administrative division (krai) in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia
Europe > Eastern Europe > Russia > Southern Russia > Krasnodar Krai and Adygea

Krasnodar Krai is a region in Southern Russia, bordering Crimea to the west (across the narrow Strait of Kerch), Rostov Oblast to the north, Stavropol Krai to the east, and Georgia and Karachay-Cherkessia to the south.

Adygea, officially the Republic of Adygea, is an autonomous region in Southern Russia completely enclaved within Krasnodar Krai. Adygea is ethnically distinct, as Circassians are about 25% of the population while ethnic Russians represent 60% of it. However, for geographic reasons, we cover this republic along with Krasnodar Krai. Krasnodar Krai offers travelers Russia's premiere beach resorts as well as some of Europe's tallest mountains in its Caucasian south.

Cities edit

Map of Krasnodar Krai and Adygea

  • 1 Krasnodar — capital and principal city of Krasnodar Krai
  • 2 Maykop - the capital of Adygea and its biggest city
  • 3 Adler
  • 4 Anapa — an ancient Pontic Greek port, now a small, family-friendly Russian beach resort town
  • 5 Gelendzhik — small beach town east of Novorossiysk
  • 6 Novorossiysk — Russia's main Black Sea port, a must for World War II buffs, but it also has some nice sandy beaches
  • 7 Sochi — a big resort city located in a simply beautiful area, where Russians come for fun in the sun (and in the nightclubs!)
  • 8 Tuapse

Other destinations edit

Understand edit

Krasnodar Krai edit

Krasnodar Krai has the most fortunate climate conditions in Russia. Reasonably, it attracts many people to live there: with over 5 million population it has the 3rd place in Russia after Moscow and Moscow Oblast. The region is famous as "Granary of Russia": its agricultural production is feeding the whole country and being exported.

Krasnodar Krai also contains Russia's largest tourist industry by some measure, catering principally to domestic tourists. The region contains a full 25% of all Russia's registered hotels and resorts. For international travelers, the biggest reasons to visit it are to see the stunning and lush slopes of Western Caucasus mountains and to party po-russky at the beach! Anyone visiting a seaside resort should consider reading Bunin's Sunstroke (Солнечный удар), one of the most beautiful short stories ever written.

Krasnodar Krai encompasses two major distinct climactic regions. The northern two thirds of the region (north of the Kuban River) is covered by Russia's near ubiquitous steppe and has a continental climate. The southern part of the region, however, is much more exotic, ranging from a Mediterranean climate along the Black Sea coast to subtropical in the southeast to high alpine along the border with Georgia and Abkhazia.

Additionally, Krasnodar Krai encircles the enclaved Russian region of Adygea Republic — named for the mountain Adyghe people, also known as the Circassians.

Krasnodar Krai can be divided in three tourist regions:

  • The Black Sea coastline ("Russian Riviera")
  • The Azov Sea coastline
  • Inner Krasnodar Krai

Adygea edit

School №5 in Maykop

Adygea is one of only a few fully enclaved Russian Federation regions (the only other ones are the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg). All its territory is surrounded by Krasnodar Krai.

The most popular months to visit Adygea are September and October in the heart of autumn when the leaves change to vivid colors and the temperature is in the Goldilocks zone.

Talk edit

Everyone, including ethnic minorities, speaks Russian. Adyghe and Russian are the official languages of Adygea.

Get in edit

Krasnodar Krai edit

The principal rail service for the region comes from virtually any Russian city through Rostov-on-Don from the north to Krasnodar, Novorossiysk, and as far south as Adler. There are cheap express trains (~18–20 hours) from Moscow and Saint Petersburg to Krasnodar.

1 Krasnodar International Airport   (KRR IATA) is serviced by flights from Vienna, Frankfurt, Thessalonika, and Istanbul, as well as by numerous domestic Russian flights. It is also easy to fly to Sochi (AER IATA) or Anapa (AAQ IATA) from any major Russian city.

It is possible to arrive at Sochi or Novorossiysk by boat from numerous ports on the Black Sea.

Adygea edit

Direct buses from Krasnodar bus station, 170 руб, 2.5 hours.

Intercity buses from many other cities in Krasnodar krai, nearby regions and even from Moscow. Buses are very old and in poor condition, no air conditioning. Use trains if possible, especially in summer.

