I have a vacation of two weeks in late May. What you can do during your vacation? The best thing for me this trip. But I live in Russia in St Petersburg. Anti-Russian economic sanctions greatly weakened the family budget. Salary become smaller and the prices higher. I would like to spend a vacation in Spain, Greece or Turkey, but I can not afford it. Where to spend the next holiday? Perhaps in the Crimea? The cheapest option turned out to be a holiday in Sochi. How much does it cost? Flight from St. Petersburg to Sochi (Adler) there and back, accommodation 8 days in the hotel three stars, breakfast is at this time 24 thousand rubles (420 euros) for two adults. Travel to Europe would have cost twice as much.
I was in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Thailand. But I did not spend any holidays on the Russian Black Sea coast. A trip to Sochi begins next Friday.
Departure from Pulkovo Airport (Saint Petersburg) was at 16:00. The airport is accessible by public transport. Buses from the metro station Moscovskaya are frequent. Is a taxi more convenient? Yes. But it is possible to get too late because stuck in traffic.
Places on the plane were registered by travel agency. Transaero Airlines flight takes off by schedule. Travel time is approximately 3 hours from St. Petersburg to Sochi. As always, representatives of tour operator (Biblioglobus) met as at the airport and were taken to hotels.
It features the first surprise. On arrival you need to fill out big forms with passport data and then a long wait at reception. It was too long. It was somehow faster in other countries. Although, it can occur anywhere.
In fact “Barkhatniye Sesoni” hotel in Adler is not a hotel. This is a hotel district in the east of Adler, close to the border with Abkhazia. “Barkhatniye Sesoni” hotel city consists of four quarters: Catherine quarter, the Russian house, Clean ponds and the Alexander Garden. Olympic Park is within walking distance (or bus ride). The distance to the beach is from 100 to 700 meters. Each quarter has comprises a plurality of hotel blocks.
There were a large number of empty buildings at the end of May 2015. Part of the hotel complex was similar to the urban neighborhoods abandoned residents. Hotels are brand new, with nice rooms. What will happen to these hotels, if they will not be filled with tourists?
We got a room in the “Russian house” quarter. Good spacious room. Wireless Internet is available. Good TV with a wide choice of channels. Good breakfast in the restaurant. (No coffee for breakfast.) On the photo is room of the hotel.
There is no swimming pool in the hotel. Promised gym is not working.
There are also other hotels nearby. For example: “Bridge” hotel or “Bogatyr” hotel. (It is located next to a large amusement park called Sochi Disneyland. The hotel is shaped like a medieval castle.)
Hotel reservation service suggested a hotel rooms in Adler as low as 3,500 rubles for a week in late May. Perhaps hotels reduced prices after construction of these new, large hotels.
The beach stretches from the hotel to the west to the Olympic Park. It is pebble beach. Walking on the gravel and go into the water is very inconvenient. For swimming is convenient to use plastic slippers. Beach is deep. At a distance of several meters from the shore legs do not reach the bottom. These beaches are not the best choice for families with children. The water is warm enough for swimming. The water is much cleaner than in Sochi center.
Along the beach in the direction of the Olympic Park is a good paved walking path. In several places you can rent a bike. (It is used by many tourists.) The cost of renting a bicycle is 150 rubles per 1 hour). Many resorts have many small shops and cafes in such places. There is not. Some people like it, some do not.
Where to eat?
Not far from the hotel, Tavricheskaya Street runs perpendicular to the seafront. There are several cafes with very reasonable prices (compared to St. Petersburg) on this street. There are also several small shops with food. Also on this street there are shops with goods for tourists, souvenirs, Kuban wines store (wine from 18 rubles per 100 grams), and an amusement park.
May 24, 2015.
Adler town is a part of the Big Sochi. “Barkhatniye Sesoni” hotel is located on the eastern outskirts of Adler. Compared to other resorts it is boring. The beach is not a good one. On the other resorts (Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and Spain) next to our hotel were shops, cafes. It was fun to just stroll through the neighboring streets. There is nothing. Only the Olympic Park. But everything will be changed soon.
