Where the Sun Hides Behind the Fir Trees: What to Do in Sochi in the Offseason

PHOTO by  Nina Zotina / RIA Novosti
Sochi can offer rest and relaxation even in the off-season when the weather is neither stifling hot nor wet and chilly

Rambler.Travel tells you what to do in Sochi in spring and autumn.

Speed March Through Museums

Car-Motor-Old Times is the most popular of several interesting museums located in Sochi. The exhibits include all kinds of cars, motorcycles, buses and tractors, and even military trucks from different eras.

Russia sochi offseason5

A Collection of Tea in Matsesta

You can find nearby the History Museum of Krasnodar Tea. Its exhibits include documents and photographs that describe tea-growing traditions along the Black Sea coast. Visitors can also see a conveyor that helps process tealeaves. At the end of the guided tour, visitors can have a tea party.

Russia sochi offseason3

The Museum of Sport Glory teaches its visitors about the history of the Olympic games and features nearly 300 exhibits, including torches, Olympic and Paralympic flags, sport-facility models and a lot more. The museum opened in 2010. After seeing the exhibitions, have a stroll through the Olympic Park, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games as well as competitions in ice hockey, figure skating and other sports.

Russia sochi offseason

See the Sea from a Bird’s-Eye View

Avalanches are a serious hazard in the mountains around Sochi in spring. However, it is still possible to admire the panorama of the city from a bird’s-eye view. Take the cable car at the Sochi Arboretum to the top of the hill and follow the cobbled paths down. Along the way, you can admire the black swans, try chestnut cider, breathe in the aroma of cypress trees and walk through the rose garden. The arboretum, founded in the late 19th century, has more than 18,000 plants from all over the world.

Sochi 1

Hide in the Dolmens

Scattered within the vicinity of Sochi are dozens of dolmens, ancient constructions that date back to the Bronze Age. Most of them were found in the 19th century and the megaliths, built using huge boulders and stone slabs weighing up to 30 tonnes, are partially destroyed.

Perhaps the best way to see the dolmens is to go on a one-day sightseeing tour. This will allow you to see the best-preserved megaliths within a few hours without wasting time searching for them.

Russia sochi offseason4

A local legend claims that thousands of years ago, there were giants who built these houses out of pity for their Lilliputian neighbours so the latter could hide from the elements.

Make Gastronomic Discoveries

The local cuisine is a mixture of Georgian, Adygei, Abkhaz and Greek. Go to a coastal café and try souvlaki with kotopulo, Georgian cheese lasagne or a pastrami sandwich with Adygei seasonings. Wash them down with buckthorn grog and hot chocolate spiked with mint vodka.

Russia sochi offseason1

The restaurant Sakhalin in Krasnaya Polyana serves perhaps the best seafood in Sochi. The menu includes crabs, mussels, oysters, scallops, snails, octopus, prawns, smørrebrød and a dozen species of fish.

Dive into the Abyss

Russia sochi offseason6

Skypark AJ Hackett Sochi has a bungee-jumping platform at a height of 207 metres above the ground on the longest suspension footbridge in the world. For those not yet ready to try such extreme fun, there is a more modest swing at the mere height of 69 metres.