Cultural and educational tourism is also called excursional tourism. The point of this type of travel is in familiarizing with the culture, history and artistic heritage of the place of visit, and in this regard, Sochi also has quite a lot to offer its guests. The advantageous geographical position of the resort - between the sea and the mountains – has led to the emergence of many wonderful natural phenomena and monuments. The yew-boxwood grove, Akhshtyrskaya and Vorontsovskaya caves, the Еagle cliffs, Agursky waterfalls, and Akhun mountain are traditionally on the must visit list of attractions available in Sochi. Furthermore, this list is growing: for example, as of 2017 the excursions to the waterfalls include a very interesting comfort route to the Mendelikha Park of waterfalls in Rosa Khutor area. Nature lovers are welcome to visit the Sochi national Park, the famous Arboretum and the Yuzhniye Kultury Park. The great history of those places can be discovered drawing on the extant buildings and monuments. It will not take a long time and will leave unforgettable impressions to visit the Volkonsky dolmen, the Genoese fortification remains in Hosta, Godlik medieval fortress, the ancient towers and walls of Achipse near Krasnaya Polyana erected in the sixth-eighth century on one of the roads, which was a part of the Great Silk Way. Within the city itself, one can see the Vereshchagin viaduct and the remains of Navagin fortification wall. Fort Alexandria, the first Russian military-type settlement, which used to be in the area of modern Sochi city center, is at present under protection as a national military fortification monument. The later period historical and architectural monuments including the Marine station, the Indo-European Telegraph, Voronov’s Dacha, the Sochi Lighthouse complex of buildings, the Treasury, Yusupov’s house are in excellent condition and continue to make a great impression on tourists. Experts account for at least 8 architectural styles, explicitly represented in the urban environment of Sochi. The beautiful examples of neo-romanticism include Villa Vera, Jacobson and Zinoviev’s Dacha, the Red Shturm Sanatorium building. The functioning Library named after Pushkin, Gordon's house, Ranovsky brothers’ Teremok are built in the Art Nouveau style. The building of the Sanatorium named after Voroshilov, the former sanatorium Mountain Air, and the building of the Institute of Balneology and Physiotherapy are the examples of constructivism. Primorskaya hotel building, which is the architectural landmark of the resort city, has been erected in the style of Soviet Art Deco, Matsesta Valley Sanatorium belongs to the modernized neo-classicism, Commercial Gallery in Navaginskaya to early modernism and minimalism, and Hotel Dagomys to late modernism and monumentalism. The special charisma of Sochi is even more enhanced by the luxurious buildings in the style of Stalin's Empire such as the Marine Station, the Railway Terminal, and the Sanatorium named after Ordzhonikidze. One of the most famous and frequently visited historical monuments in the resort city is Stalin's Dacha on the territory of the former Green Grove Sanatorium. Impressive monuments of religious architecture in Sochi include the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel, erected in memory of the end of the hostilities of the Caucasian war (1864), and the new Temple of the Miraculous Image of Christ the Savior, built in the Olympic Park on the site where the ruins of a ninth century Byzantine Church were found. The sculptures decorating Sochi are numerous and diverse: the classical monuments to Emperor Nicholas II, Alexander Pushkin, Maxim Gorky, Nikolai Ostrovsky within the space of the city quite naturally coexist with amusing figures of owls, dogs, street musicians. On the territory of the Seaport, where a few scenes of the famous comedy The Diamond Hand were filmed, there is now a sculptural group depicting the characters of that hit movie. Near the Pushkin library in 1913, they erected the monument representing the Gun and Anchor in honor of the victory in the Russian-Turkish war - the only memorial in the country dedicated to that historic event. In Ploschad Iskusstv near the Art Museum there is a symbolic composition called The Golden Fleece, and in the village of Lazarevskoye one can see the majestic monument known as The Good Angel of Peace, opposite Festivalniy Concert Hall there is a monument to Vladimir Vysotsky, and in the resort town of Adler there are mosaic sculptures The Coral and The Fish by Zurab Tsereteli.
