Swimming in the pool in January
Grand Hotel Zhemchuzhina has two outdoor swimming pools with heated sea water + 27° C.
That’s why you will be able to swim all year round. The main 50 m long pool with heated sea water has 8 lanes; depth – 1.80 m to 4.70 m; can accept 110 people per hour.
We took this opportunity every evening after having had excursions around the area of Sochi. It was a fantastic pleasure because it was January when Moscow was suffering from the frost and the snow.
You may also use the Russian Banya (bath) accompanied by your friends to get the most out of your vacation. You can refresh yourself in the pool, get rid of fatigue and regain strengths for even more fun and entertainment.
Swimming in the Black Sea in winter
The swimming season is very short in Sochi. You can swim in the Black Sea from July till September with pleasure and in June and October – without any pleasure.
From November till May the Sea is cold for swimming.
We visited Sochi in January when the temperature of water was +10C, and the temperature of air was also about +10C in day time and +5C in night time.
But when the sun is shining you may find a place on the beach where you will feel like as it is +20C.
That’s why you will see my sunbathing and even a scene where I was running out after having taken a quick dip in the sea. Not for pleasure but only for memory that I swam in the Black Sea in January, haha!
Swimming in the Black Sea in summer
Sochi was a cult resort in Soviet times first of all because of its warm sea and sunny beaches. The problem was in a very short resort season – since June till September. That’s why the beaches were always overcrowded and it was very difficult to find a free space at the beach.
Have a look at the photo where you can see how Irina is getting prepared to swim on the Riviera Beach in August of 1984. Have you ever seen so many people on the beach? But it was the only possibility for us - Soviet people to have a rest in summer and swim in warm sea waters.
Nowadays the majority of the Russian people (who can afford it) usually go to Turkey, Egypt or Thailand all year round and only a few of them use Sochi as a place where they spend their summer holidays.
Remembering those who fell, even here
Though Sochi did not get a share of the violence, Sochi became one huge field hospital in the great patriotic war (second world war). All Sanatoria were modestly changed into hospitals to try to save as many wounded soldiers from the front. The front came until about 80 kilometers of Sochi and then was pushed back. Stalingrad needed the full attention of the Germans, where they saw their most awful defeat in the whole world war.
Monuments from the past
Sochi, like many other towns in Russia, still have some Sowyet (communistic) monuments. Most of them are in regard to the leaders that have not fallen in disgrace (like Stalin) and from heroic acts of kosmonauts, specialist (in any field) or military people. Across the street at the entrance of Park Riviera, a quite original monument for Lenin is worth your attention. This nice mozaik colours the street.
Tropical Russia? Not an every day thought
Many that think about Russia have visions of fur headed people walking over Red Square in Moscow. Freezing your bud off in the endless winter that this country knows. Little you know, as the whole of Russia has a land climat that - besides a cold cold winter - also brings a hot summer. But Sochi and the Black Sea coast are a big difference towards this landclimate as here one has a microclimate. Sometimes, seldomly, there is some snow, but it never goes below zero degrees Celsius here. The Caucasus mountains protect Sochi from the cold winds that come from the North (and sometimes also South) and the Black Sea takes care of a constant "chilling" factor, that holds the temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius with fresh wind and surface water. A wide range of flowers and plants can grow in Sochi, which can be seen in the many parks of this town.
An unusual amount of cinema's
The Russian Film Festival that is held in Sochi has lead to an unusual amount of cinema's in the average large town Sochi. In at least five large cinema's that are in the centre of Central Sochi, one can visit a wide choice in international, but also Russian films. The film festival, that attracts all Russian film stars, is held in the first half of June. If you want to join, realise that you have to book hotelrooms etc. far in advance.