Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery

Gelendzhik has beautiful nature: pine trees, wild beaches and white rocks. People mainly come here in the summer to swim and sunbathe, and not to look at the sights. This four-day itinerary is an alternative to a beach holiday. It is suitable for traveling at any time of the year, except summer. During the season it is crowded, hot and noisy.

How to get there

The distance from Moscow to Gelendzhik is 1,500 kilometers. Many people come by car to explore the surrounding area. The most convenient and fastest way to travel from Moscow and St. Petersburg is by plane. Travel time from Moscow is about 2.5 hours. The cost of one ticket in the low season, for example, in February, is from 2,200 rubles* one way. In summer the price can double.

Where to stay 

I selected several hotels with ratings higher than 9.

  • Hotel “Imperial” —  from 1,600 rubles* per night for two.
  • Marsel Hotel — from 2,400 rubles* per night for two.
  • Lermont Hotel – from 2,900 rubles* per night for two.

What to see 

Day 1. In the city: embankment, lighthouse, winery and wild beach with dolphins 

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery


You need to start getting acquainted with Gelendzhik from the longest seaside embankment in the world —  its length is more than 14 kilometers. In the off-season, it’s nice to take a walk from Cape Tolstoy to Tonkiy, go jogging or cycling, renting equipment. One hour of renting a bicycle costs 100 rubles, and the whole day costs 400 rubles.

In the Tonky Cape area there is an amusement park and a water park. In the central part there is a pier from which yachts launch for boat trips. Here is the restaurant 1870 Wine & Food Bar, where you can try Abrau-Durso wines. The Tolstoy Cape area is loved for the clear sea and pine trees that grow near the water, as well as for the lighthouse, which is considered the symbol of the city. From here you have a beautiful view of the bay and Gelendzhik itself.

Walking along the embankment, you will see  one more lighthouse – folding, built in 1897. You won’t be able to get inside, but you can see it from the outside. This two-story Art Nouveau building looks nothing like a typical lighthouse. The fact is that the beacons are always paired. The one on the embankment is the front one. It has a built-in metal box with blinds (leaves), which regulate the green and red lights. The wall of the boarding house on the mountain is the back lighthouse. Both the front and rear have a red stripe. If, upon entering the harbor, sailors see a perfectly straight red line, then the course is correct and safe. Lanterns help coordinate ships: green indicates that the ship is to the right of the safe area, and red indicates that the ship is to the left.

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery

Photo: Duet PandG/

Chateau de Talus winery is on the way to the wild Sosnovka beach. This is a young company, founded in 2005, but production at the winery was launched only in 2019. The grape varieties grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Muscat and Chardonnay. The place is very beautiful: the vineyards end at the white cliffs, and the view of the factory, which looks more like a castle, is mesmerizing. Up-to-date information about excursions can be found on the winery’s Instagram account.

Wild beach “Sosnovka” is located five kilometers from the city center and almost three from the winery. You can only get to Sosnovy by car or taxi,  a small gardening community before going down to the beach. The road to the beach is steep,  rocky and long – about 1.5 kilometers, at the end there is a descent down the stairs. Choose comfortable shoes – sneakers or sandals with good foot support. The sad part: in front of the stairs there are mountains of garbage, which are increasing day by day, because many are too lazy to take it up with them. And the good news is that Sosnovka has the cleanest sea that I could find in the vicinity of Gelendzhik. You can even see dolphins here. Plus the view from above of the beach, cliffs and yachts in the distance is simply stunning.

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery


If you have time, go to Markhotsky ridge to watch the sunset, the height of which in this area is about 600 meters. There are two cable cars that take you to the top: to the Olympus Park and to the Safari Park. The cable car takes you to Olympus in 15 minutes, round trip fare costs 900 rubles (children under five years old are free). The ticket includes entry to the zoo and Ferris wheel. From the park you can walk towards the cross, the road is simple, at the end of the route there is an observation deck. Or walk to the famous inscription “Gelendzhik”. It’s almost like the inscription “Hollywood” on the hills of the same name in California, only “Gelendzhik”. Also at the top is the restaurant “In the Clouds”, which offers a beautiful view of the bay and the city. 

Day 2. Outside the city: abyss, museum and rock

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery


Blue Abyss —a place 14 kilometers from Gelendzhik, between the village of Divnomorskoye and the village of Dzhanhot, which can be reached from Gelendzhik by car, taxi or bus number 108. People come here for beautiful photographs with turquoise water, white rocks and tall pine trees, and also for delicious air. The abyss is considered inaccessible due to the difficult and long descent to the water. Tourists often come to this place with tents, go hiking or have picnics among the Pitsunda pines. Toilets, washbasins and trash cans are only available in the campsites, the beaches are not equipped, and the bottom is rocky.

