A narrow coastal strip edges the Black Sea, from where rolling hills ascend fairly rapidly into mountains in the southeast and low uplands in the northwest. This is the Black Sea Coast (Побережье Чёрного моря), Russia’s sole seaside playground (until the Kremlin's 2014 annexation of Crimea). A long summer from June to October gives rise to pleasant weather, plenty of sunshine and a warm sea. Several resort towns dot the sometimes-rugged coast, the best known being Sochi, host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Besides the grey and pebbly beaches in Sochi and nearby Adler, the region offers terrific walking in the Greater Caucasus foothills. Inland, Krasnaya Polyana is a once-sleepy mountain village that was transformed at great expense into the venue for Olympic ski and snowboard events. A new high-speed railway line, built especially for the Olympics, whisks passengers along the Black Sea coastline to Krasnaya Polyana from Sochi's main train station.