Five places for beautiful photos in Russian resorts

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 Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi

Sochi, Crimea, Anapa, Gelendzhik – the south of Russia is rich in picturesque natural attractions. Together with TASS we have prepared a selection of locations where you can take a memorable photo.

Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi
The Sochi resort is famous for mountain trails. There are about 20 of them in Krasnaya Polyana – for every taste and any complexity. On different routes you can see lakes, waterfalls, forests, views from mountain peaks and the ruins of an ancient fortress. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the conditions of the hike in advance and find out where the eco trail will lead.

This can be done on the resort’s website, there is also information about the cost of passing the route on your own or with a guide. The highest point of Krasnaya Polyana is the Black Pyramid peak at an altitude of 2375 meters above sea level. For comparison: the maximum depth of the Black Sea is 2210 meters.

Climbing the mountains by cable car is available in summer, in winter the entire territory of Krasnaya Polyana turns into a ski resort. In case of worsening weather conditions, you must return to the cable car station; in the evening, walking along the routes is prohibited.

How to get there

The easiest way is by plane to Sochi. An air ticket from Moscow will cost 5,000 rubles * per person round-trip. Then you can get to the resort in about an hour by a comfortable Lastochka (one-way ticket about 400 rubles *) or by taxi (about 2000 rubles *).

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Where to stay in Krasnaya Polyana

We have selected several options for you:

Bridge Mountain Krasnaya Polyana – from 2900 rubles * per night per person;
Hills Polyana Hotel – from 6300 rubles * per night per person;
Panorama by Mercure Krasnaya Polyana – from 4760 rubles * for night per person.

2. Kadykovsky quarry, Balaklava

Kadykovsky quarry, Balaklava
© Olesya Melnikova / TASS

The quarry is famous for its lake: if you look at it from a certain point, the shape of the reservoir resembles a heart.

This is pure coincidence – initially there was no talk of a career as a tourist destination. Previously, limestone was mined here, but in 2007 the work was stopped – and groundwater filled the open pit space. The lake is interesting for its location – even its surface is 14 meters below sea level, which is a rarity for Crimea.

The blue color of water is not the result of chemical impurities, but a natural optical effect. The lake is deep and turns turquoise in bright light. They call it differently – Career or Heart Lake. When visiting the Kadykovsky quarry, keep in mind that you cannot come close to the edges – there is a danger of a collapse. The attraction is interesting primarily because it makes it possible to make a spectacular photo. Swimming in the lake is forbidden, and the water is unlikely to have this – it comes from underground sources and its temperature does not rise above + 10-14 ° C even in hot summer.

How to get there

A flight from Moscow to Simferopol will cost 5100 rubles * per person round trip. You will spend about two hours on the way. To visit all the sights of Crimea, we recommend renting a car right at the airport. The rental price on OneTwoTrip starts from 2700 rubles * per day. The road to Sevastopol by car will take from one and a half hours. You can also take a train or bus (about three hours).

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Rent a car

The quarry is located about an hour’s drive from the city center. It is also easy to get to it by public transport. So, several minibuses and buses leave from Sevastopol (from the city center and from the 5th kilometer of the Balaklava highway), you need to get off at the stop “11th kilometer of the Balaklava highway”.

Where to stay in Sevastopol

We have selected several options for you:

“Dionysus” – from 3800 rubles * per night per person;
Dakkar Hotel – from 5600 rubles * per night per person;
Hotel “Admiral” – from 8300 rubles * per night per person.

3. “Swallow’s Nest” in Crimea

"Swallow's Nest" in Crimea
© Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

The castle was built on a 40-meter steep cliff on Cape Ai-Todor and is made in the medieval style designed by the Moscow modernist architect Leonid Sherwood. Due to the small size of the construction site, the building, 12 meters high, fits on a foundation 10 meters wide and 20 meters long.

After a strong earthquake in 1927, the building fell into disrepair, it was closed for almost 40 years – the unique architecture of the castle required a special approach for restoration. Later, a restaurant worked on the territory, and in 2015, “Swallow’s Nest” was classified as a cultural heritage site of federal significance. Now it is called the visiting card of Crimea and one of the most recognizable architectural monuments in the region.

The object is available for tourists, now guests of the “Swallow’s Nest” can take pictures on the balcony of the castle. A visit is paid, the current prices and work schedule should be checked on the website.

How to get there

Fly to Simferopol by plane. An air ticket from Moscow will cost 5100 rubles * per person round-trip. Renting a car at the airport will cost you about 2700 rubles * per day. You will get from the center of Yalta by car in about 20-30 minutes. If you cannot rent a car, you can also use public transport. For example, by bus number 132.

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Rent a car

Where to stay in Yalta

We have selected several options for you:

Eco Hotel Levant – from 5100 rubles * per night per person;
Hotel Oreanda Premier – from 7600 rubles * per night per person;
Yalta-Intourist – from 9700 rubles * per night for person.

4. Descent “400 steps” in Anapa

Descent "400 steps" in Anapa

The 400-step descent to the sea is located at the foot of Lysaya Gora, which is considered the beginning of the Great Caucasus Mountains.

Due to the location on the seashore, a staircase appeared leading to a secluded pebble beach. Walking 400 steps in a row can be tricky, so benches are placed along the way. Nevertheless, the conquest of such a height is justified – a picturesque view of the coast opens from the top, it seems that there is no descent, and the sea is very close – just stretch out your hand.

How to get there

Fly from Moscow to Anapa in about two hours and 3000 rubles * per person there back. It takes about 20 minutes by car to get from the city center to the descent “400 steps”. In addition, you can get there by minibus number 114 – the stop is located at a distance of 1.1 km from the attraction.

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Where to stay in Anapa

We’ve picked several options for you

“Albatross” – from 2000 rubles * per night per person;
Grand Hotel Valentina – from 6200 rubles * per night per person;
Alean Family Resort & SPA Riviera – from 8500 rubles * per night per person.

5. Rock Sail in Gelendzhik

Rock Sail in Gelendzhik

The cliff is about 30 meters high and only a meter wide. It is interesting because it stands somewhat at a distance from the rock mass on the Black Sea coast and is a natural monument.

More than three-quarters of the sail is in the sea and washed by the waves. The reasons for this location are considered to be the advance of the sea on land and erosion, which destroyed the rock. The name refers to the unusual shape of this natural monument, which can be compared to a stretched sail.

There is a hole in the rock at a height of about 2.5 meters, and it is not known for certain how exactly it appeared there. A common explanation is related to the damage from artillery shelling during the Caucasian War. But there is also an opinion that even numerous shells could not make such a hole in the rock. There is also a legend that the Greek titan Prometheus was chained to the Sail.

How to get there

A flight from Moscow will cost 4000 rubles * per person round trip. Skala Parus is located about 45 minutes’ drive from the center of Gelendzhik, you can get there by bus number 108.

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Where to stay in Gelendzhik

Black Sea – from 2700 rubles * per night per person;
Hotel “Dynasty” – from 4700 rubles * per night per person;
Lermont Hotel – from 6500 rubles * per night per person.


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