10 Best Places For the Winter Vacation
If you are fond of cold weather, calm and white mountains, then you must be a winter person. When this season comes, everyone starts waiting for the snow, but sometimes that does not happen. Fortunately, we have a lot of good resorts in Georgia, where you will find snow every winter, fresh air, and lots of entertainment for all kinds of people.
In this article, we will tell you about the 10 best vacation spots where you will happily spend your winter holidays.
Bakuriani is one of the most popular winter resorts in Georgia. The air here is good for health and a large part of tourists visit it for this reason. Most of the people come here to skate, while others have different goals. This is the uniqueness of the resort - it delights all types of people with a thousand entertaining places or activities.
The best time for vacation is in January and February. At this time You will find the cleanest and most abundant snow, which is ideal for hiking, playing with snowballs, or just enjoying the scenery.
What to do in Bakuriani?
While mentioning Bakuriani, the first thing we think of is skiing. Here you can go skiing, snowboarding, skating and various other types of snow riding. There are 23 different types of ski runs in Bakuriani, intended for beginners and intermediate-level skiers. You will meet 5 tracks in total. One of the most popular ski resorts is Kokhta, which is just 1.3 kilometers away from Bakuriani and is connected by a ropeway. If night skiing attracts you, then the Didveli track is suitable for you. Beautiful lights along the way make the night glide magical.
As for those who don't go to Bakuriani for skiing, in addition to numerous trails, the village has a lot of entertainment spots. The best option to relax and discover Bakuriani better is hiking. The place is distinguished by the beauty of hiking trails. One of the safest and most beautiful routes is the Burnasheti-Bakuriani trail. The road is so clean that you can even walk in ordinary winter boots. During the hike, you will take a closer look at the mountains hidden in the snow and you will be instantly isolated from the urban chaos. On the way, you will pass Tabatskuri Lake, which surprises tourists with its beauty at any time of the year.
In Bakuriani you can visit the Botanical Garden, where mostly conifers are represented. Here you will find plenty of unique collections of alpine plants and varieties found in the Far East: bellflower, primrose, Himalayan aster, and others.
How to get to Bakuriani?
Bakuriani is located 2 hour's drive from Tbilisi. You can get to the resort in your car or by minibus. If you decide to travel by car, you will need winter tires, as the Bakuriani road is sometimes covered with snow or ice. Public transport runs from Didube and Station Square. You can also travel to Borjomi by train, and then with the second train to Bakuriani called "Kukushka".
Where to stay in Bakuriani?
Often, one day is not enough for skiing, hiking, walking in the botanical garden, and spending time with loved ones, so great amusement needs a good place to rest.
Bakuriani is one of the most affordable resorts in Georgia and you will meet many hotels and cottages on the spot to spend the night. Hotels are both cheap and top-class. The cottages create a hiking mood; you can feel all the beauty of winter and the time spent with friends is more enjoyable too. One such cottage is Four House Bakuriani, which is designed for 8 people and has a perfect interior.
Gudauri is distinguished by its height and beauty from the mountainous regions of Georgia. Many vacationers visit this place every season. Unlike Bakuriani, it is a much colder site and there are bigger skiing runs. However, in addition to enjoying the snow, Gudauri is full of many sights. You can visit some of them, in winter, while others are hard to reach due to the heavy snow.
What to do in Gudauri?
The most usual but funny entertainment is skiing in Gudauri. It does not matter if you are a professional or amateur skier, you will find a place for everyone to ski. It is also worth mentioning that here you will find many types of snow vehicles, like snowboarding, sledding, cable car, and others.
If you love extreme and visit a highland to get a lot of adrenaline, then you will find a real paradise for skiing in Gudauri. You can use a heli-skiing and descend from a great height, or fly a paraglider and look at the whole Gudauri from above.
