Arboretum – the green heart of Sochi. Ticket price, photos, tips

Arboretum – the green heart of Sochi. Ticket price, photos, tips

The park “Arboretum” is rightly considered one of the iconic places of the city of Sochi, it is often called “the green heart of the resort”, which is completely justified.

The area of 46.4 hectares brings together trees and shrubs from all over the world. To date, the living collection of the park has more than 1800 species and forms, including 66 of them – oaks, 74 – pines, 54 – palm trees and a huge number of rare exotics.

ABOUT THE ARBORETUM PARK

Park “Arboretum” is rightly considered one of the iconic places of Sochi, it is often called the “green heart of the resort”, which is completely justified. On an area of 46.4 hectares there are trees and bushes brought from all over the world. Today, the living collection of the park has more than 1800 species and forms, including 66 of them – oaks, 74 – pines, 54 – palm trees and a huge number of rare exotics.

The park is located on both sides of Sochi’s transport artery, Kurortny Prospekt. In the upper part of the “Arboretum” in addition to the historic center created landscape-geographical sections, representing subtropical forests of East Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, well, of course, represented the Caucasian flora. Here in special enclosures live parrots, stroll ostriches and proud peacocks. Near a small backwater – swans and nutrias.

The lower part of the park is much smaller in size, but no less picturesque: hundreds of flowering plants, bamboo bushes, fragrant rose gardens, cascades of ponds… The decorative ducks, graceful swans and beautiful pelicans have peacefully settled near the water and perfectly neighbor. Animals are also not rare here – squirrels and nutrias have long been accustomed to visitors, but still it is not worth approaching them.

In the center of the park is a beautiful building with elegant columns and delicate balconies – this is the house, built by the founder of the “Arboretum”, Sergei Khudekov. But not just a house, and the real villa – Villa “Hope” – as Hudekov called it in honor of his wife. Today, creative evenings, exhibitions and concerts are constantly held there.

But still, the main thing in the “Arboretum” is the plants. Despite the fact that the majority of these exotics took root in the Sochi earth a long time ago, some of these representatives of the flora continue to live according to their own schedule – they bloom and bear fruit at the same time as their “relatives” do. So every day there is sure to bloom some plant. That’s why the Arboretum Park looks like a real fairy tale all year round…

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VILLA NADEZHDA” EXHIBITION EXPOSITION

Villa “Hope” was built in 1899. It became the heart of a young park of exotic plants, which was founded a few years earlier by the famous publicist, publisher and art historian, Sergey Khudekov. The owner of the house named it after his beloved wife for a reason – in each case, Khudekov put maximum effort, time and, of course, love. The snow-white building looked exquisite against the background of lush greenery of oaks and beeches, and a marvelous view of the sea opened from its wide terraces.

VILLA NADEZHDA” EXHIBITION EXPOSITION

Villa “Hope” was built in 1899. It became the heart of a young park of exotic plants, which was founded a few years earlier by the famous publicist, publisher and art historian, Sergey Khudekov. The owner of the house named it after his beloved wife for a reason – in each case, Khudekov put maximum effort, time and, of course, love. The snow-white building looked exquisite against the background of lush greenery of oaks and beeches, and a marvelous view of the sea opened from its wide terraces.

But history did not spare this wonderful place: during the Civil War the park was badly damaged, and after the revolution, the villa suffered too. There was no trace of former elegance. At different times there were warehouses, offices, and a hospital. For a long time the building was empty, and in 2009 began its global reconstruction. Art historians and master restorers from old photographs gradually recreated the original appearance, custom-made furniture and textiles, trying to bring the situation as close as possible to the daily life of a bygone era. And they succeeded! The object of cultural heritage has been revived.

The renovated Villa Nadezhda opened in June 2014 after renovation and presented itself to numerous guests in all its glory. Everything here is as it was before, as if it hadn’t been there for a hundred years. Only the color of the facade has changed – it became not white, but sandy…

Now there is a permanent exhibition devoted to the life and work of Sergei Khudekov and the history of Russian ballet. Why ballet? Because Sergey Nikolaevich’s name is closely connected with this magic art. Being a very versatile person and a very creative person, the founder of the “Arboretum” park is the author of several novels, plays, but also scripts for ballet performances. And also to his pen belongs “The History of Dance” – a unique work, published in four volumes.

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Today Villa Nadezhda has a busy life. Here are constantly held concerts, exhibitions, art meetings.

