(Updated on 11/28/19)
Are you an avid skier? Want to visit ski-spots with few crowds, low prices, and ample powder this winter?
It almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Home to the picturesque Caucasus Mountains and world-class skiing and snowboarding, winter in Georgia is simply amazing. The ancient, breathtakingly beautiful, and unusually hospitable country is glad to welcome guests all year round. In winter, the ski resorts of Georgia accommodate guests from all over the world. Tourists love them for their excellent service, the opportunity to spend unforgettable outdoor activities on the splendor of mountain peaks.
Skiing is on top of the list of abundant things to do in Georgia. The season in the ski resorts here opens in early December and lasts until Mid-April.
Ski equipment rental prices are almost the same at all resorts in Georgia: ski and snowboard rental for the day costs about $ 12. The cable car cost about $2, while the subscription for a day is $8. Private instructor services will cost from $8 to $20 per hour.
Georgia tourism has been the topic of a hot discussion lately. If you visit at least one of the resorts, you will fall in love with the unforgettable beauty and majesty of the mountains. With the unusual local flavor, you will most likely dream to visit this place again.
Gudauri Ski Resort
Gudauri Ski Center is a younger and more modern resort. It is located at an altitude of more than 2000 meters above sea level. There is a mild climate, less strong winds, and frost. The average temperature in February is 5-7 ° C. The height of the snow cover on the slopes reaches 1.5 meters.
The tourist can go skiing, snowboarding, sledding. Freeride in the mountain off-piste is especially popular in Gudauri. From Tbilisi to Gudauri, it can be reached in one and a half or two hours along the picturesque Georgian Military Road leading to the border with Russia.
Minibus to Gudauri departs from the Didube metro station, the fare costs just three dollars, and a taxi cost is about $ 40.
Gudauri hotels do cater to world-class standards of service. The cost of hotel accommodation varies from $40 to $130 per night. The price of expensive rooms includes two meals, ski rental and use of the lift. However, you can also stay in private cottages. It will cost you less than $18 per day.
The good thing about Gudari is that most of the ski slopes at the resort are designed for beginners, children, and amateurs. However, there are still tracks for professionals. You can ascend to mountains, glaciers and spectacular crests by helicopter, and perform vertigo descents accompanied by expert guides. We can also find a chairlift with more than 2 km of route or a funicular with about 3 km route. There are more than 50 km of tracks in this station suitable for all levels, with 7 lifts.
Bakuriani Ski Resort
Bakuriani ski resort is famous since Soviet times. It is located 180 km from Tbilisi and only 30 km from the equally famous Borjomi. Previously, it housed one of the main bases of the USSR in winter sports – slalom, bobsled, biathlon, and ski jumping. In addition, Bakuriani applied as a venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Bakuriani is located in the temperate continental climate zone at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level. Winter is moderately cold here, while the weather is calm and sunny. The average temperature in February is –6, –7 ° С. In good weather, you can see the entire Great Caucasus Range and the highest point in Europe called Elbrus.
This place is perfect for family companies, as there are a lot of trails for children and beginners. There are also many picturesque places in the vicinity for excursions and walks. The nature view here is very favorable. In fact, Bakuriani is surrounded by forests filled with clean mountain air.
However, this place is also suitable for professional skiers and snowboarders. It is because the Bakuriani slopes are the steepest in Georgia, with a gradient of up to 50 degrees.
The height of snow cover in Bakuriani reaches 60-64 centimeters, and the avalanche is rare. Getting to Bakuriani from Tbilisi is possible by minibus. The transport leaves from Didube metro station. The cost is just about $4. Of course, you can call a taxi, but it will cost ten times more.
You can settle yourself in hotels, boarding houses, and private houses. Prices range from $35 to $45 for a small, cozy room with all amenities, and about $ 80-100 for a room in a hotel of a European level.
In Bakuriani, it is possible to negotiate with the locals. They will willingly allocate a room in their home. They can rent it inexpensively from $4 to $11 per night. For an additional $4-$6 dollars, you will be treated with homemade food, while lunch in a restaurant here will cost at least 10 dollars.
If necessary, it is also possible to rent a whole cottage with all the comforts. It will cost approximately $190 per day.