Antique times put a great emphasis on Sochi history. Ancient travelers regarded Black Sea as ominous. Ancient Greeks even called it “Inhospitable”. The tribes that Aristotle in IX BC called bloodthirsty and fierce to newcomers are to blame for it. Aehi, Zygii and Geonihi, as some antique historians claim, lived on the territory stretching from Tuapse, Sochi and up to Abkhazia, and earned their living by means of piracy and slavery. Since that time there have been told many legends about Sochi. Here are some of them: The birth of Matsesta. At night when a daughter was born in the family of a highlander Kerenduk, the mountain river reflected the Moon like a flame. So Kerenduk following the tradition of that times called his daughter Matsesta - which means flame water. Parents loved their daughter with all their hearts and she was very attentive and caring to them. The healing water. Once when her parents got very ill a holly man told Matsesta that there was a magic underground source which healing waters could cure her parents. The girl swore to get the water at any price. She got into the cave and started an unequal fight with an evil underground spirit that preserved the water from people. The victory price. The brave girl conquered the evil spirit and digged the source way to people. But she gave her life to do that. Since that time, in the honor of that brave girl, the curing water that brings people health is called like that wonderful girl - Matsesta! A legend about Dolmens At the western part of the Caucasus there lived mountain people Adyghe - or Circassians as some ancient people called them. Circassians considered Dolmens as holly constructions, they payed honors to them and guarded them. The kozaks who came to the territory one century ago called dolmen “giant’s little huts” or “devil huts”. The highlanders called dolmen “dwarf houses” (“Ispun”). European travelers to the Caucasus wrote down numerous legends, telling how giant people built houses for little dwarfs. Once upon a time in the rich land, covered with impassable thick forests, there lived only two tribes of people. A tribe of tall like an oak and fiercely looking giants and a tribe of little dwarfs. The giants lived in river valleys and hunted for living. The dwarfs lived high in the mountains, in caves, and practiced magic. The dwarfs rode hares. And the giants, although being very tall, were dumper than a fish, whereas dwarfs, being very weak, were wily as hell. The two tribes didn’t see and didn’t know about each other’s existence. But once the dwarfs came to the valley and saw how the big giants were playing, throwing rocks at one another and pulling out trees with the roots just for fun. Little dwarfs with the help of magic cunningly made the giants their servants. Once dwarfs ordered the giants to build little cozy houses for them. The giants jumped at the order and built many little stone huts with little round doors through which only dwarfs could come into their houses. Times have changed. The dwarfs themselves have long disappeared. But the huts are still on their places. A legend about Dzhegosh. Long time ago, at the mouth of river Shakhe there lived a giant Dzhegosh. He was known because he ate beautiful Adyghe girls. In time Adyghe faced a problem of bloodline continuation. Adyghe didn’t know how to get rid of the wretched giant. The time came and it happened so that there wasn’t a single girl in the settlement. Then one of the eldest man in the tribe offered to drink the giant with a “wild honey”. The Adyghe rolled out to the valley where the giant was having rest a huge barrel with the wild honey. The giant rushed to taste the honey. When he was eating the Adyghe let out wild bees that started frenetically stinging the giant. Trying to escape the giant ran away waving his hands striving to drive the bees away. Where he stepped the ground cracked and and water appeared. The giant made 33 leaps and fell dead bitten to death. This way the 33 waterfalls appeared. A legend about Prometheus. The legend is saying that in old times people didn’t know the fire. People huddled in caves, hunted with stones and dungeons and ate raw meat and roots of the plants. At the same time the Olympus life was passionate and intriguing. Once Prometheus stole a spark of the holly fire and presented it to people. The holly fire inspired people for labour and arts. They mastered crafts and arts. Zeus could not forgive Prometheus treachery. Many people know how Zeus treated the titan, but only a few know that Zeus chained Prometheus to the Eagle Rock. Zeus condemned Prometheus to great tortures in a far highland, precisely here - near Sochi. A split rock looks impressive. A cliff, nowadays called Prometheus cliff, still preserves some parts of the chains and the warmth of strong body and a flame heart. No wonder - so long one of the fiercest and bloodthirsty eagles of the local pagan gods Okhyn was tearing the giant’s chest with his sharp claws eating his liver. The Beauty Agura secretly brought some water and food to the hero for what was turned into a river. Over thousands of years the legend about the giant who gave people fire got a new meaning for Sochi. On the 5th of July, 2007, the Guatemala held the voting where Sochi claimed to be the Olympic city in 2014. Soon Sochi will have not a mythical but real fire!
“A Person is what he eats,” says the popular wisdom. It is enough for a guest of Sochi to look at the local residents – full of energy, lighthearted, friendly and cheerful - to make a direct link between the typical southern character and the local cuisine. To come to Sochi and not enjoy such gastronomic marvels as shashlyk, khinkali, khachapuri, chebureks is unthinkable! In addition, the list of magically delicious dishes that you can treat yourself to at the main resort of the country is not limited to Caucasian cuisine – there are culinary hits of different countries and nations at every step!