Sochi has again become the handsome man of the Black sea: the most popular tourist destination in Soviet times was updated for the Olympics

In the port of sway on the waves of a pleasure yacht, Avenue of magnolias, palms and cypress trees frame the streets, here and there stands a modern glass skyscraper.

The house is beautiful, the roads smooth. Maybe we’re not in Russia at all? The black sea Sochi is not similar to a typical Russian city, and it is not only in the subtropical climate.

Even many years before of the Olympic games 2014 in Sochi and its environs began the boom of construction of new roads, Railways, hotels, sports facilities and residential homes.

The unprecedented scope of the construction act on the nerves of residents, caused damage to the environment, but still received positive reviews.

“Thanks to the new roads I need just ten minutes to get to work — instead of half an hour as before,” — says the seller of Souvenirs Lydia from the Sochi Mall.

Civil servant Igor a little worried endlessly ongoing construction. “Would like to see nature preserved,” he says. The best hotels and restaurants of Sochi situated near the Black sea coast. Among them there are completely new hotels, and the hotels and restaurants, preserved from the Soviet era and later restored.

In the Internet you can find different options for accommodation.

Clean and comfortable room a little further from the shore on the slopes of mount will cost 40 euros. In the most expensive luxury hotels on the coast prices are higher than the hundreds of euros.

Foreign tourists in a city with a population of about 400 thousand people is very small.

Built for the Olympic games and Russian luxury ski center “Rosa Khutor” in the last winter season was visited by 800 thousand tourists. And only 5% of them were foreigners.

The situation of trying to fix it. In January 2017, Rosa Khutor will be the first in Russia comprehensive tourism for foreigners: this will open direct flights with tourists from Germany.

All the good beaches — paid, speak English little

“We arrived in Sochi to have a rest from Rostov-on-don by car. Abroad we never happens, and Sochi for us is too expensive”, — tells Lera Leaden and her husband Andrey Svintsov. Valerie is a music teacher and Andrew works in the charitable organization.

In order to save Russian often stop located far from the center hotels or in cheap boarding houses, rented rooms or lived with friends.

In the center of Sochi are expensive boutiques and luxury restaurants on the Boulevard you can also find many restaurants and shops.

Decent free beaches of round pebbles almost impossible to find. For a few euros you will be given a beach chair and umbrella. Paid beaches are pretty good, but the service level is not very high.

English in Sochi almost never hear. For example, tour companies advertise their services in Russian only.

Signs in the city still duplicated in English, as the menu at popular tourist restaurants.

Eat a decent meal in the restaurant for less than ten euros, but in the best places — the price level of Finland. Typical for the Caucasian region and dishes such as lamb roasted on the coals.

Sochi was a popular destination in Soviet times

Since the early 1980-ies of the Finnish tourism to the Soviet Union and in Leningrad, Tallinn and on the Black sea, gaining momentum. In 1981, the Soviet Union went to travel 300 thousand Finns.

Going to the Black sea first to get buses to Leningrad, and then Aeroflot flew to Sochi, Crimea, Odessa, Sukhum or in Tbilisi.

Alexander Goller, Sochi entrepreneur working in the field of tourism, was in 1980-ies of the musician in the restaurant of the tourist complex “Dagomys” and since that time remember some Finnish words.

“I met some regular visitors-Finns, they ordered me brought Western goods. It was a good place to work. When in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, the Finnish tourism as the wind blew,” he recalls.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union Goller began to earn money by selling automobile tires from Dubai. He lost his business due to disputes with customs and now offers visitors guided tours.

In Sochi and around it in the 1980-ies there were a lot of health resorts for Soviet tourists, and only 2.5 thousand places for foreigners.

Thanks to the Olympic games of 2014 has been a surge in construction of hotels, number of beds had increased significantly. Now in Sochi there are about 55 thousand.

Travel tips

Organ music

Unassuming hall of organ and chamber music in green Park at the Resort is a angular example of Soviet architecture in its almost original form.

Walls a charming hall decorated with wooden panelling. In addition to organ and chamber music here play classical music two or three times a week.

A concert ticket is 4-7,5 euros. There followed tough security measures are the same as, for example, at the railway station: handbags Shine, visitors pass through metal detectors.

To the Caucasus on the lift

In the Olympic tourist centre “Rosa Khutor”, known in 2014 it is located in the Caucasus mountains, can be reached from Sochi by train or bus. Trip length of 70 km is 5-6 euros.

The second way to get acquainted with the “Rosa Khutor” is a full-day trip by minibus with a guide. The tour costs 12 euros. Travel agencies, organizing excursions, located near the railway station.

The tour includes a panoramic tour of the Adler and the Olympic village, Krasnaya Polyana and the “Rosa Khutor”.

For a surcharge, guests can dine at the restaurant owned by a local family, to visit the apiary and is sure to rise on the lift to Rosa Peak, the highest point of Krasnaya Polyana — 2320 m. There you can climb for 20 euros.

The mountain views are breathtaking. Upstairs cool, so with a need to take warm clothes.

Sochi from the sea

In the port of Sochi you can buy a one-hour walk along the coast on a yacht.

From the sea you can enjoy rocking on the waves of huge pleasure yacht Dmitry Medvedev “Chaika” with modern architecture and famous building of the Sochi port, which was built in 1955.

The cost is 12 Euro included only sailing, so if You want a bite to eat, take care of this in advance.

From Sochi for little money you can make trips to tea plantations, waterfalls and other natural objects, or, for example, in the former summer residence of Stalin.