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How to Spend a Weekend in Sochi

Perhaps best known for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi has a lot more to it than meets the eye. This city is perfectly geographically located for anyone looking for an activity holiday. It sits right on the edge of the Black Sea, with thick forests inland and the mountains of the Krasnya Polyana ski resort mere miles away.

Swimmers, skiers and hikers will be spoilt for choice when they visit this Russian gem. So, if you’re looking for an idyllic setting where you can sneak in some serious relaxation alongside your exercise, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Stay and Play at Sochi Casino

With its striking columned facade, Sochi Casino is the perfect place to base yourselves during the stay. It can be found in the grounds of the Krasnya Polyana resort, making it perfect for those who want to ski and of course, those who enjoy the casino. The rooms here are spacious and well-appointed, many with views of the sea or the treetops.

It’s worth visiting the gaming facilities for the opulence alone. Chandeliers, heavy velvet upholstery and an enormous range of games make the casino feel incredibly exclusive. Though the Sochi Casino is a sight to behold, the best value is likely to be found online. Sites like Oddschecker compile lists of all of the verified casino bonuses that are available, meaning that you can scan through and select the ones that will make the most difference to your gaming. So, once you’ve soaked in the atmosphere of the casino you can retire to your room and continue the fun with a money-saving bonus.

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Hike Through the Sochi National Park

Sochi is home to Russia’s oldest national park and, although we may be a little biased, one of its most beautiful. The park has a mountainous landscape. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the densely forested park, which take in breathtaking mountain vistas, small streams and lakes, as well as hopefully providing you a glimpse with some of the native wildlife. Those who know a little about this area already will be aware that it was earmarked as the perfect place to reintroduce Persian leopards to Russia’s wilderness.

Since 2009 this plan has been underway and finally, in 2018, two Persian leopards were reintroduced to the mountain slopes. Thankfully for you, Persian leopards are notoriously shy of people and there’s plenty of prey for them to chase, so you’d be incredibly unlikely to bump into one on your hike! However, if you’d still rather not risk it, then you can cheat a little and catch the funicular to the top of the hill, giving you all of the views with none of the leg work.

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Try Traditional Russian Cuisine

Sochi is very well catered for in the form of cafes and foreign food, thanks to its booming tourism industry, yet finding top-quality Russian cuisine is a little more difficult. The restaurant of family recipes “Olivye” fills this need and more, with their beautiful dining space and their dedication to offering a full traditional menu. The dining room is set in the canopy of the trees, looking out into the forest through huge panoramic windows. The space is classically decorated, with heavy drapes, linen table cloths and romantic seating nooks.

The menu isn’t super extensive, but in this instance, that’s a good thing. Everything that they prepare is of the highest quality, from the deep purple and creamy borsch, to the perfectly savoury cabbage rolls. Portions are generous here, so arrive extra hungry because missing dessert would be a crime.

All of the sweets are homemade here, with options like a creamy chestnut puree being far too good to opt-out of. There is almost always a strudel made with local, seasonal fruits on the menu too, with perfect flaky pastry and a light dusting of sugar. The restaurant of family recipes “Olivye” is the ideal spot for a relaxing and romantic meal overlooking the forest, but be sure to book ahead as people are learning about this hidden gem.

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Welcome to Sochi!

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