Also, in Gudauri you will find 14 ropeways. The most famous of them is the 7-kilometer-long ropeway, which can accommodate up to 3,000 people at full load. While being on such a high you will have plenty of time to capture the beautiful views.
If you would rather have relatively calm entertainment, then hiking is an ideal solution for you to spend time productively. There is a 1-day tour in Gudauri, where you will visit all the important places and enjoy all possible activities: go for a walk, have a photoshoot with the background of the mountains and houses hidden in the snow.
How to get to Gudauri?
You will need 2 hours to get from Tbilisi to Gudauri. The road is mostly clean and you can travel by any transport. You will need special tire chains during heavy snowfall though. If you decide to travel by minibus, they run from the Didube bus station.
Where to stay in Gudauri?
Gudauri is a relatively expensive resort and therefore you will find many high-class hotels and cottages here. The price per night starts from 100 gel on average and increases according to the comfort level. You will find the desired room in Gudauri because this place is distinguished by plenty of hotels and at the same time, it is suitable for all types of vacationers.
Borjomi is one of the unique and especially beautiful resorts in Georgia, which hosts a lot of tourists at any time of the year, fills them with thousands of new emotions, that last even after the holidays. Here you can find many remarkable cultural and historical monuments. Visiting all sites needs the right time and a good mood.
What to do in Borjomi?
One of the great treasures of Borjomi is the mineral waters, which are distinguished by their unique healing properties. However, you will meet many more interesting places during the winter. For example, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is beautiful at any time of the year, especially in winter, when everything is covered with a big white blanket and there is perfect peace around. This is the best choice for a family walk.
During the winter, the Mtsvane Monastery (Green monastery) and the Potoleti Church, surrounded only by forests, have an extraordinary beauty. When it snows, the whole area is covered in snow and the buildings look like a small paradise. Apart from their amazing nature, both of them have significant historical value and they are interesting in this regard too.
In Borjomi Central Park you can have small walks, but with the ropeway next to it you can see the wider, beautiful views.
There are many hiking routes here. The most popular and special is the Snow Shoe Trail. This two-day adventure begins at the Likani guards' checkpoint and includes the entire valley. Lots of interesting places can be discovered along the way. Apart from that, hiking on Lomis Mta is also fascinating. It takes two days to climb the 34 km road and on the way, you will meet St. George's Church.
How to get to Borjomi?
Borjomi is located on 2 hours drive, 155 kilometers from Tbilisi. It is possible to get to the place by any kind of transport, as the road is always in good working condition. If you don't want to travel by car, then you can also get to the resortt by train.
Where to stay in Borjomi?
Borjomi is a relatively quiet resort. Mostly family and friends come here for quiet and amusing adventures. Here you will meet many guesthouses. Their price starts from 50 GEL on average.
A lot of tourists visit Stepantsminda every year, both in winter and summer. There are a lot of historic sights in the resort and it's a fantastic place to relax. During the snow season, the environment completely changes and becomes even more beautiful. Many holidays are celebrated in Stepantsminda (Spatangelozoba, Kazbegoba, Gergetoba, etc.). If you visit the place during the festive period, you will get to know the local customs and cuisine more closely.
What to do in Stepantsminda?
Stepantsminda attracts tourists with plenty of interesting places. Mountaineering enthusiasts, as well as researchers, hikers, and people of other kinds of interest, gather here.
Visiting cultural monuments can be considered the first stage of exploring the resort. One of the most popular places is Gergeti Holy Trinity Church, which is surrounded by numerous mountains. This place is a symbol of this region and is always full of visitors. Mount Kazbek is part of the landscapes of Gergeti with its special beauty and magnificence. You can not climb it during the winter, however, when spring comes you can visit Kazbegi again. The monastery complex built in Dariali gorge is also distinguished by magnificent views and nature.
Kazbegi National Park is perfect for a quiet family walk. You will meet many species of plants here. Here you will find waterfalls and beautiful views, where you will be able to capture the best memories.
How to get to Stepantsminda?