A number of trains (from Moscow etc.) stop at Belorechenskaya station, where bus and local train connections to Maykop are available.

Fast local train from Adler/Sochi goes once per day, scenic sea views between Sochi and Tuapse, 700 руб first class, 650 руб 2nd, timetable (stand Oct 2011): Maykop 05:50 - Sochi 11:30, Sochi 17:05 - Maykop 22:45.

Get around edit

See edit

Adygea is home to several cultural and natural museums, providing a glimpse into the region's history and wildlife respectively. There are also a number of mosques and churches, reflecting Adygea's diverse religious composition.

Do edit

  • Rafting is done on the Belaya River in Adygea.
  • Hiking is a popular activity in Adygea. Almost half of the republic is covered in forest, and there are many hiking trails.

Eat edit

Throughout Adygea, you will find restaurants serving traditional Adyghe cuisine, which has much in common with the food from the rest of the Northern Caucasus, in addition to Russian and international cuisines. Local specialties include mataz, which are dumplings filled with mashed potatoes, a meat mixture and fried onions, and haliva, a turnover filled with potatoes or Circassian cheese.

Drink edit

Historical brewery building in Maykop

Krasnodar Krai edit

  • Krasnodar tea (Краснодарский чай). This is the only tea sort grown in Russia, being the northernmost one in the world (due to climate conditions, it's impossible to cultivate tea to the north from Sochi). There are several tea plantations in Greater Sochi in Dagomys, Solokhaul [29] (Lazarevskoe district) and Adler. The amount of their production is limited, so it's not easy to meet it outside the region. Baloven (Баловень) tea brand by Dagomys Tea Plant is available at regional shops. Group tours to tea plants are also available.
  • Local alcohol. Surprisingly, Russia is the 11th-largest wine producer in the world, and 60% of all Russian wine is manufactured in Krasnodar Krai. So, there is possible to buy many kinds of this drink, starting from home-made and market-sold wine in no-brand plastic bottles (looks dangerous, but is spoken to be the best one), finishing with premium-class aged wine and brandy in souvenir boxes. To avoid fake brand production buy it at chain stores.
    • Abrau Durso sparkling wines. Abrau Durso (plant near Novorossiysk) is the leading and the best-known Russian producer of a wide array of sparkling wines, from odious "Soviet Shampagne" to the exclusive Imperial and Millesime wine collections. The production technology is based on traditional shampagnoise method. Abrau Durso (Абрау-Дюрсо) wine is distributed to all Russian regions and exported. The price varies greatly depending on the collection item.
    • Abkhazian wines. There are several brands of wine from Abkhazia those are widely common in Russian shops and popular for their inimitative taste. Apsny (Апсны) - red semi-sweet wine from the mix of Cabernet, Sovignon, Merlot and Saperavi grape. Chegem (Чегем) - red dry wine from Cabernet grape. Lykhny (Лыхны) - red semi-sweet wine from Isabella grape. Psou (Псоу) - white semi-sweet wine from Aligote and Riesling grape. 250-500 RUR per bottle.
    • Brand wines of Krasnodar Krai. The best wine brands in the region are Fanagoria (Фанагория) [1] and Myskhako (Мысхако), both produced in Novorossiysk area and having the wide assortment. 200-500 RUR per bottle.
    • Brandy. This alcohol drink is called Cognac (Коньяк) at Russian domestic market, but is exported as Brandy due to necessity to follow the copyright of Cognac province of France. With Dagestan and Stavropol Krai, Krasnodar Krai is among 3 regions of Russia, those grape is acceptable for brandy production. The factory in Temryuk town near Taman makes the best brandy in Krasnodar Krai, including the aged and souvenir collection. From 150 RUR per bottle for ordinary drink, to 2,500 RUR for upper-class souvenir bottles.

Adygea edit

Nightlife is present mainly in Maykop. Alcohol is unlimited, there are nightclubs and bars, but the residents of Adygea themselves prefer to have fun in the neighboring Krasnodar and Sochi, so draw your own conclusions.

Stay safe edit

Go next edit

Dombai, perhaps Russia's most beautiful resort, is in nearby Karachay-Cherkessia in the Caucasus mountains.

This region travel guide to Krasnodar Krai and Adygea is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!