About Recreation – Skiing in Georgia

High accommodation and piste costs mean that more and more skiers are looking for resorts that are a little further afield than the norm. Look no further! Georgia’s mountains offer some of the best skiing in the world. In fact, skiing in Georgia was listed in a New York Times article, ‘The 41 Places to Go in 2011.

Heavy snowfall and affordable prices make Georgia an attractive and exciting alternative ski holiday destination.

Three of the most popular desinations are the ski resorts in GudauriBakuriani and Mestia.

Gudauri

At an altitude of 2 200 meter above sea level. Gudauri is located in the very heart of the Caucasus Mountains. Surrounded by some of Europe’s highest peaks it has some of the finest high-altitude powder in Europe and offers downhill skiing up to the 4 200 meter level. The deep snow and the absence of stones and any avalanche risk make Gudauri an ideal place for freeriding.

With dozens of slopes, Gudauri has trails for skiers from beginners to professionals. Ski runs, most between 2000 and 3 300 meters above sea level, cover a total of 57 kilometers. For experienced skiers Gudauri provides four types of runs: slalom, giant slalom, super slalom, and speed skiing.

Helicopter flights can transport skiers and guides to remote peaks for some of the most challenging skiing anywhere in the world.

When is it open? The ski season in Gudauri runs from December to mid-April.

What facilities are there? Gudauri is one of the larger resorts and has many hotels on offer. Ski schools provide instruction for beginners of all ages.

How to get there? Gudauri is accessible all year round. Regular daily mini-buses depart to Gudauri from Tbilisi’s Didube bus station at 4 Karaleti str. Distance from Tbilisi is 120 km. The journey usually takes 2-2½ hours.

Bakuriani

Bakuriani is one of the most beautiful winter ski resorts of Georgia. Originally developed as an Olympic training facility Bakuriani attracts tourists all year round.

Over a dozen alpine runs and pristine off-trail slopes make Bakuriani a skier’s paradise. For professional and experienced skiers there is the Tatrapoma line, with the FIS certificate and World Olympic Committee certificate conferred on it. The Kokhta mountain and Didveli ski-runs are superb, while the region as a whole has the best cross-country skiing in Georgia. The hills and valleys around Bakuriani are ideal for snowmobiling.

When is it open? The ski season is early December to late April.

What facilities are there? Newly built hotels, guest houses, and chalets offer a range of vacation accommodation at very affordable prices. Many of the hotels offer free accommodation for children under the age of three and some can provide you with a nanny so you can go off and enjoy a break from teaching the kids to ski.

How to get there? Buses run daily from Tbilisi’s Didube bus station (4 Karaleti str.).  Trains run daily from Tbilisi central railway station (2, Vagzali sq. Tbilisi).

Mestia

Mestia is a new winter resort situated in the beautiful Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region of north-western Georgia. Three ski routes have been built: a 2 600 meter long red ski run for professional skiers;  a 2 670 meter long blue run for less experienced skiers; and a 300 meter long run for amateur skiers.

A newly constructed ski lift, providing four-seat open cabins starts at an altitude of 1 800 meters and reaches 2 350 meters at the highest point.

A day’s skiing in Mestia costs around 80 GEL (about 40 US dollars) per person.

When is it open? The ski season is early December to early April.

What facilities are there? Mestia has a range of hotel and guesthouse accommodation.

How to get there? By road: Mestia is 400 kilometers from Tbilisi and can be reached via the city of Zugdidi, a journey that takes 7-8 hours by road. Several mini-buses depart for Zugdidi every day from Tbilisi’s Didube bus station. The trip to Zugdidi takes about 5 hours. Once in Zugdidi it is possible to hire a 4X4 to take you the rest of the way to Mestia or take mini-bus, which leaves at least once a day.

By train: A night train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi arrives in the city early in the morning, just in time for the mini-bus to Mestia. The train leaves from Tbilisi central railway station (2, Vagzali sq. Tbilisi).

By air: The local airport in Mestia has recently been refurbished and weather permitting there are regular flights from Tbilisi International Airport.

If you love skiing you will love Georgia!

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Comments
14 Responses to “About Recreation – Skiing in Georgia”
  1. farbolino says:

    Georgia is truly a beautiful country, and it doesn’t hurt that the people are so friendly either. You have a great site here! Check out mine if you get the chance.

    http://Wanderingamerican.com/

  2. Lynlee Graffunder says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I used to ski often.

  3. WOW!!!! What a beautiful country…. I could move to Georgia in a minute… its has to be one of the prettiest places in the world… amazing. What a secret gem of beauty Georgia is! :)

  4. It’s 100 degrees here today, and I just want to throw myself off of one of those ski-lifts into a pile of snow!

  5. Shary Hover says:

    Beautiful! I’m not a skier, but I know I’d enjoy sitting inside by a fire while I looked out on those views.

  6. Wow! What beautiful country!!! We are in awe …
    God Bless You!
    the collies and chuck :)

  7. oregonmike98 says:

    i would love to go skiing there

    • Zaina says:

      Hi!! we are 3 ladies and planning to try to ski in Georgia. Which ski resort would you recommend? that one near the city and not expensive we will just try as we dont know anything bout skiing.

      Approximately how much it will cost. we intend to stay for a day in the ski resort and go back to the city. We are from tropical country and we dont think that we can stay longer in the ski resort. This would be our first time to experience snow.

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