Sochi is Becoming a Hub for International Summitsby Opinion Express May 21, 2018 0 comments
After PM Modi’s visit to Russia’s well-known tourism hotspot, Sochi on May 21, the city will become a hub for international summits. After this meet, it has been expected that it will draw the attention of thousands of Indian tourists as well.
Perched on the Black Sea coast and hailed as the Switzerland of Russia, Sochi has emerged as one of the prominent cities on the world map for key international summits and meeting place of world leaders. The resort city is already Russia’s biggest tourism hotspot and has gained hugely in its destination profile internationally since it played host to the 2014 Winter Olympics. That further transformed it into one of the most modern cities with a highly developed tourism infrastructure.
And with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Russia’s largest resort city, located in the Krasnodar Krai region, on May 21 for an informal summit level meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the event has added another destination to the Indian travellers’ map.
Sochi is particularly popular for its wonderful climatic conditions and availability of therapeutic mud and mineral rich springs in the city. Besides its various historical and tourist places of interests, it offers activities ranging from water sports, adventure sports, family hotspots, children’s parks, river rafting, longest skywalk in the world, some of the world’s finest ski slopes, cycling excursions in the city and surrounding, gaming and casinos, world-class hotels, resorts and recreational centres, great shopping and culinary experiences, among others.
So where do Indians fit in? Laying claim to being the northernmost tea plantation anywhere in the world, the Dagomys Tea Plantation owes its standing to the region’s unique micro-climate that makes it fertile ground for the growth of tea leaves. The plantation is also a fully-fledged tourist attraction as it offers a wide range of events and activities. Visitors can explore the farm, listen to talks on the history of tea in Russia, participate in 19th-century style tea-parties in an authentic Russian wooden country log home situated at the top of a mountain, and listen to performances by folklore groups singing traditional Russian songs. There is plenty of tea sampling opportunities too as well as the chance to pick up tea-themed gifts and souvenirs at the on-site shop.
A visit to Mount Akhun gives you expansive views of the region. Located 15 km from Sochi’s city centre, the mountain’s summit is marked by an imposing 100-foot Romanesque tower from which visitors can enjoy panoramic views. If you are lucky with the weather, can stretch as far as the remote Turkish coastline. There are ruins of a medieval Christian church and around 20 caves.
To gain a deep insight into Sochi’s rich natural and cultural history under one roof, the museum is the place to go to. It features a vast collection of artefacts, many of which were discovered by local mountaineers in the early 20th century. The museum is a veritable gold mine of information and intrigue. The pieces on display date back from antiquity all the way through to the current day, providing a potted history of the region.
With 105 km of Black Sea coastline, most visitors to Sochi during the summer months can enjoy a swim in its warm, calm waters, an array of pristine shingle beaches and a vibrant nightlife.
Joseph Stalin might have been a brutal dictator but he did have an eye for a nice home. Known as a “dacha”, the Russian word for “holiday home”, the charming wooden property has remained largely untouched since its former owner’s death in 1953, with many of his possessions, including clothes, photos and even a pool table, still present. Another pleasing legacy is the outstanding mountain and ocean views that can be enjoyed here. One notable addition since the home was occupied has been a visitors’ restaurant on the ground floor, where you can enjoy classic Caucasian dishes while mulling over the notorious history of this fascinating site.
One of the longest cave complexes anywhere in Russia, the Vorontsovka Caves contain evidence of human habitation dating back an incredible 20,000 years. It is this fact, along with the caves’ remarkable visual appearance, that draws visitors here from far and wide. Located in the Khosta and Adler districts of Sochi, the caves can be navigated by foot via a series of entrances dotting the slopes of the Kudepsta River Valley at heights of up to 720 meters above sea level.
The legacy of the 2014 Sochi Olympics continues to burn strongly, and nowhere more so than at Olimpiyskiy Park, which was built especially for the prestigious sporting carnival and captured the world’s attention. Even if you’re not an athletics fan, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here — you can rent a buggy, bicycle, quad bike or just stroll around and admire the park’s striking landmarks, including the 40,000 capacity Fisht Olympic Stadium, an open-air venue. It is time to follow Mr Modi’s itinerary.
Writer: Team Viva
Courtesy: The Pioneer