Krasnodar Kray, Russia

The Krasnodar Territory is a large and diverse Russian region, which includes a huge and agriculturally flat part, the Black Sea coast fenced off from the plain by mountains, where the most popular Russian resorts are located, the low-lying coast of the Sea of Azov, as well as the mountainous regions of the Western Caucasus. In addition to all this, the region completely absorbed the Republic of Adygea, which is an independent subject of the Russian Federation, but in many respects is inseparable from the Krasnodar Territory.



The Black Sea coast is the main resort area not only in the Krasnodar Territory, but throughout Russia. During the season, coastal cities and towns are packed to capacity with vacationers, however, there is something to do outside the beach. The mountains come close to the sea, on their slopes there are numerous rocks, caves, waterfalls. Here and there, traces of ancient civilizations - dolmens - come across. When moving south, the climate becomes milder, in addition to the ubiquitous pines, cypresses and even palm trees appear. If all this is not enough for you, then you can go to the mountains to Krasnaya Polyana or visit Novorossiysk - a port and industrial city with impressive military memorials.

The Azov coast consists of two parts, not very similar to each other. The Taman peninsula was inhabited in ancient times, and the number of ancient Greek objects found here is amazing. On the whole peninsula there is a very beautiful steppe, indented by hills and estuaries; in some places there are mud volcanoes, grapes are grown on the coast. To the north of the Taman Peninsula, the terrain becomes flat, birds nest on the swampy shores of the Sea of Azov, and lotuses grow here and there. Located in the very north of the Krasnodar Territory, the city of Yeysk is interesting for its old merchant buildings; this is the main resort on the Azov coast.

Kuban is the main agricultural region of Russia. For tourists, it is not very interesting, since it is an endless plain, almost completely plowed and planted with agricultural crops, along which one-story, stretching for kilometers and rather monotonous cities or towns that have grown out of Cossack fortresses and villages are scattered. There is nothing older than the 19th century in the Kuban, but city lovers should visit Krasnodar, where there is a lot of good architecture. Small towns and villages are interesting for their way of life - for example, huge markets and war memorials, which are larger and more impressive here than in other regions of Russia.



Krasnodar resembles a huge Kuban village. The parade buildings of several central streets with magnificent monuments of eclecticism and modernity here are abruptly replaced by blocks of one-story private houses stretching for many kilometers. On the same central streets you can find one of the Shukhov towers, good examples of Soviet architecture from the times of stagnation and the largest local history museum in the region, as well as theaters, a philharmonic society and, by Russian standards, not very interesting, but for the Kuban very significant red-brick churches of the XIX century.

Anapa is a Black Sea resort located on the site of the ancient Greek city of Gorgippia. The ancient ruins and the accompanying archaeological museum are adjacent here to a noisy embankment, which presents all types of resort entertainment, and a little to the side are the Russian Gates, left over from the Turkish fortress, and a rather ordinary Orthodox church of the 19th century. The sights of the city are exhausted by this, therefore, for most travelers, Anapa is nothing more than a transit point on the way from the station and airport to the beauties of the Black Sea coast, whether it is a relic juniper-pistachio forest in the Bolshoy Utrish nature reserve or the picturesque surroundings of Novorossiysk.

Armavir is the largest city in the eastern part of the Krasnodar Territory. The coincidence of the name with the Armenian Armavir is not accidental: the city grew up around the Armenian colony, and it even has an Armenian church of the century before last, and besides it, a rather unusual Tatar mosque in these parts. The building of Armavir is utterly provincial and very monotonous, only corner houses decorated with tall “onions” attract attention. For most travelers, Armavir will be nothing more than a transit point, which, in which case, can be passed without stopping.

Goryachiy Klyuch is a balneological resort halfway between Krasnodar and Tuapse. Losing in entertainment to any of the cities of the Black Sea coast, Goryachiy Klyuch can, nevertheless, offer travelers a picturesque valley of the Psekups River covered with dense and lush greenery, where, walking through the resort park, you will climb the Petushok rock above the river, and then pass between rocks through the narrow Dantovo Gorge. The city itself is completely unremarkable, and from it you will either return to Krasnodar, or go further to the coast.

Yeysk is the largest city on the Azov coast. A local resort specializing in therapeutic mud and beach holidays. They say that "Kuban begins from Yeysk", although both in terms of location and in essence the city gravitates towards the Rostov region. The well-preserved pre-revolutionary buildings resemble not the Cossack stanitsa, but the urban merchant one: there are especially many old stone gates in Yeysk, which are completely uncharacteristic for the Kuban. Not far from Yeysk is the Dolgaya Spit, which separates the Taganrog Bay from the Sea of Azov.

Novorossiysk is a port and industrial city on the Black Sea coast. Novorossiysk, which arose around cement plants, has never been a resort in its history, and many of its monuments are tragic: from the memorial of ships sunk in the Civil War to numerous traces of the Great Patriotic War. Many pre-revolutionary buildings have been preserved in Novorossiysk, including a huge red-brick elevator and an authentic village of an old cement plant. There is also a nice building of the post-war period, and an embankment with numerous monuments, and just the atmosphere of a large city open to the sea.

