Krasnaya Polyana


Location: Sochi, Krasnodar Krai


Description of Krasnaya Polyana

Krasnaya Polyana (Beautiful or Red Glade in Russian) is a mountainous ski resort near Sochi, Russia that hosted 2014 Winter Olympics Games and Paralympics Events. You can take taxi from Sochi, but it is fairly expensive at a price ranging from 50- 70 US dollars and even more. It takes about 1 hour to get from Sochi to Krasnaya Polyana ski resort. Additionally you can also rent a car in the Sochi International Airport. However much cheaper option is by taking a bus 105 from Sochi Central Bus terminal or bus 135 from the center of Adler. It is about 60- 80 Rubles one way or 2.5- 3.5 USD. Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort is situated in Krasnaya Polyana. During Winter Olympics it will host snowboarding and skiing competition. The whole sport complex was constructed from 2003 to 2011 under supervision and guidance of Bernhard Russi, gold medalist of 1972 Olympic games. This part of Krasnaya Polyana was one of the first places to be completed and in February 2011 it already hosted the European Cup ski competition. A year later in February 2012 it hosted World Cup alpine races for both men and women. Rosa Khutor region of Krasnaya Polyana has 10 hotels with a total capacity of over 1600 rooms.



Krasnaya Polyana is located in the middle reaches of the Mzymta River, 38 km from the Black Sea coast at an altitude of about 550 meters above sea level. It is located 65 km southeast of Central Sochi (on the road).

The village is surrounded on all sides by high mountains: from the north-west by Mount Achishkho and its spurs, from the south-east by the Aibga ridge (its highest point is Mount Kamenny Pillar (2509.7 m) - the highest observation deck on Krasnaya Polyana). The watershed of the Main Caucasian Range runs 15 km north of Krasnaya Polyana. The village occupies a vast terrace, which is a slightly inclined area in the form of a triangle, the top resting against the spurs of Mount Achishkho, and the base resting on the right (orographically) bank of the Mzymta River. During the ice age, the site of the village was the lower extremity of a powerful glacier, traces of which are found everywhere in the form of huge boulders and furrows on the rocks of the mountains surrounding the valley. In the area of ​​the village, the rivers Melnichny, Beshenka, Monashka and First Galion flow into Mzymta.

The settlement is connected with Adler and the airport of Sochi by a modern combined road and railroad. There is a heliport. There is an internal bus route 163 "Rosa Khutor-Heliport". The village is connected with the Central District of Greater Sochi by buses 105 and 105c, 105e and an electric train, bus routes 105, 105c, 105e, 135.135e and an electric train are connected with the Adler district.



Since ancient times, there was an aul of one of the mountainous Abkhazian tribes - Akhchipsou (Medoveev). Until the end of the Caucasian War, the village on the site of the modern village among the local Abkhaz-Adyghe peoples was known under the name - Kbaade.

The earliest information about this area is found in the work "Siyahat Name" by the Turkish traveler of the middle of the 17th century, Evliya Celebi. The author reports that the number of achchips in his time numbered up to 10,000 people.

The first Russian who visited this remote corner of the Caucasus in 1835 was an officer of the tsarist army, intelligence officer, Baron F.F. Tornau. He descended to the upper reaches of the Mzymta River from the north from the area of the village of Psebay along the gorge of the Malaya Laba River. He first described the Akhchipsu society, which lived "near the upper reaches of the Mdzimta River."

On May 21, 1864, four detachments of Russian troops united in this place: the Malolabinsk detachment of Major General P. Kh. Lieutenant D. I. Svyatopolk-Mirsky. In the presence of the commander-in-chief of the army, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich, a parade was held and a prayer service was served on the occasion of the end of the Caucasian War. In honor of this event, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich, at the request of the commanders of all the assembled military detachments, decided to name this place - Romanovsk, in honor of the royal family. Later, May 21 (the day of the end of the Caucasian War) began to be celebrated by the Adyghe-Abkhaz peoples as "a day of memory and sorrow for the victims in the Caucasian War."

In 1869, the village of Romanovskoye was founded in the valley, which existed for several years. In 1878, the Greeks, immigrants from the historical Pontus, moved from Stavropol to the empty place. 36 Greek families crossed the Pseashkho pass to look for new lands for development and saw this valley. The Greeks founded a new settlement with the name "Krasnaya Polyana", built the church of St. Haralamy and opened a school.

In 1898, a special state commission visited Krasnaya Polyana, which was looking for places on the Black Sea coast that could be used for climatic and balneological treatment of patients. The commission included the therapist F. I. Pasternatsky, the meteorologist A. I. Voeikov, the mining engineer M. V. Sergeev, and was headed by a member of the State Council N. S. Abaza. The territory located in the valley of the Mzymta River was of particular interest to the commission because of the excellent “healing” climate and mineral water outlets. In 1898, the commission managed to study six mineral springs in the vicinity of Krasnaya Polyana. Much attention was paid by N. S. Abaza to the Achipse source closest to Krasnaya Polyana - he gave the order to conduct a chemical analysis of the waters of this source in the laboratory of the Caucasian Mineral Waters, which was attributed to the type of "carbon dioxide-salt-iron-alkaline", close to the waters of the source No. 4 in Essentuki. After the research was completed, the source was renamed "Nikolaevsky" in honor of the ruling king. Based on the results of chemical analyzes, the commission concluded that in the vicinity of Krasnaya Polyana there are many types of mineral waters from saline-alkaline to ferruginous.

