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In winter, the Black Sea coast relishes being Russia’s warmest place – it’s rarely freezing. In summer (June to September) it’s warm and humid, reaching around 25°C. To the north, the continental climate provides three or four freezing winter months from November to February, then temperatures shoot up to about 30°C from June to August.

The higher you go, the cooler it gets – many Caucasus peaks are permanently snow-covered – but on a sunny summer day you’ll still be sweating at 3000m. November to April/May is the wettest season, with the coastal strip getting significant rainfall of around 1200mm to 1800mm annually.