Georgia is reputed for its folklore, old-school music and theaters, and the amazing blend of the Roman, Iranian, and Soviet Russian cultures. But come wintertime, the home to the picturesque Caucasus Mountains becomes a global destination for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and experience levels.
With ample snow, fewer crowds, and budget accommodation, Georgia truly makes for a great candidate when brainstorming skiing and snowboarding getaways. We have put together a list of the 7 best ski resorts in Georgia for you to choose from. Each one has access to a ski lift system, well-groomed pistes, and abundant backcountry options.
In the heart of the Greater Caucasus Mountain settles Gudauri, the pearl of skiing in Georgia. Raised 7218ft. (2200m) above sea level, the area offers a wide variety of terrain for beginner skiers, intermediates, and experts.
It is equipped with posh hotels, restaurants, and lift systems, which ranks it among the most advanced skiing resorts in Georgia. And due to its excellent location, it offers impeccable downhill skiing and the most incredible powder skiing in Europe.
There are four types of trails on which you can ski based on your experience level – slalom, super slalom, giant slalom, and speed skiing. If you enjoy off-piste skiing, a helicopter will take you to the backcountry where you can happily bounce on untouched snow. For those looking for something more athletic, the valleys between Stepantsminda and Gudauri will offer a memorable ski tour.
Gudauri is well found to cater to all types of snow hobbyists. Whether you are traveling solo, with family, or with a group of friends, this destination will provide a skiing experience you probably won’t find anywhere else in Georgia. Getting to the resort will take you only 2 hours by bus, car, or hitchhiking from Tbilisi.
Looking to brush up on your skiing? No problem. Gudauri has an amazing English speaking ski school too. In fact, it is the only resort in Georgia that administers ski lessons entirely in English, which is a great appeal for western travelers. The ski season runs from December to April.
Why We Love Gudauri
- Perfect for all levels of skiers
- Easy to access
- English services
- Heli-skiing and powder skiing
- Stylish hotels and lift systems
Mestia is a traditional highland town located northwest of Georgia, 4920ft. (1500m) above sea level. 132 villages constitute Mestia District, which together with Mestia create the most densely populated area in Georgia.
The resort may not be as developed as Gudauri, but the backcountry provides some of the most breathtaking views. Mestia boasts frequent fresh powder and you can ski here even when other resorts have a deficit of snow. Also, it is not as crowded as Gudauri, which makes it perfect for anyone looking to escape multitudes.
The main problem with Mestia, and probably the reason why it is one of the quietest places for skiing in Georgia, is transportation. It will take you at least 8 hours to get here by public transport. However, there are direct flights from Tbilisi and Kutaisi.
Also, it’s hard to find a decent English speaking instructor here and the beginner runs aren’t well-groomed. Therefore, skiing in Mestia is better left for intermediate and expert skiers.
But this hasn’t stopped the resort from becoming an excellent destination for ski vacations. There are bountiful of cheap hotels and hostels, which is a huge plus.
Why We Love Mestia
- Ideal for intermediate and expert skiers
- Cheap accommodation
- Culturally unique
Looking for a ski spot where you can teach your kids to ski? Then Bakuriani has your name and your family’s written all over it.
Sitting 6560ft (about 2000m) above sea level, 4 hours drive from Tbilisi, Bakuriani boasts well-groomed beginner-friendly slopes, which is why it would be perfect for novice skiers. But this doesn’t rule out expert skiers or those who wish to ski steeps; there is a lift that transports skiers to the much-inclined backcountry.
Perhaps the most significant lure to Bakuriani is the abundance of trees in the ski slopes, which allows powder lovers to enjoy the amazing less discoverable runs. Apart from skiing, there are plenty of snow activities that families with kids can take part in including snowmobiling, horse riding, snowshoeing, etc.
Tatra, Didveli, and Kolkata are the most famous slopes for skiing. During the weekends, you can enjoy night skiing on Didveli.