Arboretum of Sochi.

This is a great place to walk around and enjoy the exotic plants. I have already been to the Caribbean, so the Sochi Arboretum did not surprise me. But it will impress those who have never traveled outside the central strip of Russia. There are palm trees of all kinds, bananas, and a bamboo grove.

Sochi Arboretum, the central staircase of the Arboretum

The Sochi Arboretum, a bamboo grove

Flowers did not impress much – maybe they bloom brightly in spring and early summer.

Many websites write, “To see the park, it is better to go up the cable car. And then, gradually descending, explore the entire park.” This is indeed true. A bonus at the upper station of the cable car is a stunning observation deck with a 360 degree view of Sochi and the surrounding countryside. It is worth noting that the entrance to the observation deck is free – no need to buy tickets to the park or the cable car to visit it.

The Arboretum, a view of Sochi from the Upper Cable Car Station

View of Sochi from the Upper station of the cable car

If you start from the top, it will take you the whole day to see the park. If you don’t have time for that, and don’t want to pay 500 rubles for the ride, you can start from the bottom. The more so because the most interesting things in the park are at the bottom. The upper part of the Sochi Arboretum is a forest park, and the only interesting thing there is probably a grove of sequoias.

Sochi Arboretum, a sequoia

When you visit this cultural place, it suddenly turns out that historically it is not the Arboretum, but actually the estate of the editor of the St. Petersburg Gazette Sergei Khudekov. Apparently, in 1889, when he bought 50 dessiatinas of land in Sochi, real estate has not yet cost so much. He built himself a villa and began to bring here all sorts of copies of works of art and all sorts of entertainment of the time, such as pavilions, fountains, and so on.

Arboretum in the Japanese garden

Gazebo in the Japanese garden

It’s worth special mentioning that there is a fountain “Cupids” on the central alley. Exactly the same fountain decorates the Lenin garden in Kazan. The fountain was made by the French company Antoine Duren, which produced copies of works of art.

The Amurs Fountain at the Arboretum Sochi

In this park entertained the middle landowner and nobleman S.N. Khudekov, as well as his beloved. But in 17, the evil Communists came and expropriated this wealth. But thought, thought, and did not destroy, but began to develop this place as a collection of bizarre plants from around the world. Fortunately, in 1930s Sochi began to develop as a resort for party elite and such a place for walks, amusement and education was quite appropriate.

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Sochi Arboretum has a butterfly garden and a bird garden. In fact, these are not gardens, but greenhouses. You have to pay extra 100 rubles to enter each place.

Sochi Arboretum, necklace parrots in the Bird Garden

Necrolic parrots in the Bird Garden.

There is a free application “Arboretum Guide”. It has an interactive map and description of sights, including audio tracks. For some reason there is a description only of the main buildings and elements of the landscape. To learn something about the plants, you need to scan the plates with QR codes, installed in the park. It is impossible to understand which plants are the most interesting. But there are animals on the map (icons with the image of a paw). For example, in the upper part of the Arboretum almost immediately you will meet a jaguar. I walked and walked and looked for this jaguar. As a result I understood that it is just a 3D image of the non-existent animal with the text description, which you can photograph in your phone. Why this is necessary is a mystery. I can look at the digital images of animals in the toys at home, there is no need to go to Sochi and walk around the Arboretum.

Guide

Description

The Arboretum in Sochi is the first architectural park with a rich collection of subtropical vegetation, a real treasure house of over 2,000 plant species, many of which are brought from around the world. In addition, rare animals and birds live on the territory, and from the platform of the upper part of the park you can enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains and the sea coast.

Here you will see plants from different parts of the world – China and Japan, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Caucasus, the Far East and the Himalayas.

Sochi Arboretum, agave and palm trees - North America zone

Agave and Palms – North America Zone

The arboretum can be visited at any time of the year because most of its plants are evergreen. Among the plants of the park are Japanese guelder-rose and Australian eucalyptus, Mexican agave and Himalayan cedar, Caucasian fir and Algerian cork oak.

Children will also be interested to visit the aviary with ostriches and peacocks and see the aquarium with the inhabitants of the Black Sea.

Sochi Arboretum, ostrich

The Sochi Arboretum is part of the Sochi National Park along with the South Cultures Park and Priazovsky Zakaznik.