The members of the commission had high hopes for Krasnaya Polyana as a summer climatic station, which was able to receive pulmonary patients from Sochi and Gagra, where in summer "although not very hot, the heat is humid, heavy." The excellent climate in the summer gave A. I. Voeikov the reason to call Krasnaya Polyana the “Russian Riviera”. However, the lack of regular meteorological observations did not allow the scientist to judge the suitability of this settlement for the treatment of pulmonary patients in winter. The scientist believed that in winter Krasnaya Polyana could be an ordinary resort. Krasnaya Polyana surpassed Essentuki in terms of the amount of snowfall, so vacationers could engage in “cross-country skiing, sleigh riding, mountain climbing”, while they were protected in the river valley. Mzymta from the gusty wind harmful to them.

On June 19, 1899, the village received the status of a city and the name Romanovsk, given by N. S. Abaza, who headed the state commission that visited the village. A year later, the Krasnopolyanskoye Highway was built and opened - the road from Adler to Krasnaya Polyana. However, the official name Romanovsk never caught on. The name Krasnaya Polyana has been preserved since the times of the Russian Empire. This happened also because within the boundaries of the city of Romanovsk that did not arise, there was a village of Krasnaya Polyana, registered in all official instances. Since the late 1920s, the settlement has officially been called Krasnaya Polyana.

In 1950, the settlement received the status of an urban-type settlement.

On December 3, 2010, Italian Prime Minister S. Berlusconi and Russian President D. A. Medvedev met at the next round of Russian-Italian interstate negotiations in the village, the negotiations took place at the Dynasty Hotel in room 4.

Krasnaya Polyana received a new development as a venue for the competitions of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in 2014.



Economic activity in the village is based on serving tourists and visitors in winter and summer. Krasnaya Polyana is a popular center for skiing and snowboarding, which has a reputation as the most "respectable" in Russia. Due to the humid air, the ski slopes in the vicinity of the village are known for good snow cover. The terrain provides good opportunities for off-piste skiing. The ski season lasts from November to May.

The Alpika-Service ski complex, located 12 km from the center of Krasnaya Polyana and 8 km from the village of Esto-Sadok, became the first object of skiing in the region.

At the beginning of 2007, near Krasnaya Polyana, the first phase of the Gazprom Alpine skiing complex Laura was opened. The first stage includes 6 cable cars and 18 tracks.

In 2008, the Gornaya Karusel ski complex was put into operation, which has three stages of a modern gondola-type cable car and a six-seat cable car. On January 29, 2011, the Rosa Khutor modern ski complex began to operate in test operation mode, on the slopes of which the 2014 Winter Olympic Games competitions in alpine skiing, snowboarding and freestyle were held.

As a ski resort, Krasnaya Polyana received a powerful development in connection with the implementation of the federal target program "Development of Sochi as a mountain climatic resort in 2006-2014", as well as with the holding of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. In addition to a large number of built sports facilities, hotel complexes, entertainment and shopping centers, Krasnaya Polyana was connected to the international airport and the city of Sochi by a combined road and railroad.

In the summer, mountain tourism is actively developing in the area of the village.

There are a number of hotels (including the Radisson SAS Lazurnaya Peak Hotel, the Polyana Grand Hotel, located in the mountain and tourist center of Gazprom OJSC, and a number of other hotels). Massive construction of hotels and apartments is underway.

Agricultural production is developed, Krasnaya Polyana is known for its honey. The village is surrounded by chestnut forests, and many medicinal herbs grow on the slopes.

Near Krasnaya Polyana is the Krasnaya Polyana hydroelectric power station.

In January 2012, 50 points of wireless Internet connection using Wi-Fi technology were installed at the ski resorts of Krasnaya Polyana.



The Greek church of St. Harlampy and the chapel attached to it in the cemetery.
"Hunting Lodge", built in 1901 for the king on the slopes of Mount Achishkho.
Regional Museum.
Museum of Nature at the Krasnopolyansky forestry.
Bronze Soldier (installed May 2, 2010).
Krasnopolyansk dolmens.


Ski resorts

One of the most common reasons for visiting Krasnaya Polyana is skiing, skiing and snowboarding.

In the fall of 2019, 3 mountain and tourist complexes functioned in the village - the Krasnaya Polyana Resort, the Rosa Khutor STC and the GTZ of GAZPROM OJSC.

