04:08 GMT +322 October 2017
    Skiing at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort in spring

    Iranian Tourists Flock to Sochi for Activity Holiday of a Lifetime

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    One of Russia's most popular tourist resorts has proved a hit with visitors from Iran, who particularly enjoyed racing on the Formula One track there, Sputnik Persian reported.

    On March 18 Iranian airline Mahan Air began charter flights from Tehran to Sochi, and the new route has proved popular with Iranian tourists of all ages keen to take advantage of a cheap ruble and Russia's investment in the resort in recent years, Tatyana Strakhova, press spokesperson for the Omega Sochi holiday complex, told Sputnik Persian.

    "At the end of March, during the celebrations of Nowruz (Iranian New Year) a group of Iranian tourists visited Sochi, where the XXII Winter Olympic Games took place," Strakhova said.

    "An action-packed program of excursions was planned for them. Iranian tourists not only visited the architecture of the Olympics, but also the new track for the 2016 Formula One Russian Grand Prix, where they enjoyed the atmosphere of the races, entered the stands and the team areas and observed at first hand the preparation work for the upcoming race. Some of the Iranian tourists even did some laps of the track in racing cars."

    Preparations for 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix
    © Sputnik/ Alexey Kudenko
    Preparations for 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix
    The tourists were keen to observe the resort's natural beauty, and sites of historical importance such as Sochi's sea port and Joseph Stalin's country retreat. 

    The Sochi Park theme park, with attractions based on Russian fairytales and cultural traditions, was also a big hit with them, Strakhova said.

    Caucasian State Nature Reserve, Sochi
    © Sputnik/ Mihail Mokrushin
    Caucasian State Nature Reserve, Sochi
    "They were very impression by the Caucasus State Nature Biosphere Reserve, Sochi National Park and the Olympic ski resort."

    "The tourists spent one day in the Sky Park, Russia's only mountain theme park, where visitors can go bungee-jumping and walk over the world's longest suspension footbridge, which is 439 meters in length."

    The park's 207 meter bungee jump is one of the highest in the world, and it also boasts the world's highest swing, at 170 meters above the ground.

    The opening of SochiSwing, the world's highest swing
    © Sputnik/ Mihail Mokrushin
    The opening of SochiSwing, the world's highest swing
    "In 2015 Iranian tourists showed the largest increase in visits to Russia, and entered the list of the top 20 countries that send the most tourists to Russia. Today a lot of Russian hotels and tourist companies offer Halal Friendly facilities to tourists from Muslim countries," Strakhova explained.

    "This concept covers not only halal food but also a whole package of hospitality which provides insight into the links between Russia and the Muslim world and includes services like menus in Arabic or Farsi, and prayer rooms in hotels."

    "Hotels welcoming Iranian guests to Sochi make an effort to make their stay as comfortable as possible, taking into account their mentality, the traditional Iranian Taarof, religious particularities and catering requirements, particularly the choice of food and its preparation," Strakhova said.


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