Skiing in Georgia is rapidly developing after 20 years of stasis following the fall of the Soviet Union. With a cheap flight bonanza from Europe and the Middle East, it currently hits the sweet spot for anyone looking for an inexpensive ski holiday with a cultural touch. You are no longer a pioneer who has to figure it all out by himself, nor are you overpaying to be allowed a piece of crowded, overdeveloped mountainside.
There is something for everyone, from advanced freerider to mere beginner. Prices are very cheap compared to European resorts, but you are making a trade-off in terms of the service and facilities on offer.
Gudauri is Georgia’s most accessible, best developed and biggest ski resort. Goderdzi, Tetnuldi, and Hatsvali are all new and still in development but receive significantly more snowfall than Gudauri. Family resort Bakuriani targets locals and is probably the least interesting to foreigners.
Ski resorts in Georgia
Gudauri is Georgia’s biggest and most developed ski resort. Traditionally most frequented by Russians, the resort is now growing in popularity among a more international crowd thanks to cheap flight connections with Europe, Israel, and Dubai. The lifts are slow, the service is terrible, and the ski pistes aren’t always maintained, but that all comes at a small fraction of the price of a ski trip to the Alps. And the off-piste options are incredible.
Bakuriani is about 4 hours by car and is a more family-oriented resort with pretty flat slopes, but it’s possible to ski tour to some more interesting forested terrain.
Goderdzi is located in Adjara Province, about 8 hours from Gudauri on a good day.
Tetnuldi and Hatsvali are both located near Mestia, about 10 hours driving from Gudauri but also accessible by airplane in good weather. With the development of Tetnuldi and Hatsvali, Mestia is quickly taking over the title as Georgia’s freeriding mecca.