Sochi is a unique city in many ways. Its coastal part is located in the warm subtropics, and the mountainous part is located 500-600 m above sea level and is the best ski resort in the country. In a narrow sense, Sochi is the most luxurious of the resorts on the Black Sea coast, where you can find elite boarding houses at exorbitant prices, or, on the contrary, you can see old dachas and masterpieces of Soviet architecture for free. The Sochi Arboretum contains an excellent collection of southern plants. A little further, in Khost, there is an ancient yew-boxwood grove. If you drive along the coast to the very Abkhaz border, then you will find yourself in Adler, where prices are lower and the Olympic Park is located.

Timashevsk is a city in the steppe north of Krasnodar. A large industrial and transport hub. The development is dominated by the private sector. Of the attractions: the city has a functioning monastery.


Other destinations




Sochi National Park


The name Abrau-Dyurso is known to almost everyone in Russia. Exactly to the Crimea, this is the main place in the country where champagne is produced according to the classical technology, and tours of the wine cellars are arranged for tourists with a demonstration of the entire technological process and subsequent tasting. The village is located near Novorossiysk on the shore of the beautiful mountain lake Abrau. If you drive to the Black Sea coast, then you will find yourself in Dyurso - the northernmost point where the mountains still approach the coast. Further on is the Bolshoy Utrish reserve, and behind it is Anapa, where the terrain becomes almost flat.

The Guam Gorge is a valley hidden in the mountains of the Western Caucasus, along which an operating narrow-gauge railway is laid. Getting here is not very convenient, but travelers will be rewarded with the opportunity to drive through the gorge on a sightseeing train or climb one of the surrounding mountains. Around the gorge there are caves, waterfalls and a whole range of characteristic natural attractions.

The Caucasian Biosphere Reserve unites the most interesting places in the Western Caucasus. On its territory there are all the main peaks of the Krasnodar Territory - Fisht, Oshten, Tsakhvoa, Chugush. The landscapes here vary from deciduous forests to alpine meadows, glaciers and rocky mountains with altitudes over 2500 and even 3000 m. In the vicinity of the Lago-Naki plateau and Krasnaya Polyana there are places that can be visited in one day, but most of the reserve will require multi-day hiking over the mountainous area. A pass is required to visit the reserve.

Kamennomostsky is a small village in the valley of the Belaya River, a kind of gate to the mountainous part of Adygea. Behind the village, the road passes through the narrow Khadzhokh gorge, which is interesting in itself, and in the side valley there are also beautiful and, moreover, easily accessible Rufabgo waterfalls. On the outskirts of Kamennomostsky stands the most famous dolmen in Adygea, next to it is a museum of stone and fossils. 12 km from the village is the Mikhailo-Athos Trans-Kuban Hermitage - an Orthodox monastery that is not frequent in these parts.

Krasnaya Polyana is a ski resort an hour's drive from Adler, which allows you to move from the warm coastal subtropics into real winter in winter, and in summer use the ski lifts to effortlessly climb to a height of up to 2300 m above sea level and enjoy mountain landscapes or even take a small hike to a pass. The modern infrastructure remained from the Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, the local ski slopes are considered the best in Russia. From Krasnaya Polyana, tourist routes begin in the Caucasian Reserve.

Taman is a village on the shore of the Kerch Strait with a wonderful view of the Crimea. One of the most interesting places in the Krasnodar Territory, where an archaeological museum, excavations of the ancient Greek Hermonassa, an old Turkish well, the Lermontov Museum, a Cossack fortress, a church from the time of the Russian development of the Kuban, and, if all this is not enough for you, the Ataman ethnographic complex are collected in a small area. The Taman Peninsula is the main wine-growing region of the Krasnodar Territory, there are several French-style chalet-style wineries with restaurants and tasting opportunities.

The tourist center of the Krasnodar Territory is the Black Sea coast, where from spring to late autumn hundreds of thousands of people go to relax on the sea, and at the same time, maybe not only spend time in a cafe or on the beach, but also visit mountains, forests, waterfalls and other natural beauty of this region. Mountain tourism enthusiasts leave the coast a little further in order to conquer the peaks of Adygea and the northwestern Caucasus, but the main, flat part of the Krasnodar Territory does not attract the attention of travelers. The Kuban and the Azov coast are really not rich in sights, although even there, and especially in Krasnodar itself, there is also something to see. Moreover, only in these regions, unpopular with tourists, you can see all the features of the South Russian Cossack way of life, expressed in the Kuban much more strongly than in the Rostov region or Stavropol.

A monument of national importance is the archeology of the Taman Peninsula, where in ancient times the Greek Hermonassa and Phanagoria were located, and later - Tmutarakan, which became a household name. In Taman, a small but very rich museum entirely dedicated to archeology is one of the best museums of its kind in Russia. Another Greek ruins are located in Anapa. Another aspect of ancient history is dolmens, ritual stone structures of the mountain tribes that lived in the Caucasus. There are hundreds of dolmens on the territory of the region. Almost all of them are located on the Black Sea coast or, more rarely, in Adygea and the mountain valleys bordering it. If you go to this area, then there will certainly be some kind of dolmen along the way.

The time interval from antiquity to the Russian development of the Kuban in the Krasnodar Territory is poorly represented. Monuments of this period are the ruins of the Abkhazian temple in Loo (Sochi), the gates of the Turkish fortress in Anapa and the Turkish well in Taman. In the flat part of the Krasnodar Territory, nothing special happened all this time, and a few monuments of the material culture of the Circassian peoples are now collected in the national museum of Adygea in Maykop.

