numbers. You can find them in the most unexpected places, up to the courtyard in a private house. The most interesting of them is the monolithic Volkonsky dolmen in the Lazarevsky area. The dolmen archaeological culture also includes a huge cult stone in the Kudepsta area, and in general, most of the dolmens in the vicinity of Lazarevsky.

At first glance, going to Sochi for the sake of architecture is a strange undertaking, but a closer look reveals a lot of interesting things here. In the middle of the 19th century, the first settlers had no time for architecture, but as soon as wealthy vacationers buy land in Sochi, interesting and even original projects appear. Many pre-revolutionary buildings in Sochi are built of gray stone, evoking associations with the Transcaucasus. For a resort area, such a dark color and rough material are unusual, although the forms of buildings are always quite light and original. Such, for example, are the library. Pushkin or Zinovieva's dacha in the center of Sochi. It is hardly possible to talk about the established Sochi style, but the local buildings are unlike either the urban architecture of the early 20th century, or the dacha-resort development somewhere in the north near St. Petersburg.

A new stage of construction began in 1926 after Stalin had his first rest in Sochi. The best architects began to work in the city - Shchusev, Merzhanov, Zholtovsky - creating buildings of the capital level here. Sanatorium them. Voroshilov (Khostinsky district) and the Institute of Balneology (Matsesta) are among the best and most elegant monuments of constructivism. Since the early 1930s, it has been replaced by the Stalinist style, in which Sochi is already acting as a flagship: artistic techniques were practiced here, then replicated throughout the Soviet Union: the antique portico of the Sochi Winter Theater (center) turned into colonnades on the facades of hundreds of theaters and palaces culture, and the classical sculptures of the sanatorium. Ordzhonikidze (Khostinsky district) became a characteristic element of the Stalinist Empire style. There are in Sochi both reference examples of the Stalinist style (railway and sea stations in the Central District), and bizarre deviations from the usual architecture of that time - an observation tower stylized as the Middle Ages on Mount Akhun (Khostinsky district), Nikolai Ostrovsky's house (center) in the style of art deco or dacha of Stalin (Matsesta), which is generally out of time and style.

Another construction boom began in Sochi in the mid-2000s after the decision was made to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the city. Although it is still difficult to judge the artistic merit of the new buildings, the Olympic Park in Adler, the development of Krasnaya Polyana and the remodeling in the center of Sochi are a cross-section of modern Russian architecture. It's interesting to look at them.

Monuments: Among the traditional set of monuments of the Soviet period, Sochi has several original monuments worth seeing. Among them are an anchor and a cannon in honor of the victory in the Russian-Turkish war, monuments of the Second World War - Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, "Feat for the sake of life" - a monument to the medical staff of Sochi - and a singing fountain on Kurortny Prospekt, one of the first color and musical fountains in the USSR (all in the central region).

Most of the territory of Sochi is occupied not by urban development, but by mountains. The Sochi natural zone is very unusual. Although there are mountains, the sea and subtropics in several places on the Black Sea coast (Crimea, Abkhazia, Batumi), only Sochi and partly in Abkhazia have preserved massifs of the Colchis forest - ancient thickets of oaks, boxwoods and yews, under which ferns grow. The most important natural object is the protected yew-boxwood grove (Khosta), part of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO monument. It is a must to get there.

Many natural sights of Sochi are cultivated and belong to the Sochi National Park. You can walk along the paths and follow the signs, but you will have to pay for the entrance.

Mountains - the most popular and convenient peak for conquering is Mount Akhun (663 m above sea level, Khostinsky district), where you can go by transport, or you can climb on foot. Any peaks in the vicinity of Sochi are suitable for climbing, although you won’t see anything from most of them: everything is overgrown with forest. Look for good viewpoints in Krasnaya Polyana, where it is easy to climb above 1500-1700 m on the lift - alpine meadows and dizzying panoramas begin there. Fans of mountain tourism should immediately go to the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve: all more or less serious peaks belong to it.

There are waterfalls and rocky mountain gorges all over Sochi. Especially popular are the so-called 33 waterfalls in the vicinity of Loo, but in general you will always find some beautiful waterfall within a radius of 5-10 km from any coastal village. The road to Krasnaya Polyana passes through the gorge of the Mzymta River: this in itself is a very beautiful place, where there are also waterfalls.

Caves: most of the caves in Sochi are located in the vicinity of Vorontsovka in the Khostinsky district. Akhshtyrskaya cave is located not far from Adler, on the road to Krasnaya Polyana.

Parks: There are two large and interesting botanical gardens in Sochi - the Sochi Arboretum (Khostinsky District) and the Southern Cultures Park in Adler.

Mineral springs: the history of Sochi as a resort began not from the sea and not from the mountains, but from the hydrogen sulfide springs of Matsesta. In the village of Chvizhepse between Adler and Krasnaya Polyana there is a source of narzan "Bear's Corner", the water from which is supplied to the coastal sanatorium and sold in bottles. In the upper reaches of the Mzymta, in the vicinity of Krasnaya Polyana, there is the Pslukhsky spring and a whole valley of Narzans - the Engelmanov Polyana.

Dendrarium or Arboretum

Sochi Discovery World Aquarium

Winter Theatre

Town History Museum

Art Museum

Ostrich Farm "Three Sophias"


Mayak (Lighthouse) Water Park

Luna Park

Sochi Circus

Michael Archangel Cathedral

Iversky Church


Caucasian Mountains around Sochi

Vorontsovskaya Cave


What to do

Recreation on the water
Beaches: due to the proximity to the mountains, the beaches in Sochi are rocky, consisting of pebbles of different sizes. You will have to enter the sea on large slippery stones, and a small wave can overturn you on these stones - for this reason, the sandy beaches of Anapa and its environs are better suited for families with children. Nevertheless, the advantages of pebble beaches are that you can do without a sunbed and, after swimming in the sea, dry off and sunbathe right on the pebbles, and after that you don’t have to look for a shower to wash off the sand. On the sanatorium Sochi beaches, a descent into the water is equipped and sandy strips are filled.

