Sochi, Russia’s only subtropical resort city, located in Krasnodar Krai, northeast coast of the Black Sea is soon to be in the news.
This time, Sochi City will be hosting six matches of a total 64 ties that would be played in 12 venues in 11 cities during the 21st FIFA World Cup quadrennial international football tourney contested by the men’s national teams of member associations of FIFA beginning 14 June to 15 July 2018.
Sochi in 2014 became the first city with a subtropical climate to hold the Winter Olympics. Similar climate is observed in nearby Abkhazia as well as in the south-eastern United States (Mississippi, Louisianan, Alabama, Georgia.)
In these regions, maximum precipitation occurs in the winter season, mainly in the form of rain, while winters are somewhat warm; summers are hot and humid because the city is located on the northern edge of the subtropics with frosts and snowfalls sometimes during winter.
The average temperature in January is plus 6.1 degrees Celsius, in July – plus 23.2 degrees Celsius. In summer, the water temperature reaches 26 degrees in August. And the average number of sunny days is 211.
But what makes Sochi tick? The city is informally referred to as the summer, the southern and resort “capital” of Russia. It is a major transportation hub as well as a large economic and cultural center of the Black Sea coast and is 1, 620km south of Moscow.
The vast majority of the population of Sochi lives in a narrow strip along the coast and is organized in independent micro districts (formerly settlements).
The biggest of these micro districts, from the northwest to the southeast are Lazarevskoye, Loo, Dagomys, central Sochi (Tsentralny City District), Khosta, Matsesta, and Adler.
Located on the slopes of the Western Caucuses which descend to the Black Sea, Sochi is cut by the rivers – the biggest being Mzymta, which is in fact the longest Black Sea tributary in Russia and the Shakhe.
Other rivers include the Ashe, the Psezuapse, the Sochi, the Khosta, and the Matsesta. The Psou River makes the border with Abkhazia.
Almost the whole areas of the Greater Sochi, with the exception of the coast and of the area which belong to the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, are included into Sochi National Park.
Sochi has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters (average 11 °C (52 °F) during the day and 4 °C (39 °F) at night) in the period from December to March and warm summers (average 24 °C (75 °F) during the day and 16 °C (61 °F) at night) in the period from May to October.
The attractions in Sochi are its warm, subtropical climate, the Black Sea, mineral sources, the proximity of the mountains, relatively well-developed tourist and recreational infrastructure with more than 30 Orthodox churches and chapels in the city.
Protected areas (Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, Sochi republican state natural reserve, Sochi National Park) occupy about 80% of the total area of the Big Sochi (3,502 sq. km.) Colchis forests located partially on the territory of Sochi (Caucasian Biosphere Reserve) are the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Rosa Khutor” (ski resort in Krasnaya Polyana), Krasnaya Polyana (mountain cluster) – the venue of the Winter Olympic Games 2014, the Olympic Park in Adlersky district, Imertinskaya Embankment (walking area) are among the main places of interest.
It is unlikely if any of the Super Eagles, Nigeria national team matches would be slated for the Sochi main bowl but six of the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches will be played in this subtropical city with a population of 390, 000 people as of 2015, covering an area of 177 square kilometer.