It takes about 3 hours to get to Stepantsminda from Tbilisi. The road is in good and reliable working condition, so you can travel by any car. The Kobi-Gudauri road section is closed during heavy snowfall, so check the traffic situation in advance. Apart from a private car, you can also use the minibus that runs from the Didube bus station.
Where to stay in Stepantsminda?
There are many guesthouses in the resort, where you will spend the night at quite reasonable prices. The average price per night starts from 40 GEL. You can also travel in a tent, or stay in a high-class hotel.
Mestia, the city of Svaneti, is one of the most attractive resorts in Georgia. The place is especially beautiful in winter and at this season a lot of tourists visit the city. If you are planning to spend your vacation in the mountains, Mestia will surprise you with its remarkable views, unique architecture, and cuisine. Here you will find about 200 glaciers, including the peak Ushba and the highest peak of Georgia Shkhara.
What to do in Mestia?
There are lots of means of entertainment and cognitive activities in the city hidden in mountains. The first attraction that all guests should discover is the Svan towers. These buildings preserve the long history of Svaneti. Some of them are standing separately, and some of them - with houses. The villages here are extremely beautiful. Here you can capture it all and keep it forever in your memory.
Svan temples and their paintings are also distinguished. Especially famous are Lamaria church of Ushguli and Monastery of St. Cyricus and Julitta of Kala, where you will meet the works of the king's artist - Theodore. You should visit the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography and Mikheil Khergiani House-Museum. Here you will find unique icons, traditional clothing, and ammunition.
Mestia is also distinguished by its special nature. Here you will meet sour waters with healing properties, which are hidden in places hardly approached. The flora and fauna are so unique that you can even find a West Caucasian tur on a mountain.
The diverse nature and history need to be discovered properly. That's why you will meet a lot of hiking tours here. One of the most outstanding is the Mestia-Ushguli tour, which lasts 4 days. During this time you will visit various Svan villages and mount Tetnuldi.
How to get to Mestia?
Mestia is located 7 hour's drive from Tbilisi. You can travel to the resort by car, minibus and even by plane. Minibusses mostly run from Zugdidi, but you can also use taxis.
Where to stay in Mestia?
Although there are many attractive places in Mestia, the place is distinguished by low prices, however, there are also high-class hotels and cottages. The average price varies from 60 GEL.
Climate-balneological resort Shovi is located in Upper Racha. A significant part of the area is covered with coniferous trees. The green environment and the alpine air give the place healing properties and the tourists choose the place mainly due to this reason.
What to do in Shovi?
It can be said that Shovi is a cozy holiday resort. You will not find many entertainment facilities here, however, you can enjoy the picturesque nature. The infrastructure is in quite good condition.
Despite the few fun activities, it is possible to make a hiking route and explore the area. Shovi-Glacier Buba direction is one of the best hiking directions. No strong physical training and a special outfit are required to cover this route. You can enjoy the extraordinary views and healing waters.
How to get to Shovi?
It takes 4.5 hours from Tbilisi to Shovi. The road is always clean, so you will not encounter any problems while moving.
Where to stay in Shovi?
Shovi is on the list of medium-budget resorts. Here you can rent a house or stay in a hotel. Prices start from 70 GEL.
Bakhmaro is located in Guria, about 2000 meters above sea level. Compared to other resorts, there are more difficult conditions, as there is no water supply and electricity is sometimes cut off. Despite this, Bakhmaro has great value due to its air with healing properties. It can cure many diseases.
What to do in Bakhmaro?
The resort is popular due to the fantastic climate, as there is not a great variety of entertainment. There is a mountain called Gadrekili, from where you can watch the beautiful sunrise. Visitors come here with their tents to watch this sight. Here, you will also find amusement parks for children.
You can visit the Church of the Transfiguration in Bakhmaro, which is built of wood and is surrounded by giant Gurian mountains.
