At Ski Slopes and Seaside Bars

Vacation dining in Russia

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Meat dish (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

A wide and rich set of traditions aside, the Russian south is the breadbasket and the spa of the country. 

The former expression or “zhitnitsa” in Russian was akin to a cultural meme in Soviet times, while the latter is due to a chain of health resorts springing up across the southern landscapes and beaches during the same era. In fact, for a typical Russian, the very words “south” and “resort” mean nearly the same thing.

Cheese festival in Adygea (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

South culture always has something special about it, and Russia’s is no exception. 

From the Adyghe Circassians, Ukrainians, Jews, to the Greeks, Turks, Moldovans, Armenians, Georgians, and Koreans, this land has heard many languages and remembers many customs of many peoples that have moved or always lived here.  

Southern nature (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Reasons to visit the Russian South

The unique boxwood grove and ancient fortresses of Khosta and Krasnaya Polyana, majestic Soviet sanatoriums and modern ski slopes, luxurious roads and railways cutting through the mountains ...

... and seaside dive bars with live chanson music, the languid subtropical humidity and the pure oxygen of snowy peaks all mean modern Sochi. 

A synonym for ‘seaside vacation’ and the country’s most prestigious resort during the Soviet times, Sochi added the Caucasian Ridge beauty after the 2014 Olympics which popularised the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana, previously a fishing, skiing and camping destination for mostly locals. 

Southern cheese food (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

The implacable mountains have exerted a strong influence on Sochi cuisine with careful treatment of foods and sumptuous meals so unlike the lighter seaside cooking. 

Manti by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Fish will be thoroughly dredged in flour and fried, cheese will be salted to preserve it for a long trip while meat will be marinated in ample doses of fruit acid and roasted until crispy. Sochi’s chief stars are chebureks and khinkali.

Cheese and wine (21st Century) by Abrau-Durso wineryFederal Agency for Tourism

Krasnodar Krai Winescaping

A winescape tour across Kuban is reason enough to visit the Russian South.

Wineyards of Abrau-Durso (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

With vineyards in the foothills, Gai-Kodzor’s cutting-edge winery can help explore wine technology and local products.

Perhaps, Russia’s foremost winescaping area is the village of Abrau-Dyurso located by Lake Abrau, one of the two official birthplaces of Russian champagne. Discover its detailed history during a tour of the winery and its cellars, and experience the quality at tastings. 

Abrau-Durso sparkling wine (21st Century) by Abrau-Durso wineryFederal Agency for Tourism

Apart from its sparkling wine, Abrau also has a cooking school, a contemporary art gallery, a walking route through the vineyard and along the lake, a sea and a beach, a spa with champagne, mid-range and more expensive hotels, in addition to food stores selling local cheeses, wine grape juices, and other specialities.  

Watermelon (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

Rostov-on-Don’s Old Central Market

From May to September, Rostov’s central market is at once a diverse display of food, an amusement ride, a nature reserve and an invigorating communications workshop.

It is southern Russian life itself with all its customs, habits, linguistic features and psychological traits.

Russian gastronomy by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Whatever they sell here will be cut and broken off for you to taste and enjoy accompanied by a tale, half of it necessarily untrue, about the product. It is equally necessary for any customer to know how to haggle. 

Starocherkasskaya (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism


Located 30 km from Rostov on the right bank of the Don, this is the second capital of the Don Cossacks, and a place where time froze. 

Postcard courtyards with sunflowers, pots and cockerels on wicker fences, and cossacks going about their business, that is to the church or to the korchma tavern simply jump at you. 

Interior from the past (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Curiosities become more curious still at the Starocherkassky Museum Reserve with details of Cossack history and lifestyle, including food preferences.

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Contributors — Natalia Savinskaya, Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov, Arisha Zadunayskaya, Andrey Kolodiazhnyi, Anton Kochura, Ivan Glushkov 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps