Sochi is known not only for the beaches, but also for the fantastic nature. We’ve rounded up 7 locations the nature lovers will appreciate.
This mountain can be seen from almost any spot in Sochi and is one of its symbols you will find on all the tourist memorabilia. It’s 633 m. above the sea level and topped with a Roman-style tower that opens an incredible panoramic view to the coastline and the Caucasus. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as 102 km. At the footsteps of the tower lies a tourist village with numerous cafes and souvenir shops.
Renowned for their scenic splendor, the Eagle cliffs are 125 m. high vertical drop-offs over a river. Along the path you can also see local flowers and herbs, a waterfall in the valley and the scene of the surrounding mountain tops. According to the local legends Prometheus was chained to these very cliffs by the cruel Greek gods.
How to get there: take the tourist path up from Staraya Matsesta or go down from the Mount Akhun top.
Yew and Boxwood Grove
This relic forest stretches on the eastern slope of the Akhun Mount for 302 hectares is listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take the Small Ring (1.5 km.) or the Big Ring (5km.) routes to see the gorge of foliated rocks called the Maze, the moss-covered precious boxtrees and reach the the viewing point overlooking the White Rocks and the Khosta river valley.
The rapids of Gegosh brook created a series of mossy waterfalls up to 10 m. high in the middle of the Sochi National Park. It’s best to visit this site early in the morning to avoid the crowds. After hiking, you can stop for lunch at a local eatery to try Caucasian cheeses, honey and wine.
This pedestrian eco-route takes you to the magic kingdom of mystical tsar Berendey. It’s an Indiana Jones-like site starting with a suspension bridge, taking you through Bronze Age dolmens, ancient Adyghe burial grounds, and endless greenery. You can easily spend the day here, exploring the waterfalls. The largest one is 27 m. high and is called Berendey’s Beard!
This long chain of caves digs deep into Mesozoic limestones that run parallel to the Black Sea coast for 400 km. Three parts of the cave complex are all interconnected with each other and have twelve different entrance/exit points. The Vorontsovskaya Cave is twelve kilometers long, making it the sixth longest cave in Russia. The stalactites and stalagmites in these caves reach several meters tall. Scientists believe that this maze used to be a home to cavemen in prehistoric times.
Although this is a man-made location, the collection of flora and fauna from both Americas, Australia, Japan and other countries is sure to impress any nature-lover. The park climbs uphill and has a viewing point on the top. We suggest you take the cable car to appreciate this gem of landscape design from above and then walk downhill to examine the exotic plants and ponds with waterfalls and rotundas. Entrance fee including a cable car ride is ≈$8.