Resort Krasnaya Polyana
Multi-level complex on the northern slope of Mount Aibga. The first, the lowest of the three levels of lifts, starts in Esto-Sadok at around 540 m above sea level. Three more stations are located at altitudes of 960, 1460 and 2200 m. Due to the special location of the mountains, the resort has the longest skiing season - from December to May. In winter, there are 30 kilometers of ski slopes of various difficulty levels, illuminated slopes for evening skiing and slopes with artificial snow.

In winter, there are 13 gondola, chairlift and tow ropeways. The total throughput is up to 2400 people per hour.

GTZ "Gazprom"
In winter, it specializes in skiing and snowboarding, and in summer it offers the services of a tourism and recreation center, a health complex, and a sports and training base. The center also has an all-season water park, an entertainment center, cinemas and an ice arena.

There are two slopes for skiing at the GTZ Gazprom resort. Cozy "Laura" - the tracks run among the fir forest on the Psekhako plateau. And the legendary "Alpika" - slopes with a height difference of up to 1,154 meters on the Aibginsky Range (the first ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana).

In total, the resort has 35 pistes of all difficulty levels: green, blue, red, and black. For day and night skiing. The trails are wide - up to 66 meters.

It is possible to go cross-country skiing. 12 km of tracks on the territory of the Laura Ski and Biathlon Complex. At an altitude of 1500 meters "velveteen" for skating and track - for the classics.

"Rosa Khutor"
Ski complex, the slopes of which are located on the northern, northeastern and southern slopes of Mount Aibga.

The highest point of "Rosa Khutor" is at around 2509 m above sea level.

In total, the resort has 29 gondola lifts, chairlifts, rope tows and conveyor types. The trails of Rosa Khutor stretch for 102 km, the maximum height difference exceeds 1534 m. Also on the territory of the resort is the Olympic Extreme Park, consisting of a Snowboard Park and a Freestyle Center.


Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games 2014 in Krasnaya Polyana

The mountain cluster of the XXII Winter Olympic and XI Paralympic Games was located in Krasnaya Polyana, where competitions in all types of the Olympic program were held on snow and snow-ice tracks, sports delegations and all the infrastructure that ensured the holding of competitions in such sports as skiing, snowboarding , cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, ski jumping, bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, freestyle.

All competitions of the Olympic and Paralympic programs in alpine skiing were held at the Rosa Khutor ski resort. The tracks were designed, built and tested several years before 2014. When designing and building ski slopes, all modern requirements for organizing competitions of the highest level were taken into account. According to some athletes, the ski slopes of the Rosa Khutor complex are among the best in the world.

For snowboarding competitions, the Roza Khutor Extreme Park was built, located to the west of the main ski slopes of the Rosa Khutor complex. The Extreme Park includes two stadiums: a snowboard park and a freestyle center. The snowboard park hosted competitions in qualifying, parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom, slopestyle. The Freestyle Center was the venue for the halfpipe competition.

Cross-country skiing, biathlon
All biathlon and cross-country skiing competitions at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi were held at the Laura Ski and Biathlon Competition Complex, located on the Psekhako Ridge, at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, on the territory of the Gazprom Mountain Tourist Center .

Bobsleigh, luge, skeleton
To conduct competitions in these sports on the northern slope of the Aibga ridge, on the site of the former Alpika Service complex, the Sanki Luge Center was built. Here is the first luge and bobsleigh track in Russia for international competitions and the only track in the world with three counter slopes. The route repeats the existing terrain as much as possible, its highest point is located at around 836 meters above sea level, the lowest - at around 704 meters. All kinds of competitions in luge, skeleton and bobsleigh were held on this bobsleigh track.

Ski jumping, Nordic combined
For the competitions in ski jumping, a ski jump complex was built, where all the competitions of the 2014 Winter Olympics in ski jumping and Nordic Combined were held. The ski jump complex is located on the northern slope of the Aibga ridge on the territory of the Gornaya Karusel ski complex, in close proximity to the village and the Estosadok railway hub of the same name. The place was specially chosen by international experts at the junction of two ridges so that the ski jumps harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape, and the jumpers were protected from gusts of side wind.

The complex consists of the most modern Olympic jumps K-95 and K-125. The ski track for Nordics is laid along the slope of the ridge next to the ski jumps, the start and finish are organized on the roll-out area of the ski jump complex.

The freestyle competitions at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi were held from 6 to 21 February at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in the snowboard park (ski cross, slopestyle) and the freestyle center (mogul, ski acrobatics, halfpipe). 10 sets of awards were played, which is 4 more than at previous Olympic Games.


Krasnaya Polyana in culture

In the area of ​​the village, on the Mzymta River, episodes with a mountain river were filmed in the popular Soviet comedy film “Prisoner of the Caucasus”.

In the village of Krasnaya Polyana, the shooting of the Russian comedy "Only Girls in Sports" (2014) took place. The beautiful image of the Rosa Khutor village and resort has made its additional contribution to increasing the popularity of this Olympic hospitality zone and the city of Sochi as a whole.