In Sochi, there are official and wild beaches: the official ones have basic infrastructure - changing cabins, toilets, lifeguards are often on duty and there is a fresh shower; all this is compensated by overcrowding and the cries of peddlers. On wild beaches there is neither infrastructure nor traders, and there are noticeably fewer vacationers. Please note that during the season, the central beaches - paid and free, even inconvenient and without basic infrastructure - are always crowded, and in order to get to the water, you will have to step over the bodies. Look for options away from the center of the village and large resorts. However, by 2017 there were practically no wild beaches left.

According to reviews, the best beaches are located in the village. Golovinka of the Lazarevsky district (one of the few natural sandy beaches), in the Mamaika microdistrict of the central district (the paid beach of the Oktyabrsky sanatorium is especially recommended) and the Dolphin beach in Loo.

Water parks: there are small water parks in the central area and in Khost; in Adler the complex is larger, and in Lazarevsky there are two water parks. The largest water park in Sochi, which also operates year-round, is Aqua-Loo in Loo.

Holidays in the mountains
Thanks to the 2014 Olympics, Sochi (more precisely, the settlement of Esto-Sadok) has become the largest ski resort in Russia. There are three separate ski resorts in Esto-Sadok: Gazprom, Gornaya Karusel and Rosa Khutor: in total, this is more than 100 km of ski slopes and several dozen lifts. It cannot be said that the complexes are very close, but they are within walking distance from each other. It makes sense not to buy a ski pass at once for the entire stay: try to ride on all three complexes and choose the one where there are fewer people and better slopes. Judging by the reviews, by Russian standards, the quality of the tracks is not bad (much better than in the resorts of the North Caucasus), but does not reach the level of Georgia and Bukovel. As with any resort, accommodation near the ski lifts is very expensive. The alternatives are to live in Krasnaya Polyana and find transport to the ski lifts, or live in Adler (it is quite inexpensive in winter) and take the train to Rosa Khutor.

The Sochi Mountains are not only ski slopes in winter, but also mountain tourism routes in summer. The popular route from Adygea through Fisht to the Black Sea ends in the Lazarevsky district. Fisht itself is located within the administrative boundaries of Sochi - the highest peak of the Western Caucasus, which requires certain training and equipment to climb. If heavy backpacks and spending the night in a tent are not for you, pay attention to the Aibga and Achishkho mountains surrounding Krasnaya Polyana: it will take half a day to visit them. However, many of these routes may be closed even in summer, so check availability in advance. Do not forget that most of the mountains are located on the territory of the Caucasus Reserve, and a pass is required to visit them.

Museums, exhibitions, festivals
Oceanariums: There are small aquariums in the city center and in Matsesta, clearly inferior to the Sochi Discovery World Aquarium in Adler and the Tropical Amazon in Lazarevsky, both of which claim to be the largest in Russia. In Adler, you can go through an acrylic tunnel through an aquarium, and in Lazarevskaya, you can look at penguins.

Museums: There are no national museums in Sochi. If you are tired of a beach holiday, you can visit Stalin's dacha in Khost, the house-museum of Nikolai Ostrovsky in the central region, or the ethnographic museum "Adyge Shapsug Manor" in the vicinity of Lazarevsky.

Kinotavr is an open Russian film festival that has been held since 1990. The largest festival with the stars of Russian cinema.



The range of local products is not much different from other cities in the Krasnodar Territory: you can buy Krasnodar tea, Russian and Abkhaz wines, Temryuk brandy. It is better to buy alcohol in chain supermarkets.

Main supermarket chains:
"Magnet" - a federal network of grocery stores of the lowest price range;
"Kairos" - a local chain of stores in Sochi, operating around the clock;
Perekrestok is a federal network of larger and slightly more expensive supermarkets;
Pyaterochka is a federal chain of grocery stores familiar to all Russians;
"OK" is a chain of high quality supermarkets.

Shopping as such is concentrated in Central Sochi and Adler; in other villages there are much fewer shops. There are many ATMs in Sochi, especially in Central Sochi and Adler.



Sochi catering is quite diverse, but still focused on the resort public. Interesting restaurants, original cafes and cozy coffee houses can be found only in the center of Sochi. Nice places can also be found in Lazarevsky, Adler and Krasnaya Polyana, although the latter is unlikely to please you with low prices. Throughout the rest of the territory, count on canteens and cafes without frills - from beach eateries with an indispensable barbecue to establishments that claim their own style, but most often do not have it.

Canteens are usually cheap and offer a standard Russian set (borscht, hodgepodge, meatballs, zrazy, pork chops and the list goes on), lunch will cost 100-150 rubles (2014). If you want something special, eat souvlaki - this is a Greek dish (a tribute to the Greeks who lived in Adler), consisting of pieces of meat fried over a fire, laid in a flat cake along with salad, sauce and french fries (find three differences from shawarma - it tastes like it). Souvlachnye are found everywhere in Sochi and are popular with local residents. Usually these are simple but clean cafes that also offer shawarma and pizza. More expensive than in the dining room, but colorful.

It is worth paying attention to fish dishes: trout in Sochi is local, from its own trout farm (see Adler), Black Sea fish (scad, flounder, red mullet) are nearby, and mussels are always at hand. In terms of meat dishes, Caucasian dishes are very common, that is, shish kebab is offered everywhere, and many cafes and even canteens have a good selection of Georgian cuisine. Remember that in the most popular places, especially in summer on the embankments, cases of light fraud are common, when the price for main dishes is imperceptibly indicated per 100 grams, and not per dish - in reality, you will have to pay 3-4 times more. Most often this happens with barbecue.

