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Sochi is a Russian resort city, situated in Krasnodar Krai just north of the southern Russian border. It sprawls along the shores of the Black Sea and against the background of the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. At 145 km (90 mi), Greater Sochi is claimed to be the longest city in Europe. As of the 2002 Census, it had a population 328,809, down from 336,514 recorded in the 1989 Census. In 2006, the population was estimated to be 395,012. The city has been selected to be the host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.
Sochi is an established fashionable resort area. The coast is dotted with imposing Neoclassical buildings, exemplified by the opulent Rodina and Ordzhonikidze sanatoriums. Sochi area is extensively developed.
Sochi is almost alone among larger Russian cities as having the aspect of a subtropical resort. Apart from the scenic Caucasus Mountains, pebbly and sand beaches, the city attracts vacation-goers with its subtropical vegetation, numerous parks, monuments, and extravagant Stalinist architecture. About two million people visit Greater Sochi each summer, when the city is home to the annual film festival "Kinotavr" and a getaway for Russia's elite.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 2,957 km² (730,690 acre) Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, lies just north from the city. Sochi also has Europe's most northerly tea plantations. It is served by the Adler-Sochi International Airport. The Sochi Light Metro is being built, with construction projected to be complete by 2014.
In June 2006, the International Olympic Committee announced that Sochi had been selected as a finalist city to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. On July 4, 2007, Sochi was announced as the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
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