Explore the natural wonders of Sochi

A fashionable sea-side resort, Sochi is one of Russia's most popular tourist destinations. If you can imagine a place where the sea is bathed with golden light every sunset - a place where the sands and pebbles of the beach can be enjoyed with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and where you can enjoy almost every luxury that matters - you will most likely be picturing Sochi. This is one of Russia's finest and grandest cities, a place where time stops ticking as you while away your days at one of the many fine spas, mineral baths or sanatoriums.

Sochi is a place quite unlike any other. It arguably has the best weather in Russia as well as some of the best natural springs in the country. Its exquisite beauty and its development as a sea-side resort has lead to it gaining the name "the Russian Riviera". There is little wonder that this part of the Black Sea has been fought over since the beginning of documented history but it was Russia who was the final victor. The little gem has also seen much activity over the years. It was extensively developed during the communist era in the hopes that it would eventually come to represent the pinnacle of Russian architecture. Whether or not that goal was reached you can decide for yourself as you walk down streets flanked with Mediterranean-styled buildings and visit luxuriant public parks.

When you visit, you will find an abundance of Sochi hotels to choose from and this makes finding accommodation quite easy. Most of them offer a stunning view of the snow-capped Greater Caucasus Mountains - a truly breathtaking sight. Visitors usually start their vacation with a trip to either the mineral springs or the sea. The waters here are warm and great for swimming. For those who wish to diversify their holiday a little, they can try shopping or simply take a walk down one of the many tree-lined streets. The public parks are great for a picnic lunch or a late afternoon ice-cream. Notable attractions include the Dendrarium Park modeled after the public spaces in Paris and the Fine Arts Exhibition Hall with its impressive collection of Russian art. For a bit of massage therapy or beauty treatment, the many spas are a great place to be pampered. And, if you visit during festival time, you will be able to enjoy either the Kinotavr International Film Festival or the Velvet Season Fashion Show - both of which are held here annually.

If you are planning to visit Russia, make sure that Sochi is on your list of places to go. This stunning city may not have the intense history that many other Russian cities share, but you will certainly not find yourself searching for things to do! Sochi is a vacationer's dream.


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