Address

354000, Krasnodar region, Sochi, Kurortny avenue 74

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How to get there

  • You can walk from the Marine Passenger Terminal
  • From other parts of the city take a fixed-route cab that goes along the Kurortny prospect till the stop “Dendropark”.
  • The Arboretum is divided by the Kurortny Avenue into the Lower Park and the Upper Park (much larger). You can start the tour from either part. The Lower Park ticket office is in the underground passage along the avenue. Upper Park ticket office in the Rotunda – the front entrance. There is one ticket for both parts. After passing the turnstile do not throw away your ticket – it will come in handy to get to the other part.

The Rotunda, the Arboretum's main entrance

Rotunda – main entrance

Opening hours in 2022

  • Every day from 9:00 to 17:00
  • Box Office closes an hour earlier

Ticket prices in 2022

  • For adults – 320 rubles
  • For children under 7 years old – free of charge
  • For children aged 7 to 14 – 150 rubles

Mode of operation of the cable car in 2021

The Arboretum is located in a mountainous area, so the walk in the park can be tedious. You can get to the observation deck, located at 172 meters above sea level, by cable car. From the top point, it is much more pleasant to stroll along the trails and view the unique plants. Tickets to the park and to the cable car are purchased separately.

Cable car operating mode

  • Every day except Mondays, from 9:00 to 19:00
  • On Mondays from 11:00 to 19:00

Sochi Arboretum, ropeway

Aerial ropeway of Arboretum

The cost of tickets for the aerial tramway (one way) in 2021

  • For adults – 500 rubles
  • For children under 7 years old – free of charge

Tickets are valid for the lower and upper parts of the park during the day. A visit to the Aquarium, Exotarium and Butterfly exhibition is not included in the ticket price. To visit these sections of the park, a ticket can be purchased on the spot.

Creation History

The first garden-architectural park in Sochi with a rich collection of exotic plants was created at the end of the 19th century.

In 1889 Sergey Khudekov, the dacha owner, journalist, playwright and editor-in-chief of St. Petersburg Gazette, bought a 50 dessiatina plot of land in Sochi on the slope of Bald Hill, next to the Vereshchagin summer houses. Soon the plot was cleared and a park was laid out on an area of 15 hectares.

Sergey Khudekov was a connoisseur of subtropical plants and planted over 400 species, and with the help of his friend, gardener K.A. Langau, he completed the planning of the park: the area was arranged in the style of French-Italian terrace parks of the late 19th century.

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The collection of the park area was constantly replenished, there were plants acquired in the Crimea, Germany and the Caucasus, for example, some of the seedlings were bought in the nursery of Prince of Oldenburg in Gagra.

Sculptures and vases in the Sochi Arboretum were made in a Paris workshop by sculptors of the Franco-Italian company Alexander Durane and Pierre Capellaro.

By 1899 the villa “Nadezhda”, named after Khudekov’s wife Nadezhda Alekseevna, was built, and a plum and peach orchard was laid out near the park.

Terrace with sculptural ensemble “Morning” in front of the villa “Nadezhda

At that time the villa was the best on the Black Sea coast of Caucasus. In 1917 there were more than 550 species of plants in the park area.

In 1922 the park was nationalized, and in 1944 it became part of the research forest experiment station, now the Research Institute of Mountain Forestry and Forest Ecology.

Cableway, a length of 908 meters, which connects Kurortny Prospekt to the highest point of the park, was built in 1977.

Description

The park territory consists of two parts – the flat part, which is located closer to the sea, and the upper part, located on the mountain slope. Both parts of the park are connected by a tunnel, so from the central entrance you can go straight to the lower park.

The upper part can be viewed by climbing the mountain slope, if you want, you can rest on the benches set along the paths. Who does not want to walk, can go up by cable car and then move only down. The cable car begins operation at 9:00.

In this case the walk in the park begins with an observation deck, which opens up a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside, sea and mountains. Going down, you will see tropical plants, many of which are rare. Especially beautiful here in spring and summer when you can see an amazing variety of colors and shapes of flowers and bushes.

Lower Park

In the lower part of the park there is a huge two-meter high aquarium where you can see morays and piranhas, clown-fish and stingrays. In this part of the Sochi Arboretum there is also an exotarium, where rare birds, insects and reptiles live.

The pond in the Lower Park is home to ducks, white and black swans, you will see beavers and porcupines, pelican and African marabou stork, muskrat and turtle.

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