Europe Travel News

Even before Winter Olympics, Sochi is a must-see part of Russia tours

To the outside observer, Sochi may not be one of the most well-known names on a tour of Russia, but that's likely to change in the coming months. The southwestern city is gearing up to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will certainly shed some light on its many appealing features. There are undoubtedly some misconceptions surrounding Sochi, but a closer look will provide a clearer view into why it was chosen as the host of the Olympic Games.

An attractive destination year-round
Because it will be home to the Winter Olympics, it might be easy to assume Sochi is like many of the Russian cities to the north - cold and windy. On the contrary, its place on the Russian Riviera  makes it the largest resort city in the country. Not only that, but its summer season lasts about six months, and even once winter rolls around its temperature stays mild. There are also a number of pristine beaches, especially in the district of Dagomys, that give you the chance to take in the beautiful weather.

Opportunities for winter sports
Given its warm weather, it may seem unusual that the Winter Olympics would be held in Sochi, but thanks to its location under the Caucasus Mountains, there are plenty of spots in the higher elevations where travelers can indulge their colder active pursuits. The neighborhood of Krasnaya Polyana is especially geared toward adventure travel and is home to the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort, which was constructed specifically for the 2014 games.

Rich history
Like much of Russia, Sochi has a compelling history, and there are a number of interesting sites that speak to its intriguing past. One of its most recognizable buildings is the imposing Winter Theater. Built in the 1930s, this stunning piece of architecture draws heavy inspiration from classic design elements. Of course, the theater is not the only architectural and historic highlight in Sochi. You should also consider paying a visit to Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest Orthodox church in the city. The stunning white building dates back more than 120 years. Rounding out the landmarks in Sochi is its famed arboretum, which is home to many stunning specimens of subtropic flora and fauna. 

Recommended Tours

Baltics Highlights

7 days from $1,806 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
More Info

Budapest, Vienna, Prague Signature

7 days from $2,072 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
More Info

Highlights of Eastern Europe

10 days from $2,840 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The rhythmic trot of your horse and the soft crunch of your carriage wheels upon cobblestones is a seductive soundtrack to accompany the stunning ancient architecture of Vienna’s charming Ringstrasse.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime Travel Leisure Award 2015