Russia Winter Destinations - Sochi

Krasnaya Polyana Ski resort ©Vladimir Fyodorof

Routes ►Places ► Top Winter Destinations in Russia ► Winter Sochi

Local Time: Moscow Time  

Distance From Moscow: 1650km

Average Winter Temperature:  +8C

   In 2014 Sochi entered the world stage as the host of the Winter Olympics. A vast amount of money was spent on the games building new sporting venues, including completely revitalising the ski resort in the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana outside the city and connecting it to the city with a railway line. Many believed that after the games the new infrastructure and venues would turn into white elephants which has happened before after many Winter Olympics. However, these naysayers have been proved wrong. In the year following the Olympics, Sochi became an incredibly popular destination and skiers from all over the country, not just Moscow and St Petersburg, came here. Along with the Russians, many foreign tourists also visited.

  A trip to Sochi offers a great opportunity to ski or snowboard at a modern, Olympic-standard ski resort, but at the same time you also have the chance to visit a beautiful sub-tropical seaside resort, without crowds of tourists. Of course it will be too cold to swim or sunbathe in winter, but compared to the rest of Russia, winter temperatures in Sochi are very mild. Krasnaya Polyana has four separate ski complexes which also offer skiing facilities for children.

  It makes a great place for an active winter holiday with the added bonus of there being interesting sights in the city such as the city’s art gallery or regional museum, the oceanarium or the museum located in what was once Stalin’s Dacha. 


Krasnaya Polyana Ski resort © Sergey Novikov

  The weather in Sochi is unusual. Down in the city are beaches and promenades, while up in Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi's ski resort) there are snowy slopes.

  The winter temperature in Sochi remains between +8C and +10C degrees whereas in Krasnaya Polyana it is generally between -2C and +3C.  

  The snow at Krasnaya Polyana lays rather late in the year and the skiing season officially only opens in the last weeks of December. Therefore it is best to go between January and April. However, you should bear in mind that January, especially the first two weeks, is the peak season for the resort as Russian skiers come here during the long Russian New Year holidays and it might be worth avoiding this period if you want to come when it is a little quieter. Probably the very best time for skiing at Krasnaya Polyana is in February and March when there is usually a lot of snow, nice weather and slightly fewer people than in January. 


Winter Sochi

  You can go to Sochi for a weekend but if you want to do winter activities and sightseeing it is better to go for a longer period.


Winter Sochi
  • There is a daily comfortable and big premium double-decker train from Moscow to Sochi. It takes about 24 hours.

  • A direct train from St Petersburg to Sochi takes almost 2 days to get there. 1st and 2nd classes are available.

  • From Moscow, planes to Sochi leave almost every hour and it only takes about 2 hours to get there. 

  • From St Petersburg there are 2 or 3 flights a day which take 3 hours. There are also flights between Sochi and other major Russian cities.