Mestia Ski Resorts
For centuries, Mestia has been the cultural and religious center of mountainous Svaneti. In addition to extreme rest, you can also enjoy the beauty of the ancient towers and get acquainted with the traditions of the ancient community.
In Svaneti, the winter lasts almost eight months, and the temperature can drop to —16-20 C. One of the selling points of Mestia is that its home to some of the snowiest mountains in all of Georgia. When other ski resorts in the country are suffering from a dry winter, Mestia is usually the go-to resort that is still coated with ample snow. For guaranteed fresh powder, Mestia is your best bet among all the best places to visit in Georgia!
In winter, the best and safest transport for a trip to Svaneti is by helicopter. From the Natakhtari airfield near Tbilisi, a small plane for 15 people flies to Mestia Airport. The ticket price is $ 25 per person, the flight will take only 45 minutes.
If you still decide to go to Svaneti using ground transportation, then the minibus will be waiting for you at the Didube metro station. The cost of one trip is $12, and it takes about 9 hours of driving. Of course, you will enjoy the extraordinary scenery along the road to Svaneti. Anyway, a taxi from Tbilisi to Mestia will cost about $180.
On average, a hotel room in Mestia costs $ 40 per night, for a room in a guesthouse you need to pay 10-15 dollars.
Newly developed Mestia ski resorts are in the heart of the famous Svaneti, the country of the mountaineers, ancient towers and harsh snowy peaks. There are no ski slopes in the town itself. However, the Hatsvali ski center is located 8 km away and Tetnuldi winter resort is 15 km away. Mestia is quite far from Tbilisi. The place is located more than 450 km. However, the beauty of this amazing place eliminates all the tediousness of the move.
Hatsvali is a young developing hostel at an altitude of 1865 meters, with three relatively small tracks: for professionals, for experienced skiers and for beginners. Tetnuldi, on the other hand, is a more complex track and at the same time, a more beautiful ski resort. This place is named after the eponymous mountain in height of 4869 meters, on which the cable car rises to the mark of 3165 meters. This will give you huge scope for skiing. In fact, the longest track has a length of 9.5 km.
Thus, the ski resorts of Mestia are perfect for those who want a great ride and enjoy the mountain beauty of Svaneti.
Goderdzi Ski Resort
Located 2,027m above sea level on the Arsiani Range in the Adjara region, Goderdzi Ski Resort is Georgia’s iconic winter wonderland. Goderdzi receives higher snowfall than other ski resorts in Georgia and boasts impressive nature, fresh air, beautiful landscapes, and well-equipped snow runs. The high-quality snow, one of the longest ski seasons in the country, few crowds on the slopes and low prices make it a great destination for skiing in Georgia.
Goderdzi ski center is located a 2-hour drive from the popular seaside resort town of Batumi (109km). In order to reach Goderdzi, you will first need to get to Batumi. Visitors can take flights that land at Batumi International Airport (109km). From Batumi Airport, you will travel by road to Goderdzi via minibus or taxi.
The winter sports area of Goderdzi is situated between the elevations of 1,700m and 2,364m above sea level. The resort has 4 ski-lifts (1 gondola lift, 1 chairlift, and 2 platter lifts) and 8.4km of slopes (1.5km of easy slopes, 4.7km of intermediate slopes and 2.2km of difficult slopes). Goderdzi also boasts the longest ski track in Georgia.
The ski resort of Goderdzi offers a variety of fun things to do for those who want to combine a seaside trip with skiing in Georgia. Visitors can enjoy skiing & snowboarding, winter hiking, summer hiking, horse riding, freeriding, cat skiing, biking, camping and bird watching.
Among all other ski resorts in Georgia, Goderdzi is relatively inexpensive to vacation at. Ski pass prices for a Day ticket during the Main Season is $9 for adults and $6 for children. Visitors can rent new and modern ski equipment at the resort.
Après ski at Goderdzi offers the perfect opportunity to experience authentic Adjarian cuisine. Adjaruli Khachapuri just so happens to originate from Adjara. The king of traditional Georgian cuisine, Adjaruli Khachapuri is a boat-shaped bread served with cheese, butter, and eggs. Adjara is also one of the oldest winemaking sites in Georgia, offering wine connoisseurs abundant opportunities for wine tourism.