The accession of the territory of the modern Krasnodar Territory to Russia began with the construction of a line of fortresses along the Kuban and Laba rivers. None of them, of course, has been preserved in the form of a fortress, although fragments of earthen fortifications - a kind of settlement - are very picturesque: they are, for example, in Taman or Ust-Labinsk, where even a primitive reconstruction was carried out. The first Russian settlers in the Kuban were the Cossacks. Their ethnography in one form or another is presented in almost every local history museum, but, on the other hand, there has never been a true Cossack freemen in the Kuban, and, therefore, there are no monuments comparable to Starocherkassk in the Krasnodar Territory. The influence of the Cossacks is felt in the Kuban in their very presence - whether on advertising posters or, for example, in the security service of the Krasnodar airport - and also, of course, in the very structure of the Kuban villages and in the fact that most of these villages are still called villages and farms. In Taman there is a large ethnographic complex Ataman, which, although a remake, will be the best place in the region to get acquainted with the Cossack traditions.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pre-revolutionary buildings in the Krasnodar Territory. In every second village there is an old building of the ataman administration, a Cossack school, or something else of that kind. On the other hand, even for architecture lovers, only Krasnodar itself is of interest, where there are beautiful monuments of modernity and eclecticism, Novorossiysk with its pre-revolutionary workers' settlements and pleasant post-war buildings, as well as Sochi, where in Soviet times the best architects of the country designed theaters, railway stations and sanatoriums (in Sochi, the best selection of old pre-revolutionary dachas). There are few churches in the Kuban and other parts of the Krasnodar Territory; there are no masterpieces among them.

The mediocrity of architectural monuments is more than offset by the quantity and quality of simple monuments, ranging from monuments to Lenin, which are everywhere in the Kuban (in a rare regional center there are not at least two or three), and ending with military memorials. In the 20th century, two wars went through the territory of the Krasnodar Territory - the civil and the Great Patriotic War - therefore there are a lot of monuments of glory and just mass graves. They are decorated very creatively, and sometimes they produce an effect no less than the large military memorials in Volgograd and Brest. Novorossiysk has the title of a hero city and in many ways repeats the fate of Sevastopol with sunken ships and heroic defense - in this case, Malaya Zemlya, to which several very strong memorials are dedicated at once.

There are no less natural monuments in the Krasnodar Territory than all the others. There are many rocks, caves, waterfalls along the Black Sea coast, and most of them have good roads and public transport, and even if it is not there, then in the season there will certainly be organized excursions or private traders ready to give you a ride. A characteristic feature of the Caucasus Mountains is narrow gorges, which are not called canyons here, although they, in fact, are. A narrow-gauge railway passes through the Guam Gorge, even a sightseeing train runs on it during the season, and all this together is a very unusual attraction for Russia. There are also picturesque gorges on the old road from Adler to Krasnaya Polyana and in Adygea. Moreover, the entire valley of the Belaya River in Adygea is, in a sense, the mainland analogue of the Black Sea coast, since here, on a small stretch of the road, many natural beauties are collected. On the coast, however, there are also exotic plants for Russia, such as cypresses and palm trees. On the territory of the city of Sochi, there are two good botanical gardens - an arboretum and a park "Southern Cultures", here an ancient yew-boxwood grove marked by UNESCO, and the so-called Colchis forest grows along the entire southern coast.

If you want to go higher into the mountains, then there are all the possibilities for this too. Many routes start in Krasnaya Polyana, where several lifts operate at once, reaching heights of 1500-2300 m above sea level. Another convenient transfer is through Adygea, where the road leads to the Lago-Naki plateau, a picturesque plateau at an altitude of about 2000 m. The main peaks of the northwestern Caucasus, Fisht and Oshten, are located near Lago-Naki, and in general there are very a lot of. Almost all of them are on the territory of the Caucasian Reserve, which has a special (but, in principle, accessible) visiting regime.

Natural monuments of a completely different kind are located where the mountains end. The Taman Peninsula is a very beautiful steppe, indented by hills and estuaries, in which there are very exotic objects - mud volcanoes. To the north, on the coast of the Sea of Azov, the hills end, and the terrain becomes completely flat, but the swampy shores and sandy spits stretching far into the sea also have their own charm. Lotuses grow in places. The flat part of the Krasnodar Territory looks rather monotonous, although there are nice places there too - for example, the large Krasnodar reservoir or the high banks of the Kuban, which offer views of the plain stretching to the horizon.

Big Azish Cave  (20 km from Dakhovskaya station). 08:30–18:30, visit only with a guided tour every 30 min.  400 RUB, coat rental — 50 RUB. In the northwestern Caucasus, this is the largest of the equipped caves: 220 meters of illuminated paths and stairs leading through several large halls. The most interesting thing here is thousands of stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnate columns of different colors and sizes, often taking unusual shapes. The constant temperature in the cave is +5 degrees, so outerwear (you can rent a coat) will not be superfluous.
How to get there: only by car along the Dakhovskaya-Lago-Naki highway. From the highway to the left there is a dirt road to the cave; on a four-wheel drive car, you can easily drive up to the barrier in front of the cave, but you can also park right on the highway and walk 400 m to the cave on foot. Along the road and around the entrance - all conceivable tourist infrastructure: souvenir rows, cafes, attractions


What to do

Wine tourism, such as Chateau le Grand Vostock



Throughout the Krasnodar Territory, the Russian language is perfectly understood, and most often it is spoken. However, for Krasnodar and the flat part of the region, a “Ukrainian” accent is very characteristic. This, however, does not mean that everyone says so - the speech of many local residents cannot be distinguished by ear from ordinary Russian.

