Walks towards Orekhovsky waterfall is my favorite option for a hike when I want to get some fresh air and a break from the city. The route is not complicated – you only need a pair of sneakers and a short walk to the waterfall and back – even a couple of hours are enough! Moreover, Orekhovsky Waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Sochi. Thanks to the unique subtropical climate of the Sochi coast, there is almost never snow here and you can walk to Orekhovsky Falls all year round.
To get to the waterfall couldn’t be easier – take bus 102 in the city center near the sea port or near the railway station, drive to the bus stop (it takes about 40-50 minutes), and then take a half an hour walk up the beautiful dirt road along the Sochi River. It is so easy. At the end of the page is a detailed description of how to get to Orekhovsky waterfall, but first a few pictures of this wonderful place, taken at different times of the year.
Orechow Falls in the spring.
I really love going to Orechow Falls in the spring. From the beginning of March the rhododendron blooms in full bloom on both sides of the road, and since May it is so hot that you can even refresh yourself under the invigorating stream of the waterfall!
Road to the waterfall
Orekhovsky Falls in May
False strawberries (Potentilla indica) on the way to Orechowski Falls. The fruit is edible but tasteless.
Orechow Falls in Winter
During the winter months the daytime temperature in Sochi varies from +5 to +10 degrees, and precipitation in the form of rain, are protracted. It would seem that it is not the best time for hiking! But… but not for hiking in waterfalls. After all, it is in the winter months they have the most water!
HOW TO GET TO OREKHOVSKY WATERFALL?
Depending on what transport you use to get to the start of the hike you have three basic options: take a city bus, order a cab, or come on your own car.
- By Bus . If you decided to go by public transport, you will need bus number 102, which runs on the route “Sochi Sea Station – Plastunka village” (you can take it at the railway station). The bus runs infrequently, about once an hour and a half. Before the pre-Olympic road renovation, the road took up to an hour and a half, now it is about 40-50 minutes. The ticket one way is 40 rubles. The winter schedule of buses from the Marine Passenger Terminal: [will be a little later].
- By cab . Since the bus does not go very often, you can take a cab. First, you will save time, and secondly, the cab, unlike the bus, you can get directly to Orekhovsky Waterfalls. From the center of Sochi directly to Orekhovskie waterfalls is from 450 to 600 rubles, depending on the area where you sat, and about half an hour on the road, if no traffic jams. As for cab services, I will say so. In general, the most popular cab in Sochi – Red Taxi (tel. 8-918-190-00-00). Fares are cheapest, but they work with private taxi drivers who may come even in a smoky Zhiguli. Personally, I use “Taxi Sochi” (formerly called “Nika”). They have corporate white Renault Logan and normal drivers on staff. Phone to order – 8 (862) 2-500-500. The fare as of December 2016 is 100 rubles per landing plus 22 rubles per kilometer. As a result, it is only 10% more expensive than Red Taxi. All cars are metered, but just in case, when boarding, make sure the meter is on and the desired destination address is correct. During tourist season, even the best cabs sometimes “slip up” on the slippery slope!
- In your own car . If you arrive in a low-clearance car and/or are unsure of your own abilities, it is better to leave the car fifty meters in front of the same bus stop of course, bus 102. There is a small gravel area right by the river on the right. The coordinates are 43.703281°N and 39.762227°E. Enter these coordinates into any navigator. It is not worth going further, the road is unpaved, with precipices in the gorge of the river Sochi. If your car allows to drive on dirt roads of medium quality and you are an experienced driver – easy drive about one more kilometer to the small parking place before the steep descent to the river Bezumenka and Orekhovsky waterfall. The coordinates of this place are 43.707799° / 39.773396°. There are not many places, only for 6-7 cars, so in summertime, and especially at weekends, come as early as possible, or there might not be enough places.
The road to Orekhovsky waterfall from the center of Sochi on Google maps.
For hikers who came here by bus, I strongly advise you to take a picture of the return bus schedule, so that you will not have to worry about when it happens on the way back. It runs infrequently, once every hour and a half to two hours, so it’s better to walk knowing the schedule than to run and then sit waiting for an hour. Here, for example, is the winter 2016-2017 return bus schedule!
