Eagle Cliffs in Sochi, Russia

Orlinyye Skaly

Located in the mountains southeast of downtown Sochi, Eagle Cliffs (Орлиные скалы – Orlinyye skaly) provides a reasonably easy hiking experience. It’s complete with placid meadows, spectacular views across the Caucasus Mountains, waterfalls, and swimming holes. At the mountaintop is a statue of Prometheus, the Greek hero associated with the Caucasus region.

Rising well over 1,300 feet (400 meters) above sea level, the cliffs were named for the eagles that breed across the landscape. The cliffs are well known among rock-climbers for their sheer white precipices coated with bright limestone and yellow sandstone. The area is also peppered with karst caves, the largest of which is 49 feet (15 meters) deep. The summits and the gentler slopes are covered by Turkish pines, Oriental hornbeams, and oaks.

From the top, visitors can see Chugush, the highest peak of the nearby Republic of Adygea, Achishkho, which is home to several mysterious dolmens, Pseashkho, and Aibga. In the other direction are Sochi and the Black Sea.

Prometheus has been associated with these cliffs by locals living along the Black Sea coast for thousands of years, lending further historical and mythical intrigue to the site. According to mythology, Prometheus was chained here for giving fire to humankind. A lady named Agura was the only one willing to help Prometheus, giving him water and cleaning his wounds every day. However, when Zeus found out, he threw her off the cliffs and transformed her into the nearby Agura River and waterfalls.

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