Destinations \ Sochi (continue)
The territory of Sochi became part of Russia at the end of the Caucasian War. Officially founded in 1898, Sochi was set aside as a resort area. It's fate was decided when mineral springs were discovered throughout the area. Since then it has been developed as a health resort and is now the best in Russia.
Sochi has a number of other attractions here besides its beaches. The third largest botanical gardens in the former Soviet Union are located here, the only tea plantations in Russia, as well as a host of other great day trips into the Caucasus mountains with beautiful waterfalls and mountain meadows. There are great opportunities to travel into the nearby Caucasus mountains from here, so anyone interested in mountain climbing, hiking, caving or mountain-biking will love the Sochi region. The highest summit in Europe, Mt. Elbrus is located not very far from Sochi.
Although it could be said that Sochi is not a typical Russian city filled with Russian culture in the typical sense, it differs in that Russian culture comes to Sochi--to rest and either attend or perform at the many festivals. Nearly every Russian musical group and performer will make a stop in Sochi, and the many vacationers are a ready audience. Kinotavr, the international film festival held in June, is one of the entertainment highlights of the year, with two weeks of back-to-back Russian and foreign film and chances to see Russian stars. Sochi is the place to see not only Russia's rich and famous, but also the thousands of Russian vacationers who continue their annual tradition of a rest on the Black Sea.