Solokhaul is the birthplace of Krasnodar tea. How to get there and what to see
Solokhaul is a place that can be confidently recommended for a visit. What is it interesting? First of all, it is the birthplace of the most northern tea in the world. In Soviet times, Krasnodar tea was often found on the shelves of stores, and the history of this tea begins in Solokhaul. It was here, in 1905, that I.A. Koshman harvested the first crop of green tea leaves and made the first Russian tea. After the October Revolution, I. A. Koshman’s tea plantations gave an impetus to the development of tea farming in the Dagomys area. With the lapse of time these tea farms were organized into the “Krasnodar Tea” association. The Krasnodar Territory is the northernmost region on the globe where tea is cultivated on an industrial scale.
If you are not interested in the history of tea, there are other reasons to visit Solokhaul:
- Opportunity to visit the Cross Desert Monastery for men;
- The opportunity to take a walk and breathe the mountain air;
- Take advantage of the offers of the mountain park “Solokhaul” (rafting on the mountain river, flying on the balloon, horseback riding).
Solokhaul is located on the Shakhe River, the largest river in the Lazarevsky district of Sochi. At the mouth of the river is located village Golovinka. Shakhe connected with the famous “Abaza road” or “Ubykh trail,” which is one of the main trade routes through the western Caucasus; it passed the length of the Shakhe to its headwaters, then through the pass of the Main Caucasus Range in the upper Belaya River and further along the valley Belaya, which is the northern part of the Abaza road.
The Shakhe River
In the summer, if you want and time, you can swim in the river.
How to get to Solokhoul?
In a straight line from the Black Sea coast to Solokhoul a little over 13 kilometers, but the distance by road is somewhat more – about 30 km.
In Sochi, Loo and Dagomys to Solokhauul sold organized excursions, but if you want you can do without the paid tours and go there on your own. From Dagomys to Solokhaul goes bus number 145. The bus stop is located at the intersection of Batumi Highway and Armavirskaya Street.
The schedule of bus 145 from Dagomys to Solokhaul. The bus runs rarely, only eight trips a day Bus stop in Dagomys
If you decide to go to Solokhaul by car, you can reach your destination by the only road that goes from Dagomys. As I wrote above, the distance from Dagomys to Solokhaul about 30 kilometers. The road is quite beautiful, there are places with panoramic views of the mountains.
Below you can see the road that we just drove.
There are even prepared rest areas where you can stop by car.
Below you can see the Shahe
The only thing to take into account is that if your passengers are prone to motion sickness in the car, they may well get motion sickness on this road (this also applies to the bus ride). The road is well paved, but it is mountainous, with lots of turns, ascents and descents.
Road to Solokhaul You can get to Solokhaul by car or bus
Stop 145 bus in Solokhaule is at the entrance to the village and since Solokhaule is quite compact, you can get around all the interesting places on your own.
What to see in Solokhaule?
Solokhauul sightseeing map
I have marked the main attractions of Solokhaul on the Yandex map
For those who love tea, a visit to the Koshman Manor is a must
Koshman Manor Museum.
I.A. Koshman was a peasant who came from Ukraine to the area of tea plantations located in Georgia. The enthusiast first worked in the Chakwa area and learned a lot there.
At that time, there was a widespread opinion that tea could not grow north of the subtropical zone. Koshman decided to disprove this. In 1900 he moved to a small village Solokh-Aul, built a wooden house and a year later planted tea bushes on an area of 0.6 ha. It was a bold experiment, as the climate there was considered harsh.
The Sochi writer I. Zaytsev (1963) writes so: “Residents of Solokh-Aul new settler I.A.Koshman was dubbed a crank, when they saw that he was planting some unseen dark brown balls instead of potatoes, onions and cabbage on his diligently dug-up plot. These were the seeds of tea, which gave rise to Russian tea.
Thanks to Koshman’s exceptional diligence, skilful care of his plants and agro-technical measures, the bushes took root and in four years yielded their first crop.
Chronology of the appearance of Krasnodar tea is as follows:
1905 – I.A. Koshman harvested the first crop of green tea leaves and made the first Russian tea;
1914 – I.A. Koshman produced 24 kg of dried tea;
1925 – the first experimental plantations of tea were planted from I.A. Koshman’s plantations in the Krasnodar Territory by the agronomist A.P. Kuplast, who gave them to 11 agricultural circles and 59 individual farms of the Sochi District. Tea plantations worked best in the village of Tretia Rota (the future Dagomyssk Tea State Farm), the Lenin State Farm (near Sochi) and the Koshman State Farm (near the city of Sochi). Lenin (near Sochi) and in the park of the state farm “Chance” (near Adler).