There are a lot of fruits in Sochi all year round. You need to buy them at the market, where you will also find colorful and tasty sweets like churchkhela (nuts in thickened grape juice).

Sochi and the Black Sea coast in general are an expanse for lovers of cheap low-quality alcoholic beverages. Wines of Kuban stores are found everywhere and offer local wine both in bottles and on tap, and you can skip a glass right in the store. Although you will not find any bouquet of aromas or exquisite taste in Krasnodar wine, you can taste endlessly: there are a lot of varieties, and the effect of sweet wine is strong. You will also meet local cognac (“Temryuksky”, produced in Taman) and Abkhazian wine, which, however, is now common in other regions of Russia.

If wine is made in other parts of the Krasnodar Territory, then tea is a local Sochi product: it does not grow anywhere else in Russia, although it is sold everywhere. However, opinions about the quality of Krasnodar tea vary.


Night life

During the holiday season, there is no shortage of nightlife - however, its quality varies greatly. The level of pathos and prices rises as you get closer to the city center. The most common form of evening entertainment are discos and bars. In the center of Sochi and in Adler there are nightclubs where rock concerts are often held - if you believe the reviews, they are not bad.

Most cafes and restaurants - even at below average prices - consider it their duty to provide live music in the evenings. At the same time, in cheaper establishments, the performance will be exceptionally mediocre.

Recently (2016) a casino was officially opened in Krasnaya Polyana.



Sochi has an extremely high (that is, from the point of view of the client unfavorable) price / quality ratio in many areas of service. On the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, since Soviet times, they believe that you will not get away from them anywhere and will pay as much as they say for services whose quality is lower than you would like. Get ready for it.

As a rule, the cheapest accommodation is in the Lazarevsky district, and in the center of Sochi the most expensive. However, do not be too lazy to carefully study the market. Prices are very dependent on the season: the “low season” usually starts on October 1 and ends on May 1, May and June are the time of increased prices, and from July to September prices increase 1.5-2 times compared to winter ones. The exception is Krasnaya Polyana, where everything is the opposite: cheap in summer (April-October), expensive in winter, and the peak of prices comes on New Year's holidays. This guide usually contains winter (for Krasnaya Polyana, respectively, summer) prices, which are easier to compare with each other, since the rest of the time the cost is determined not so much by the level of comfort as by the greed and impudence of a particular hotel.

On the coast, if you wish, you can find a room for two for 1000-1500 rubles even in summer (2014). Krasnaya Polyana is more expensive; summer prices start at 1500 rubles, but in winter you can hardly settle for less than 2000-2500 rubles.

One of the main forms of residence is renting housing in the private sector. All coastal villages are full of advertisements for renting apartments and rooms, right at the station you will be met by crowds of agents and barkers. Somewhere far from the sea, prices can be quite low, and the level of comfort is quite acceptable. However, remember that infrastructure and communications have never been Sochi's strong point, so there are problems with hot water in private homes: ask and check. It is hot in Sochi in summer, so if air conditioning is important to you, also take an interest in this issue in advance.

The hotel services market is also very wide, but somewhat unusual for Russia. Hostels exist in sufficient numbers. More common are private mini-hotels, which are similar to hostels, but do not contain multi-bed rooms and rather offer ordinary double rooms with a minimum of amenities. Such hotels will be the best options for inexpensive accommodation. Large official hotels are much more expensive and not always better: of course, in a four-star hotel you can count on a good breakfast, air conditioning in the room, and even a swimming pool in the courtyard, but it will also cost like a hotel in Moscow. But in the price range of 1500-2500 rubles (in winter) you can get into something unattractive, frankly losing to private hotels.

Boarding houses and sanatoriums are a separate side of the Sochi market. Both those and others offer vouchers with accommodation, three meals a day and treatment, but in boarding houses only accommodation is paid, which reduces the price by half, the rest is at the request of the client. Many sanatoriums have been renovated and look very modern, meals are organized on a buffet basis. However, there are also vestiges of the Soviet era. For active and independent travelers, sanatoriums are also of interest, since for a basic price (accommodation only) you can get access to a good beach, as well as a swimming pool and a gym.



Among all the cities of the Russian province, Sochi has the largest number of mobile operators: MTS, Beeline, MegaFon, Tele 2, Rostelecom (works only in the 3G / UMTS standard), Skylink (works in the CDMA450 standard). In addition, two operators - Yota and MegaFon - offer 4G (LTE) communications.

Finding Wi-Fi in Sochi is also not difficult: in addition to restaurants and shopping malls, the city has a network of Beeline Wifi hot spots.


Precautionary measures

The Krasnodar Territory is the safest region in the North Caucasus. The level of crime in Sochi does not particularly stand out, but, as they say, there are dark nights in the city of Sochi. In crowded places and on the beach, keep an eye on your belongings.

In the summer, it is recommended to use sunscreen.

In no case do not swallow sea water, it may contain rotavirus and other intestinal infections. In case of symptoms (vomiting, fever, diarrhea), consult a doctor.



During the USSR, Abkhazia was part of the South, after the collapse of the USSR, a civil war with Georgia took place here, as a result of which Abkhazia declared its independence. This was supported by Russia, but most countries did not recognize independence from Tbilisi.

Abkhazia is relatively small in size, and you can easily drive all over it in a weekend, but it's worth staying longer in Abkhazia. The monastery and cave in New Athos, as well as Lake Ritsa on the Black Sea coast, are worth spending more time on them alone.

