Without a doubt, Sochi’s biggest drawcards are the area’s beaches. With over 150 kilometres of sprawling coastline, there are plenty to choose from if you want to take a dip in the Black Sea. Whether you want a beach that has all the conveniences or something a little more secluded, here are the top picks of the beaches in Russia’s Riviera.
Many of the beaches in Sochi are private, managed by the exclusive resorts that back on to them. Although you would assume this means no entry to non-guests, this is not always the case. Locals can purchase a pass before high season starts that allow them to swim at some of these beaches. Some hotels and spas let tourists use their beaches for a day for a fee. Generally, these beaches are less chaotic with fewer people, making them more relaxing. The Swissôtel Resort has a delightful private beach attached to it as well as a luxurious pool, and Rosa Beach is also a popular spot.
Travel down towards Adler from Sochi central, and you’ll come across some of the wildest beaches in the region. These beaches are also as bare as they get down here. No hawkers, no sunbeds, no change rooms or cafés– just a small, pebbly coastline with rocks and boulders scattered along the shore of the Black Sea.
The most well-known beach in town, the Riviera is popular with tourists, as well as locals, who come to train and work out on the pebbly sand. There are even volleyball courts and trampolines, should you feel like a game or a bounce around. This is a great beach if you want to be near all the action, such as the roller coaster. Food, shopping and amenities are all accessible from the Riviera, as are water activities and sports.
North of Sochi central is Dagomys, a district known for its resorts and tea plantations. Here, you’ll find several private hotel beaches, but the central beach is open to the public, and a little less hectic than the more central Sochi beaches. Although sunbathers and swimmers will have a little more room to move here, there are still restaurants and cafés nearby, and umbrellas and deck chairs are available to rent.
Popular for beachgoers with children, the central beaches are good for children and not-so-strong swimmers due to calm, shallow waters and a breakwater about ten metres from the shore. The central location means you’re not far from the action. Street food and places to eat are accessible, as is beachside shopping. The standard sunbeds are for rent here, but if you want a little bit more privacy, there are bungalows and cabins for hire, too.
Developed for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Olympic Beach is a five-kilometre stretch not far from the actual stadium. While access to the beach is free, everything else – such as sunbed rentals and umbrellas – is not. As a modern beach, it also has Wi-Fi. There is an embankment that runs behind the pebbly shore, which has restaurants and bars. Also good to know, lifeguards patrol here.
Further north than Dagomys is Lazerevskoye. It is a district that was once its own town, however, it has now been encompassed by Sochi’s sprawl. Access to the beaches here are easily accessible, as most of the beaches are public and all of the area’s amenities are dotted along the coastline. While there are still tourist shops and cafés, the vibe up here is a lot more chill than central Sochi and even Dagomys.