Sochi Port has been a popular vacation destination for about 200 years. The area's climate is very pleasant, and the region is known as the Russian Riviera. The Sochi cruise terminal is a modern building with good features. Taking excursions as part of an organized group is recommended, as there is less paperwork to contend with. Russian is the main spoken language, with English being spoken by a small number of residents.
Nested matryoshka dolls are one of the most popular local crafts. Woven scarves are a sure way to stay warm, and are easily found in local stores and markets. The ruble is the form of currency, and foreign money is not accepted. Credit cards are taken at some larger establishments. Most stores keep Monday through Saturday hours.
The local market is a good way to find tasty food items, and red wine imported from nearby Georgia.
Things to See
The local scenery is beautiful, and has contributed to the area being popular with tourists. Visitors are often surprised to see palm and banana trees. Natural mineral springs are an inviting relaxation spot for weary travelers. Health spas have a thriving business in this area. The Matsesta Spa is the most popular and is especially well-known for its water.
Being on the Black Sea, the beaches are always a popular attraction. Besides swimming, jet skiing and parasailing are popular sports. Freshwater activities include canoeing and white water rafting.
A watchtower on Akhun Mountain provides great panoramic views. There are several caves in the area worthy of exploration. The Agura waterfalls and adjacent Eagle's Rocks bring in thousands of visitors every year. They're reached by hiking through a ravine of the same name.
Parks are an important part of this city, and well-maintained. Two of the prettiest are along the seafront. Riviera Park has several pools as well as statues. The Botanical Gardens have a nice assortment of flowers to enjoy.
Tea plantations are found in the countryside near the city, and can be easily visited as part of an organized tour. Plantation owners typically serve hot tea with tasty desserts and provide entertainment. The oldest and most popular plantation to visit is Dagomys Tea Plantation, founded in 1901. Their folk music and dancing show even provides a look at a Russian matchmaking service.
Restaurants and Bars
Piramida serves an upscale selection of dishes at very reasonable prices. Trout and barbequed duck are highly recommended.
The American Diner, despite its name, serves Russian cuisine in a 50's diner setting. Art Pizza is situated in an unusual-looking building. They offer several topping varities as well as burgers and chicken dishes. Cafe Alisa offers good selections that reflect Russian cooking, including popular soups such as borscht.
Sochi has several bars and nightclubs. Most open fairly early, often right around sunset. Mayak is a popular nightclub. Tavern Dionys is part of a beachside restaurant.