From the Russian side, you can only go to Sochi. The transition is located in the village of Vesele - this is the southern part of Adler. The border can be crossed on foot or by car or bus. From Abkhazia, minibuses to Sukhumi and other cities will be waiting - a cheap option to discover Abkhazia. You can also take a ride from Sochi by train, and by ferry.

Citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a foreign passport to cross. For children, a birth certificate and the presence of one of the two parents when crossing the border are required. Keep in mind that if foreigners are traveling with you, then a visa to Russia must necessarily provide for multiple entries.

The region, surrounded on all sides by the Krasnodar Territory, is a national republic, for some reason underestimated by the attention of tourists. There you can look at the waterfalls, go rafting, skiing in Lagonaki. It should also be emphasized that, after the Krasnodar Territory, Adygea is the second safest region in the Caucasus regions.

Maykop, the capital of Adygea, can be reached by train (every day, travel time - 6 hours), or by bus (1-2 every day, 8 hours), by car you can drive through Tuapse.

Caucasian Biosphere Reserve
Nature reserve, the second largest in Europe, and the largest in the Caucasus. Passes along the border of the Krasnodar Territory, Adygea and Karachay-Cherkessia, including part of Greater Sochi (Khosta and Krasnaya Polyana), borders on the Sochi National Park.

The Caucasian Biosphere Reserve is rich in biodiversity, has no analogues in value in Russia and in the world, for which it was included in the UNESCO heritage list. More details can be found on the reserve's website.

There are two independent zones of the reserve: the yew-boxwood grove in Khosta and the wild animal center in Krasnaya Polyana. To visit the rest of the territory, you need to obtain permission by submitting a list of visitors, passport details and copies of passports and indicating the days of visit, etc. Admission is 150 rubles for adults and 50 rubles for children.

In Sochi, permission can be obtained at the reserve's office at the address: Adler, st. Karl Marx, 8, office 10.

Another resort city, which is located northwest of Sochi, is one of the popular summer vacation spots for Russians. In Gelendzhik, you can relax and discover wildlife. The Gelendzhik water park is the largest in the country, and there are very beautiful views nearby. The International Naval Aviation Conference is also held every two years.

Gelendzhik is a transit point for some buses from Sochi (4-5 daily). The duration of the trip is approximately 5 and a half hours. The Sea Flight ferry from Sochi to Novorossiysk also stops in Gelendzhik.

The third largest city in the Krasnodar Territory, the largest Russian port on the Black Sea and the center of the cement industry in the South of Russia. Most of the sights date back to World War II, when Novorossiysk was the center of one of the key battles. The most famous monuments are Malaya Zemlya, the Defense Line and Death Valley.

The environs of Novorossiysk provide beautiful nature of the canopy of the Caucasus. Among the natural wonders is Lake Abrau, the largest in the North Caucasus. Nearby is the Abrau-Dyurso winery, the center of Russian winemaking - sparkling wines are made there. There are tours to the factory with tasting of different wines. There are many different beaches nearby.

There are many ways to get from Sochi to Novorossiysk. Buses run every day and take 8.5 hours. The high-speed ferry "Sea Flight" operates from May to October and spends 5 hours on the way. It costs from 1800 to 2700 rubles. The train will have to get through Krasnodar, long and expensive.

Another important Russian port on the Black Sea and the closest neighbor of Greater Sochi. An industrial center and a major transport hub, so tourists are not very common there. But, in any case, Tuapse is worth a day trip. After a short walk in the center, you should pay attention to the surrounding sights. There are several beautiful mountains, waterfalls and preserved dolmens.

You can get to Tuapse by any train or train from Sochi towards Tuapse. There are also frequent bus routes, the travel time is 2.5 hours.


Name etymology

The settlement formed in 1869 already had the name Sochi.

The name Sochi refers to the city and the river flowing into the Black Sea in the Central District of the city of Sochi.

There is a wide range of variations of the toponym (and, accordingly, the hydronym) Sochi in various sources: Sochi, Socha and Suchali; Sasha, Sadsha and Zutsha at Belle's; Sochi or Sasha; Sochi, Sasha and Sochips; Sfeshi (river) and Sshashe (village) (Shapsug variant); Shasha; Sahi, Suchal and Sasha, in other sources - Shashe, Sshatche, Sochipse. According to Bgazhba Kh.S., in the Ubykh language the name of the river Sochi sounded like Sshacha, and in Abkhazian - Shacha. But for the first time, local names (ethnonyms) are mentioned by Evliya Celebi, a Turkish traveler, who in 1641 describes the Sadshe tribe (Turk. Sadşe), next to it mentions the Suça tribe.

Valuysky V. M. identifies the names Sadsha and Sudzha and writes that the Sudzha tract unites: Shlabistaga - on the right bank of the river. Sochi, slightly above the mouth (apparently, the lower part of the valley of the Khludovsky stream, the right tributary of the Sochi River); R. Hokocha (stream Vereshchaginka); R. Sochepa or Sochapa (Rotten); auls of Arlan - in the upper reaches of the Sochapa and Bzugu rivers. Flavius Arrian in 137 on the site of the modern river. Sochi calls the river Masaitika, and Pseudo-Arrian in the 5th century. writes about the Masetika River, in these most ancient names of the modern river known to us. Sochi, we apparently have a two-part stem "ma" and "saiti-seti"), and the second root is very consonant with the toponym "Sochi". This similarity will be even more complete if we take into account that in the Latin alphabet there is no letter for the sound “ch” and it could be denoted through a more deaf “T” (cf. the back sound “tch” is characteristic of the Ubykh language). The first part of this name "ma" is close to the Adyghe and Ubykh mia (mea) - "apple tree".

