Recce trip to Sochi December 2014
How lucky we (Helen Isaeva and me, Svetlana Paranko) are to find ourselves in sunny Sochi in December at least for 3 days! We did spend three unforgettable days in Russia's only subtropical resort city that stretches along the Black Sea coast for 145 km.
Our memorable trip to Sochi from snowy Moscow started with a very comfortable flight by Aeroflot air company (flight Moscow Sheremetyevo – Sochi actually takes 2,5 hours). Upon arrival at the Sochi airport we were met by our partner – Solis Sochi hotel and transferred very fast to Gorki Gorod resort at the height of 960 metres where our inviting property was located.
Just to make geographic understanding easier - Krasnaya Polyana resort comprises 3 smaller ones: Gorki Gorod, Rosa Khutor and Laura (known also as “Gazprom”). These areas were specially constructed by the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. Nowadays this fabulous mountain countryside, located just 40 km from the sea coast, can be easily considered as a small Russian Switzerland at an altitude of 600 m above sea level.
The natural environmental conditions of Krasnaya Polyana – the sea of snow and a mild winter – allowed this region to develop a winter resort. A great number of ski runs, ski lifts, hotels and other elements of the tourist infrastructure are successfully carried out.
Next morning we were busy with Solis Sochi hotel and conference rooms’ inspection. We were immensely impressed by all spacious mountain viewed rooms, highly-technologically equipped conference/meeting venues and cosmopolitan restaurants and bars. The striking feature of the hotel is in-ski cafe “Echo” that skiers can easily reach to have a bite or a more substantial meal here right from the slope without changing boots or clothing.
Then taking a funicular down to Gorki Gorod we had a chance to inspect Marriott Krasnaya Polyana hotel with its separate conference centre. We may say hotel Marriott Krasnaya Polyana Sochi meets all Marriott standards. Here our team was invited to enjoy lunch at one of exquisite restaurants of the Marriott property.
During an observation resort tour we had a chance to walk along Gorki Gorod to enjoy December Sochi sun and to get our noses a bit sunburnt…
Later in pm we lifted 2200 m height – “Father Frost’s Peak” that is a real paradise for fans of mountain skiers. Just try to imagine that breathtaking snow mountain view from that point, it is easy to feel a vertigo from all that striking natural beauty!
On day 3 morning we were on the way to Bolshoye Sochi – it is actually an hour drive from Krasnaya Polyana through the sceneric mountain and valley landscapes. On the way we visited SkyPark – Russia’s first adventure attraction. It is located in the Sochi National Park in the Ahshtyrskaya Gorge on the road to Krasnaya Polyana. The centerpiece of the park is the world’s longest suspension footbridge 439 m long and 207 m high. From that bridge we were enjoying magnificent panoramic views of the Caucasus Mountains, Black Sea, Bungy , Swing and Megatroll activities.
A stay in Sochi is always a relaxing holiday at the sea and in day 3 pm we got to Bolshoye Sochi where we were delighted by the sea embankment hidden in palms! There is a number of luxurious hotels on the Black sea shore such as Hyatt Regency, Radisson and etc
The highlight of our visit to Bolshoye Sochi was our excursion to the Olympic Park in coastal cluster. Sochi Olympic Park was constructed for the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics. Located in the Adler City District of Sochi, Imeretinsky Valley, on the Black Sea (about 4 km, or 2.5 miles) from Russia'sborder with Abkhasia/Georgia).The Olympic Park houses the main Olympic Stadium used for the Games' ceremonies, and the venues that were used for indoor sports such as hockey, figure skating, curling, and speed skating. Formula 1 highwayIt also houses training facilities, the Olympic Village, the international broadcasting centre, and other amenities. The park was designed so that all of the venues would be accessible within walking distance of each other. The venues are situated around a water basin containing a fountain known as "The Waters of the Olympic Park". It is very interesting to observe all the sport complexes and even Grand Prix Formula 1 highway driving by electro car – that was a great experience for us!
After wandering along the sea coast and breathing in fresh salty sea air me and Helen decided to try taking a fast train “Lastochka” back to Krasnaya Polyana from Sochi apart from our group.
It turned out to be rather cheap (64 Rubles – one-way ticket) and very comfortable to travel by Lastochka local trains to Krasnaya Polyana resorts.
We did have sufficient time to walk around and see Rosa Khutor and Laura resorts.
All these resorts are located rather close to each other and it was all our pleasure to walk back to Gorki Gorod from where we took a funicular to hotel Solis Sochi 960 m level.
In the eve farewell dinner was arranged in the Grill Restaurant and everyone could take pleasure from tasting various dishes of signature cuisine from the Chef.
On Day 4 morning we had to say good-bye to the wonderful climate, the clean sea, the fresh sea air, the unique landscape, and the lush southern vegetation! It was time for us to come back to our winter and snowy Moscow!
We were so happy to get 3 days of summer in the middle of December !:)