Browsing Category: "Sochi News"

Sochi Discovery World Aquarium Opens

Sochi News December 28th, 2009

Despite the great loss of 4000 tropical fish in September, the Discovery World Aquarium in Sochi –  now larget in Russia and one of few of this kind in the World – did open in time before the New Year.

The Aquarium located in Adler district of Sochi. There are 29 aquariums hosting around 4000 fish of 200 kinds, and it is expected to welcome 1.2 million visitors each year. I believe it’s reachable.

photos (c) Alexandr Valov

You can find more photos from the Aquarium and opening ceremony in Alexandr’s photo album.

New airport terminal to open in March

Development, Olympics 2014, Sochi News December 27th, 2009

New terminal of Sochi International Airport, which was under re-construction for over a year now, or maybe even two years, is expected to start operating in test mode in February, and to open in March of 2010. The International sector is expected to handle 500 passengers / hour, and triple that during the Olympics.

source; photo (c) D’82

Originally, when the building for this terminal was completed back in early 90’s, it was to be the domestic terminal, and the old (current) terminals, being much smaller were to be reconstructed to welcome international visitors. Now, it seems, they have different plans. I really hope this is not going to be terminal for international visitors only. Because Russian tourists, who visit this city in great numbers, who support it economically, who know and love the city, and who’s tax money are helping to bring the Olympics here, deserve comfort and convenience too.

Sochi quick fact: Tourism numbers of 2009

Sochi News December 22nd, 2009

* Gross income from tourism in Sochi in 2009 was $738 000 000 (22,5 bln rubles), which is two times higher than during last year.

* Sochi was visited by around 4 800 000 tourists in 2009.

Source: Sochi mayor’s report from December 21, 2009

Other facts about Sochi »

Sea storm brings destruction

Multimedia, Sochi News December 21st, 2009

Sea storm that has been rocking the shore in and around Sochi has damaged part of new cargo port which is being constructed to support Olympic construction projects, flipped a construction boat that was used in building the port, and broke Moldavian cargo ship in half.

Following is a photo of the «Aras-I» cargo ship that broke in half.

(c) mmordasov

You can view the more photos of this at blog.

The couple of videos below show some of the destruction as it was happening.

Another video: Read the rest of this entry »

Recent road inftastructure improvements

Development, Sochi News December 13th, 2009

Network of roads in the Olympic capital is 5 to 6 times smaller than Russian average – only 0.7 km per 1 sq km of territory. And only 25% of 2400 km or roads comply with modern safety requirements.
Minister of Transportation of Russia

* Construction of the road parallel to the main – and the only – road through Sochi’s center – the Kurortny Avenue – has just been started. It is not the service road around the city. This road is one of the “Olympic” projects. The road will be 17 km long, 6 tunnels are planned (digging of the first starts in January), and total cost just under $1 bln. Estimated completion – year 2013.

* You can now enter center part of Adler from round-about near the rail-road crossing… under the rail-road! The railroad has been closed, at least for now.

This area has been under heavy construction since last summer, giving a lot of headache to local residents. But I hear some good feedback on this recent change from  my friends.

* Joint Transportation Management Center Will Be Established in Sochi (source)

“The new structure will be formed on a basis of the Olympic Transport Board, will reflect the current road situation in real time and alert Sochi inhabitants to the existence and whereabouts of traffic jams.”

The information about traffic conditions has long been available to the drivers in some larger cities in Russia, like Moscow and St.-Petersnurg, via Yandex Traffic online & mobile services. Now similar service comes to Sochi, but it will only be useful if the road network will greatly increase.

The big cats come to town

Sochi News October 15th, 2009

As was promised during the Olympic bid, Russia is trying to reintroduce Persian leopards in Sochi national park — the area they inhabited long time ago. The program is being supported by WWF-Russia, private companies and a number of Russian government agencies. You can read the details in WWW article and in press release on

I’ve heard we have bears, and wolfs in our forests… imagine meeting one of these kitties there :)

photo source:

photo source:

WiMAX in Sochi soon!

Development, Sochi News October 13th, 2009

“Yota” started testing its WiMAX network in Sochi. “Skartel” operator, owner of Yota brand, have launched WiMAX networks (IEEE 802.16-2005, 2.5-2.7 GHz) earlier this year in Moscow and St.-Petersburg (where they now cover up to 70% of city), and in Ufa in the beginning of this month.