The ethnonyms Sochi and Sadsha are used as synonyms in many historical sources. Their decoding can be carried out on the basis of the vocabulary of the Ubykh language. The ethnonym Sochi has no translation, but its synonym “sadsha” is very close to the Ubykh “sshdshe” in the meaning of “sea” and “by the sea”. There is reason to believe that this term served in the distant past as the basis for the name and self-name of the tribe "sadsha" "seaside (living by the sea) tribe." The ethnonym "sadsha", changing over the centuries, by the middle of the 19th century. entrenched; somewhat transformed, behind the Abaza tribe of sadzes (jigets), who until the end of the Caucasian War (1864) occupied the coast between Khosta and Gagra, and the Ubykh-Abaza tribe of sache, who lived in the coastal strip of the interfluve of Sochi-Khosta (see in Ubykh "sshe" - abbreviated form of "descended" - "sea"). Probably, the subsequent names of Socha and Sochi are the Abaza version of the Ubykh "sachet" in the same meaning "living by the sea." The ethnonym Sasha - Socha - Sochi gave the name to the river and the settlement at its mouth.

Sh. D. Inal-Ipa notes that Sochi-Socha in Abkhazian sounds like Shvacha, and suggests that this is a lost personal or family name. However, the Abkhazians called the Abaza ashvua and ashvy, that is, in the Abkhazian name of the Sochi-Shvacha river, we see the basis of the shvy-shvua in the meaning of "Abaza". According to the Sochi local historian V. M. Valuysky, the syllable "cha" is characteristic of the end of the Abkhaz and Abaza geographical names of mountains, rivers, villages. Apparently, the syllable "cha" acquired the meaning of the suffix of belonging (place). So, in the Adyghe language the word chape is translated directly as "place". In this case, the Abkhazian Shvacha literally translates as "the place of the Abaza", and for the river - "the river (valley) of the Abaza". K. A. Gordon recalls the Abazinsky Boulevard in Sochi at the beginning of the 20th century. On the plan of Sochi, attached to the guide of G. G. Moskvich (1912), on the site of the modern street. Kubanskaya street is shown. Abaza, if we take into account that the ethnonym Abaza-Abaza comes from the Ubykh bzi, that is, “living near the water” (by the sea), then we come to the same conclusion as when deciphering the toponym Sochi based on the Ubykh language. Such convergence of translations in two different, but related languages of the peoples who lived in the neighborhood for a long time cannot be accidental and indicates the correct application of the methods of historical ethnography and comparative linguistics in identifying the etymology of toponyms on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Khan Giray, listing the Circassian tribal and clan names, mentions the family of free farmers Sashekkor, who lived south of Ordan. The well-known Kabardian ethnographer and historian of the middle of the last century, Sh. B. Nogmov, based on legends, wrote about the ancestor of the Kabardian princes, Inal, that he arrived in Kabarda from the Black Sea coast, where the Abaza Ashe and Shashe enjoyed special patronage. L. I. Lavrov connects these names with the Abkhazian princely surnames Achba and Chachba. Comparing the remarks of Sh. D. Inal-Ip about the possibility of preserving the generic name in the name of Sochi, Lavrov cites the testimony of the bzhedukh Lakshoko Alkhas that the bzhedukhs remember dividing them into two sub-tribes: Khamyshevtsy (khamysh) and Chercheneevtsy (Chechenay) and that that both, according to legend, used to live in the vicinity of present-day Sochi. About the Khamysh society, on the site of the modern. Khosta, in 1835 F.F. Thornau wrote. Mount Akhun on the map of Dorovatovsky (1911) was called Khamysh-Okhun. Let us also pay attention to the similarity of the ethnonym Chechenai and the Abkhaz-Abaza variants of the name of Sochi: Shacha (Shvacha) and Sshache. The above parallels once again confirm the probability of the ethnonymic basis of the toponym Sochi.

An interesting etymology is offered by M. K. Teshev. Sochi in Khakuchi is called Shache, in Shapsug - Shashe. At the same time, Teshev considers the Khakuchi version borrowed from Ubykh and translates it on the basis of the Ubykh language: she “head”, che “sell”, that is, “sell the head” or “the place where the head (of people) is sold”, while che and hakuchinski means "sell". The Shapsug version of the toponym - Shashe has the same translation: from the Ubykh. she "head" and shaps. she "sell"; that is, "a place where the head (of people) is sold." The conditions for the emergence of such a name do not contradict known historical facts - the slave trade on the Black Sea coast existed until the beginning of the 19th century.

Valuysky cites information from an article by Sh. Chukho in the Sochi newspaper Krasnoe Znamya dated March 27, 1960, that one of the forms of the name of the river. Sochi - Sshyche (unknown in historical sources). According to Sh. Chukho, in the Old Shapsug dialect, sshi means "brother", and whose - "without", that is, "a river without a tributary". However, such a translation belongs to the model of "folk etymologies". If we translate from the Shapsug dialect, then we must proceed from the Shapsug variants of the name: Ssha-she, Shashe, Sfeshi. In addition, the Sochi River already at the mouth has a right tributary with a wide valley, the Khludovsky (Shlabistaga) stream, not to mention others (Ats, Agva, Ushkha, Azhek, etc.). M. V. Valuysky also reports that the Black Sea Shapsugs had a misconception (based on the similarity of sound) that the name of Sochi is associated with the Adyghe name of horse racing, the so-called Sh'ache , which were previously carried out on the vast plain of the left estuary of the Sochi River. I. A. Javakhishvili in 1939 translated the name of Sochi on the basis of the Georgian language as “fir”. In 1956, Anchabadze and Bgazhba, although they repeated that the name Socha in the form Socha really means “fir” in Georgian, they suggested that it was rather derived from the Abkhaz-Ubykh form Sheacha, which is the ethnic name of one of the subdivisions of the Ubykh tribe. Valuysky in 1966, following Anchabadze and Kh. independent grammatical structure), known by many authors as Sasha, Sasha, Shasha, Sshacha, Sadsha, Sheacha.

