Sochi is not your typical Winter Olympics host city. Indeed, with its palm trees, pebble beaches and subtropical climate, the Russian resort town that’s hosting the 2014 games is better known as the country’s summer capital. In February, however, the so-called Russian Riviera will be transformed into an international winter sport hot spot. This map highlights Sochi’s key attractions and Olympic venues.
Family-friendly attractions abound in town, including a circus, an aquarium and parks. Riviera Park is particularly popular, with everything from amusement park rides to magnolia trees planted by Soviet cosmonauts. A nearby red mosaic of Vladimir Lenin is a reminder of Russia's communist past.
Head to the hills and visit the summer home of Joseph Stalin, the former leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in nearby Georgia. Now a museum, the house is preserved as it was in Stalin’s time, complete with a wax statue of him sitting at his desk.
Sochi National Park
Russia’s oldest national park forms part of the Western Caucasus UNESCO World Heritage Site, a 275,000-hectare area of mostly undisturbed mountain forest.
A new highspeed train whisks spectators and athletes the 48 kilometres between the two clusters in less than 30 minutes.
One of two groups of venues, the coastal cluster consists of six new buildings, among them the Ice Cube (curling), the Iceberg (figure and speed skating) and the Olympic Stadium — all within walking distance of one another.
The mountain cluster is near Krasnaya Polyana, a ski resort town high in the mountains, and its five venues will host the likes of skiing, snowboarding and bobsleigh.
Map: Chris Brackley/Canadian Geographic. Landsat imagery, and elevation model provided by USGS.
Road, rail and building data provided by Open Street Map © OpenStreetMap contributors
Text: Heather Yundt