City of Sochi
Sochi is the largest Russian resort. It stretches for 147 km along the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar region. Our city is surrounded by the Caucasian Mountains which protect Sochi from the cold northern air. Mild subtropical climate, high mountains with the plenty of greenery, warm azure sea, healing mineral and Matsesta water springs make Sochi one of the world's best seaside and balneological health resorts. The surrounding mountains also make Sochi an ideal winter sport destination.
Location. Sochi is located at the same latitude as Toronto, Nice and the Gobi Desert. It bordered by Georgian Republic in the south.
Population of Sochi is home to more than 400.000 inhabitants. It is visited by 3 million tourists annually. Guests come to Sochi for seaside vacations and medical treatment.
The city is divided into 4 administrative districts: Adlersky, Khostinsky, Central and Lazarevsky.
Climate and Nature. Because Sochi is located between the Caucasian Mountains and the Black Sea, we enjoy the northernmost subtropical climate on Earth. The average winter temperature reaches +8..+10 degrees, in summer it gets warmed thoroughly to +40 degrees. Usually we have 200 sunny days in a year. You may swim in the sea here from April till October, and ski from October till May.
Sochi is a paradise of palms, bananas, citric and other ever-green trees. More then 80 per cent of city's area is part of the Caucasian Biosphere National Park and is protected from pollution or environmental degradation.
Healing and Tourism are Sochi’s key economic sectors. Sochi is the largest such destination in Russia.. There are currently 223 big and medium sized sanatoria in Sochi. The average cost per night in a sanatorium is 892 rub. Cardiovascular diseases, nervous system impairments, arthritis and other mobility related disorders and diseases, dermatic and gyneacologic illnesses are all effectively treated at the sanitoria in Sochi.
Air, railway, automobile and sea transportation infrastructure and the number of first class sanatoria, hotels and boarding houses ensure that the needs of national and international festivals, forums, fairs and sport competitions can be easily met.
The President's residence and some highest-level meetings held here made an image of Sochi as the Summer Capital of Russia.
Industry. Other than tourism and healing, there are 44 big and middle sized enterprises of different ownership in Sochi. The key industry sectors are building material supply and the food industry.
Agriculture. Sochi’s agricultural sector includes 25 farms, 9 food processing companies, and 10 service and research firms. These businesses are operated to satisfy all of the food related needs of the city.
Small business. Small business is now one of the most important components of economy. There are 22,388 small businesses in Sochi, 4478 of them are small enterprises.
The contribution of small business to the economy and the efficiency of the businesses is constantly increasing. These improvements are in large part due to the quality and entrepreneurship of the individuals operating these businesses.
Religion and Ethnicity. There are people of many ethnic and religious backgrounds in Sochi. The city is inhabited by people of more than 100 ethnic groups with a range of religious practices including Russian Orthodox, Catholic, Islam, Buddhism etc.
Education. Sochi is the Federal experimental testing ground for educational innovations and projects. There are 78 municipal secondary schools, 54 pre-school institutions, 19 primary schools, 33 professional education centers, 2 centers of professional orientation and 25 high schools.
Overall, 6670 teachers are involved in education activity. 59,246 pupils are enrolled in educational institutions in Sochi.
Sport. Annually Sochi hosts several international and national competitions in athletics, tennis, football, volleyball, and sailing.
Spa and Holiday Resort
One can say without exaggeration that in summer all roads lead to Sochi. Railway lines, flights, water ways and roads from all republics of Russia stretch to our famous health-resort. Thousands of people rush here by all means of transportation, including some on foot and with rucksacks.
Our sunny city-park is called a Black Sea pearl which stretches at 147 km along the seaside. You can rarely find such extraordinary possibilities for rest and treatment that are available to Sochi guests. The sea that makes you calm and fresh, curative resources of Matsesta, and generous subtropical vegetation. Add to all this richness cloudless, sunny days - more than 200 in a year! Even the most famous European health-resorts can't boast of having such consistent climate.
Sanatoria, boarding houses, camp grounds first-class hotels - all these options are available for those who decide to spend their holidays in Sochi.
Sochi as a health resort, founded by the Order of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation (February 10th, 1961), consists of 4 regions: Adlersky, Khostinsky, Central, Lasarevsky with a unique combination of natural medicinal factors.
