tour@expresstorussia.com

Sochi, the Russian Riviera

5 days and 4 nights

  • Schedule
    Tour can be started on any day
  • Languages
    English-speaking guide is guaranteed. Other languages are on request.
  • Accommodation
    The following hotel options are available:
    3 stars - 4 stars - 5 stars
  • PRIVATE TOUR
    This is a private tour, there won't be other people in your group
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Itinerary

This is our longest Sochi tour which includes all of the major highlights as well as the city’s surroundings: Matsesta, Akhun Mountain, Agura Waterfalls, Stalin’s dacha and the fascinating Khosta distict with its amazing pre-historic Yew and Box Tree Grove. You will also spend a day in Krasnaya Polyana, breathing fresh mountain air, enjoying magnificent views and a delicious Caucasian lunch.

Day 1

Arrival in Sochi
Welcome to Sochi, one of the most famous Russian cities! On arrival in Sochi you will be met by our friendly representative who will escort you by car or mini bus to your hotel. Your Russian travel itinerary begins right away as on the way to the hotel, you will have the opportunity to get your first glimpse of city.

Excursion: Panoramic City Tour (4 hours)
After settling down at the hotel, you will take a panoramic city tour to see the city's main highlights, including the Pushkinskaya Library, the Canon and Anchor monument, the Primorskaya Hotel - one of the oldest hotels in the city, built in the 1930s in Stalin's Empire style; and the Winter Theatre - another majestic example of Stalinist architecture. You will also visit Matsesta, famous for its curative hot sulfur springs first discovered by the ancient Greeks and that have made Sochi a popular resort destination for hundreds of years. Then you will drive to Saint Prince Vladimir Cathedral, first opened in 2011, built by voluntary donations made by the citizens of Sochi and visitors from all of Russia's regions. You will also make a stop at Riviera Park which was originally created for Russian Tsars, who enjoyed spending time on the Black Sea coast around Sochi. Your final stop will be at the Sea Port which has recently been enlarged and reconstructed to meet the flow of visitors during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel

Excursion: Full-day trip to Krasnaya Polyana (8-9 hours) and Trout fishery (1 hour)

Welcome to our small Russian Switzerland - Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow). In the beginning of the XX century, the small village of Krasnaya Polyana became the Imperial hunting grounds. A hunting lodge was built here for Nicholas II in 1901, and was soon followed by numerous chalets of Russia's nobility. During Soviet times, this unique resort gradually dwindled into obscurity, and was revived only in the last quarter of the XX century. Today Krasnaya Polyana is a popular skiing and hiking area. During the trip, you will make a photo stop at Monastyr village and enjoy a marvelous view of the Akhtsu Cave; you will go through the longest underpass in Russia (2420m) opened in 2005. Then you will arrive at Chvizhepse narzan spring, where you will have an opportunity to taste a chalybeate mineral water. Finally you will arrive at the village of Krasnaya Polyana. You will make a stop at a local apiary where you can taste and purchase various kinds of local honey and enjoy a delicious Caucasian lunch. At the Krasnaya Polyana ski-resort, you will have chance to taste wines made using local herbs and take a ride on the ski lift to the top of the mountain (for an extra charge) for a breathtaking view of the West Caucasus mountain range.

At the end of the day, you will relax at the trout fishery, the largest and the only trout farm in Russia. You will learn how the trout are farmed, see the trout ponds and feed the fish. You can even fish yourself, with guaranteed success! At the end of the tour, you can also taste freshly cooked fish dishes here.

