Dedicated Olympic fans are jumping hurdles to prove their dedication with extra efforts to get to the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and get a place to stay there. Scheduled flight connections from North America to Sochi range from sixteen to forty hours. Typical connections include long waits in Amsterdam and Moscow. Trains from Vienna, Austria take two-and-a-half days. And many hotels have no additional rooms available. All 24 properties in the Sochi area listed by Expedia.com show no availability during the 2104 Winter Olympics from February 7 to 23, 2014. Some do have rooms available for groups, but fans must buy packages together with travel services and event tickets, often costing several hundred dollars a night.
A Russian company with English speaking staff is making Winter Olympics travel possible for many fans who could not otherwise afford the trip with an appealing homestay program that also helps them to experience the real Russia. The company is called Abkhazia Travel. It is based in Moscow and organizes many different travel programs to other areas of Russia.
The Abkhazia Travel homestay program offers accommodations in twin rooms in private homes for about $85 per night per person, with a four night minimum stay. Guests have to make their own beds and there are no private bathrooms. But realistically, this kind of simple lodging is another way to experience the real Russia, where luxuries many Americans take for granted are still a rarity. Participating guests can utilize the dining facilities and WiFi Internet Service of the nearby Hotel Gala. Abkhazia Travel will also have an English speaking representative at the Hotel Gala. These lodgings are walking distance to the Adler Arena and Olympic Park. High-speed rail service to mountain ski resorts takes just a half an hour.
Americans planning to visit Sochi still need to fulfill complicated arrangements to get a visa, which often takes two months. To obtain the necessary visa, you need a letter of invitation from a Russian organization, such as a sports federation or package tour organizer. Proof of round-trip transport and hotel reservations are also standard, so booking a ticket with trip cancellation insurance is the best choice for most Olympic tourists. Ambassador Passport and Visa Service can arrange this for a fee and also make arrangements for the official letter of invitation from a Russian organization.
If you would like to find out more, you can contact Abkhazia Travel by e-mail at this link.