Of all skiing resorts in Georgia, this one receives the lowest annual snowfall, meaning there are fewer crowds. You will get here by car, marshrutka, or train though the roads leave a lot to be desired. The town itself has numerous hostels and hotels for accommodation. There are plenty of apartments for rent too designed for family getaways.
Why We Love Bakuriani
- Perfect for family getaways
- Fewer crowds
- Accommodates skiers of all levels
- Night skiing
Goderdzi is one of the newest spots for skiing in Georgia and is located about 2 hours drive from Batumi. The resort sits at an elevation of 6560ft. (2000m), offering unique skiing and snowboarding experiences, fresh air, and beautiful scenery. The terrain is fairly flat, making it ideal for first-time skiers.
Currently, only 2 lifts and 1 hotel service the resort. Plus the road that accesses it is quite terrible and closes almost all the time when there is a snowstorm in the area. You can only get here with a high clearance 4 WD vehicle.
But perhaps this is a good thing because it nearly guarantees you solitude on the mountain and good snow, well at least until something is done about the road.
Snow will cover the slopes between November and April, so this would be the best time to pay a visit. You will taste the local mineral spring waters that are believed to have some curative value and visit the Goderdzi fossil forest, one of the most unique places to be in the world.
Bring your own skis or rent from the ski shops in Tbilisi because chances of finding rental equipment here are scarce.
Why We Love Goderdzi
- No crowds
- Epic backcountry
- Suitable for beginners
- Water springs
Hatsavali is located in the Svaneti region, on the Caucasus Mountains. It is a fairly new resort just 8 kilometers from Mestia town.
There are 4 kilometers of slopes for both skiing and snowboarding activities, with 3 lifts facilitating transportation. The lower lift takes you from an altitude of 6118 ft. (1865 m) to the top of Mt Zuruldi, about 7700 ft. (2347m) above sea level. The other two lifts are used by those who need some warm-up before hitting the big trails.
If you love a good challenge, then you will find Hatsavali an awesome place for backcountry fun, skiing steeps, and freeriding. It would also be one of the best places to get a clear view of the amazing Caucasus scenery.
Why We Love Caucasus
- A clear view of the Caucasus Mountains
- Ideal for expert skiers
- Plenty of activities to perform on the slopes
You haven’t set foot in Georgia if you haven’t ridden the gorgeous Mt. Tetnuldi slopes! The scenic views of the mountain coupled with the magnificent runs from peak Ushba is something you don’t want to miss.
Like Hatsavali resort, this one too is located in Mestia, 15 kilometers away, and terrain-wise, it is as huge a Gudauri. There is 3 lifts to take you up to 10385 ft. (3165 m) high. From here, you can ski down various challenging trails, some even going up to 10 kilometers long. This is a great place for all types of skiing including backcountry skiing and freeriding.
Why We Love Tetnuldi
- Perfect for expert skiers
- A clear view of Mt. Tetnuldi
- Beautiful backcountry
At a height of 7545ft. (2300m), 4 kilometers from Bakuriani lies Mitarbi, one of the most beautiful spots for skiing in Georgia. If you are looking for something that will get your adrenaline charging, then this should be on top of the list.
Pro skiers will enjoy over 5 kilometers of difficult slopes serviced by 3 ski lifts. The area is not recommended for beginners, but if you love speed and taking risks, you can make this your preferred ski destination.
So if you visit Bakuriani, don’t leave without checking out Mitarbi as well. The quickest access will be from the Tatra trail. Just don’t get so absorbed into the sport and forget to check out the beautiful sceneries surrounding you.
Why We Love Mitarbi
- Beautiful backcountry
- Ideal for experts
- Easy to access
Globo Surf Overview
The ski industry in Georgia is growing fast. As you can see, there are plenty of places that make for great ski vacation destinations.
The above list will help you land the best area for skiing in Georgia based on what you are looking for, who you want to go with, or your experience level. If you ask us, now is the ideal time to come here, while the resorts are still affordable.
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- Skiing Georgia, powerhounds.com