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Sochi (Russian: Сочи) is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, situated just north of Russia's border with the de facto independent republic of Abkhazia, on the Black Sea. Greater Sochi sprawls for 145 kilometers or 90 miles along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains. According to the latest results of the 2011 Census, the city had a permanent population of 368,200 making it the largest resort city in Russia. Sochi is not only one of the most well-known cities of Russia, but also perhaps the most beautiful resort of the Black sea coast. The natural landscape of Sochi’s coast is one of the most unique in the world - combining the beauty of subtropical nature, pleasant waters of a warm sea and snowy mountain peaks just a matter of kilometers distant. Sochi has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters that average +11°C (52°F) during the day and +4°C (39°F) at night in the period from December to March. Its comfortable summers average +24°C (75°F) during the day and +16°C (61°F) at night from May to October.
Sochi has been selected to be the host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020. It is also one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Sochi’s appeal is the unique character of its canyons, rivers, high elevation lakes and high waterfalls. The mountain peaks are covered with perpetual snows and ice and in a lower wide seaside valley there are green laden gardens and parks. Tea and citrus crop plantations thrive all year round with mountain ranges protecting the resort from the cold winds from the North, and the Black Sea heating up in the summer gives its heat during the winter increasing the average air temperature.
Significant temperature difference between the seaside and mountain parts of the resort is one of the main reasons for Sochi’s floral diversity. One can see a lot of different kinds of plants in the famous Sochi Arboretum Park. The unique climate makes staying in Sochi the best choice for a man tired of stressed cold cities. Due to environmental conditions the resort can offer a lot of opportunities for leisure time to the guests from the city and local residents 12 months a year no matter the season. Sochi is situated on the same latitude as Nice but strong cold winds from Asia makes winter less warm. In fact, temperatures drop below zero every winter for one or two days.
Sochi’s seaside region has a rich history. Primordial people came here approximately 300-400 thousand years ago. This fact is proved by archaeological evidences in the region of Khosta, Mzymta, and on the right bank of the Psou River. Here a lot of archaeological monuments were found and investigated: caves, open sites, settlements, dolmens, the ruins of castles, temples and burial grounds. The unique nature and climate characteristics of the region encouraged building of hotels, clinics, homes, roads as well as parks, gardens. The first resorts were started here at the end of 19th to the beginning of the 20thcentury.
About two million people visit Greater Sochi each summer when the city is home to the annual film festival called "Kinotavr" and a getaway destination for elite Russians. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 2,957 square kilometer or 731,000 acre, Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, lies just north of the city. Sochi also has Europe's most northerly tea plantations. It is served by the Adler-Sochi International Airport. The Sochi Light Metro is currently under construction and projected to be complete by 2014.
Sochi became famous as balneological spa. In town as well as in its surrounding environs, there are many healing springs of various types, as the town has a more than 60 year old tradition of mud healing. The mud comes from Imeretinsk and in accordance with its physical characteristics, it is identical with known loamy mud. On the other hand, it does not contain hydrogen sulphide or iron. This fact enables its application to weakened or ill adults and children.
Macesta sulphuretted hydrogen springs became a shrine, and even legends circulate about its healing effects. The Hydrogen sulphur water of Macesta contains approximately twenty chemical ingredients of gas, micro-molecules and salts. The main component of the local water - sulphuretted hydrogen - causes a number of organism reactions, by means of penetration of free hydrogen sulphur through skin and breathing passages. It has its good effects for cells, and it is very effective and advantageous to human organism.
A relaxing on Sochi beaches which stretch at least 118 kilometers along the Black Sea coast. In Lazarew district, there are pebble beaches up to 400 meters wide, but in the Central district, there are the most luxurious beaches, including developed water attractions. Those who prefer solitude can have a rest on wild beaches situated along both parts of Vidny Cap. There many cinemas, entertainment parks, concert halls, theatres and aquaparks. The Beer Festival, known as "The Sea of Beer", the international cinema festival "Kinotavr", a theatre festival, a fashion festival, organ and jazz festivals and various concerts are in Sochi.