Sochi is renowned for its diverse mix of natural landscapes – this is one of the few destinations where you can spend the morning gliding down ski slopes and the afternoon lazing on a beach. History buffs should tour Byzantine ruins and visit Stalin’s old summerhouse on Mount Akhun in Sochi National Park, while nature lovers can take a restorative dip in the Matsesta Springs or discover prehistoric caves and megalithic tombs in the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A unique climate allows Sochi to run the world’s northernmost tea plantations – join a tea party in a mountaintop log cabin at Dagomys Tea Plantation, sampling a range of teas prepared in a traditional metal urn while admiring spectacular sweeping views. Then head back into the city for a dose of culture, perusing excellent museums and admiring dramatic cathedrals. Don’t miss the chance to explore the beautiful estate of legendary opera diva Valeria Barsova, today a historic landmark that attracts local artists and intellectuals.
Russia’s sanctions on imported produce have led to an exciting trend for innovative local cuisine prepared using home-sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the chance to dine at Williams, a stylish restaurant led by Michelin-trained chef William Lamberti where you can watch as chefs prepare sophisticated dishes in an open kitchen. Another must-visit is the famous Café Pushkin, which serves gourmet Russian delicacies such as pancakes with black caviar in a stunning 19th-century building. For a more laidback dining experience, try the excellent Slavonic pies at Stolle.
Sochi is an eclectic shopping destination. The city’s large artist community feeds an array of shops selling local art and handicrafts, while at the colourful Central Market you can barter for locally produced meat, honey, cheese and Russian snacks such as churchkhela, a candle-shaped candy made with nuts and grape juice. For a spot of high-end retail therapy, head to the designer boutiques of leafy Vorovskogo Street.
Sochi’s food scene is influenced by a range of cultures, resulting in a diverse range of restaurants serving everything from regional delicacies to Japanese favourites. Tuck into Russian-French fine dining under glittering chandeliers at Promenad, homemade Italian fare at family-run La Terrazza and simple yet refined international cuisine at Grillage. For a contemporary take on classic local specialties, book a table at Khmeli & Suneli, or head to Restaurant Suluguni for a taste of the city’s most authentic Russian cuisine.
Five-star hotels sprung up along Sochi’s coastline when the city hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and today’s visitors can choose from hotels by leading luxury brands including Swissôtel, Pullman and Marriott. Hyatt Regency’s sophisticated rooms boast panoramic views of the Black Sea through floor-to-ceiling windows, while the boutique Rodina Grand Hotel & Spa boasts its own private beach and a world-class spa.
The most convenient airport is Sochi International Airport, located just under 30km from the city centre. Simply contact our team and we’ll arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Sochi.