Winter 2016-2017 return bus schedule
An important point: cell service ends literally around the first corner after the stop. There will only be one place further on – at the hill at Orekhovsky Falls. In order not to save your phone battery for searching of cellular communication it is better to set it in an off-line mode. You will save a lot of charge, which you will need for photo and video!
So, we reached the place, the schedule was photographed, we turned off the phone, the hike begins!
If you arrive by bus or leave your car at the bus stop, your walking route starts right from the bus stop. The asphalt road turns into concrete and crosses a small stream. Pedestrians are comfortable crossing it on a small wooden bridge. After the creek the concrete road climbs steeply uphill and ends at the first fork about a hundred yards away. Then we have unpaved road. At this fork we turn right (there is a sign “Orekhovsky waterfall”). At last the nature begins. The cool mountain air flowing down the bottom of the gorge of the Sochi River straight from the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains fills your lungs with healing aroma, the sounds of the city are replaced by the noise of the river and birdsong, and tiny waterfalls flow down from small rocks by streams.
After about half an hour of easy walking without climbing, the road descends sharply to cross the small river Bezumenka. It is most beautiful for hikers to cross this creek over a small bridge to the left of the “car ford.”
After the bridge, the road climbs steeply up to the other bank of the Bezumenka and comes to another fork. To the left is a gravel-paved road, passable only for pumped SUVs. I rode on it on a bicycle with the descent to Dagomys. Besides the river Bezumenka itself is very picturesque – there are several tiny waterfalls and natural “baths”, which is cool to bathe in the summertime! One day I took a walk right along the river and shot a little video. I’ll be sure to post it when I find the time. But back to our main route.
After turning right at this fork we immediately come to the next fork. Straight down is a steep descent to a small area in front of the entrance to the paid picnic meadow. To get to the waterfall itself you just need to go through the wooden gate (free entrance) and down the stairs. Coordinates of the stairs: 43.707168 ° / 39.774565 °. The descent is not for the faint of heart. Steep iron stairs zigzagging through thicket of Colchis forest goes down to the bottom of the gorge. It is a picturesque place! I congratulate you, you are on a place! Now you can have a rest, have a snack, and if the weather allows, you can refresh yourself under the invigorating stream of the highest waterfall in the vicinity of Sochi!
Before turning back (it takes about thirty minutes to walk to the bus stop) it is time to read the ecological code of a tourist, in which I share my rules of care for the nature around us.
In conclusion, as an example, a timeline of one of my recent hikes to Orekhovsky Falls:
- 10:30 – took a cab in downtown Sochi
- 11:00 – arrived to Orekhovsky waterfall
- 11:00 – 13:15 – walking in the area, taking photos, snack
- 13:15 – left for bus stop
- 14:00 – caught the bus
- 14:50 – returned to the center of Sochi.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE SEE?
To be honest, we never end our walks with Orekhovsky waterfall, but go further! If you have an extra hour or two, too, you can walk to the confluence of the Sochi and Agva Rivers. And if you have even more time, you can walk to Svanidze waterfalls or even Ažek waterfall!
Orekhovsky waterfall is considered one of the highest and most picturesque among similar natural objects located near the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai. Almost all tourist agencies of Sochi offer to visit this place for excursions, but you can also get to the spectacularly plummeting from a steep precipice on your own. Travel is recommended to wear light closed shoes, comfortable clothing and headgear. You should take drinking water and some warm clothes, considering the coolness of the foothills.
Peculiarities of Orekhovsky Waterfall
The site is located just 14 km from the resort capital of Russia at the place where the river Sochi takes the river Bezumenka in his arms. The territory belongs to the Khostinsky District – one of the administrative units of Sochi.
Until 100 years ago Orekhovsky waterfall was called Melnichnoye. Today’s toponym is associated with the village Orekhovka and growing here walnut groves, located in 1.5 km.
The waterfall appears to tourists in different guises. In summer it can turn into relatively quiet, sluggish trickles of water, and in spring and after heavy rains – into full-flowing roaring streams. Thanks to the mild subtropical climate, you can visit the site at any time of year. In winter it is snowless and deserted, and in hot days – relatively cool and crowded.