The health-resort area stretches along the Black Sea coast from the river Shepsi to the river Psou bordering Abkhazia. The coast line goes from south-west to south-east. The length of the resort is about 150 km, total area is 350,600 hectare.
The following rivers flow within the Sochi territory: Sochi, Matsesta, Khosta, Mzymta, Psezuapse, Shakhe and others. All these rivers flow into the Black Sea. These rivers all originate in the foothills of the Caucasus.
In the coastal and the foothills area, at an elevation of 500-600 meters, luxuriant subtropical vegetation dominates. In the mountains at an elevation of 1,200 meters there is a mixed forest consisting of beeches, oaks, chestnuts, hornbeams and etc.
Sochi offers hospitality to foreign guests visiting Russia. Sanitoria and all other accommodation options are available to guests.
Climatic characteristics of the health-resort benefit those who are sick or just come to have a rest and treatment.
The climate of the resort benefits the sick and this benefit will be greater for those who come from northern parts of our country due to contrast in conditions between northern Russia and Sochi.
Apart from various climatic factors that influence the human organism through skin receptors, factors that influence respiratory tracts take on special significance.
Sea breeze tops up, tempers and deepens respiration.
Being on the beach helps to slow down heart rate and to increase blood circulation.
The availability of mineral water with high concentration of hydrogen sulphide is a good base for balneotherapy.
The benefits of hydrogen sulphjde baths are complicated and diverse. Hydrogen sulphide baths improve skin and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and in some cases the alimentary canal. Hydrogen suphide baths normalize malfunctioning of the nervous system, intensify compensatory processes, help to improve blood circulation, metabolism and nourishment of tissues.
Mineral water treatment allows penetration of iodine and bromine into the human system.
It has been experimentally proven that ions of iodine and bromine penetrate into humans through skin and mucous membranes.
Alkaline waters influence on the humans is also great. Firstly, it affects our digestion.
To benefit from the affects of the resort treatment and to prevent further disease development it's very important to follow the recommended physical program, to do morning exercises and etc. at home following treatment.
All individuals working in the health resort sector aim to make Sochi a ready to internationally compete health resort model.
More than 3 million people annually visit the resorts and sanitoriums of Sochi. Health centres and the resort itself are a pearl among the resorts of CIS countries.
Notable places to visit
Would you like a piece of advice? Make your first tour around the city with a guide! It's the only way to see the best of Sochi and to learn in detail about its highlights because the city is full of interesting sites. There are many possible tours around the city. Take your time and we will give you some hints.
The area's attractiveness for travelers was described by the Greeks in their myths about Argonauts, Prometheus and Medea. These stories are very similar to the legends of the local ethnic groups. Today there are 150 nationally recognized archeological sites in Sochi . They include ancient remains of human beings, and caves that prove that Sochi was populated 400 - 350 thousand years ago.
Apart from ancient attractions, Sochi has many more places of interest. Below is a list of the most popular ones.
There are many parks in Sochi: Forest-park at Mamaika and Matsesta, Ornithological park in Adler, Botanical Garden near Belye Nochi Holiday Hoel in Loo.
Dendrarium. Sochi Dendrarium is the largest Russian subtropical park. It was founded in 1892 and features over 2,000 species of plants from many different climatic zones, and includes plants from every continent in the world. The Arboretum is really unique. You will need more than a day to see it.
Riviera Park. A Recreation park with lots of fun activities. In the Glade of Friendship, there are magnolia trees planted by statesmen, public leaders and cosmonauts.
The Tree of Friendship is a wonder-tree in a wonder-garden. There are about 40 different types of citrus fruits on this one tree. Grafts have been made by celebrities and honored guests. A small museum displays souvenirs from all over the world. The place is a paradise of flowers. For years the Tree and its Garden has been impressing those with green thumbs, people of goodwill, school children, sentimental women, tough men and politicians. This is the place where national and international festivals are celebrated.
The Russian Tea Plantations and Russian Tea Party. For most Russian tea drinkers Sochi is well-known as the only place where the Russian tea is cultivated and produced. The Sochi tea plantations are the northernmost in the world. A trip to the tea farm includes a lecture on the History of Tea, a visit to the Museum of Samovars and Russian crafts, a tea-party in a Russian wooden Izba. The trip creates a unique Russian impression.
