There are not many places in the world where you can go surfing and snowboarding, in the same day. Waves and snow separated by a handful of miles. Wipeouts in liquid water and solid ice.
In Sochi, in Russia, is one of those magic places. But there's more about this city that you might not know. Sochi is one of the very few places in Russia with a humid and subtropical climate, which means hot summers and mild winters.
The country's most popular resort was also the favorite vacation home for Joseph Stalin, the former leader of the Soviet Union. The truth is that Sochi is really perfect for the long summer days bathed by the Black Sea.
You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of surfing spots in the entire Russian territory, which is actually the largest country in the world.
Sochi has great waves. Although the Black Sea is an inland sea, with a limited fetch area of 436,000 square kilometers, you may find shorelines getting nice short-to-medium period swells.
The coastline is punctuated by many jetties. While these structures reduce the length of local beaches, they also play an important role in slowing down erosion. In many cases, surfers will benefit from the jetties of Sochi, as swell refracts around to produce high quality right-handers.
Sochi - the place where Greek hero Odysseus found his nemesis, the one-eyed Cyclops - is also an example of how the future of surfing will roll out. A 35,000 square foot artificial wave pool will be a reality in town, from 2014.
If you're both an enthusiast of winter and water sports, Sochi is the exquisite destination of the Black Sea, with one of the best air quality levels in the world.