Matt Long a RoamRight Blog Author

Highlights of Sochi and the Russian Riviera


Image source: Flickr - killerbass

Your airfare has been booked for a year, you managed to find a hotel and you even snagged those hard to find tickets to one of the biggest sporting events of the year, but you're still wondering what else there is to do in Sochi. In February the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will officially open in this popular Russian resort town, but while it's well known in Russia, most of us in the West don't know a whole lot about the region. Here are a few not-to-miss experiences whether you visit during the Olympics, or any time of the year.

Stalin’s Summer Villa (Dacha)

One of the most notorious leaders of the 20th century, Joseph Stalin used to relax in his private dacha in the woodlands near Sochi. Today visitors can get a firsthand look at how this brutal leader once lived and even learn more about his family at a small museum. Not a light-hearted visit, it is still important to learn more about Stalin to understand how he shaped the former Soviet Union and the Cold War.

Visit Mount Akhan

This is more of a summer activity, but a visit to the observation point on Mount Akhun is a great way to really appreciate the surrounding region. The highest point on the coast, you can climb to the top of a tower to get 700-meters high and see the city of Sochi and even the Turkish coast on a clear day.

Black Sea Cruise

Situated on the Black Sea, Sochi is known as the summer capital of Russia thanks to its position on this beautiful body of water. While weeklong cruises are possible, first-time visitors to Sochi should plan on spending a day on the water to get a better understanding of the city and surrounding areas. Be sure to book an excursion that includes a stop at one of the many shingle beaches and keep your eyes open for celebrities. Many world-famous athletes, musicians and politicians can be found sunning themselves on a warm summer’s day.

Sochi Discovery World Aquarium and the Adler Dolphinarium

Great family friendly activities for any time of year, be sure to include these maritime experiences on your list. The Aquarium is one of the largest in Europe and includes many different types of sea life from around the world, but has an especially great assemblage of Russian freshwater species as well. The Dolphinarium is known for its hour-long dolphin shows in a massive facility that holds more than 1,000 spectators.

Museum of Sochi Sport Honour

If you're visiting for the Olympics, then this museum is a must-visit attraction. The newest museum in town, the collection shows the history of the Olympics, the Olympic movement and Sochi's participation in the 2014 games. The museum also includes miniature models of the 2014 Olympic venues, a great way to get your bearings before setting off on your own.

Are you planning on attending the 2014 Olympic Games?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Matt Long

Matt Long, a RoamRight Blog Author A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.

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