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Far from Poland, in Krasnodar Krai, there’s a resort which will host thousands of ski enthusiasts just in a few weeks. Russian Sochi is a proud host of 22nd Winter Olympic Games.

For many it's easy – when thinking of skiing, probably the Alps or other mountain ranges rising above the sky from the European continent come to your mind. You don’t think of another continent, because it’s probably too far, and surely too expensive. But when holidays are planned by someone, who isn’t scared by hundreds of kilometers to cover and who can afford a fairly hefty expense, borders can shift significantly for him. Hence, he may focus on resorts, of which the skier with “smaller” wallet can only dream. It may be the famous Russian resort of Sochi, which is located on the Black Sea.

Expensive, more expensive, Sochi

The resort enjoys a fame of the most popular resort in the whole Russia and in 2014 it will host 22nd Winter Olympics. Preparations have been at full blast since months, and along with the work progress, prices in restaurants and hotels rise as well. On the other hand, the place is expensive even without those increases.

According to the website Skyscanner, Sochi ranks first place among 21 most expensive European winter sport resorts. The portal has prepared a special list of resorts, taking into account prices for flight, 7-day stay for two people, ski passes and equipment rental. In Sochi, according to authors of the report, you have to pay about 9 000 PLN (2162 EUR) for that.

Skiing in Sochi

What won’t surprise anyone, who’s at least a little familiar with the history and culture of this giant country, is that the construction of sport facilities and other elements of infrastructure was an expenditure of over 50 billion dollars – far more than the costs of all winter Olympic Games together. For the first time in the history of Olympic Games was built an Olympic Park, which can fit over 75 000 people. Just a Russian splendor.

Sochi hosts the so-called „ice” part of the Olympic Games. The second, “snow” part, will be held on the slopes of Krasnaya Polyana, in the resort Roza Chutor, located about 40 km away from Sochi. It’s possible to get here thanks to the modern railroad. In the period of 9-22 of February Sochi will host all the alpine skiing competitions, while today skiers can enjoy very well prepared slopes and even better views.

Virtues of the Russian Riviera

There is no doubt that the organization of the Olympic Games in Sochi will attract crowds of tourists from all over the world. However, even without this the resort has been very popular since many years. In the summer it tempts with the beauty of amazing beaches, while in winter it’s visited by winter sport enthusiasts, for whom it’s a good starting point to other ski resorts.

Sochi is amazingly beautiful and very green. One of its many attractions is a tea plantation, the only one in Russia, which is the northernmost place of this kind in the world. We can get to know the unusual taste and aroma of the hot drink, which is sold in the climatic tea house in the residential district of Dagomys.

In the very heart of Sochi, there’re sulfur sources Matsesta. Tourists come here from different countries, eager to get rid of skin ailments and get a characteristic "tan", to which the sources owe their common name - "fiery river".

Apart from the sources, another virtue of the resort is Caucasian National Biosphere Reserve and numerous caves, where you can admire the traces left by people, who lived there 35 thousand years ago. Orechowski and Agura waterfalls delight with their beauty, while the water theatre, aquarium and trout farm tempt with the abundance of attractions.

It would take us long to mention every reason why you should go to the far north and visit Sochi. If not in February, during the Olympics, you should certainly do it in the summer.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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