Residents of Adygea can communicate with each other in Russian, or they can communicate in Adyghe. The Adyghe language is close to the Kabardino-Circassian language (spoken respectively by the Kabardians and the Circassians), so much so that sometimes the two languages are considered as dialects of the same language. He has no other close relatives. In Adygea, many signs are duplicated in Adyghe, although, for example, in stores everything is written in Russian. Adyghe speech is sometimes heard on the streets of Maykop, but it is not predominant there. If you hear some incomprehensible language in Krasnodar, then it can be either Adyghe or any other language of one of the Caucasian peoples, since there are enough visitors to the city.


Getting in

The Krasnodar Territory is quite large and has at least two major transport hubs - Krasnodar and Sochi, where you can independently come from other regions of Russia and even from abroad.

By plane
There are 4 airports in the Krasnodar Territory with regular passenger traffic: Krasnodar, Sochi, Anapa and Gelendzhik. Gelendzhik Airport is active only in the summer, in winter they fly to Anapa mainly from Moscow, but Krasnodar and Sochi are two large (by Russian standards) airports, where there are both domestic and international flights, including daily flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg , Istanbul and Yerevan.

By train
Usually, resort trains travel to the Krasnodar Territory, following to Novorossiysk, Anapa or Adler. The latter almost always pass through Krasnodar, and their points of departure can be cities in various parts of the country, up to Vorkuta and Murmansk. If you are traveling to the north-eastern part of the Krasnodar Territory, then the Adler trains are less convenient, but all trains to Kislovodsk and the North Caucasus will do: they pass through Armavir and Kropotkin. It is more convenient to go to Adygea through Belorechensk: those trains to Adler stop here, which take a longer route through Armavir.

Suburban communication with neighboring regions is poorly developed, as usual in Russia. Two ordinary "parrots" and two high-speed "Swallows" go daily from Krasnodar to Rostov. It is already more difficult to go there with transfers, but, in principle, it is possible to travel without transfers by a long-distance train: for example, it is night to travel from Rostov to Sochi. In the direction of Mineralnye Vody, the train does not run every day, there are long-distance trains that are not optimal in terms of price and time. There is a daily night train from Adler to Mineralnye Vody and further to Kislovodsk or Vladikavkaz. To Abkhazia, only the Moscow-Sukhumi train, not every day. The Crimean train on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory does not stop at all, with the exception of loading at the Kerch ferry, so you can only leave for Crimea by bus.

By bus
All buses pass through the territory of the Krasnodar Territory in the direction of Mineralnye Vody and the republics of the North Caucasus, and these buses can go from anywhere - even from Moscow. The cities of the Black Sea coast (Sochi, Novorossiysk, Gelendzhik) have fairly regular communication with neighboring regions - the Stavropol Territory, the Rostov Region and the Crimea. Most of these buses (with the exception of the Crimean ones) pass through Krasnodar. There are almost no direct buses to Abkhazia, you need to cross the border on foot and use local transport.

By car
From the Rostov region, most motorists drive along the main M4 Don highway in southern Russia. It has four lanes and a good road surface, but during the peak season, vacationers do not fit even on two lanes: if you drive during the day in the middle of summer, there is a good chance of getting stuck in a traffic jam. If you need to get to the western part of the region in the summer - to Taman, Anapa, Novorossiysk and even Krasnodar - you should choose the P268 highway, which runs about 40 kilometers west of the M4.

From Stavropol and the republics of the North Caucasus along the P217 highway you will get to the eastern part of the Krasnodar Territory: to Armavir, Kropotkin and Tikhoretsk. You can get to Crimea via the Crimean bridge or by ferry across the Kerch ferry. The only border crossing to Abkhazia is located on the southern outskirts of Sochi: there is only one road, and you will have to return the same way, since you cannot drive further into Georgia by car.

On the ship
You can arrive in Sochi by sea from Georgian Batumi or Turkish Trabzon, but both lines do not operate every day, and tickets for them are expensive. In summer you can take a catamaran from Gagra, Abkhazia. Cruise ships sometimes also come to Sochi.

Passenger-and-freight ferries run from Novorossiysk to Feodosia and Sevastopol, but they do not take individual passengers on board. Catamarans also operate in the summer along the Anapa-Feodosia-Yalta route, but whether they will operate in 2015 is still unknown. The main route to the Crimea is the Kerch ferry.


Getting around

By plane
Donavia planes fly from Krasnodar to Sochi twice a day. Tickets from 2200 rubles (2015), which is approximately the same price as a compartment if you decide to travel by night train, and about three times more expensive than a daytime seated train, which, however, runs only once a day and spends 4.5 hours on the road (other trains go even longer).