In Dzhanhot there is The house-museum of the writer Vladimir Korolenko. You can look here after a walk through the abyss. The house was built by brothers Vladimir and Illarion; furniture and household details were preserved inside. Some personal belongings of the famous author are also kept here. An adult ticket costs 200 rubles, a visit with a guided tour costs 100 rubles more. For photography you will need to pay an additional 50 rubles. 

12 kilometers from Dzhankhot there is another famous attraction – the “Sail” rock. A tall, vertical layer of sandstone is often depicted on magnets and other souvenirs. The rock really looks like a sail, most of it is in the sea. You can get here by car, boat, bus (No. 108, stop “Beach of the village of Praskoveevka”) or on foot from Dzhankhot along the shore. Motor ships from the Gelendzhik pier run from May 1 to September 31, the cost of the trip is 1,000 rubles. 

Day 3. In the city, but not in the center: local Normandy, a grounded cargo ship and a spectacular restaurant

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery


Blue Bay– a remote microdistrict of Gelendzhik, reminiscent of Normandy. There are many viewpoints here that offer beautiful views of the rocks. Two places can be most impressive; they are not easy to find on maps, so here are the coordinates: the observation deck (44.577881, 37.970216) and the stairs leading to the sea (44.580504, 37.967427). The local beaches are too crowded and dirty, but walking around the area is nice. 

After a long walk, you can stop by the restaurant “Cordon”. It also has a hotel, a bathhouse and lakes in which you can swim. Guests can go fishing, rent a catamaran or book a romantic dinner. Prices above average. For example, a salad with fried potatoes, pickled wild mushrooms and cranberries costs 480 rubles, and meat solyanka with basturma, dzhonjoli and sour cream costs 750 rubles.

The stranded cargo ship “Rio”. In 2018, an African ship ran aground near Kabardinka. There he remained, turning into a local landmark. Now people come to him from all over the Krasnodar Territory to take photos or swim nearby on a stand-up paddle board. The ship is gigantic – 146 meters long, 22 wide, 16 high. Locals say that you can get on the ship itself on a guided tour, but there is no certainty about the legality of this idea. You can get there by minibus No. 31 to the “Mayak” stop, and then on foot, or you can come by car, but then you will still need to walk for about 40 minutes. There is also an option with a taxi, which works only in the summer: you will be taken to a point where locals in jeeps will be ready to give you a ride to the nearest point. The places there are wild and the descents are steep. I warned you. 

Day 4. Wine tourism near Gelendzhik: Novorossiysk and Abrau-Durso wineries

Four days in Gelendzhik: a route with a visit to the abyss, a ship and a winery


Novorossiysk is located 40 kilometers from Gelendzhik. There are two wineries here that I wanted to visit – “Myskhako” and “Myskhako Estate”. The first one was founded in 1869; still and sparkling wines have been produced here for more than 150 years. You can look at the wine shop, visit the tasting room built for Brezhnev, and try drinks for 700 rubles per person. The tour is a bit boring, but some of the wines at the tasting turned out to be very tasty. The second winery, Myskhako Estate, stands on a hill along with the Chateau Pinot restaurant and a snail farm to boot. Gastronomic tastings are held here with visits to vineyards and a snail farm. For example, an excursion to the vineyards and farm with tasting of six wines and six snails costs 1,200 rubles. 

In the village of Abrau-Dyurso, 20 kilometers from Novorossiysk, the most popular sparkling wine in Russia is produced. Wine tourism in Abrau is thriving: you can not only try the products or visit the factory, but also take a bath with sparkling wine or catch the next wine festival. A tour of the plant without tasting costs 950 rubles. In addition to wine entertainment, here you can do yoga or yachting, go hiking or horseback riding, attend a gastronomic master class or concert.

Both Novorossiysk and Abrau-Durso can only be reached by car, bus or taxi. You can leave Gelendzhik for Novorossiysk from the Central Bus Station. Travel time is about an hour. Minibus No. 102 runs from Novorossiysk to Abrau-Dyurso. The cost of a taxi ride is about 500 rubles even during rush hour.

*Prices are current at the time of publication

You can find a suitable hotel and book a room on OneTwoTrip.

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