- Routes from Sochi
- Routes from Lazarevskoe
- Routes from Khosta
- Long-distance routes
- On a note
The city of Sochi is located on the Black Sea coast, surrounded by the fertile Caucasian nature. Since 1983, the Sochi National Park has been created here, which includes a large area of the coast, several mountain ranges, many rivers and streams, caves and waterfalls. The park has territories where the population of leopards is being restored, there is a nursery for subtropical plants, an arboretum, a huge state sanctuary where wild boars and muskrats are found.
Hiking trails around Sochi run through the national park. In total, there are 28 official and marked routes, among them there are the simplest and shortest ones, for 2-3 hours of leisurely walk, and multi-day routes of high difficulty.
Routes from Sochi
The simplest route through Sochi itself that you can take with your child is the Sochi Arboretum. The arboretum is part of the National Park. It is divided into lower and upper parks and occupies 46 hectares in total. There is a zone with a mini-zoo, there is a museum - the villa of the founder of the Arboretum S. Khudyakov, which is called "Hope". Arboretum - a landscaped area with paved paths, information posters and infrastructure. A cable car leads to the upper park. The length of the route is any optional.
Agursky waterfalls on Mount Akhun, approximately halfway between Sochi and Khosta. The road goes up the picturesque slopes, overgrown with forest, in some places it rises quite steeply. On the way, you will come across a small mountain backwater called the Black Font - you can turn to it from the route, but the stream leading to it will have to be ford. On the main route, a bridge is laid across the stream, and then there are two waterfalls, one cascading, and the second just twenty meters high. If you wish, you can get to the slab from which the second descends, but this entertainment is not for children. You can go back from the second waterfall, or you can go further - to the top of Akhun or to the Eagle Rocks. The length of the route is from 4 to 15 km.
Routes from Lazarevskoe
If you live in Lazarevskoye - a little to the north of Sochi - there are also several short and interesting routes in the national park here:
- With children from Lazarevsky, it is better to go to the "Berendeevo kingdom": this is a specially equipped area of the National Park. There are also dolmens and waterfalls here, neat paths with fences, hanging bridges, a mini-zoo, a cafe - this is the most civilized part of the park. The length of the route can be as long as the children are not tired.
- The easiest and most popular route from Lazarevskoye is the Mamedovo Gorge by the Kuapse River. Tradition says that it was named after the deed of Mamed, the local "Susanin", who took the Turks away from their native village and led them somewhere here in the impenetrable jungle. Now there are no wilds, and it is impossible to get lost here. Above the gorge there are three waterfalls with stone bowls, in which you can swim, and from the waterfalls you can conveniently descend into the gorge itself. In the gorge there are several dolmens - megalithic structures that are several thousand years old. The length of the route is 5-7 km.
- If you want to go further, then you should go to the Svir Gorge. The route starts from the lotus pond near Lazarevskoye and goes along the river to the gorge. Here you can wade or walk along the wooden walkways. On the way there is a meadow equipped for picnics where you can relax. One of the attractions along the way is the Moonstone. It is a huge boulder of silvery white color and is protected as a natural landmark. Not far from the stone there is an ancient dolmen, and further - a waterfall called "Adam and Eve", with two cascades. The gorge ends with the Mother-in-law's tears waterfall - a low, but stormy and clean small lake where you can swim.
Routes from Khosta
To the south of Sochi is the village of Khosta, in the vicinity of which there are also several interesting hiking trails.
The most popular walking place is the yew and boxwood grove. A relict biosphere reserve, a unique place that has preserved the same landscape and vegetation that was here 20 million years ago: boxwood trees, almost completely overgrown with moss. Several eco-routes have been laid along the grove, the easiest of them, which can be walked even with a small child, is a short concrete path, "Small Ring". There is also the "Devil's Gate" - a canyon of the Khosta River with the ruins of an ancient fortress. Route length: 1, 5-5 km.
From Khosta or Adler, the easiest way is to get to the Psakho River canyon - one of the most picturesque places in the vicinity of Sochi. Actually, there are two canyons - Sukhoi and Wet, a new river bed and its old bed. Walking both canyons can be challenging, with both climbing and walking on wet rocks. But there are posters and signs, and on the most difficult climbs there are stairs and wooden walkways. The length of the route is 15 km.
Multi-day routes through the Sochi National Reserve start not from Sochi, but from Krasnaya Polyana - it is she who is the center of hiking in these parts. However, it is very close to Sochi and it is very easy to get there, and already on the spot you can rent all the necessary equipment.
- The most popular route is to Mount Tabunnaya and Bzerpinsky Karniz. It can be one day or two days, depending on the pace and desire to spend the night. At its final point, a platform with a water source, toilets and a parking space is equipped, so they usually go here without rushing with an eye to spending the night. The cornice offers magnificent views of the surroundings. The length of the route is 14-15 km.
- The most interesting route is to Abkhazia, to Lake Ritsa. It will take 2-3 days depending on the pace and includes a visit to the Gegsky waterfall, Mount Pshegishkhva and ends at Lake Ritsa. The difference in altitude on this route is 2400 meters, there is no marking there and it can be difficult for beginners - for example, you can only wade through the Gega Gorge or use a special cable. There are no specially equipped places for spending the night here, but there are flat areas where you can put up a tent. There are springs along the way, but there are not many of them. But on the way there are magnificent views, and in good weather you can even see Elbrus. The length of the route is 27 km.
On a note
The entrance to the Sochi National Park itself is paid, so all these routes start at the ticket offices. If you go on a multi-day route, then you need a special pass from the management of the reserve, and if you have to go to Abkhazia, then also from the border guards.
When going on hiking trails in the Sochi National Park, be sure to take the right shoes! Most of the routes follow well-trodden paths, but they can be quite steep and rocky, and can be slippery in rainy weather.
On most short routes you can find tents with drinks and even small cafes, but the prices bite from them - it is better to take water with you. Going to the waterfalls, you can grab a swimsuit - there are places where you can swim in the clear water of mountain rivers.
The good news is that ticks in the southern regions can very rarely bring serious diseases with them, in the north they are much more dangerous. The bad news is that there are ticks in these places, so it is worth taking care of the means against them.