By train
The Krasnodar Territory is covered with a dense network of railways. On many of them there is a commuter service - however, infrequent. With the exception of the Lastochka express trains, all transportation is carried out by the North Caucasian Suburban Passenger Company, whose ticket offices and schedules are usually located not inside the stations, but in windows somewhere on the side or even on the platform. The route network is tied to Krasnodar, outside of which there is an active commuter service only on the Tuapse-Adler section. Long-distance trains can go the most bizarre routes, sometimes writing out cunning squiggles. In some cases, they are useful for short trips, but long-distance train tickets are always more expensive than train or bus tickets.

At the beginning of 2015, it makes sense to travel by train in the following directions:
Krasnodar - Timashevsk - Starominskaya - Rostov
Krasnodar — Novorossiysk
Krasnodar - Goryachiy Klyuch - Tuapse - Adler: here, however, all electric trains are mismatched, therefore, with the exception of short sections, you need to travel by long-distance train
Rostov - Tikhoretsk - Kropotkin (Kavkazskaya) - Armavir - Nevinomyssk: main line with very mediocre commuter service, but you can think of something for short sections, and for longer ones there are long-distance trains

Electric trains also run from Krasnodar to Kropotkin via Ust-Labinsk, from Armavir to Tuapse with a change in Belorechensk and along Adygeya from Belorechensk to Kamennomostsky (Khadzhokh) via Maykop, however, the number of trains and their speed are such that it is faster and easier to go by bus.

Express trains "Lastochka": twice a day from Krasnodar to Rostov and once a day from Krasnodar to Adler. They stop in all major settlements, but don’t flatter yourself - tickets cost 1.5-2 times more than for an electric train, they are sold with indication of places, and you still need to be able to buy them.

Suburban express trains: twice a day from Krasnodar to Rostov, Maikop-Belorechensk-Tuapse (daily), Krasnodar-Kropotkin-Armavir-Mineralnye Vody (3 times a week).

By bus
There are many buses in the Krasnodar Territory. Minibuses, on the other hand, are rare. On popular destinations, such as Krasnodar-Maikop, taxi drivers are active, picking up passengers in a car for the price of a bus - this is not the most comfortable, but, compared to any official transport, a much faster way to travel.

Unlike suburban trains, which mostly depart from Krasnodar, buses run on the most bizarre routes like Temryuk-Labinsk and Gelendzhik-Maikop. However, they usually visit Krasnodar.

By car
Road conditions in the Krasnodar Territory range from good in the flat terrain to mediocre in the mountains and on the Black Sea coast, but overall the roads are significantly better than the Russian average. Krasnodar drivers behave in a more or less disciplined way, which is facilitated by cameras hung everywhere, found even in the most remote corners of the region. In many settlements, the speed limit is 40 km/h. Be careful. Popular rumor reports the unpredictability of drivers from Adygea (region 01rus), but they - on tuned cars with rumbling music - can be seen from afar.

In addition to the M4 highway, four-lane sections are sometimes found on local roads. More often come across three-lane sections or just lanes for overtaking. In particular, they are on the mountainous section of the Sochi highway, but in summer even this does not save you from traffic jams, and the road along the coast from Dzhubga to Gelendzhik is generally entirely two-lane and at the same time very winding. The passes in the Krasnodar Territory are low and open all year round; snow rarely falls.

Thanks to the abundance of vacationers, the car rental service has been developed in the Krasnodar Territory. At the airports of Krasnodar, Anapa and Sochi, you can find counters of local and even international car rental companies. Most of the interesting places on the coast are achievable by ordinary car, you are unlikely to need an SUV, and high in the mountains there are usually no roads at all, and horses remain the only transport.



The colorful cuisine of the Kuban combines the traditions of Ukrainians, Greeks, and various Caucasian peoples. It is characterized by the predominance of vegetables, herbs, spices, seasonings and sauces. Meals are quite satisfying and contain a lot of calories. Staying in the Krasnodar Territory, one cannot help but taste delicious local dishes.

Shish kebab (the name of this common dish in the middle of the 18th century, Russian soldiers adopted from the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks after a trip to the Crimea: in the Crimean Tatar language, “shishlik” means “something on a skewer”).
Khachapuri (flat cake with homemade cheese) in Imereti (with a closed top) and in Adjarian (with an open top, “boat”).
Dishes from sea and river fish (pelingas, mullet, flounder, pike perch, red mullet, trout, garfish) and seafood: Black Sea fish soup, grilled fish, mussel salad, pilaf from rapana, fried shrimps.
Cheeses: Traditional local cheeses are made from cow's and sheep's milk: smoked chechil, chechil "noodles", suluguni, feta cheese.
Sauces and seasonings: adjika (spicy seasoning made from red pepper, garlic, walnuts, cilantro seeds, dill, thyme, basil and salt), tkemali (spicy sauce made from sour plums (cherry plum), garlic, salt, ground pepper, green cilantro or parsley.
Fruits and berries: grapes, strawberries, figs, cherries, watermelons, melons, persimmons, apricots, peaches, feijoa, tangerines, kiwi, etc.
Sweets: churchkhela (walnuts and other nuts in a shell of boiled grape juice), feijoa grated with sugar, fig jam, jam from young walnuts, nuts in honey, dried persimmon, dried figs.

