Snowboarders, skiers and winter enthusiasts from Georgia and over the world are invited to hit the slopes in Georgia’s winter resorts Gudauri, Bakuriani, Goderdzi and Mestia.
The winter season in Georgia officially opened on Sunday December 13 – the earliest start in 15 years.
However the country’s newest winter resort and ski field opened on the first weekend of December. The new Goderdzi winter resort is, Georgia’s four winter resorts on the slopes of the mountainous Adjara region.
Officials said the early start of this year’s winter season in Georgia was a result of the recent introduction of artificial snow machines at several resorts. 29 artificial snow machines operate at Gudauri over 1,100 metres of track.
Located at 1,700 m in the Borjomi region of Georgia, Bakuriani is nestled in the shadows of the breathtaking Caucasus Mountains, only a three-hour drive from Tbilisi. Home to dozens of alpine slopes and cross-country trails, it offers some of the most spectacular skiing and snowboarding in Europe. Originally developed as an Olympic training facility, unsurprisingly, Bakuriani is Georgia’s most popular winter sports and recreation destination. Enjoy the downhill ski runs, cross-country trails, horseback tours, sledding or simply take long walks through beautiful snowy forests.
Twenty-five is an area of easy skiing located on the Circular, near the old 25 meter ski-jump which gives the area its name. Here beginners and children can learn to ski in a safe and pleasant environment, surrounded by the might Caucasus mountains. You can also toboggan and sledge here, or take a horse drawn sleigh- ride through the ancient forests.
Didveli has one on the most amazing trails. From here you can catch a gondola to the slopes of Mt. Sakvelo, and ski a range of blue and red routes. The longest piste is around 4 km long. Advanced skiers can continue further up the mountain by catching a chairlift at the top of the gondola to almost the very top of Mt. Sakvelo itself. Here, you can enjoy stretching your ski-legs on very steep and difficult red and black runs.
Map of trails:
Gudauri is the best ski resort in Georgia with well-developed infrastructure, the greatest difference in altitude, and unlimited possibilities for freeride and back country (ski touring). The resort is the highest settlement on the Georgian Military Road (the old name “Heavenly Gorge”) at the altitude of 2000 m. The season in Gudauri begins in late December and lasts till the end of April. From Tbilisi Gudauri can be reached in approximately 2 hours.
Ski rental are located in several places: in the village of Lower Gudauri, and in the Upper Gudauri, near the station. 5 chair lifts (Doppelmayr, Austria) and one line of gondolas (POMA, France) makes available skiing and snowboarding along the southern slopes (57 km certified trails of various difficulty levels) at the altitude from 3250 m to 2000 m, with altitude difference of 1275 meters.
Freeride is possible both along the trails near the ski lifts and in the neighboring area along the western and eastern slopes of the mountains Chrdili, Bidara and the northern slopes of Mt. Sadzele (Kobi Gorge). Adrenaline seekers also have the chance to try paragliding, speedriding (an extreme mix of skiing and paragliding) and heli-skiing.
In Gudauri you can stay in cottages and hotels of different categories. Besides skiing and snowboarding enjoy spa treatment, take a steam bath, play billiard and bowling, try a wide range of Georgian wines. For travelers with children there are children’s corners, playgrounds, ski school. Also there are nannies and instructors services available on spot.
For those who are interested in not just a ski holiday, but also cultural exploration and nightlife, we have something interesting here (LINK).
Map of trails:
Surrounded by mighty 5000 m peaks, Svaneti is one of Georgia’s most historic and unique areas and a real skiers’ dream.
Until recently, Svaneti was best known for its superb house-towers, most of them dating back to the 12-13th centuries, which line the valleys and served as look-out posts against the threat of invasion. Those towers belong to UNESCO World Heritage List.
This corner of Georgia is so authentic and beautiful, that it’s not surprising that it’s been a popular summertime holiday destination. Nowadays most tourists are looking to the mountains, not to the valleys.
In Svaneti, there are two modern white resorts: Hatsvali and Tetnuldi. The first one started operating several years ago. It is located in 8 km from the central village of Svaneti, Mestia. The upper cable car station is located on Mount Zuruldi (2347 m). The difference in altitude is 482 m. Currently, there are three runs: red (1900 m), blue (2600 m) and the trail for beginners (300 m). Basically, skiers of every level can enjoy one of the world’s most picturesque resorts. As the resort grows and develops, it is also possible to find tailor-made ski-tours, one or two-day trips to take you to places never skied before.
The second biggest winter resort (after Gudauri), Tetnuldi, is going to be opened in December 2015. It is located at the same-name mountain. Three POMA lifts will deliver you to an altitude from 1600 m to 3165 m. The trails have different difficulty level; the longest one is 9.5 km. As the resort is very young, the accommodation and après-ski is still in process of development. But as Tetnuldi is close to Mestia, it is possible to go there with bus or taxi every day and stay in Mestia overnight.
When you’re not skiing, enjoy your time exploring Mestia, local cuisine and a great museum, a treasure trove of exquisite icons and artifacts gathered from Svaneti’s many remote churches and villages, preserved in this natural mountain fortress from centuries of pillagers.
Goderdzi Ski Resort
Goderdzi Resort, located two hours drive from the popular seaside resort town of Batumi in Georgia, is ideally situated for the creation of a four-season mountain resort. At an elevation of 2000m, the mountains are snow-covered from November to April, while the gently rolling topography of the valley floor offers plentiful development zones. Sitting at around 1700m eleveation, the resort base is below the treeline, offering an attractive and welcoming character throughout the seasons. The wilderness setting offers the visitor unique experiences, fresh-air and world-class scenery.
Pristine forested mountains create a fantastic setting in the winter, summer and, most dramatically, when the Autumn colours create an intense display.