The beginning of beta testing in Sochi and Krasnodar was announced two weeks ago. Yota selected 250 testers in Sochi, and 350 people in Krasondar – the capital of region where Sochi is located. Network coverage in Sochi is already available on Yota’s website, and according to it they currently cover only most of Central district and center of Adler.

So, soon Sochi will join very small number of cities in Russia where hi-speed wireless internet is available.

Btw, WiMAX Forum – Russia will take place in Moscow next month.

First solar panel powered gas station in Sochi

Development, Sochi News September 17th, 2009

Today Lukoil opened solar powered gas station in Krasnaya Polyana. This is certainly first one in Sochi, and according to Lukoil’s press release (rus) it is the first gas station in Russia to use such system developed domestically. The solar generated energy will mostly be used for internal and external lighting, and as an emergency backup system to ensure station running without interruption.

Solar powered gas station in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi. photo (c) Lukoil

Over 4 000 exotic fish die at Sochi’s customs

Other stories, Sochi News September 2nd, 2009

Over 4,000 exotic tropical fish died at an airport in Sochi after being kept in customs for hours in the summer heat. “The 18-ton cargo, containing over 4,000 exotic fish from China, was standing at customs at Sochi Airport for more than 14 hours in quite hot weather”… customs deny it was their fault, and claim owners did not submit proper paperwork.

The fish was intended for the brand new Sоchi Discovery World – world class, 6 700 sq. meters, $25 mln oceanarium which was scheduled to open during the 8th International Investment Forum Sochi-2009 (starts on September 17). Hm, around $480,000 in investments into Sochi lost while trying to “decorate” investment forum in Sochi… quite symbolic, I think.

Well, according to the head of the oceanarium they are going to try to open as scheduled…

You can read the full story at Russia Today: Thousands of exotic fish boiled alive in Sochi airport domain mysteriously transferred to Sochi 2014 officials

Olympics 2014, Other stories, Sochi News August 24th, 2009

About a week ago domain name – which hosted popular city portal with forums, classifieds, events calendar, news, etc. – was transferred to Organizing Committee “Sochi 2014”.

Why and how this happened is a bit of a mystery. Originally, on August 19, an announcement was posted on the website that the popular portal will move to a new domain –, and included statement that “by the order of the Government of the Russian Federation administration of domain name goes over to the Organizing Committee “Sochi 2014″”… but later that sentence was removed from the announcement.

Neither Organizing Committee nor previous owner commented this to the media. Most news agencies quoted head of PR of the Ru-Center, .RU’s official domain names registration center, mentioning the “Olympic Law”, which basically makes anything with Sochi Olympics logo and other Olympics-related symbols (and that includes domain names) property of the Organizing Committee. However, not only that makes no sense, since is not much different from in this respect, but also only combinations of “Sochi” and “2014” fall under that law — this was discussed and explained at the time when this law came into effect.

But this is a done deal – WHOIS info already shows “Organizing Committee “Sochi 2014″” as’s registrant, and the copy of the original portal already spinning at the According to the original announcement, anyone who has email address and all third level domains will exist until the end of this year.

I wonder what project will spin at this address next.

Aeroflot Becomes General Partner for the Sochi 2014 Games

Olympics 2014, Sochi News August 19th, 2009

Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Russia’s biggest airline carrier, has been picked as a General Partner for the 2014 Games in the Sochi 2014 Passenger Air Transportation Services category.

The only interesting thing I gather of this news story as far as this blog goes is following statement from the press release: “As part of its partnership programme Aeroflot will increase the number of regular flights bound for Sochi and launch new direct flights from Sochi to parts of Europe.”

The only direct regular flight I know of between Sochi and European city that exist today is Sochi-Vienna operated by Austrian Airlines.

Full press release on this news with other details is available on official Sochi 2014 website.

Airlines that fly to Sochi from MSK and SPb

Sochi News July 8th, 2009

I might as well post list of airlines that I know fly to Sochi from Moscow and St. Petersburg: Read the rest of this entry »

Domestic flights to Sochi are expensive!

