The Winter Olympics Games are less than a year away with opening ceremonies set to take place Feb. 7, 2014. Let’s hope by then we no longer have to ask, where is Sochi – and how do we get there from here?
Where is Sochi, Russia – And What is it Like?
Sochi (pronounced SEW-chee) is located in the southwestern most corner of Russia, just above Georgia and across the Black Sea from Turkey. Despite winning the right to host the winter games, Sochi was previously best known as a summer resort: its palm tree-lined streets and subtropical climate added to its allure as part of the Russian Riviera.
However, the nearby Caucacus Mountains offer plenty of room for skiing and other contests, although until recently, there were precious few facilities for winter sports. That’s changing rapidly – according to media reports, the government and private donors have already poured more than $50 billion into remaking Sochi as an Olympic-class venue. In addition to creating brand new skiing and skating facilities, the money will be used to improve roads, build new ones and create a rail line.
Getting to Sochi, Russia
There is only one major airport within 200 miles of Sochi and extensive renovations are underway at this facility as well:
- Sochi-Adler International (AER): Located about 14 miles outside of the city of Sochi, the airport has an English language website that allows you to keep up with improvements and schedule changes.
The airport is served by numerous Russian carriers including Aeroflot but at the moment, no U.S. carrier flies to Sochi nor could we find a European airline that serves the city directly, with the exception of Turkish Airlines which has some non-stop flights from Istanbul. We did however see numerous instances of European carriers traveling to Sochi via airline partnerships and alliances. UPDATE: Lufthansa has limited service out of Frankfurt.
Most non-stops to Sochi originate in Moscow, so U.S. travelers will have to endure at least one stop (and quite possibly, two or more).
Too Early to Book
It still appears to be too early to book flights to Sochi, at least from the United States but anyone interested in attending the winter games should definitely keep shopping on their radar for early summer. By then, more airlines may have signed on to take passengers to the games and you may have more options. As always, comparing airfare prices is a must. FareCompare can show you every airline with flights to this Russian resort and which have the best deals to Sochi.