Every year we see more and more articles about Georgia - where to go, what to see, where khinkali is tastier and where dances are passionate. Though sometimes we forget that apart from exciting stories about sights and food a traveler needs quite basic information about weather in the must-visit places, about how to get there as how to pay for transport and hotels. In order to improve that we give you the simple answers to the simple questions about what you need to know about winter in Georgia!
Speaking of classic winter vacation, the first thing that comes to our mind is skiing on the white mountain slopes, playing snowballs, drinking mulled wine and gathering around the bonfire after an active day outdoors. Where to get it all in Georgia? In the season 2016-2017 there will be five options: Gudauri, Bakuriani, Hatsvali, Tetnuldi and Goderdzi.
On the other hand, winter in Georgia also means evergreen activities such as wine tours, gastronomic tours, visiting ancient fortresses and temples. You can find it all at least in Tbilisi, but it would be also nice if you take some time for Mtskheta and Kakheti (Telavi, Kvareli and Sighnaghi, or maybe all together). Batumi may surprise you too. Of course, swimming in the sea is an option for the craziest people, but the city keeps being charming in winter, the Botanical Garden remains green and wine houses of mountainous Ajara keep attracting you with the local sorts.
Georgia is famous not for wine only. There are also mineral waters. If you go to Borjomi, Tskaltubo, Sairme or Kvareli and stay there in one of the hotels or resorts, your body will really appreciate that. In wintertime prices in many spa hotels decrease a little bit, so your recreation time may be even more affordable, then it could be in summer.
Question about the weather in Georgia always brings us to a dead end. How can we answer it, if the country has several climatic zones? We recommend you to check the reliable pages with the weather forecast for the desired period - AccuWeather or Gismeteo are trustful enough.
In general, winter in Tbilisi and Kakheti is not cold, sub-zero temperatures is a rare phenomenon, but often it is quite windy, so a hat and a scarf are worth being packed in your bag. In Batumi the air is more humid - after all, it is a subtropical zone. In winter 2015-2016 residents and guests of Batumi were thrilled by unprecedented snowfalls, but this is rather an exception than the rule.
At the ski resorts you obviously need to dress something comfortable to ski or snowboard. The snowfall starts at the end of November, but the skiing season opens around mid- or even in the end of December. In February and March there is usually a lot of fresh snow that causes the increasing flow of freeriders.
As for the spa resorts, most of them are located in the central part of the country, where winter is mild. Of course, you won’t need a scarf for bathing in thermal waters, but take it with you for outdoor walks.
In all the shops, hotels and restaurants in Georgia you can only pay with the national currency. Of course, many hotels put prices in dollars on their websites, but they make it rather for convenience, as not the whole world keeps in mind the exchange rate of our small but proud lari. In short, when you arrive at the airport, look for a bank branch or an exchange to pay for a taxi.
If you are going to travel to Svaneti (the resorts Hatsvali or Tetnuldi) or to the resort Goderdzi, it is better to exchange money in advance. In the mountains you will find a lot of snow, tall trees and pure emotions, but the number of ATMs is very small.
Getting from the airport to the city
In every Georgian airport both official and unofficial taxis will not leave you standing alone with your luggage in the middle of the arrivals hall. In addition to taxi, from the Batumi airport there is a bus to the city; Kutaisi airport cooperates with Georgian Bus company, which makes regular flights to Tbilisi, Batumi and Mestia, and from Tbilisi airport there are regular daytime and night buses to the city center.
For more information about how to get to the ski resorts from the largest cities of Georgia, please read our articles on each of the resorts. We wish you a pleasant stay and a great time in our country!