Kuban wines
On the territory of the Krasnodar Territory, grapes were grown and wine was made from it by the ancient Greeks in their city-states more than two thousand years ago. After a long break caused by the destruction of ancient Greek settlements, viticulture began to revive here in the 19th century. In 1870, the specific estate "Abrau-Dyurso" was founded in the Novorossiysk region, in 1874 a vineyard near Anapa was organized by retired colonel D.V. Pilenko. Currently, about 70% of all Russian wine material is produced in the Kuban on vineyards located on the Taman Peninsula, near Anapa, Novorossiysk, Krymsk and Gelendzhik.

Throughout the region, you can buy many varieties of wine, from home without a name to aged collection wines in souvenir boxes. To protect yourself from left-handed alcohol, you need to buy it in chain supermarkets. The best brands are Fanagoria and Myskhako, both factories are located in Novorossiysk; the Abrau-Durso factory is known for its sparkling wines, from Soviet Champagne to exclusive vintage brands.

The Temryuk brandy factory produces brandy and cognac drinks: from 150 rubles for a regular bottle to 2,500 rubles for high-quality souvenir brands.

Krasnodar tea
The only tea that grows in Russia, the northernmost in the world. Plantations are located in Dagomys (Lazarevsky district) and in Adler. The volume is quite small, so they are difficult to find outside the Krasnodar Territory. Tea brand "Baloven" is made at the Dagomys tea factory, it can be bought throughout the region. The tea factory can be visited with a guided tour.


Precautionary measures
The Krasnodar Territory is one of the relatively calm Russian regions. There were no echoes of the Chechen war here, but the general wariness remains high. If you use trains or buses, be prepared for the fact that they are usually allowed onto the platform only through a metal detector frame, and in some cases, police officers will also want to check your documents, and in general, the search here is not an empty formality, as in most regions of Russia. Photographing stations, railway bridges and anything that can be considered a strategic object is fraught with communication with the police.

On the Black Sea coast, tourists are familiar, which means there are those who are trying to get hold of tourists. Prices in cafes can be quoted in such a way that you will pay more than you expect. Taxi drivers can be very annoying and ask inexperienced travelers much more than they should: do not hesitate to bargain. The abundance of police does not mean complete safety: if you wander around dark alleys, and even drunk, it will not end in anything good.

In the flat part of the Krasnodar Territory, tourists, on the contrary, are infrequent, which means that it is better to merge with the local population here and not give yourself away as a stranger. There are a variety of rumors about Adygea: for example, Maykop is considered a troubled city, although it is hardly more dangerous than any major Russian regional center. There are few settlements in the mountainous part of Adygea, and on the contrary, there are many tourists in summer, so, unlike the republics of the North Caucasus, communication with the indigenous population does not pose dangers and threats. Although Adygea is a Muslim region, the attitude towards food and alcohol here is the most liberal. Local residents are, by Russian standards, excessively hospitable, but this is almost certainly a manifestation of hospitality and tradition, rather than malicious intent.

When traveling by car, the mentality of local drivers should be taken into account. People living in the flat part of the region drive in a completely different way than those living in the mountains. Traffic on the main highways is often dense, and in cities, even not very large ones, traffic jams are possible. The city of Krasnodar itself is better to bypass the tenth road: the traffic here is very intense, so you can get stuck for a long time. There are several key roads in the region, on which exit traffic police posts (by cars) are on duty day and night in "hot places". Ambushes are also possible. There are few obvious set-ups, although there are cases of extortion. They mainly slow down the guests of the region, but the locals also get it. There are a lot of cameras everywhere, sometimes they even come across in small farms of 20 yards, so do not disturb, but rather get a good radar detector - this will help to avoid many problems. The Crimean bridge and the entrances to it are completely under cameras.



From the west, the Krasnodar Territory is bounded by the waters of the Azov and Black Seas, through the Kerch Strait separating them, it borders on the Crimea. In the north, the region adjoins the Rostov region, in the east - to the Stavropol Territory, beyond which it is not far to Kalmykia. In the south, the Caucasus Range begins, to the west of which Abkhazia is located, and to the east - Karachay-Cherkessia and the region of the Caucasian Mineral Waters.

The entire northern and central part of the region is occupied by the Azov-Kuban plain, which is sloping and drops from 150-200 m above sea level in the east to the level of this same sea on the coast. Visually, the slope is imperceptible, to a large extent it is created by the high banks of the rivers flowing along the plain. The main ones - the Kuban and its left tributary Laba - separate the plain from the foothills of the Caucasus. Closer to the sea, the Kuban breaks up into many channels, as if surrounding the Taman Peninsula: due to this, it simultaneously flows into the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. There are no large lakes on the plain, but there are several reservoirs. The largest of them is Krasnodar. In ancient times, the Azov-Kuban plain was a nomadic steppe. Now almost all of it is open.

The Main Caucasian Range forms the southern border of the region. Three-thousand-meter peaks, including the highest point of the Krasnodar Territory - Mount Tsakhvoa (3345 m), are located near the border of the Krasnodar Territory with Abkhazia and Karachay-Cherkessia. The closest highland area to the sea is the Fisht massif (2750-2900 m), popular with tourists, on the border with Adygea. The forest grows to heights of 1500-1800 m, alpine meadows begin higher, but such heights are only in the interior mountainous regions. The peaks closest to the Black Sea coast are below 1000 m. All of them are covered with dense forest, in some places they break into the sea with rocks.