Day 3

Breakfast at the hotel

Excursion : Tower and Agura Waterfalls (3-4 hours) or Matsesta: Healing Waters and Northern Tea (4 hours)


You will start your tour by visiting the Greater Akhun Mountain, Sochi's highest mountain. The mountain can be seen from every part of Sochi; its height is 633m (2175ft) above the sea level. On top of the mountain, you will see a 30-metre Watch Tower built in 1935. You can climb to the top of the Tower to enjoy an excellent panoramic view of the Greater Caucasian Mountain Range, the city of Sochi, its glittering coastline and the Black Sea. You will then walk through the gorge towards the Agura Waterfalls, formed by the majestic Agura River flowing down from the Alek Mountains. The highest waterfall is 30m, and the lowest is 20m. The path to the waterfalls winds its way through a sub-tropical forest and is considered to be one of the most beautiful spots in the area. You will have some excellent photo opportunities on this trip!

The tour to the Tower includes a climb to the top of Akhun Mountain. The tour is recommended for active guests in good physical condition, and is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair. As an alternative to this tour, we offer a visit to Matsesta which involves less physical effort.

Matsesta is the birthplace of the Sochi resort and the place that originally made Sochi famous. The Matsesta curative hot sulfur springs were first discovered by the ancient Greeks and they are still used to treat people with respiratory and cardio-vascular problems. You will visit the cave where the springs flow from. You will learn about Matesta's history and the peculiarities of the local water that contains over 27 types of minerals. After this, you will travel to the picturesque Matsesta Valley, where you will visit the Matsesta Tea Factory. Here you will see the tea plantation and the factory, learn about the most northern tea production in the world and about local tea-making traditions. At the end of the tour you will have the chance to taste Matsesta tea and even buy some to take home.

Lunch

Excursion: Stalin's Dacha (3 hours)
The Dacha (summer residence) is a 3-storey mansion, built in 1937 as a secret place of rest for Joseph Stalin and painted green for camouflage. Located near his native Georgia, this dacha was Stalin's favorite. After his death, the residence was used by other Soviet leaders. The dacha retains the interior and the atmosphere of Stalin's époque, you can also see his personal belongings. You will see Stalin's wax statue seated at a desk with a smoking pipe in hand. The locals even say that Stalin's ghost haunts the dacha, but you will have to come and see for yourself.

Day 4

Breakfast at the hotel

Excursion: Discover Khosta District (5 hours)


On the last day of you trip, you will visit the Khosta district - a part of Sochi with a very special atmosphere and rich history. This area was inhabited beginning in prehistoric times due to its favorable climate, abundance of edible plants, wild game and fish. In the VIII-X centuries, the Khosta Fortress was built here, which can still be seen in the Yew and Box Tree Grove. In the XIX century, Khosta gained the title of a city, whereas Sochi was still a village at that time.
We will start the trip with a visit to The Gallery of Wooden Sculpture. This private gallery occupies a 5-storey building and numbers over 500 works. Russia has always been famous for skillful wood-carvers and in this gallery you will see works by a contemporary craftsman.
After the Gallery you will proceed to the Yew and Box Tree Grove which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Located in a natural clearing in the middle of a primeval forest, the Grove dates back to the pre-ice age. You will have a chance to breathe the air of the Tertiary period of the Cenozoic Era, when homo sapiens didn't even exist. You will be enchanted by the ancient beauty of the forest. Some of the giant box trees are 500-600 years old; the yew trees are even older, 700 years or more! The forest boasts a great variety of fauna. You will also see the ruins of Khosta Fortress.
The last stop on the trip will be the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior, which was built in 1911. In Soviet times, the church shared the fate of many Russian churches - it was turned into a club in 1933 and it was re-opened as a church only in early 1990s. The tour of the church will be conducted by a local priest.
NOTE: The Gallery has no elevator and is not equipped for guests with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair. Walk in the grove is on well-marked paths and is nice and easy and is recommended to everyone.

Day 5

Breakfast at the hotel

Check-out

Transfer to the airport


Say goodbye to Sochi, the summer capital of Russia and home to the 2014 Winter Olympics. We hope to welcome you back to Russia in the future. Do Svidaniya or until we meet again!