1936 – the first 150 hectares of industrial tea are planted;
1939 – a tea factory was built on the territory of the collective farm “Krasny Putlovets”, which later became a department of the Dagomys tea state farm;
1952-1957 – with the increase of tea plantations on the territory of Solokh-Aul organized Solokh-Aul tea state farm, which joined the nearby collective farms of Solokh-Aul rural district;
1972 – tea farms were organized into the association “Krasnodar tea;
1974 – I.A. Koshman’s plantation and lodge were declared a historically significant place;
1992 – tea state farms were reorganized into joint-stock companies. Solokh-Aul Tea State Farm was renamed the Solokh-Aul Tea Open Joint Stock Company.
History of Krasnodar tea development
Nowadays the house of I.A. Koshman and a part of his tea plantation are preserved. The house is a museum dedicated to the development of tea growing in Russia, as well as the Krasnodar tea and everything connected with it. The museum is not a big, but interesting. The excursion on a museum is possible, for this purpose it is necessary to address to employees, but also without excursion it is quite possible to familiarize with exhibits (much information is submitted as the text which you can read and understand, for what it all is exposed).
The plate shows the address: Solokh-Aul, 6 Luchevaya Street, but in order to get to Solokh-Aul by car, in the navigator it would be more correct to specify Koshman Street, 30 Koshman House Exhibits Museum Territory of I.A. Koshman Manor Territory of the Manor
I would like to say thank you to everyone who takes part in the preservation of I.A. Koshman’s farmstead, thanks to you the history of tea growing in Russia is preserved. Not only Koshman’s house, but also the adjacent territory with the tea plantation makes me want to visit Solokhaul again, sit in the shade of trees enjoying the wonderful tea with pancakes and very tasty jam. I wish that on the territory of Greater Sochi there were more such places, which can diversify leisure and enrich it with new knowledge.
Shrubs from a tea plantation in Solokhaila Cafe on the territory of the estate
A tea plantation is preserved nearby, where you can see how tea grows. There is a cafe on the grounds of the farmstead where you can taste the tea from this plantation. Black and green tea is also sold there, which you can buy as a souvenir.
Walking the mountain road to the waterfalls
If you are able to walk a couple of kilometers, you can walk to the waterfalls. The waterfalls are not very big, but the walk along the mountain road itself is interesting.
The road to the waterfalls starts from the Koshman Manor. Up to the farmstead the road is asphalted, after that it is unpaved. The dirt road is quite bearable, and if you drive your car, it is quite passable (as of August 2018). If you want, you can leave your car near the farmstead and continue on foot. If you decide to hike, it makes sense to think in advance about the appropriate footwear for walking on the dirt road.
The unpaved road starts from the Koshman’s manor.
On the way to the waterfalls there will be two springs, one closer to the farmstead, the second farther. It is difficult not to notice them, they are both near the road. You can drink from the springs, you can take water with you, the main thing is not to forget the empty bottle.
One of the springs
Cross Desert Monastery
The monastery is located near the Koshman Manor. If you go to Solokhaul by car, you can drive up to it. In front of the monastery is a parking lot.
Parking in front of the monastery Monastery “Holy Cross Desert
Cross Pustyn” monastery was planned in a way similar to the Athonite monasteries, with the Athonite rule, and as a monastery of Serbian-Russian spiritual unity and friendship, which is proven by the inscriptions in Russian and Serbian on the marble tiles of the columns of the monastery temple.
The project of the monastery complex was developed by the Sochi architect Boris Babakov. Builders from the Serbian construction company “Putevi” not only built the monastery, but also donated to it, lovingly decorating the monastery temple – the names of those who performed the mosaic and the decoration of the temple are written on the marble plaques – Lubis, Predrag, Nenad, Milos and others.
Just below the monastery, there is a holy spring.
The Holy Spring At the Holy Spring At the Holy Spring
I found a video on the internet about the monastery, it shows well the beauty of nature, which you can see when you visit Solohaul.
The park is located on two sites:
1.Splav Center. All the water amusements of the park are concentrated at this site.
2.the Green Glade playground. On this area are located Trolley park, shooting gallery, Big Air Bag (jump from the tower to the cushion), APC, Cafe, site of ballooning.
More information about the park can be found on the official website of the park.
Solokhaul, Sochi: a place for tea parties and adventure park
Where to go when bored with lying on the beach? When you want a change of impressions and locations? There are many such places in Sochi, and my Guide to Sochi will help you.
The nearest suburb of Sochi – Dagomys – is also not lacking in such opportunities. Just recently I wrote about Dagomys troughs. Many people will like the place, going there for a hot summer weekend would be a good idea.
And today I want to tell you about Solokhaul .