In the mountainous regions of the Krasnodar Territory, vegetation can be very different - from a not very interesting mixed forest in the interior to special Colchis forests on the humid Black Sea coast, where beeches, boxwoods and yews grow, not to mention firs and pines. A variety of living creatures live in the mountains, up to bears and bison, but to see one of them is a rarity, but immeasurably small harmless lizards, which even yard cats are chasing.

Birds of prey often circle over the Kuban plain, and only Georgians can be observed from the animals, which they hunt (and there are also many crows, magpies, gulls and other lovers of grubging in the fields). However, there are also enough hare hares, and in winter they are allowed to shoot (under license).



The Krasnodar Territory is one of the oldest Russian regions in the sense that when most of the modern territory of the country was in the Stone Age, there were already all signs of civilization here. Dating back to 4,000 B.C. The Maikop culture, named after the burial mound excavated in Maykop, made bronze products and ornaments with might and main, and also left behind non-trivial stone carvings. Traces of the dolmen culture that replaced it (2500-1300 BC) are much larger: as the name implies, dolmens are large stone “boxes”, usually with a round hole, which simultaneously served as sanctuaries and burials. The inner walls of the dolmens were decorated with something between petroglyphs and murals, you can see this in the national museum of Adygea in Maykop, and many monuments of the Maikop and dolmen cultures are exhibited in the Hermitage and in the historical museum in Moscow.

In the 7th century BC. Greeks appear on the shores of the Black Sea. By the 5th century BC. their cities on both sides of the Kerch Strait unite into the Bosporus kingdom, which extended south to Gelendzhik (Torik), and north to the mouth of the Don (Tanais). Although the Bosporan kingdom regularly fought with the steppe peoples, sorting out relations with other Greek colonies along the way, it existed in one form or another for almost a thousand years, until the beginning of the 3rd century AD. era of the migration of peoples, leaving behind a huge material culture, which has been dug on the Taman Peninsula for decades and, probably, will be explored for a very long time.

The end of the Bosporan kingdom is associated with the invasion of the Huns, who destroyed almost all the cities of the northern Black Sea region. Some of these cities were abandoned, others were restored one way or another, falling under the rule of Byzantium, and later the Turkic and, finally, from the middle of the 7th century, the Khazar Khaganate. The Kaganate lasted until the second half of the 10th century, until it was destroyed by the ancient Russian state, which temporarily took possession of the lower reaches of the Don and the Taman Peninsula, where an independent Tmutarakan principality even arose. However, Russian domination in these southern lands was short-lived: Tmutarakan disappears from the annals as early as the 12th century, that is, a hundred years before the Mongol invasion. After the Mongol invasion, the Kuban steppes pass to the Golden Horde and later to the Nogai Horde that broke away from it, which lasted until the end of the 18th century. For some time, the Genoese appeared on the coast, dug in in the southern part of the Crimea, while in the mountains Circassia gradually formed, uniting the Adyghes, Ubykhs, Shapsugs and dozens of other tribes living in the Western Caucasus.

At first, Christianity actively penetrated into Circassia, missionaries from Europe regularly visited here, but later Islam began to dominate. However, the Islamization of Circassia was very slow and lasted almost the entire period of Turkish rule, ending just at the moment when Turkey was pressed by the Russian Empire. The annexation of the right-bank Kuban to Russia was nothing more than a side effect of the Russian-Turkish wars in Bessarabia and the Crimea: in 1783, Catherine II issued a manifesto that liquidated the Crimean Khanate and announced the annexation of all the steppes up to the Kuban to Russia, completely ignoring the opinion the Nogais who lived there, and even before that, in 1777-78, under the leadership of Suvorov, a line of fortresses was built along the Kuban and Laba, from which many modern cities later grew. In 1792, Catherine II grants the Kuban lands to the Cossacks, with which, in fact, the Cossack spirit of the modern Krasnodar Territory is connected, as well as the widespread cult of Catherine II, which came to quite real plans to return the original name Ekaterinodar to Krasnodar.

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the Kuban remained a rather dangerous place due to regular raids by the Circassian peoples. The Caucasian War, begun to pacify them, continued until 1864, and some of its episodes took place on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory: it was for this reason that Lermontov ended up in Taman, and some of the exiled Decembrists managed to serve in the fortresses of the Black Sea coast at the site of the future Sochi. As a result of the colonization of the Caucasus, most of the Circassians were forced to move to Turkey, the rest completely submitted to Russia.

In the second half of the 19th century, the Kuban and the northern part of the Black Sea coast developed rapidly, numerous railways and a new port city, Novorossiysk, were built there. The southern part of the Black Sea coast, on the contrary, remained a rather wild place and was not really inhabited until the revolution itself. In 1918-20. in the Kuban, a confrontation unfolded between the Red Army and the Volunteer Army under the command of Denikin. The first series of mass graves and memorials found throughout the Krasnodar Territory is connected with these events, and the second series is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. In August 1942, the German army occupied the entire Kuban and was stopped only in Tuapse and Novorossiysk. The fighting on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory lasted more than a year and ended only in the autumn of 1943. In addition, in the 1930s, collectivization took place in the Kuban, and the Cossacks were actually destroyed, and then there was a terrible famine, as elsewhere in the south of the USSR.