May 24 decided to go to the center of Adler town. Bus ticket costs 27 rubles. They arrived at the “City Plaza” shopping center. It is normal shopping center, as well as in many large cities. We went to the seaside along Karl Marx Street. Here is everything that is on many popular resorts. There is much more interesting than where our hotel is located. There are cafes and the music plays on the waterfront. Beach is equipped with cabanas, umbrellas, sun loungers.
We went to the Olympic Park after a swimming and a walking along the waterfront. The Olympic Park is a place that can be recommended to tourists to visit in Adler. Stadiums are impressive. The question arises: how they are used now? How much money was spent efficiently? A musical fountain starts operate in the evening, at 20:00. If you have the opportunity, be sure to watch this show. It's really very nice. Entrance to the Olympic Park is for free.
The photo shows the musical fountain in the Olympic park in Adler. Photo does not reflect the real beauty of the show. Shaw lasts approximately 10 minutes and then repeated. It is possible to get to the Olympic Park from Sochi and Adler by bus №125C.
The musical fountain in the Olympic Park photo.
May 25 we decided to make trip to Sochi. It is possible to get to Sochi center from Adler town by bus №125 or by train. The fare depends on the length of the trip, for our case (the entire route) it was 85 rubles by bus. Travel time of about 1.5 hours. We went out at the stop next to the Sochi passenger port. We were swimming, sunbathing and then went to the seaport, and then to the “Riviera” park.
The photo of Marine Station of Sochi, view from the sea.
Next to the marina offers boat trips on vessels of different sizes. They promise to show dolphins. Hour walk on the sea cost from 600 rubles and more. If there was free time, be sure to have accepted the offer. We have been on a similar boat trips in Alanya (Turkey). I liked very much. But there it was more colorful boats.
Riviera Park resembles a mixture of a small market and amusement park. There is a dolphinarium, attractions, cafes and shops with goods for tourists. There are also quiet corners in the park. We went to the Riviera Beach after park. It is often referred to as the best municipal beach in Sochi.
The pedestrian zone of Sochi stretches from the Naval Station to the train station. In my opinion, it's done really nicely. Tourists need to walk along this pedestrian street. It's better than the Riviera Park.
In the picture is shown a small piece of the pedestrian zone. In front is the train station, behind a marina.
After a walking around Sochi we went to the “Mayak” beach (to east of Seaport). Swim, sunbathe, and went to the bus stop.
We did not like this beach. There are pebbles and stones on the bottom. Algae and jellyfish are floating in the water. Getting into the water and swimming is not comfortable. But it seems that everyone beaches in Sochi are pebble with stones.
The embankment in Sochi photo. There are many cafes and shops.
The road to the final stop on the bus 125C this time took about one hour. It was pleasure to return to our quiet hotel after the bustle of the big resort town.
Excursions in Sochi
To have holyday at the resort is not just lying on the beach. Almost all go on any excursions. The following condensed information about the excursions at the end of May 2015. It is prices on tours of our tour operator (Biblioglobus). Representatives of local travel agencies offer similar tours slightly cheaper. You can visit these places your own. (As mentioned, the prices are valid until 31 May.)
- Sightseeing of Sochi - 1670 rubles.
- Grand tour of the “Krasnaya Polyana” - 2100 rubles.
- Excursions in Abkhazia (in different versions) - from 1350 to 2000 rubles.
- Extreme Park Skaypark with jumping from the bridge - from 6,600 rubles to 14,400 rubles.
- The entrance ticket to Sochi Park (large amusement park next to the Olympic Park) - 1300 rubles.
There is also the opportunity to ride on the Sochi F1 circuit.
This is only part of the excursions offered. You will offer them in many places.
Continuing the story: my vacation in Sochi.