Some people derive the etymology of the word "Sochi" from the Adyghe Sette, which means - I give, I give. In the Adyghe language, the word Shache has been preserved without phonetic changes. Shapsugs and today the city of Sochi is called Shaache.


Physical and geographical characteristics

Geographical position

The city is located at about 43 degrees north latitude, that is, approximately at the geographical latitude of Nice, Alma-Ata, Toronto and Vladivostok. The coordinates of the city of Sochi (Main Post Office) - 43 ° 35′07 ″ s. sh., 39°43′13″ E e. The natural boundaries of the city (fixed by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR of February 11, 1961):

from the southwest - the Black Sea;
from the east - the Psou River and the upper reaches of the Mzymta River;
from the north - the Main and Dividing Ranges of the Western Caucasus;
from the west - the interfluve of the Magri and Shepsi rivers (behind it - the territory of the Tuapse district and the city of Tuapse itself).
The most important factors that attract tourists to Sochi are: warm subtropical climate; sea, mineral springs, proximity to mountains, developed tourist and recreational infrastructure. The virgin Colchis forests of the Western Caucasus on the territory of the city (Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve) are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The length of the city of Sochi along the Black Sea coast (from northwest to southeast) is about 99 km, the total length of the Sochi urban district, including all 4 districts and the part of the Black Sea water area assigned to the district, is 140 km. In terms of its territory, the resort city of Sochi surpasses 28 states, including, for example, such a country as Luxembourg.

The area of settlements (in all districts of the city) of Sochi is 176.77 km², the total area (within the urban district of the resort city of Sochi) is 3506 km².

Of the total area of ​​the resort city of 3502 km², 81% falls on specially protected territories and objects (Caucasian Natural Biosphere Reserve, Sochi Republican State Nature Reserve, Sochi National Park). More than 80% of the city's territory is occupied by vegetation, which is represented in a wide range of altitudinal zoning: from subtropical forests to glacial highlands. Settlements located on the territory of the resort city account for 8.1% of the city's land fund. Lands of the forest fund occupy 6.2%, agricultural land - 4.2%, industry, energy, transport, communications - 0.3% and land of the water fund - 0.03% of the land fund. Sochi is located in the MSK time zone (Moscow time). The offset of the applicable time from UTC is +3:00.



The Sochi region and the Black Sea coast adjacent to it have an ancient history, as evidenced by archaeological finds in the region. Pre-antique times, antiquity, the early and late Middle Ages, the Soviet and post-Soviet periods left their traces here.

The first Russian settlement on the territory of Sochi was formed in 1838. On April 13 (April 25) of the same year, the Russian squadron landed troops near the mouth of the Sochi River, which founded Fort Alexandria, named after Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Later, the fort began to be called Navaginsky - in honor of the unsuccessful landing of the Navaginsky regiment, which landed first, in the amount of 300 people. The first landing was lost due to the impossibility of re-landing (bad weather conditions). Only on the second attempt did they manage to capture the bridgehead. And now one of the central streets of Sochi is called Navaginskaya. Part of the wall of Fort Navaginsky has been preserved. It is located on Hellinsky Spusk, in the courtyard of the building of the former Politidi house, which housed a clinic in Soviet times.

Early history
Based on the similarity of the oldest known flint tools in the Caucasian Black Sea region, it is assumed that the first people penetrated the vicinity of Sochi through Colchis from Asia Minor 400-350 thousand years ago, that is, in the early Acheulean era. The oldest traces of human habitation were found in the vicinity of Khosta, the left-bank and right-bank parts of the lower reaches of the Mzymta and on the right bank of the Psou. The most famous site of the Stone Age is the Akhshtyrskaya cave, inhabited 250 thousand years ago. In the third millennium BC, the tribes of the Maikop culture lived here, which was replaced by the dolmen culture, which existed here for more than a thousand years.

Hence, according to the Assyrian sources of the VIII-VII centuries. BC, the Cimmerians came to the countries of the Near East and Asia Minor. The earliest state formation on the territory of Gagra was Colchis (XII century BC). Ancient Colchis was located along the eastern coast of the Black Sea (the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus), occupying the Colchis lowland and adjacent areas. Colchians were the main population of the state and the historical region. In 335 BC. Pseudo-Skilak, one of the oldest ancient geographers, names the tribes of the Achaeans and Geniokhs living on the coast from modern Gelendzhik to Great Dioscuria.

Greek colonization of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus began around the 6th-5th centuries. BC e. with the advent of city-states that actively traded with the geniokhs. Around 85 B.C. the tribes of the Heniochs and Colchis fall under the dependence of the Pontic kingdom. In 74 BC. geniokhs act as allies of the king of the Pontic kingdom Mithridates VI Eupator in the war with Rome. In 66 BC. having spent the winter in Dioscuriades, Mithridates VI Eupator passed through the land of the Heniochs, who friendly accepted him, but put the Achaeans to flight and pursued.

In the 1st-5th centuries A.D. Roman colonization of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus takes place. In the 1st century A.D. e. the geographer of antiquity Strabo, in describing the shores of the Black Sea, mentions the Achaeans, Zikhs and Geniokhs living on the coast from modern Gelendzhik-Tuapse to modern Adler-Pitsunda. According to Strabo, the Geniochs were known to the ancient world as pirates. Aristotle argued that geniokhs were cannibals.

