The Southern Federal District is located in the warmest part of Russia and its climate differs from the rest of the country, especially in the south on the coast of the Black Sea, which has a subtropical climate. It is a region of steppe, deserts, mountains and alpine meadows and often does not meet the standard stereotypes about Russia with its warmth, sunshine, seasides and even palm trees. It consists of six federal subjects: three regions, two republics and one territory. Its administrative centre is Rostov-on-Don, which along with Volgograd has a population of over one million.
The XXII Winter Olympics were held in Sochi in 2014 and this has done a lot to publicise this enchanting part of Russia and demonstrate the district’s potential for both winter and summer types of sport. The district also attracts tourists due to the military history of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), the history and culture of the Don and Kuban Cossacks, Astrakhan’s famous white kremlin, the mosques of the Adygea and the Buddhist temples of Kalmykia - the only Buddhist republic in Europe. In addition to the popular resorts on the Black Sea coast, other natural places of interest include the Volga Delta and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Western Caucasus Mountains.