Sochi mapSochi is the perfect destination for a February getaway to catch a first-hand glimpse of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Whilst the Russian resort town gears up to welcome the world’s finest winter athletes, traditionally Sochi benefits from a reasonably mild climate lasting most of the year, and is surrounded by the warm and welcoming waters of the Black Sea.

Nestled on the border between Russia and Georgia, Sochi requires a short flight from the UK to a main airport such as Moscow, before catching one of the multiple daily connection flights to the town. Sochi provides a beautiful backdrop to the games, with the Olympic Village based in the neighbouring port of Adler and certain events due to take place in the nearby ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana. Along with breath-taking architecture and the numerous events planned to celebrate the games, Sochi has plenty of historical buildings and scenic parks to visit including the popular Arboretum.

What to bring…

To gain entry to Sochi you’ll need to have a visa to enter Russia, which depends on your passport being valid for 6 months after your departure date. You’ll also need to bring with you a ‘Letter of Invitation’ from your hotel, accommodation or travel agent, and any tourists who will be attending the games will also need to purchase a ‘Spectator Pass’ online or upon arrival. This needs to be shown with your Olympic event tickets to gain entry into the venue. The temperature is usually quite moderate but you might want to pack an extra warm coat if you will be attending any events in the mountain cluster.

Stay at…

Most of the top hotels have already been booked in time for the games, but smaller 3 star hotels and B&Bs still have vacancies. If you are going to see the games then you’ll need to arrange separate transport from your hotel to Adler, which is around a 20 minute drive from Sochi.

Eat…

With the Georgian border nearby, cuisine in Sochi has a noticeable Georgian and Turkish influence. Traditional Russian potato salad needs to be sampled and is the perfect accompaniment to chicken or sausage courses. Pirozhki dumplings are also a regular on most menus, and are baked dough pockets filled with beef, mushrooms, rice and mashed potato. Wash your meal down with a warming glass of Sbiten, a delicious mulled honey drink that is just as tasty with a shot of vodka added in the evenings.

Explore…

Dendrary Botanical Garden
A popular destination for visitors and locals alike, Dendrary garden is a once-private collection of over 1,800 exotic species of trees and bushes representing almost every country in the world. Set across two sections, the hill side is decorated with classical Italianate park fountains and sculptures, whilst the lower side features a pond with swans and pelicans.

Agura Waterfalls
Not technically in the town, Agura waterfalls are still well worth a visit. Found amongst the vast forests that surround Sochi, a walk through the ancient Russian trees will bring you to the falls that drop from 30m along the hiking trail. It’s a great site to take in the panoramic views across the city and the Black Sea.

Winter Theatre
If you fancy watching a Russian style opera then this is the best place to find one. An un-missable building within the city, the venue can also be explored in the day when no concerts are playing, giving you the chance to wander around and take in the impressive scale of the building.

Once you’ve returned from your trip don’t forget to record your visit on a personalised travel map to keep a log of where you’ve been before you start to plan your next exciting adventure away! For even more great travel and map related gifts visit Map Marketing.

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