Early Middle Ages
After a series of wars between Byzantium and Persia, which were generally unsuccessful for Byzantium, Emperor Justinian managed to sign an agreement in 562, according to which the Western Caucasus fell under the influence of the Byzantine state. The military and cultural influence of Byzantium on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus began.

It is Justinian who is credited by popular tradition with Christianization, although in reality this happened a little earlier. Thus, the name of Bishop Damian of the Zichs is among the signatures of the Council of Constantinople in 526. At the beginning of the 9th century, Egrisi-Lazika, together with the intensified Abazgia, formed the Abkhazian kingdom. According to the Georgian chronicles, King Leon II divided his kingdom into eight principalities: Abkhazia proper, Tskhumi, Bedia, Guria, Racha and Lechkhumi, Svanetia, Argveti and Kutaisi, Sochi was within the eristaviate of Abkhazia. The period of the strongest direct Byzantine influence on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus lasted from the 6th to the beginning of the 8th century. In the second half of the 8th century, while retaining its political influence, Byzantium was forced to recognize the Abkhazian kingdom. In 844, Byzantium, trying to regain dominance over the Abkhazian kingdom, sent numerous troops by sea. But the Byzantine fleet was battered by a storm even before the landing, and the troops that reached the coast were defeated, losing a total of up to 40 thousand people. After that, Byzantium abandoned its attempts to enslave the Abkhazian kingdom.

By the middle of the X century. The Abkhazian kingdom reaches the greatest expansion of its borders: it covers the entire Western and a significant part of Eastern Georgia, and in the north it extends along the Black Sea coast up to the region of modern Anapa. In Lower Kartli, it reached the city of Samshvilde, and also conquered the southern part of Tao-Klarjeti, since 1008 the Abkhazian kingdom has been transformed into the United Georgian Kingdom.

In the XI-XIII centuries. there is a cultural upsurge in Georgia. This is the time of David the Builder (1089-1125), the time of further active construction of temples both in Georgia and in the Black Sea region. Georgian queen Tamara (1184-1212), Rusudan (1212-1227) tried to strengthen their influence among the Adygs by spreading Christianity. The name of Queen Tamara was extremely popular among all the highlanders of the Caucasus. Part of the Circassians were religiously subordinate to the Georgian Church.

The earliest church on the territory of Sochi was a basilica (a rectangular building elongated from west to east) on the territory of the Southern Cultures state farm in Adler, which was destroyed in 1954 during the construction of a water supply system. Supposedly built in the 6th century. The monument was examined at different times by the candidates of historical sciences L. N. Solovyov and N. V. Anfimov. The earliest items that make it possible to date the monument are pre-altar plates with carvings on both sides. On one side of the slab, crosses with almost equal ends are carved, similar in shape to those found in the excavations of the Pitsunda temple. Based on this similarity, L.N. Solovyov dated the construction of the monument to the 6th century. This definition is confirmed by him also by the fact that the crosses are taken in a rhombic frame and by the fact that the marble slabs are made of Constantinopolitan marble. The most active construction of temples unfolded in the X-XII centuries. It coincided with the peak of the development of the Byzantine Empire and with the formation of a centralized state in Georgia. The same period saw the flourishing of caravan trade in the Caucasus. Quite often, researchers of the history of Christianity in the Caucasus point to the proximity of temples and monasteries to important trade routes and pass paths.

Temples in Khost, Lesnoy, Kashtany, Loo, on Mount Akhun, under Mount Ephraim and others are attributed to the XI-XII centuries in Sochi. The most remote from the coast temple in Deep Yar was surrounded by a powerful fortress wall, which probably indicates that deeper into the mountains, Christians were not treated very kindly. Shortly after the division of the churches, Catholic missionaries appeared in the Caucasus. To replace the Byzantines in the XIII and XIV centuries. come the Genoese, who owned a number of trading posts on the Black Sea coast. Kafa in the Crimea becomes the center of their activity. The prefect of Kafa D'Ascoli sent the missionary D. de Lucca to the Circassians. The Genoese colonization also had some influence on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. In general, the medieval history of Sochi has been studied extremely poorly and insufficiently.

transitional period
Until the second half of the 19th century, on the territory of Greater Sochi - from Vardane to the Kudepsta River - lived a warlike Caucasian people - the Ubykhs. Their number, according to various estimates, was 50-150 thousand people. Their main occupation was cattle breeding, agriculture, gardening, slave trade, piracy. As a result of the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829, according to the Adrianople peace treaty, the entire eastern coast of the Black Sea from the Kuban River to the St. Nicholas Pier, including the area of modern Sochi, departs to the Russian Empire. In order to suppress the sale of weapons to the highlanders and stop the slave trade within the borders of the Russian Empire established by the Adrianople Peace Treaty, fortifications of the Black Sea coastline were installed on the coast. After the successful measures taken by Prince Baryatinsky to pacify the mountaineers of the Western Caucasus, a movement of "Muhajirs" unfolded throughout the region. Agitators from among the fanatical Islamic clergy urged the highlanders to move to the "fellow faith" Ottoman Empire. The result of this was the depopulation of the entire Western Caucasus, the population of the central and eastern Caucasus and Crimea was significantly reduced. Whole villages left for Turkey. The resettlement was spontaneous. A significant number of settlers died during it. At present, according to rough estimates, there are up to 500 thousand descendants of the Caucasian "Muhajirs" in Turkey, and the same number are scattered throughout the countries of the Middle East and the Maghreb.

On June 24 (July 6), 1861, Alexander II issued a rescript addressed to the chief ataman of the Kuban Cossack army, Adjutant General Evdokimov, in which he very clearly outlined the course for the complete expulsion of non-peaceful Circassians and the annexation of their country. In the rescript, Alexander wrote:
“Now, with God's help, the cause of the complete conquest of the Caucasus is close to completion. There remain several years of persistent efforts to completely oust the hostile highlanders from the fertile countries they occupy and permanently establish a Russian Christian population in these latter.