- The height of the water fall is about 28 meters.
- The steepness of the escarpment is almost 70%.
Orekhovsky waterfall is a two-stage, or two-cascade, due to which its name is often pronounced in the plural. The most spectacular is considered to be the lower stage. It is popular not only with travelers but also among esoterics, who claim that this place has an unearthly power.
Until 1910, the waterfall was known only to the inhabitants of the nearby villages. The popularity came after the publication of his picture by a local amateur photographer. Strong iron stairs, which greatly facilitated the descent to the natural landmark, was installed in the second half of the 1990s. At the same time, a summer cafe was built on the upper platform.
For the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics a postage stamp was issued showing the view of Orekhovsky waterfall from the Sochi River.
In addition to aesthetic pleasure, waterfalls have healing properties. The water dust produced by falling river flows from a height instantly spreads phytoncides (antimicrobial volatile substances emitted by surrounding vegetation) within a radius of tens of meters, and also contributes to an increase in the level of air ionization. Everyone who comes to Orekhovsky Waterfall draws attention to:
- improvement in general well-being;
- relief of breathing;
- enormous burst of vivacity.
Both adults and children enjoy watching the Mad Menka waterfall, falling off the cliff and separating into independent streams. It thunders against the rocks, turns into a splash, and then suddenly gathers and flows into the Sochi River. On warm days, you can almost always find sunbathers on the nearby small pebble beach, and people bathing in the bowl of the waterfall.
The cool water is wonderfully refreshing and uplifting. However, if you decide to take a dip, you should not forget that Bezumenka is of mountain origin, so it is considered unsafe. The thing is that its water level may rise sharply at any time, as warned of the posted poster on the shore. During high waters the river quite justifies its “crazy” name. It is during such periods, its powerful gurgling currents can easily swallow a person up and carry him downstream.
After seeing the sights right on the shore you can have a picnic (without making a fire), or go up to the upper deck and visit the cafe. There you will be offered shashlik, trout dishes and locally produced wine. If you prefer, you can continue your vacation in apartments or hotels nearby.
What is close by
Active travelers choose Orekhovsky waterfall as the first stop of the hiking route along the Ažekská eco-trail. The path goes through:
- Agwa River;
- Svanidze waterfalls;
- Ažeki Waterfalls.
Orekhovsky waterfall: Google Maps panorama
The route is very picturesque, but only well-prepared tourists can go there and back. The trip takes a whole day. You should be back to the starting point of departure before sunset. There are signs along the trail.
Orekhovsky waterfall is part of the Sochi National Park, but the descent to the natural attraction is still free. Ecological fee of 200 rubles per person will have to be paid at the entrance to the ecopark “Ažek”, located upstream of the Sochi River.
How to get to Orekhovsky Waterfall
You can get to the nearest settlement by public transport or by car.
Through the railway station and bus station of Sochi to the village of Plastunka is a bus number 102. You can see the schedule and route on the website. You will need to get off at the end stop “Orekhovka”, and then either use the services of a private carrier, or walk 1.5 km, enjoying the scenic views of the surrounding nature. Keep the way up the street Dzhaparidze, guided by the signs. Directly to Orekhovsky waterfall leads down a metal staircase with 238 steps.
How to reach Orekhovsky Waterfall from Sochi by Car
From any point of the resort town you should reach Plastunskaya Street and head in the direction of Plastunka village. Then take Dzhaparidze Street and drive through Orekhovka and at the first fork turn right. Then you are guided by the signs. The car should be parked approximately 300 meters away from the natural landmark.
At the last stage of the trip you will have to pass several water streams. Inexperienced drivers or owners of cars with low clearance are advised to leave transport in Orekhovka and walk 1.5 km.
It is not recommended to take a cab to Orekhovsky Falls, as the cost of waiting time may be too high. It is better to go on your own and take your time to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding nature. Additionally, you can arrange a picnic in the fresh air or refresh yourself in a local cafe with traditional dishes of Caucasian cuisine.