A scenic road passing through a deep, narrow canyon leads up from Adler to Krasnaya Polyana (Red Valley), Russia's newly built ski mecca that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics ski events. The scenery here is simply spectacular, with snow-capped mountains looming above three world-class ski resorts containing kilometres of high-quality pistes.
Despite a grand overhaul of its transport infrastructure for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Black Sea resort of Adler lacks the nouveau riche affluence and attitude of Sochi, which is 30km to the north. Traditionally a popular destination for lower-income Russian holidaymakers, prices for lodging and food are slightly lower here.
Novorossiysk is home to the Russian navy, and war buffs might appreciate the eye-popping range of WWII memorials. Otherwise, there’s little of interest in this gritty port, which seems to be stuck in a Soviet time warp. Much of the country’s cement production comes from dismantling the surrounding hills.
A pleasant sheltered bay, sandy beach and airport make Anapa a popular family resort for Russians from as far away as Siberia. There are pleasant places for strolling among the leafy parks and along the seemingly endless promenade in the town’s southwest, set against the distant backdrop of looming sea cliffs.
Stalin’s dacha,Zelenaya Roscha, dates from 1936. It still functions as a sanatorium, but part of the complex has been preserved and is open to tourists. It is an amazing place, built to accommodate a small, private man who without remorse caused death and misery to millions of Russians. The depth of the water in Stalin’s swimming pool (just 1.