New time
The city of Sochi was founded on April 21 (May 3), 1838 as Fort Alexandria. During the Caucasian War, the fortification of the Holy Spirit was also founded on the territory of present-day Sochi (in 1837, which laid the foundation for the future Adler), forts Lazarevsky and Golovinsky (1839), which later became the villages of Lazarevskoye and Golovinka. The purpose of the fortifications is to suppress the slave trade and the smuggling of weapons to the highlanders. In 1839, Fort Alexandria was renamed Navaginskoye fortification. During the Crimean War, the garrisons on the coast were taken to Novorossiysk, as the Anglo-French squadron under the command of Admiral Edmund Lyons entered the Black Sea. In 1864 the fortification was rebuilt as Post Dakhovsky. From 1874 - Dakhovsky Posad, from 1896 - Sochi (after the name of the Sochi River, on the banks of which the settlement stood).

On September 15 (28), 1902, the first bathroom building on Matsesta was opened. From December 28, 1905 (January 10, 1906) to January 5 (18), 1906, the Sochi Republic existed. On June 14 (27), 1909, the first resort, the Caucasian Riviera, was opened, which is considered the beginning of Sochi as a resort. On April 23 (May 6), 1913, on the initiative of the Russian writer P. A. Rossiev, the 75th anniversary was marked for the first time on the day of the founding of Sochi. On this memorable date, at the expense of Colonel L.F. Dolinsky, a monument was erected near the library named after A.S. Pushkin. The following periodicals were published in the suburb of Sochi: until 1917, Sochi Courier, Black Sea Territory, Sochi Sheet, the Orthodox magazine Izvestia of the Sochi St. Nicholas Brotherhood, after the February Revolution and during the Civil War: Soldier and Worker "," Bulletin of the Kuban regional government. In 1917 Sochi was given the status of a city. During the Civil War, the city alternately came under the rule of the Bolsheviks, Denikinists, the Georgian-Menshevik government, the Committee for the Liberation of the Black Sea Governorate. The preservation of the city of Sochi as part of Russia is de facto the result of the military operations of the units of the Volunteer Army of General A.I. Denikin in the fall of 1918 - in the winter of 1919, who recaptured the city of Sochi, Adler, Gagra, and the entire coastal territory captured in the spring of 1918 during the Sochi conflict Georgia.

In April 1920, Soviet power was established. After the Civil War, considerable attention is paid to the development of the resort business in Sochi. On June 20, 1934, the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee decided:
2. Include mountains in the city limits. Sochi suburban settlements: Areda, Nizhnyaya Razdolnaya, Novye Sochi and Sobolevka with the surrounding lands of collective farms: named after Budyonny, Krasny Semenovod and Nizhne-Razdolny; agricultural farm of the OGPU, a rest house of the OGPU, a land plot of the Lenin Agricultural Plant and the Sochi Fruit Experimental Station of Subtropical Crops.
3. As an exception to the current legislation, highlight the mountains. Sochi into an independent administrative and economic unit with the subordination of the Sochi City Council directly to the Azov-Chernomorsky Regional Executive Committee.
4. In connection with the allocation of mountains. Sochi in an independent administrative and economic unit, the center of the Sochi region to move to the village of Adler with the preservation of the former name of the region.

In the 1930s, a new stage in the history of the city began. In 1933, the government approved the first Master Plan for the reconstruction of the Sochi-Matsesta resort area. In 1934, the general reconstruction of the Sochi-Matsesta resort began under the leadership of Alexander Denisovich Metelev. The axis of the project was the Riviera-Matsesta highway (later Stalinsky Prospekt, now Kurortny Prospekt). New sanatoriums, an institute of balneology, theaters, and other infrastructure are being created. Dachas are being built for state leaders. In 1934, on the initiative of People's Commissar K. E. Voroshilov, construction began on the project of M. I. Merzhanov, personal architect of I. V. Stalin, the Bocharov Ruchey dacha, now the official residence of the President of Russia. Four dachas were built for I.V. Stalin, of which he most often visited Novaya Matsesta (also built according to the project of Merzhanov; now there is a museum in its former cinema hall). Since 1937 Sochi has been part of the Krasnodar Territory.

On the eve of the Great Patriotic War, 61 health resorts functioned in Sochi, and 51 hospitals were opened on their basis in December 1941. In total, 111 hospitals operated on the territory of Sochi during the Great Patriotic War.

On August 27, 1948, Sochi becomes a city of republican subordination, and on June 3, 1958, it returns to the category of cities of regional subordination. At the same time, Sochi retained its geographical telephone code, separate from the rest of the Krasnodar Territory.

By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in 1961, the territory of the city of Sochi was significantly expanded by including the Adler and Lazarevsky districts in the resort city. The resort stretched along the coast from the village of Magri on the border with the Tuapse region to the Psou River, along which at that time the border with the Georgian SSR passed. 4 administrative districts of the city of Sochi were created - Central, Khostinsky, Adlersky and Lazarevsky. April 19, 1993 According to the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Federation, the resort city of Sochi acquires the status of a resort of federal significance.

In the 2010s, Sochi acquires the functions of a "second capital" due to the frequent visits of the President of Russia to the city and the many ongoing international meetings and sports competitions.

On February 1, 2020, the urban-type settlement of Sirius was allocated from the territories subordinate to the Adlersky district of Sochi in the Imeretinskaya lowland, which is planned to be separated from Sochi and allocated to the new municipality of Sirius with the status of an urban district.