Before the revolution, the Krasnodar Territory was not an independent administrative unit. Its modern territory was divided between the Kuban Oblast, centered in Yekaterinodar, and the Black Sea Governorate, centered in Novorossiysk. After the establishment of Soviet power, the territorial division changed almost every year, until in 1937 a separate Krasnodar Territory was created within borders close to modern ones. Since 1922, the Adyghe region existed as an autonomy within the region, and after the collapse of the USSR, it became a republic and an independent subject of the Russian Federation.



The Krasnodar Territory looks like a very prosperous region with good roads and a slightly higher level of service than the national average. Evil tongues claim that this well-being is partly imaginary and is based on budget injections related to the 2014 Winter Olympics, but, anyway, here you will more often than in other Russian regions walk not through mud, but along paved sidewalks, and even in the most remote villages you will find well-groomed squares with paths and flower beds. This neatness, however, does not entail the aesthetics of the urban environment, which here is peculiar, but hardly beautiful.

Cities and towns of the Krasnodar Territory, with the exception of resorts on the coast, are mainly divided into two groups - farms with several dozen houses and villages, where there can be hundreds or thousands of houses. There are also towns and villages (quite officially), but there are not so many of them, and there are auls in Adygea.

Without exception, all the villages have a rectangular or close to it layout with a weakly expressed center, where there is a market, shops and one or more squares with an obligatory military memorial (there are really many of them here) and a monument to Lenin. There will also be some old pre-revolutionary houses. Outside this conditional center, the buildings are exclusively one-story, and each house has a small plot of land, fenced off by a deaf two-meter fence. For this reason, even those villages where 10-20 thousand people live stretch for many kilometers, and the city of the Krasnodar Territory looks surprisingly monotonous: just pull the corner of Labinsk and you will get Krasnodar, and reducing it will return to Tikhoretsk or Kropotkin . Travelers (autotourists) from remote areas of the country (and there are more and more of them every year) note the widespread low-rise dominating in the region and sometimes blatant crowding of buildings, as well as the narrowness of streets and driveways.

The economy of the Krasnodar Territory consists of several sectors: agriculture (everything is grown in the Kuban - from wheat to grapes), tourism, transport and industry. There is a large cement plant in Novorossiysk, oil is being extracted near Krymsk. There is a lot of food industry, in the cities there are shops of local factories that sell only Kuban products.

Although the Kuban Cossacks were virtually destroyed during the Soviet years, they quickly revived after the collapse of the USSR. The Cossack theme has become a brand of the Krasnodar Territory, and the words "Kuban" and "Krasnodar Territory" are now used as synonyms, although a good half of the region has nothing to do with the Kuban. In schools, they teach not local history, but “Kuban studies”, while on the Internet a stable meme “kubanoid” has appeared, which has the same derogatory connotation as “Khokhol”. Many things in the Kuban are really hypertrophied, and the Cossacks in full uniform look strange when they patrol the streets with the police. Being a highly Russian region, the Krasnodar Territory differs no less than the national republics from the rest of Russia, and therefore is of independent ethnographic interest.



By Russian standards, the Krasnodar Territory is a warm region. There is almost no winter on the Black Sea coast, snow does not fall every year. The coast south of Tuapse is generally a subtropical zone. However, in the winter months, such a wind can blow from the sea that even at positive air temperatures you will not be able to stay outside for a long time, and Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik are generally characterized by a special natural phenomenon (boron), when cold air “rolls” over the mountains and abruptly falls on the coast, which is akin to a natural disaster. There are frosts in the flat part, winter weather changes in an unpredictable way from +15 to quite decent (by local standards) frosts. Snow falls and melts several times during the season, and the roads are always covered with mud and ice. Four or five months of dull grayness with almost no sun and high humidity with surface fogs make the winter completely uncomfortable, chilly and sad. And it can also rain here at sub-zero outside temperatures, instantly causing freezing of houses, trees, and everything in general.

Summers are very hot (up to +40 in the shade), and although the sea warms up to a comfortable temperature during this period, it can be difficult to be outside the beach. The infrastructure is not adapted to the heat, there are no air conditioners in public transport, and they are not always available in hotels.

The best hike in the region is in spring and autumn, when there is neither heat nor dankness. Autumn on the Black Sea is the so-called. velvet season: you can still easily swim in the sea, but it’s not so hot anymore. The Sea of \u200b\u200bAzov is very shallow, so the water temperature sharply depends on weather conditions, so with the advent of autumn, the swimming season immediately ends.

In the mountains, the weather is the same as everywhere in the Caucasus: in the highlands, the snow melts not earlier than May, and glaciers are found above 2500 m. In autumn, snow falls already in October, so the mountain hiking season is summer.



With a population of more than 5.5 million people, the Krasnodar Territory is in third place in Russia in terms of the number of inhabitants after Moscow and the Moscow Region. At the same time, only 55% of the inhabitants live in cities, the rest in the villages, towns or farms. In the region there are large villages with a population of 20-30 thousand people (and the largest village in Russia - Kanevskaya, 44 thousand inhabitants), officially considered rural settlements, not cities.

The Russian population dominates (88%), the largest minority are Armenians (5.5%), found in different parts of the region - from Armavir to Adler. Almost 0.5 million more people live in Adygea. Russians also dominate there (64%), but there are also a lot of indigenous people - Adygs (26%).

In Krasnodar itself, as well as in resort towns, there is simply a sea of migrants who came for permanent residence from the northern and eastern regions of the Russian Federation in search of a better life. The population in the region is very colorful in their mentality and life principles.