Russia, Sochi News July 8th, 2009

Only 3 airlines have direct flights to Sochi — Russia’s largest summer resort, from Saint-Petersburg — Russia’s second largest city, a home to over 4.5 million people… in the middle of the summer season. One of them flies with a stop in Krasnodar (that adds several hrs to your travel time), and another one of the three only flies 4 times a week.

Compare this to 12 (!) airlines (that I know of, there could be more) that have direct flights between Sochi and Moscow.

Many other cities have it worse than St. Petes, there either no flights, or flights only a couple of days a week. There’s no competition, and because it’s the middle of the vacationing season there are no special deals. This makes Sochi one very expensive destination to fly to.

Consider this: s Saint-Petersburg – Sochi round trip flight in the first half of August with convenient weekdays (weekends) and departure times on “Russia Airlines” – the only one that has direct, non-stop flights daily – costs 548,00 EUR ! And this is with 5% off for buying tickets online already calc’ed in.

At the same time there are plenty tours (which include travel, accommodation, and, often, food) offered to Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, and resorts in other countries for approximately the same price or even lower… while I couldn’t find anything similar for Sochi, or any other resort on Russia’s south.

And comparing these prices to the deals available on inter-European flights from low-cost European airlines, all this drives me crazy.

New section of detour road opens

Development, Sochi News November 30th, 2008

Another section or “ring” or detour road around Sochi’s center was opened yesterday. Here are some details about this road:

  • The road will do from Mamaika district in the Sochi’s center to the area around International Youth Center «Sputnik» in Khosta;
  • Construction started in 1988, but was quickly frozen until 1998;
  • First section was opened in 2001 from Sputnik, it includes one (if I remember correctly) tunnel and a couple of bridges; it’s 4.5 km long;
  • Newly completed section is 4.2km long, and according to Russian media it includes 2 tunnels and seven bridges;
  • They are promising to complete the road by the end of 2009.

Some believe it will solve half traffic problems by routing people who are not going to the Sochi’s Central district around it, which sounds like a great idea. But keep in mind following when you reading about this road in the news: First of, the detour road already exist – yes, it’s in pretty bad condition, but it covers pretty much the same route… and it doesn’t solve anything! Maybe if they fix the existing road and there will be two of them it will help the Center, but I haven’t heard of these plans. Secondly, if they route all the construction vehicles there, as the plan to, this will simply destroy this the road, and the rest of the people will continue going through the center continuing jamming traffic there. And thirdly, I’m glad they’re thinking about Central district, but Adler, where Olympics are planed is in no less, and maybe even in more need to improve road infrastructure… yet I know of very few plans to improve it. One of which is to re-route railroad which currently crosses main road in Adler, and constantly causing traffic jams and interruption in public transport, which goes of route to avoid that place, leaving people in some areas with very few ways to get around. But even fixing this is nowhere near to be enough.

Aeroflot-Don’s international flights to Sochi

Sochi News November 30th, 2008

Past summer I was asked about direct flights between Sochi and Dubai, as I wrote about ’em before. I knew there are direct flights, but I couldn’t find any info about it at that point in time, even on the official «Aeroflot-Don»’s website, which operates this route. That was strange to me, since I’ve read many times that AD has regular direct flights, and my close friend brags about going there every year. I did ask my friend about the flight, I told him that I can’t find any info about it, but he said it exists and we can call right now to find out the details. Sitting at the beach in burning sun on a beautiful September day we didn’t, but when couple of weeks ago he told me they’re going to OAE again, I figured I gotta find out what’s the deal is.

Turns out these flight are only regular during winter season. This also includes flights to Istanbul, Turkey, and Gyumri, Armenia. And the information about them is now available on «Aeroflot-Don»’s website (Russian only).

Sochi (Russia) — Dubai (OAE)
Flights period: 28.10.2008 – 24.03.2009
Once a week, every Tuesday.

Sochi (Russia) — Istanbul (Turkey)
Flights period: 27.10.2008 – 27.03.2009
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Sochi (Russia) — Gyumri (Armenia)
Flights period: 20.11 – 25.12.2008, 08.01 – 26.03.2009
Once a week, every Thursday.

So, there it is. Apparently there are no direct flights to these cities from Sochi during summer.

And as a reminder, Australian Airlines operates regular direct flights between Sochi and Vienna.