Previously, this place was known mainly as the birthplace of Krasnodar tea. There took tourists on excursions, but families with children, for example, to go there was not particularly interesting – to see the tea plantations, visit a monastery and a holy spring, children are not burning desire…
But when a couple of years ago the adventure park “Solokhaul” opened here. , the situation has radically changed. And now you can safely plan a trip to Solokhaul, if you need to arrange an interesting weekend for the whole family. In this article I tell you how it turned out for us.
Solokhaul, Sochi: a plan of entertainment for the whole day
Solokhaul is a small but very interesting place in the Lazarevsky district of Greater Sochi. It is located in the mountains above Dagomys, at an altitude of 660 meters above sea level, on the banks of the river Shakhe.
Once upon a time in Solokh-Aul lived Solokh (so called the divorced women who could not remarry). Widowers who did not remarry were called babukh, and they lived in a village higher in the mountains – Babuk-aul.
Nowadays, Solokhaul is known for several attractions. And going here, plan to spend the whole day on this place.
How to get there
The best way to travel to Solokh-Aul is by car. Other options will be much more expensive in time.
If you vacation in Sochi without your car, the best solution is to rent a car. A good choice of cars and reasonable prices – here: My Car Rental . By the way, you can use my promo code to get a small discount: SOCHIFORNIA.
Yes, you can get here by public transport (but this option is for very patient people). From Sochi here is bus number 154, and from Dagomys there is bus number 145. The fare from Dagomys is about 100 rubles. But the buses do not go very often – once every 1,5-2 hours. So, go by car and you will be happy.
The first landmark is a crossroad of Batumi highway and Armavirskaya street in Dagomys. Here there is a sign for Solokhaul, Volkovka and Altmetz. From this turn to Solokhaul is about 30 km.
For those who get carsick on serpentine, this trip will be an ordeal: from Dagomys to Solokhaul the road is continuous serpentine. My daughter, who in principle does not suffer from a weak vestibular system, got a little seasick (probably because of the cell phone, in which she was scribbling messages). And after reaching the fork to the cafe “At the End of the Earth”, we stopped to take a photo and let her come to her senses.
And the views are always beautiful here, at any time of year:
Next we have to decide where to go first: to the left – to Solokhaul itself, or to the right (up) – to Solokhaul Park.
And here we are taken by the employees of Solokhaul Park: they offer to take a ride on a zip-line or go straight to the main place “The Green Glade”.
But we still decide to start with the sights of Solokhaule, and go to the park closer to the evening.
What you can see in Solokhale
Monastery of the Cross Desert and the holy spring
To the first point of interest – the Monastery of the Holy Cross Desert – we go by turning off the road at the sign and crossing the flimsy bridge. Just behind it there is a sign to the passage to the holy spring:
The spring is named in honor of the holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon. There are fonts built on it:
At Christmas and Epiphany, according to reports, there are a lot of people here. Right now, not a soul. However, no, someone is splashing somewhere – voices and the splash of water can be heard higher up the path. We go up and see such picture:
Well, it seems to somebody that this place is suitable for swimming.
We just enjoy the shade in this picturesque gorge and rest from the road:
After the font, we head to the monastery itself.
The monastery, founded in 1997, is located on the mountain, which offers an excellent view of the surrounding area. According to the stories of the old-timers, before the revolution, hermit monks lived here.
At the entrance to the monastery there are skirts, shawls and long robes (for men in shorts). I was also asked to remove my sunglasses for some reason (why did they bother the monks?).
The area of the monastery is small, but well-maintained. However, do not expect anything special from a visit to the monastery. None of the brethren will condescend to talk about their monastery. And taking pictures is not encouraged here either.
So, after visiting the chapel, we left the monastery rather quickly.
A visit to the manor of Juda Koshman, the pioneer of the tea industry in Sochi, was more pleasant.
The estate museum of Juda Koshman
Exactly thanks to this man Solokh-Aul became famous once, because it was the birthplace of Russian tea. Here Judah Koshman planted the first tea bushes on his property in 1901.
No one knows how the 62-year-old Koshman ended up in these semi-wildernesses more than a century ago. He was born in the Ukraine, then went to work in Turkey and Georgia. He worked for many years on tea plantations near Batumi. By his old age he saved up some money, with which he bought land here, in Solokh-Aul, and built a small house with a well. This house is now visited by tourists:
And the first thing he planted on his land were the tea seeds he brought from Adjara. The locals thought the visiting tea grower was a big weirdo. Nobody believed that this delicate crop could grow here, in Solokh-Aul. After all, in winter it snows in the mountains, and the night temperature drops to -10 degrees at times.
Besides, some landowners even before Koshman tried to grow tea in the vicinity of Sochi. But their bushes died every time the winter cold nights came in Sochi. And the tea experts came to a verdict: you can’t grow tea in Sochi, the climate is unsuitable.
