The Krasnodar Krai located along the Black Sea is an all in one region. It’s home to Russia’s famous beach resort town Sochi as well as Krasnaya Polyana the best ski resort in the country.
Everybody seem to be living in the Krai : Circassians (the true natives) Armenians, Georgians, Greek pontic, and even Assyrians. Without surprise, this great mix of people and cultures brings tasty food !
The Krasnodar Krai is also famous for having the northern most tea plantations in the world and is one of the top wine region of the country : try the Abrau Durso sparkling wine and you will be pleasantly surprised !
In short : warm sea, high mountains, laid back and friendly people, tasty food, great drinks, good tourist infrastructures make the Krasnodar Krai an awesome travel destination !
The Circassian genocide
The ethnic cleansing of the Circassian tribes by the Russian Tsar’s army started in 1864. In about 3 years up to a million and a half people have been massacred and kicked out of their historical land. Circassia used to be half of the North Western Caucasus and within a few years has been swipped off the map.
The Circassians who managed to survive fled to the Ottoman Empire through the Black Sea. There are now diasporas in the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East. Up to this day, Moscow refuses to recognise the Circassian genocide.
Where to sleep
Tourist infrastructures are great around the Krasnodar Krai. There are tones of resorts, hotels, hostels, guesthouses, homestays etc around the region.
Even during the high season, you will find somewhere to stay at the last minute.
You can book your accomodations on Ostrovok.ru, the best alternative to Booking.com in Russia.
You can also wild camp in the mountains. However if you wish to stay overnight in the Western Caucasus Nature Reserve, you need to buy a pass which is 300₽/day and stay at designated campsites. You can buy the pass online if you own a russian bank card or in Krasnaya Polyana.
I have written a guide to hiking in Krasnaya Polyana with plenty of resources.
If you plan on travelling the south of Russia, you can directly fly to Sochi international airport from let’s say Turkey. Many airlines fly there and the airport has never been shut unlike Krasnodar’s during the SMO.
At the time of writing, Kranodar’s airport is still closed and there are no flights to/from Moscow or else. You must fly to Sochi if you want to reach the region by air.
However, there are many trains from the main russian cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg to Krasnodar, Novorossysk, Sochi and all the way into the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana. A high speed train named Lastochka travels daily from Krasnodar to Adler.
Buses are available throughout the Krai and long distances buses are available to other regions of Russia and Crimea.
For more informations on transport booking platforms, check out my travel resources page.
The Krasnodar Krai is with Adygea one of the North Caucasus region with no warning from Western governments (now it’s the whole country, hey). There is no safety problems in the region politically and ethnically speaking.
However, as stated previously I highly recommend you to check the weather forecast before starting any hikes in the mountains.