Included Sightseeing

These sights are included into the standard package:

Sochi
Yew and Box Tree Grove
Yew and Box Tree Grove

Yew-tree grove is located on the south-eastern slope of Mount Akhun ( 2.5 km from the Black Sea) and is part of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve. This is a truly unique area, where many plant species from pre-glacial era can be seen.

Stalin\'s Dacha
Stalin\'s Dacha

This 3-storey mansion was built in 1937 as a secret place of rest for Joseph Stalin and painted green for camouflage. Located near his native Georgia, this dacha was Stalin's favorite. After his death, the residence was used by other Soviet leaders. The dacha retains the interior and the atmosphere of Stalin's époque, you can also see his personal belongings. You will see Stalin's wax statue seated at a desk with a smoking pipe in hand. The locals even say that Stalin's ghost haunts the dacha, but you will have to come and see for yourself.

Krasnaya Polyana
Krasnaya Polyana

Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow) is often called small Russian Switzerland. In the beginning of the XX century, this small settlement became the Imperial hunting grounds. A hunting lodge was built here for the Emperor Nicholas II in 1901, and was soon followed by numerous chalets of Russia's nobility. During Soviet times, this unique resort was abandoned, and it was revived only in the last quarter of the XX century. Today Krasnaya Polyana is a popular skiing and hiking resort.

Agura Waterfalls
Agura Waterfalls

Agura Waterfalls are located in Khosta district of Sochi. They are formed by the majestic Agura River flowing down from the Alek Mountains. The highest waterfall is 30m, and the lowest is 20m. The path to the waterfalls winds its way through a sub-tropical forest and is considered to be one of the most beautiful spots in the area.

Prices and Terms

Low Oct 1st - April 30th
  hotel 3 stars hotel 4 stars hotel 5 stars
2-3 $1807 $1876 $2067
4-5 $1322 $1391 $1582
6-8 $1174 $1239 $1430
single supplement $347 $217 $563
High May 1st - Sep 30th
  hotel 3 stars hotel 4 stars hotel 5 stars
2-3 $1885 $1876 $2119
4-5 $1400 $1391 $1677
6-8 $1248 $1239 $1525
single supplement $555 $286 $650
Low Oct 1st - April 30th
  hotel 3 stars hotel 4 stars hotel 5 stars
2-3 $1733 $1759 $2084
4-5 $1248 $1274 $1599
6-8 $1096 $1127 $1447
single supplement $260 $321 $546
High May 1st - Sep 30th
  hotel 3 stars hotel 4 stars hotel 5 stars
2-3 $1963 $1902 $2227
4-5 $1330 $1417 $1742
6-8 $1183 $1270 $1590
single supplement $407 $451 $676

*Prices are per person based on double occupancy in a specific hotel. You should add single supplement to the price in case you travel in a group but you stay at a single room. If you travel by yourself, please, contact us and we will give you a quote.

Prices include

  • Transportation for excursions and tours
  • Guide service
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Breakfasts at the hotel, 1 lunch (during Krasnaya Polyana trip)
  • Free visa invitation – the document necessary for obtaining a Russian visa when applying for one at the local Russian Consulate in your country.

Prices do not include

  • Visa processing costs. For US, UK and Canadian citizens, our company offers Full Visa Support. This is where you send us your passport and other documentation and we obtain the Russian visa for you.
  • International airfare. Our Russian tours are offered as land only where you arrange your own airfare and we meet you at the airport and handle everything else. 
  • Optional services as well as theater tickets
  • Travel insurance

Tour dates are flexible. Tours can be customized to your taste. We can include additional excursions or performances on your request. We can also mix and match and adjust the accommodation to any hotel of your choice. 

Payment policy:
To book a tour, 30% deposit is required at the moment of booking. The trip must be fully paid 31 days before departure.

Cancellation policy:
61 or more days before departure - a fee equal to 15% of the entire package will be charged.
60-15 days before departure - a fee equal to 30% of the entire package will be charged.
14 days or less before departure or no-show - a fee equal to 100% of the package will be charged.

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