Aside from the Goderdzi winters sports center, there are many other places to visit in the Adjara region such as the Green Lake, Petrified Forest, Khikhani Fortress. The wonderful Rabati Castle too is not too far away.
Accommodation at Goderdzi Ski Resort includes six cottages, one hotel-type cottage and one hotel. Due to the limited options, it is advisable to book your hotels and vacation rentals well in advance with our travel agency.
The Best Time to Ski in Georgia
Like the Alps, the ski season in Georgia runs from mid-December to May. The best time to visit Georgia for resort skiing and snowboarding is from late January to March.
As a general rule, December is too early for a winter vacation. Although Georgia has seen some great snow in December over the past decade, it is still recommended to wait until the snow accumulates. If December is the only time you can travel, try to visit as late as possible. Just but be sure to book in advance as the resorts are normally fully booked after the 29th. If traveling in the middle of the month, you can generally find places to stay up until the last moment. Prices at this time are at their lowest.
January generally delivers superb skiing conditions. Try to avoid the beginning of the month when tourists book up all the resorts and village hotels for the New Year’s holidays. Slopes tend to get crowded and the ski lifts may have some queues. The New Year skier traffic reduces towards the end of the month, which makes the end of January less busy as snow depth builds.
February to mid-March
February is the best time to tick off every requirement you have for the perfect ski vacation: lots of snow, sunshine and high-quality powder. Many pro skiers and snowboarders flock to Georgia in this period from Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Germany, Sweden, France, and other countries. We recommend a guided tour or heli-ski to take full advantage of the best conditions and visit multiple ski zones you aren’t likely to find or ski on your own.
March to April
March is a convenient month for skiing in Georgia because of its longer and warmer days, plenty of sunshine and softer snow for beginners. As such, the ski resorts are still full of tourists. Mid-March to April is the best time to seek out higher altitudes in the Caucasus for the best ski conditions.
Many spring travelers enjoy this period by ski-touring. Some freeriders have had some surprise April powder in the mornings, although the quality does not last even on the northern slopes. Resorts tend to close for the ski season between mid-April to mid-May, depending on snow conditions and demand.
How to Get To the Georgia Ski Resorts
Tbilisi International Airport: Connected to major global cities by many international airlines, this is the biggest and busiest airport in Georgia. It is the main airport for travelers coming to experience Georgia tourism from Asia, Australia-Oceania, Africa & the Middle East.
Kutaisi International Airport: For travelers coming from Europe or North & South America, flights to Kutaisi International Airport may be more convenient. This is the best option for ski holidays at the resorts of Hatsvali and Tetnuldi, but is also a reasonable option for travelers heading to Gudauri.
Batumi International Airport: This is a perfect choice if you are going to visit Goderdzi ski resort. Other than that, it might be too long a drive to the other Georgia skiing resorts.
From these airports, you will have to travel by road to get to the various ski resorts. Although public transport to Georgian ski resorts is a relatively cheap alternative to self-drive or private transfer, it comes with the discomfort of a lengthy transfer in a cramped bus, plus the uncertainty over where to put your skis!
If you prefer to drive to the resorts, you will need a 4×4 vehicle to navigate the snow-covered icy roads. We offer a modern fleet of cars for hire, designed for winter driving on mountain roads. They are spacious to accommodate all your luggage and equipped with roof racks for transporting ski equipment.
The quickest way to reach Georgia’s skiing resorts is via private transfer. Our travel service offers transfers from Tbilisi in comfortable vehicles driven by experienced and professional drivers to guarantee a safe and pleasant journey.
Visiting Georgian Ski Resorts This Winter
Exciting and soothing mountain peaks make Georgia Tours more and more attractive to winter sports lovers every year. The Georgian winter resorts are distinguished from the European “brothers” by stable and favorable weather conditions and relatively low prices.
If you’re seeking sublime skiing surrounded by stunning scenery, then visiting Georgian ski resorts this winter is for you. As Georgia is still a unique hidden gem, you’ll also reap the benefits of skiing in spots with fewer crowds and at a bargain cost.