Caucasian Riviera

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Streets of Batumi

Caucasian Riviera is located along the eastern coast of the Black Sea under the Caucasus Mountains. It runs from Novorossiysk, Russia to Sarpi, Georgia. The area is divided into five regions, of which four (Adjara, Guria, Samegrelo, and Abkhazia) are located in Georgia, and one (the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai) is in Russia. Caucasian Riviera is 600 km (370 mi) long, 350 km (220 mi) of which belongs to Russia and 250 km (160 mi) to Georgia. The coast is located on the same latitude as the French Riviera, the Italian Riviera, New York City and the Korean Peninsula.


The "Caucaisian Riviera" resort in Sochi, ca. 1909

Caucasian Riviera was populated since ancient ages. The region was known as Colchis in Classical antiquity.

It has become tourist destination in the late 19th century after its rise in popularity among Russian aristocrats. In Soviet times it has been called Soviet Riviera for its popularity as a tourist destination among the USSR population. After the break up of the Soviet Union Caucasian Riviera has lost its popularity because of the War in Abkhazia and the general economic instability in the region. Today the Eastern coast of Black Sea witnesses its revival. Large significance may be given to Batumi's renovations and 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi.


Black Sea coast with subtropical flora in Gagra

From Novorossiysk to Tuapse, average temperature in January is 3 °C (37 °F), and during July it's 23 °C (73 °F). From the south of Tuapse the climate is humid subtropical because of the mountains rising above 1000 meters over the sea. The mountains don't let the humidity of the Black Sea move east which creates a micro climate with an average temperature of 5 °C (41 °F) in January, and 28 °C (82 °F) in July. While in the north of Tuapse, average rainfall is 500 mm (20 in) a year, in the south of Tuapse down to Adjara it is 2,800 mm (110 in), most of which falls during winter. Average sunshine is between 2200-2400 hours and only 12 days during summer are rainy.


At the beach in Dagomys

Economy is based on tourism, agriculture and transportation. Tourist season lasts from middle May to middle October. The major touristic centers are located in Adjara, Abkhazia and Sochi. There are three ski areas near the coast.

Agriculture is significant part of economy with variety of vegetables, cereals and fruits grown. Tea growing is common in that area, and Caucasus is one of the northernmost areas of the world where tea is grown.

Black Sea is also called "dead sea" because there is no life below 200 meters, however different species of fish are found in the sea so fishing is part of economy.

Important ports are Batumi, Poti, Sukhumi, Sochi, Tuapse and Novorossiysk.