The Krasnodar Krai : Unveiling Russia’s Southern Gem

Nestled along the Black Sea and sharing borders with Abkhazia, the Krasnodar Krai stands as the southwestern frontier of the Russian Federation.

Rich in history, this territory was once the heartland of Circassia until annexed by the Kuban Cossacks in the 19th century.

Today, the Krai, affectionately known as Kuban by locals, boasts a vibrant tapestry of cultures, including Circassians, Armenians, Pontic Greeks, and even a small Assyrian community.

While a favorite among Russian tourists, the region remains a hidden gem for many foreigners, often overshadowed by Sochi only. Yet, the Krai’s breathtaking natural wonders is easy to be explored ; from the vast Kuban steppes in the North to the world’s highest tea plantations, the warm Black Sea beaches, lush subtropical forests, and endless opportunities for mountain hiking in the Great Caucasus.

Krasnodar Krai flag
Quick overview
  • Population : about 5 600 000 
  • Minorities : Russians, Circassians, Armenians, Georgians, Pontic Greeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Assyrians and others
  • Capital : Krasnodar
  • Religions : Christian Orthodoxy, Sunni Islam
  • Protected areas : Western Caucasus Nature Reserve (UNESCO), Sochi National Park, Utrish Nature Reserve
  • Must try food/drink : Abrau Durso sparkling wine, Krasnodar tea, Kuban borsch
  • Best time to visit : all year round
  • Border crossing : the Psu border with Abkhazia