MOUNT ACHUN, THE AGURSKIYE WATERFALLS, THE EAGLE ROCKS
Great Achun is the most picturesque place of Sochi which already for many years has been the favorite resting place of citizens and guests of the resort. This is the top of 663 meters located in the interfluve of the rivers Host and Agur. It is famous for its observation tower 30.5 meters high built in 1936 . 1.6 km. to the southeast is the top of Maly Achun 504 meters high. Most nature lovers take excursions along the highway here and few are familiar with the pedestrian ascent to the top of the mountain, the route also covers the areas of the Eagle Rocks and Agurskoe ravine. The route in this area takes 4-6 hours of walk. You must only have appropriate footwear and water-supply in case of hot weather. It is possible to combine the route with a cycle-travel, to ascent on foot and then descent on a bicycle on the highway.
In the neighborhood of Sochi there are many large and small caves. Scientists call such regions carstified, by the name of the Karst plateau in Slovenia where there is the karst phenomenon, i.e. leaching and washing away of soluble rocks. Few know about the existence of the Bariban grot, it is located on the southern slope of the solid wood Alec in the head of the Western Hosta, and was named in memory of the guerrilla during the civil war N. Bariban, the leader of the Vorontsovsko-Hostinsky squad, which became famous for the fight against Denikin forces in the neighborhood of Sochi. The forest road up the current of the river passes by the left tributary of the river, beside a small lake. Further appears a picturesque waterfall, in summer one can meet mobile apiaries along the road where one can taste sweet honey, on the way to the slopes blooms Castanea, and one can enjoy its fruits in the second half of the autumn. After 8 km. we come to a beech meadow, from this meadow through a shallow hollow we strike into the woods and at a leisurely pace can reach a huge hole in the ground in half an hour. A hole up to 8 meters deep and up to 45 meters long. This is a grot. Here is a cozy meadow where one may rest and have dinner. The whole journey will take 7-8 hours.
MOUNTAIN PIKET AND ZMEYKOVSKIYE WATERFALLS
Mountain Piket 626 meters above sea level high is a beautiful observatory of the surroundings of Sochi. The route is simple and picturesque at the same time. The route offers magnificent views of waterfalls, the first two of them are up to 10 meters high, the rocks prevailing here are limestone and sandstone, which are well washed with water, forming small rounded pits. The following waterfall is 9.5 meters high, in five minutes of walk we’ll see 4 more falls. The whole journey takes little more than 2 hours, 4.5 km one way. There is a place on the pass where one can have a rest and admire the views of Sochi. In sunny weather it offers a breathtaking panorama of Sochi in the south and in the north one can see the high snow-capped mountain peaks: Fisht, Amuko, Chura, Chugush, Achishkho several peaks of Pseashko, all of them are spread before the eyes.
ALONG THE WESTERN HOSTA RIVER
An interesting day route you can take in the headwaters of one of the small Caucasus rivers – Western Hosta. The total duration of the footway is 6-8 hours 17-18 km. The route is designed for trained tourists. The length of the river Hosta is just 5 km. It is formed by the confluence of the rivers Western Hosta 16 km. and Eastern Hosta 21 km. Both head on the southern slope of the ridge Alec. The river flows into the Hosta bay.
BETWEEN THE RIVERS WESTERN HOSTA AND EASTERN HOSTA
A wonderful route, which will surely delight experienced tourists, runs along the crest of the ridge Alec in the head of the river Hosta. It requires very good physical training. Takes 10-11 hours more than 20 km. One of the longest and most difficult one-day routes. The route starts from the village Kalinovoye. The dirt road stretches for 8 km, bypasses the picturesque lake “Three springs”, a waterfall, and begins to zigzag down the slope. Then we come to the ridge Alec, about 12 km from the start of the route, we often come across huts and sheds of cavers, not far away there are several caves. Coming on the ridge Alec we can enjoy panoramic views of the head of the Sochi river, the mountain peaks Sakharnaya, Amuko, Churu, Iegosh are spread before the eyes. The last round trip will take about an hour. This route is suitable for the test “how you navigate in the woods”, he who have not gone astray is a real Susanin.
ALONG THE RIVER SOCHI
You can make an interesting and quite simple journey in the central area from the village Plastunka up the river Sochi. Two picturesque high waterfalls, beautiful fields for rest, springs with pure water. The length of the route is a little over 8 miles one way. The first waterfall Orehovsky, the total height of 30 meters, is especially impressive after heavy rains. A little higher along the river is a cascade, and then the path goes into a boxwood forest, and after 1 km leads to the bridge across the Agava river. The peculiarity of this river is that the water in it is always clean, even after heavy rains. Then we pass by the ruins of a temple of the 14th century. Down the path we come to the next waterfall. The water falls steeply into a circular pit with an emerald cup and it looks beautiful. The total travel time is 3 hours one way in a hurry, the time is calculated excluding large halts and small stops at waterfalls and meadows.
