Image by Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Sochi

Gateway to the optimistically named ‘Russian Riviera’, Sochi is a Black Sea resort with a lively boardwalk and glorious sunsets. In summer, coastline nightclubs pump out booming baselines from dusk till dawn. Away from the embankment, magnolia- and cypress-filled parks provide a fine setting for strolling. And just outside of town, the Agura Valley offers easily accessible hiking amid waterfalls and sublime views.

While the sea is warm and the climate subtropical (among Russia’s warmest destinations in winter), Sochi's beaches are disappointingly rocky and grey. You might find (imported) finer white sand at some private beaches in the summer months. In any case, the peak beach-going season (May to September) sees substantially higher prices.

In recent years, Sochi has become most famous as the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics (even though the events were actually held at the neighbouring resorts of Adler and Krasnaya Polyana).

Explore Sochi

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Sochi.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Sochi.