Fine Arts Exhibition Hall (with a souvenir shop selling amber and Russian Crafts). A small shop of Russian Amber, icons, paintings and crafts. A major display of recent paintings. One can trace the history of Russian painting of the 20th century in the Fine Arts Exhibition Hall. For reasonable shoppers. For those who can't live a day without exhibitions. For everyone on a rainy day.
Modern Art Gallery and Art Museum, Stalin's Dacha, Nickolay Ostrovsky Literary-Memorial Museum , V. Barsova Memorial-Museum of History, Museum of Sochi Resort are also remarkable places to visit.
Theatres, Circus, concert halls. The best performances are in August, September and October. Best local performers, musicians, singers - all the year round. Those who don't like evenings in hotels or restaurants can always find something interesting in Sochi. Sochi Circus and Zimny Theatre, which both have various programs during summer months, are located close to each other, in the city centre.
Dolphinarium. Dolphins populate the Black Sea. In Sochi Dolphinarium you can admire their performances and marvel at their creativity: dolphins draw pictures, dance, sing and display their affection to people.
Rafting. A five-kilometers passage down the whitewater river can be quite a challenge for those who like rafting and seek for the excitement of spectacular splashes and adventurous jumps.
Yew and Boxwood Grove. The Yew and Boxwood Grove in Sochi is as old as the mountains. It is a unique and fortuitous example of wild prehistoric vegetation that was protected by mountains from glaciations during the last Ice Age.
Walks in the mountains. There are 58 rivers running into the sea in Sochi, they are famous for trout and the Black Sea salmon. Some of the waterfalls - Orekhovsky, Agursky, Akhshtyrskaya and Vorontsovskaya caves and lakes can be easily reached. The Agura Canyon is one of the oldest attractions in Sochi.
The city's proximity to the Black Sea moderates the climate, so Sochi is the only area in Russia, where tea, persimmons, pomegranates and citrus fruits are cultivated.
Mountains in Sochi are part of the Greater Caucasian Range, which in its Western part (near Novorossiysk) are 500m above the sea level, in its Central part reach 4,000 m, and in its South-Eastern part are about 1,000m . From the top of the Akhun Mountain (663m), which is a half-hour drive from Sochi's city centre, tourists observe the panorama of Sochi. The Southern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains are covered with forests, rich in over 2,000 species of plants, 54 species of animals, 200 species of birds. Sochi area forests cover 215 thousand ha. The climate is the most favorable for walnut, chestnut, fig trees, pomegranate, persimmon and grapes. There are palms, rhododendrons, pines: ancient relict trees. There are evergreens like tea plant, laurel, cork-oak, tangerine and many other subtropical plants. Most of Sochi’s parks are nearly a century old.
Krasnaya Polyana is a settlement in the mountains 30 km away from the seaside, has been converted into a sports and tourism complex. While it is warm in Sochi, there is snow up in the mountains. Skiers are taken to over 1,500m above sea level on chairlifts, gondolas, or by helicopters. There are many types of accommodation and some very nice bars and restaurants. Skiing is a growing sport in the Russian Federation and Sochi is in a prime position to become the Number One Spot for skiers.
The average temperature in winter is +8-10 C° and it rarely rises above +30 C in Summer. There are about 200 days of sunshine a year.
Bee-Keeper's Farm. Honey is yet another reason for a holiday in Sochi. Of all places in Russia this is the only place where you can buy chestnut honey, which never gets sugared, and whose curative properties are legendary. The rich Caucasian honey comes in a variety of tastes and types, of which alpine meadow honey is the most popular.
Sochi has dozens of hotels, tourist centers, and campsites and more than 50 sanatoria. Its streets and gardens are filled with exotic subtropical trees and shrubs. Sochi’s architectural ensemble was designed and constructed in the 30-s and the 50-s by the best Soviet architects.