THE RIDGE ALEC
Adler – Verhnenikolaevskoe – Galitsino – Lesnoe – Krasnaya Volya – Hosta Length: 50 km. Minimum / maximum altitude on the route: 30 m. / 562 above sea level Climb on GPS: +2020 m., On Google Earth +1750 meters Duration: from 8 hours Subjective physical difficulty: very difficult (a lot of climbs, great mileage) Subjective technical difficulty: easy (there are shallow fords) The section from Adler to Bestuzhevka is an asphalt road with the climb of 300 meters. There are few cars on the road, one in a couple of minutes, so the way is comfortable and nobody disturbs you. But the slope in the village is such that it is difficult to cycle even at 1: 1! Finally, above Bestuzhevka the road flattens out and goes into a traverse with the views of the surrounding hills, mount Akhun and the sea. next leg of the journey to the village Lesnoe is almost 10 kilometers of continuous descent, first on the gravel road, and on asphalt from the village of Kamenka. The views are beautiful – bright green of the subtropical forests below, and the snow mountain peaks above! It is a pity that the road is unfamiliar and has hairpin turns, acceleration is dangerous! Next, the Trinity convent of St. George in the village Lesnoe, cloistral mosaic cloistral bread. the Trinity convent of St. George the Trinity convent of St. George in the village Lesnoe After having a rest and a snack at the convent in the village Lesnoe (apricot pies are delicious!) We ride down the dirt road, which sometimes goes right along the bed of the river Psaha. The next goal is the huge meadows and pastures between Galitsino and Krasnaya volya. The road is constantly rushing from one bank of the Psaha river to another, cutting across the river, and finally leds to the field!! This section from Lesnoe to Krasnaya volya is one of the most beautiful roads for bicycle trips!! The views are stunning! Tuscany? Switzerland? The steep climb from the bottom of the gorge Kudepsta to Krasnaya volya is +150 vertical meters to 1300 meters of the road (average slope 12%!) Having arrived after all up to Krasnaya volya and having visited the memorial to the soldiers who died in the Great Patriotic War, we ride to chic asphalt. 20 minutes of descent down the wonderful serpentinous road (be careful! observe the speed limit!!) we come to the center of Hosta.
Length: 30 km Minimum / maximum altitude: 470 m above sea level / 50 m. above sea level Gain / relief of height in GPS: + 1200 m. / -1400 meters Duration: 4 hours Subjective physical difficulty: very difficult (a lot of climbs) Subjective technical complexity: simple (almost all on the road) The road in front of Izmailovka On the pass between Matsesta and Malaya Hosta From Izmailovka to the first pass The descending road to Malaya Hosta Malaya Hosta is just a stream The descent is a real fairy tale! The dream of every cyclist. An excellent dirt road with a moderate slope, where one can even speed up if one wants (do not forget about the helmet!). and we come to the ford across the Malaya Hosta. At the ford lies a stove, on which even Jeep SUVs can drive to the other bank of the river.
On the left bank of the Malaya Hosta is an artificial pond and a picnic complex “Three springs.” The place is quiet, cozy, but not empty. The road is hotsie-totsie! A complete off-road. One can pass here only on the Ural or ГАЗ-66. Somewhere one has to climb down off the saddle and push a bike ahead – the washed out mud and the sharp stones are not for the climb on the bicycle The village Kalinovoye ozero is an amazing place. Usually, our villages are in the lowlands along the rivers. And it’s right on the pass, with a fantastic view on all four sides. A real military post! And what is more, tea is grown here.
The descent from Kalinovoye ozero to the gorge of the Hosta river is 200 meters of excellent bends at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour (it can be more, but it is dangerous on an unfamiliar road). Lacking only rear slopes. An excellent high speed section By the river location – walking and cognitive route “Canyon King’s Gate”, the length of 3 kilometers, begins. Entrance: 200 rubles.
Asphalt road leading here ends at the barrier at the entrance to the complex of the famous Vorontsovskiye caves. The cave is really big. The total length of the maze passages is 12 kilometers, the depth is 301 meters!!. Entrance for adults costs 350 rubles, for children older than 7 years – 200 rubles.