However, Koshman continued to water and cultivate his tea bushes. That’s what we now see in the clearing behind the lodge:
Four years later, Koshman harvested the first usable leaves from his plantation. After another year, locals were already interested in the product. But Koshman’s tea didn’t get official recognition right away. Capital’s breeders and agronomists refused to even consider a dubious plant from an unknown village with the strange name of Solokhaul. Only in 1923 Juda Antonovich returned from the capital happy: the world’s northernmost tea was awarded a gold medal by the All-Union Exhibition of Economic Achievements.
Koshman was offered to move to Sochi, but he did not leave his mountain village, believing that there was no better place in the world than Solokhaul. He lived in his modest house of two rooms and a kitchen until he was 97. Now there is a house-museum of Koshman.
His visit costs only 30 rubles. Once inside, you find yourself in an absolutely domestic atmosphere: all household items are kept in their places. Only in one room is something like a museum exhibit:
Near the house in the arbors, placed among the tea plantations, you will be offered tea. You will also be treated to freshly baked pancakes and, of course, honey from the apiary, located nearby.
The smell of pancakes coming from the kitchen is very appetizing. We order 4 servings of pancakes (1 serving makes 3 pancakes and costs 50 rubles), 3 teapots with honey and jam (40 rubles each) and a pot of boiling water (200 rubles more). We choose the arbor in the street and go to have tea:
But we can’t manage to be calm – we see bees attracted by honey and jam, so, tea-drinking turns out to be like a dance. So, chasing bees away from pancakes and pulling them out of honey, we spend about twenty minutes at tea.
UAZ trucks with open tops full of tourists rush past us on the road behind the gate. They take them further along the road – there is a nice waterfall, nicknamed “Crying Elephant” by tourists. Indeed, if you look closely, you can see the features of a large elephant, whose eyes flow like tears streams of waterfall.
We visited it on our last visit to Solokhaul. This time we decided not to go there: many local waterfalls in the middle of July are not the best sight.
And now we are more interested in the adventure park “Solokhaul”.
We go back to the fork and go uphill now. From the turn 2.5 km to the park, according to the sign. The first 500 meters will be asphalt, then it ends and starts stony dirt. With a car with a low landing there is a risk of bumper to bump in a couple of places. Well, we get to the park without adventure.
In general, this place is one of the 3 areas of the park, and it is called “Green Glade” . It has the following rides: Trolley Park, Shooting gallery, children’s and adult’s rope park:
The park is very cozy and has been decorated with great attention to detail:
If you just want to walk around the park, the entrance will cost you 500 rubles/person. For this money you’ll be served tea with jam and honey in a nice little house with a cafe:
You have to pay only for those who are more than 12 years old.
If you’re planning to master any of the rides, you’ll only pay for it, and the entrance will be free. There is also an all day pass that includes several rides.
My husband likes the idea of archery and my son likes the idea of playing darts:
And here’s the balloon climbing area:
But the balloon will only inflate and fly in the evening.
In the meantime, my daughter and I see a group of people with easels in the clearing and we head toward them. Quite recently we went to a painting workshop in Sochi (Creative Workshop in Sochi: Drawing Dreams) and we like this idea – the traveling workshops – very much, too:
I think on a calm weather day to draw on the lawn with a view – one pleasure!
Well, we, having no paints and canvas at disposal, go closer to tea plantations – to “draw” portraits with the camera of their phones:
By the way, we are not alone here, lovers of selfies in tea bushes. In front of us, two couples walked into these bushes for professional photo shoots. I think their pics will be even cooler. The place really calls and beckons all those who love to take bright pictures in nature.
And after tea with pancakes we want more than anything to lie in a hammock overlooking the mountains, not climb the rope park and ride off-road in an APC. Although these activities are probably of interest to many people, too.
Meanwhile, time is nearing sunset, and people are beginning to gather on the benches in front of the lawn. And they are waiting for only one thing – in the evening a balloon is released over the lawn.
It’s tied to the ground with strings and rises to a maximum of 50 meters off the ground. But even from such a height, judging by the reviews, there are stunning views of the Shakhe River Valley and Fisht Mountain:
The cost of ascent – 2000 rubles/person adult and 1000 rubles/children.
Many people are waiting for the balloon to start, just to take beautiful pictures on its background. We do not deny ourselves this either:
After that, half of the crowd leaves their seats and hurries to the cars and buses.
By the way, the park has its own transfers: from Sochi railway station a bus leaves at 11:00, and from the park back at 20:00. Adult ticket costs 500 rubles. Children under 3 years – free, from 4 to 7 years – 250 rubles. The same transfer is from Adler, but costs 600 rubles and leaves at 10:00.
And we go back to the car and go back. We ask whether the children are satisfied with the trip. Kids are happy. So are we, parents. Agree, it’s not bad when a weekend together brings pleasure to all family members.