The Cathedral. At the beginning of the 20th century there were 9 Russian Orthodox churches and one monastery in Sochi. Of them only one - the Michaelo-Archangel Cathedral - survived the revolution and 20th century wars. During the 1990’s a number of new churches were built in Sochi by the various religious/ethnic communities including: Russian Orthodox, Armenian, Gregorian, Catholic, Islamic. Though mixed marriages are also quite common, these communities have preserved their traditions and cultural links with their original nationalities - Greece, Armenia, Georgia, Estonia, Ukraine, etc.
National features: there are a number of national cultural centres in Sochi: the Armenian cultural centre "Sevan", the Geogian cultural centre "Iveria", the Adyge-Hase cultural centre, the Jewish cultural centre, the Greek community centre "Enssa", the Russian cultural centre "Sobor", the Ukrainian cultural centre, the Abkhaz cultural centre "Apsny", the Cross-Cultural League "Sochi", the Slavonic Union, the Kuban Kosaks center, the Belarus community centre "Belaya Rus".
Twin Cities of Sochi
The International movement of twin cities was enhanced during the World War Two, when the civilization's destiny was being determined on the banks of the Russian river Volga. In 1942 Borough Council and inhabitants of the English city Coventry, victims of German bombings, asked Stalingrad to become its twin city. The telegramme which has turned yellow with time and a huge table cloth, sent in the same year as a present to the Soviet city on which 830 Coventry women embroidered their names, are kept among the other relics in the museum of Stalingrad's fighting glory next to the huge picture of Stalingrad's battle. Thus on the basis of the twinning movement the ideas of struggle for peace and democracy, consolidating of mutual understanding and co-operation among the nations and states were put in place.
The example of Coventry and Stalingrad was followed by the other cities from all the Republics of the USSR and many countries of the world. With the growth in the number of the cities that wished to develop friendly relations, there was a need to establish an organization to coordinate sister city relationships. Twin Cities International Association was established in Russia to coordinate twin city opportunities.
The President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin described the work of the Russian cities in creating relationships with foreign partners in the following way: "The twin cities movement initiated during the World War Two has become a convincing example of effectiveness of people's democracy. For several decades this civil initiative has enjoyed vast recognition and support from the international public, and encourages solidarity, mutual understanding, peace and friendship among the nations."
Since 1965 our health-resort Sochi has become a full member of Twin Cities International Association and since 2002 - a member of board of TCIA. Every year our city’s relationships with twin cities grow and develop.
Sochi maintains friendly relations with eight foreign twin cities: Cheltenham (Great Britain, since 1959), Menton (France, since 1966), Rimini (Italy, since 1977), Espoo (Finland, since 1989), Long Beach (USA, since 1990), Trabzon (Turkey, since 1991), Parnu (Estonia, since 1994), Weihai (China, since 1996). All these cities are united by the following common traits: coastal geography (apart from Cheltenham), resort economies, approximately the same populations and unofficial status of "summer capitals" of their respective nations (apart from Trabzon).
Besides relations between Sochi Municipality and its twin-cities, we participate in activities through the International Association "Twin cities". We are also engaged in the establishment of business cooperation with foreign countries, organizing receptions for foreign delegations invited by Sochi Municipal Administration and regional administrations, legal meetings and business negotiations with foreign partners. We stage various international forums, conferences, festivals and seminars.
Since recently our municipality has been working hard to attract foreign investors, skilled experts and advisers to help implement Sochi’s aggressive development plans and infrastructure development plans aimed at developing Sochi to become a four season international resort. We directly participate in many meetings between the Mayor of Sochi and foreign businessmen. Sochi supports foreign business leaders providing a welcoming environment throughout their stay.
Sochi is a multinational city. Its territory is inhabited by people of from more than 100 nationalities. In many respects the city is an oasis of interethnic well-being and includes several national cultural centers: Armenian, Abkhazian, Greek, Georgian, Jewish, Estonian, Ukrainian, Adyg, Belarus, Russian, the centre of the Kuban Cossacks and others. One Thursday each month at the Museum Garden "Tree of Friendship” there are sessions presented by one of the national cultural centers that urge to reveal and overcome interethnic problems and describe the activities and goals of the centre.
Sochi City administration’s departments of education and science participate in creating educational festivals and seminars. These activities produce interesting education programs and projects, training for the most gifted pupils and talented teachers in foreign educational institutions and generally increasing the level of mutual trust and integration of the Russian education system with systems from other countries.