Iceberg Skating Palace is a dazzling sports venue situated in the mesmerizing city of Sochi in Russia. The arena has been designed to host sporting events like figure skating, speed skating and ice skating. The venue was established in 2012 and has been a witness to several 2014 Winter Olympics events. Most of the prominent structural elements of this architectural marvel were constructed with the help of steel.
The top of Akhun Mountain boasts a splendid view of the city, the sea, and Sochi National Park. People say that on a clear day you might even see Turkey. The slopes of the mountains contain 30 caves as well as the ancient Khosta Yew and Boxwood Grove. Akhun's watchtower is an architectural landmark, which dates back to 1936 and was built using the medieval style.
Sochi National Park is 193,737 hectares (478,735 acres) of natural and cultural wonders. There are mountains, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Among the park's main attractions are Akhun Mountain, the Zmeyka Cascade, the Vorontsovskiye Caves and the Khosta Yew and Boxwood Grove. Cultural attractions include the ruins of a Byzantine temple, a Bronze Age dolmen, and the watchtower on top of the Akhun. The national park is home to various kinds of rare flora and fauna, including several leopards that live in open-air cages.
This beautiful garden is located close to the Central Stadium and the Arboretum. Its centerpiece, the Friendship Tree, is a unique experiment started by horticulturalist Fyodor Zorin in 1934. It is a wild lemon tree, onto which branches of other citrus trees, including orange, grapefruit, and tangerine trees, have been grafted. The tree has branches added by people from more than 160 countries, some of them famous politicians, scientists, astronauts, and cultural figures. The landmark celebrates internationalism and peace. The garden has a museum where various gifts to the Friendship Tree are collected.
The Sochi Arboretum is one of Sochi's main tourist attractions. It dazzles with its collection of subtropical flora, including various species of pines, oaks, cypresses, and palms. There are special zones on-site dedicated to the flora of the Caucasus, China, Japan, South America, North America, Australia and Mediterranean countries.
The three Agura River waterfalls count among the top natural attractions in Sochi. They are located in the Khosta District, about two and a half miles (four kilometers) from the seashore. You can get there by bus or marshrutka (share taxi). You will have to catch your ride in the center of the city, get off at the Sputnik stop, and then cross the Agura River and follow the signs for a little bit more than half a mile. The entrance to the Agura Gorge is situated near Kavkazsky Aul, a local restaurant. The first and lowest waterfall is considered the most splendid, so there are often a lot of tourists there. Stairs lead to the next two waterfalls. After you see them, you can either visit the Orliniye Skaly (Eagle Rocks) or take a longer route to the majestic Akhun Mountain. Orliniye Skaly are said to be the rocks to which Prometheus was chained, and fittingly, there is a statue of him on top. Prometheus was watched by a god called Akhyn, who lived on the Akhun mountain. When Akhyn saw a local girl named Agura giving Prometheus water, he turned her into a river. On top of the Orliniye Skaly you can not only enjoy the view and take pictures with Prometheus, but also buy some snacks and drinks at the nearby kiosk. From here, you can descend to the Matsesta microdistrict, famous for its balneotherapy resort.
Locals call this park "green Hermitage." It has an astonishing collection of rare plants from all over the world. The park is especially gorgeous during spring, when the sakura is in full bloom. Yuzhniye Kultury is located in the Adler District, where the coastal Olympic facilities are located.
Brilliantovaya Ruka, or The Diamond Arm, is one of the most popular Russian movies ever. Released in 1968, it is a comedy that tells the story of a kindly oaf named Semyon Semyonych who inadvertently became a diamond smuggler. Part of the movie was shot in Sochi, so it is no wonder that the city would have a monument dedicated to it. The sculptural composition is located close to the Morvokzal (Seaport Building). It depicts Semyon Semyonych with his family as well as the smugglers Gesha and Lyolik.
What looks like a giant mythical bird is actually The Poyushchiye Fontany in the Olympic Park in Sochi. It is also known as “The Singing Fountain'', which springs to life at a set time when the Russian folklore plays and bewitches her visitors with lights, glare, dancing water and jets that spill water up to 70 meters (229 feet) high. It was built especially for the Olympic Games held in 2014 and has continued to mesmerize its spectators.
Built in 1955, Morvokzal (the Seaport Building) counts among Sochi's most famous architectural landmarks. It has long been one of the summer capital's most recognizable symbols. The Morvokzal is also a functioning sea terminal, from which you can take a short sea cruise or a trip to Gagra in Abkhazia, Batumi in Georgia, or Trabzon in Turkey.
Founded in 1898, the Riviera Park counts among Sochi's most beloved tourist attractions. Here, you can feast your eyes on rare and exotic plants, see a rock or pop gig at the Zeleny Theater, or relax at one of the park's many bars and cafes. For children, there is a variety of amusement rides. Located close to the sea, Riviera Park truly has something for everyone.
This monument pays tribute to the heroic medics who treated the Soviet soldiers wounded in the Second World War, when Sochi was a "hospital city." It is an elegant arch, under which are the statues of a nurse with a patient and a surgeon. The monument is located by the Southern entrance to the Riviera Park, at the end of a beautiful alley with flowers and fountains.