This place is fascinating for hiking. A 2-day tour is enough for Gurian adventures. Here you will discover beautiful nature and learn about the local stories. And what's most important, the tour is simple.
How to get to Bakhmaro?
Getting to Bakhmaro is not so easy, especially in bad weather. You can use your car or minibus to get there.
Where to stay in Bakhmaro?
At the resort, you will mostly meet wooden cottages at different prices, although you can also stay in the hotel. Prices start at 60 GEL.
Hatsvali ski resort is distinguished by a variety of ski runs. The climate here is also healing and pleasant. This place is one of the most popular among vacationers.
What to do in Hatsvali?
The resort has 5 ski runs, designed for both beginners and professional skiers. There, you will meet artificial springboards and various adventure attractions. The slopes have lights, which allows night skating.
How to get to Hatsvali?
Hatsvali is located 8 kilometers from Mestia and you will be able to get there by cable car. You can also get there by car or taxi, which you will rent in the center of Mestia.
Where to stay in Hatsvali?
Hatsvali does not have many places to stay, however, there is a Hotel Hatsvali, which is equipped with all the necessary equipment and offers beautiful views.
Tetnuldi is a resort near Mestia, which was established in 2014. There is the largest ski run, accessible to tourists from all over the world. The fans of skiing in impassable places will always find fresh and big snow here.
What to do on Tetnuldi?
Tetnuldi offers vacationers a variety of activities: skiing, snowboarding, freeride, ski touring, heli-skiing, paragliding, horseback riding, and more.
It is worth noting that at the resort you can go ski in the woods and on the slopes. However, keep in mind that you have to be dressed in special clothes when skiing in an avalanche-prone area.
You can take a 3-day hike in the resort. The route starts from the road of Tetnuldi ski resort and ends in Ushguli. The road will pass through the village of Adishi, Adishi gorge, Khaldechala gorge, Khalde glacier, Chkhunderi pass, and runs along the Enguri river to Ushguli.
How to get to Tetnuldi?
To get to the resort, first, you need to get to Mestia, which is quite far, 475 kilometers away from Tbilisi. You can get to Mestia in your car, as well as by minibus, you can also use the flights. From Mestia to Tetnuldi resort, you need an off-road vehicle during the winter season or you can easily rent a taxi in the center of Mestia. You will need 8 hours from Tbilisi to Mestia, and from Mestia to Tetnuldi resort it takes about 1 hour.
Where to stay in Tetnuldi?
There is only one hotel in the resort. If you are lucky and manage to book it, great pleasure and comfort will be waiting for you in Tetnuldi, if not and that is a problem too, Mestia which is very close to Tetnuldi is full of cottages.
Goderdzi is an alpine resort known for its abundant snowfall. This is due to the proximity of the place to the sea. The winter season at Goderdzi resort lasts from December to April. However, the best time for skiing is January-February, because the snow is perfect at that time.
What to do in Goderdzi?
Goderdzi is designed mainly for skiing. Here you will meet different types of trails for all categories of people. However, it is also possible to enjoy the beautiful views and capture all of this.
The resort currently has two small cable cars - (Borano and Magic Carpet). As well as 6-seater aerial trams and an 8-seater gondola lift.
Here you can visit Goderdzi Alpine Garden, where the rarest and most beautiful specimens of the alpine ecosystem are gathered. In the garden, you will also meet a stone garden, which is the rarest thing in the world.
How to get to Goderdzi?
You can get to the Goderdzi resort by car or taxi. In winter it is necessary to have an off-road vehicle for safe movement. It takes about 10 hours to cover 245 km from Tbilisi to Goderdzi because the last section of the road from Batumi to Goderdzi is in poor condition.
Where to stay in Goderdzi?
There is a 35-person hotel in Goderdzi and cottages for a total of 70 people. If you could not find a place to stay here, 3 km away from the resort, in the village of Danisparauli, there are guesthouses where you can stay.