In the mountains of the beautiful Caucasus region, you will find Georgia; it has emerged as a fabulous, trendy European destination. Just an easy visa system coupled with genuinely affordable hotel and transport costs make it any backpacker or tourist’s delight. Throw in delicious food, sparkling wines, old historic cities brimming with culture; you’ve got an all-season sought after destination in Georgia.
A WORLD DESTINATION FOR SKIING
Over the past few years, Georgia has also become very popular for its skiing and gorgeous, scenic ski resorts. Actually, the winters in Georgia are magical. The snow which comes from December through to March, turns Georgia into a white paradise, opening up the country’s top ski resorts and back-country skiing resorts.
At one time, the skiing resorts of Georgia were a well-kept secret in Europe. But these days, tourists flock there in large numbers thanks to improved ski gear, top hotel facilities, and yes, cheaper rates compared to some of the Alpine/ European skiing adventures. Georgia boasts four amazing ski resorts that offer really fantastic avenues for skiing and winter sports to both the beginner and the pro.
Georgia is an exceptionally beautiful country, period. It is the mountains, the sea, the forests, and the magnificent winter ski resorts that literally are starting to attract tourists from all over the world. One of the top newer skiing destinations which are becoming a firm favorite is the Goderdzi winter resort. It is located at an altitude of 2,000 meters, 252 km away from Tbilisi and just 109 km away from Batumi. You will find it nestled in the highlands of Adjara on the Goderdzi Pass.
GETTING TO GODERDZI
You can get to Goderdzi by car, minibus, even by plane. If you choose to get there by plane, the Batumi International Airport is just 110 km from Goderdzi. If you are boarding a bus, it will take around 4 hours from Kutaisi which is about 242 km away, and if you go from Tbilisi, your journey will be around 450 km or about 7 hours. When it’s winter, off-road vehicles will be required to reach Goderdzi.
The shortest road to Goderdzi passes through Akhaltsikhe. It takes around 3 hours from Batumi to Goderdzi. If you do go by car, it is important to make sure your car is equipped with snow chains, bearing in mind that the Goderdzi pass is often closed because of the heavy snowfalls – and therefore accessing Goderdzi from Akhaltsikhe might be out the question. There are also route taxis which are available for getting to the Goderdzi ski resort. The starting point for the route taxis is in Tbilisi at the Okriba station – they run to Akhaltsikhe every 40 minutes and from there you can change your transport again to reach your final destination. There are minibuses which run from the Batumi bus station to Goderdzi four times a day.
BOOK INTO A HOTEL OR A COTTAGE WHILST IN GODERDZI
There are not a whole lot of chalets and hotels operating at the resort, so you need to book your accommodation well in advance. It is predicted, though, that the resort will cater to 7,000 holidaymakers. After all, Georgia is ranked as one of the best winter resorts in the Caucasus, with its potential growing each year. There are also local houses available for accommodation in the nearby village which is 8 km from Goderdzi.
At the moment the Goderdzi resort has 6 cottages. Each one can accommodate 12 people. There is a big cottage, almost like a hotel, which accommodates 36 people and then there’s the hotel as well. It’s called the Meteo Hotel, 4 km away from the Goderdzi Pass resort.
Each cottage consists of 2 double and 2 quadruple (four-bed) rooms. They all vary. This is more or less what they consist of and their prices:
– Room 1: Double room with twin beds – 100 GEL
– Room 2: Double room with king-size bed – 100 GEL
– Room 3: Quadruple room with a bunk bed and a twin bed – 150 GEL
– Room 4: Quadruple room with a bunk bed and a twin bed – 150 GEL
Each cottage has its own dining room, storage rooms for ski equipment, a lounge with a fireplace. WiFi is also available. All the rooms have toilets.
Hotel type cottage/chalet
This cottage accommodates around 36 people. There are 4 double rooms and 6 quadruple rooms. Twin beds are in the double rooms and the quadruple rooms have bunk beds. Look at what they consist of and their prices:
– Double room with shared bathroom (2 rooms) – 60 GEL
– Double room with private bathroom (2 rooms) – 80 GEL
– Quadruple room with private bathroom (4 rooms) – 120 GEL
– Quadruple room with shared bathroom (2 rooms) – 100 GEL
There is also a dining room, ski equipment storage, lounge. Some of the rooms have a private bathroom and others come with shared bathrooms. There is also a kitchen to prepare meals and the others guests that stay in the cottages can also make use of the kitchen facilities.
Hotel Meteo was the first hotel in the resort. It was originally designed just for doing the admin of the resort but later renovated.
This hotel is set in Bodzauri, which is 11 miles from Khulo. It offers access to the Goderdzi Ski Resort. There are flatscreen televisions in the rooms, balconies, and a work desk. Rooms are all complete with a shared bathroom fitted with a shower. There is also free wireless internet available in the hotel rooms.
Four new hotels were on the cards for the resort to be completed by this year – 2020.
IT’S A FOUR-SEASONS DESTINATION
Like all the other resorts, Goderdzi is beautiful at any time of the year. The sea and the mountains offer you exquisite beauty no matter which part of the year it is. For winter, there is usually a heavy fall of snow for fantastic skiing conditions. Actually the combination of the smell of pine trees around the resort, the sheer magnificence of the mountains, the snow, it all makes for a mixture of romance and excitement right out the movies – true postcard beauty.
Not only skiing but hiking and cycling opportunities are possible during the summertime. While you are busy hiking the alpine forests and mountains, you won’t help to notice the magnificent birdlife and flowers. There is the magnificent Green Lake nearby here too. If you are one who loves spending free time surrounded by spectacular scenery, you will love Green Lake. It’s near Beshumi, around 5-6 km from Goderdzi. It is so tranquil with beech and spruce trees surrounding it. You just want to take in deep gulps of this fresh air while you look at the beautiful lake and feel your body relaxing and de-stressing.
Other attractions nearby are
- Khikhani Castle: an important monument of Adjara.
- Petrified Forest: a natural monument.
- Rabati Castle: a medieval castle complex just 52 km from the resort.
- Zarzma Monastery: 18 km from the resort.
The Goderdzi Resort doesn’t just stop at skiing opportunities. It offers other activities as well during not only winter but all the other 3 seasons as well. The pristine forested mountains are the perfect setting in their vibrant green colors, but in the autumn time, they turn to orange and gold. Due to its proximity to the Black Sea, this place gets abundant rainfall, and therefore plenty of snow, which makes the resort very attractive in all the seasons – such impressive nature, the breathtaking views, fresh air, and diverse landscapes all lure people here to ‘get away from it all’ and come and find restoration for the soul and body.
THE SKI SLOPES
People consider Goderdzi as being the snowiest ski resort in Georgia because of its significant location – it’s only about 100 km from the Black Sea Coast. This enables it to work at full capacity right from November through to April. This ski resort is 8 km long and it’s distinguished from the other resorts by having the longest ski trail, and it’s been visited by local and international tourists alike. They all come to try out the different tracks for the intermediates, the advanced, and the experts, reveling in the natural fairy tale beauty and wonder. The resort has two rope-ways, with the highest ropeway point located at 2350 meters high. The soft snow makes the resort even more attractive to free-riders.
There are three ski trails for guests to enjoy to their heart’s content, “Zanka1”, “Lala1” and “Lala2”. Ski lifts will take you right up to the top station. The skiing runs are intermediate to be challenging, but the youngsters can also try their first times at the practice lift. The advanced skiers take the gondola to the top and ski the red run all the way down again. If you prefer to be a bit more moderate, there is also the blue run from the top.
Not all that many people have heard about this entertaining up and coming venue yet. This serene snowy pearl of is the perfect place to chill out and escape the noisy city life – it has become a favorite place to come and ski for many tourists from the US.
There are 2 ski lifts at the resort. There is also an 8-place Gondola and 6-place chairlifts. The 8 km of ski runs offer different levels of pistes, whether you are a beginner at skiing right up to the real pros. For this resort, it is best that you bring your own ski equipment or else you can rent it in Tbilisi – there aren’t heaps of places to hire equipment at the resort yet. There is a cat skiing operation which can take you up to the surrounding mountains to ski through untouched powder, and which will pick you up if the roads are closed.
The skiing opportunities in Georgia are developing rapidly after 20 years of being static following the fall of the Soviet Union. Now, with cheap flights from Europe and the Middle East, places like this; Goderdzi resorts are ideal for people looking for inexpensive ski holidays. There is something for everyone, from advanced freeriding or the beginner. You have to try a skiing holiday here – it’s got top facilities and top service. It’s still fairly new in its development but people say that it is going to be the one that receives the coveted title of “The snowiest ski resort” around.
A RAINBOW DESTINATION!
Nature is so intriguing and Goderdzi Pass ski resort has had its share of amazing phenomena such as the time tourists got to see the Goderdzi Pass covered in what they call “yellow snow”. This happens when strong winds blow over the sea, whipping up the grains of the yellow sand – this happened back in 2018 with the yellow grains settling over the Goderdzi pass! – A strange phenomenon indeed, surprising tourists who were spending their holiday at the resort. The sirocco winds can last just in a half-day or they can arrive and last for a few days.
The sirocco winds are Mediterranean winds coming in from the Sahara, reaching hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe, in the summer season. As the wind passes over the Mediterranean Sea, it collects moisture which turns into rainfall, known as “blood rain” because of red sand being mixed with the falling rain. Lots of people are inclined to think their health problems are attributed to the sirocco. This is because of there either being too much dust and heat from the African coastal regions, or because of the cool dampness found in Europe. The dust found in the sirocco winds can actually cause abrasion in mechanical devices. It has the ability to even penetrate buildings. Other countries across the world have also reported on this strange phenomenon, reporting their snow as “orange snow”. This phenomenon in nature apparently occurs around every five years or so.
IT’S TIME TO VISIT THIS PLACE!
You won’t be sorry to investigate this exquisite mountainous part of Adjara, particularly the Goderdzi ski resort, with its fantastic off-piste skiing, and just a 2-hour drive from the most popular seaside town of Batumi. Visitors here get offered unique experiences of fresh air and spectacular scenery. When the snow melts, the beauty of the resort just extends into magnificent spring days where you get dazzling displays of the alpine wildflowers and peaceful walks through the forests. Extensive trails and hikes create a network of hidden gems to provide the perfect recreation destination and to enhance feelings of wellbeing. You will thoroughly enjoy these precious moments as you ski close to heaven before going down to Earth.