Winter is coming! No kidding, it is really approaching. One of the most important things you should know about winter in our country is the fact that it boasts with great mountain resorts, where you can practice skiing and snowboarding, relax, get rid of stress and feel adrenaline rush, enjoy the snow and the sun, breathe fresh air, drink mulled wine – and all this at very reasonable prices. However, even the craziest fan of winter sports wants to take a break. That’s why I want you to know what else you could do next to the Georgian white resorts.
- Freeride and history
Let’s start with Gudauri. To get to this freeriders’ Mecca, you will anyways land in Tbilisi or Kutaisi, and then go with a mini-bus or taxi. The resort is closer to the Georgian capital, so it would be more reasonable to have fun and explore the Georgian culture there. It is worth noting that on the road from Tbilisi to Gudauri you should definitely make a stop at the fortress Ananuri, which was an important outpost on the road leading from the Daryal Gorge in XVI – XVIII centuries. It is well preserved, so you can wander around inside the walls, peak into the church, which is a part of the complex, and feel like in another century.
On the road from Gudauri to Tbilisi is located the first capital of Georgia, Mtskheta, a small town of greater historical and spiritual significance. Georgia’s Christianization started there, you can see a lot of stories depicted at the magnificent frescoes of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. We also recommend to go up to the Jvari Monastery, which looks at the mountains and the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. You will love this place!
Tbilisi is Tbilisi… Winter is a perfect time to visit its sulfur baths, museums, take a look at Niko Pirosmani’s works in the Blue Gallery, visit the puppet theater performance at Rezo Gabriadze Theater, drink a glass of wine in the XVIII – XIX centuries cellars, admire the architectural charm of the city, have fun in clubs and bars. Winter is not a sleepy season. Winter is a season of fun and relaxation!
- Gentle slopes, fresh air and healing water
If you don’t feel too confident on skis or snowboard, but still want to spend your holidays in the mountains, we recommend you to visit Bakuriani and Borjomi. In Bakuriani you can improve your skiing skills or simply breathe winter pine air, which is very useful for the body, drink mineral water or something stronger, taste pine cone jam, and undertake a trip to Borjomi, where you can get spa treatment. The incredible nature and tranquility of these resorts will make your winter vacation relaxing and beautiful!
Beside this, you have to remember that Bakuriani is great for holidays with children. They will definitely have fun learning skiing, sledging and playing in snow!
- Conquer the mountains and explore the history
Hatsvali and Tetnuldi in Svaneti are relatively new ski resorts of Georgia. This mountainous region is one of the most authentic and true to tradition. The highest, the steepest and the most beautiful peaks of Georgia are here, that’s why Svaneti is so attractive to mountain lovers.
The medieval Svan towers, which served as shelter for the families during the invasions, are now included to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The treasury of Svaneti Museum of History will show you the wealth of Georgia, which was preserved in these remote areas for centuries: in the Georgian history there were many people who wanted to encroach on gold and artifacts!
The highest Georgian restaurant is located at the resort Hatsvali at an altitude of 3200 meters. Its terrace offers a beautiful view of the double peak of impregnable mountain Ushba. Observing the sunsets there is a single aesthetic pleasure. And if you will have a good portion of local pastry, wine or chacha, your stay will be twice as great!
- Sea, skiing and wine
We hope you knew that Ajara was not only for seaside holidays? It’s a picturesque mountain region, where you can find vines, murmuring rivers and beautiful waterfalls. The centuries-old fortresses, original arched bridges and intriguing archaeological sites wait for you there. There are also small wine farms, where you can taste pretty rare wines.
And in the coming season Goderdzi ski resort will be opened, which gives you the opportunity to combine active vacation with sea, wine, ancient history, walks along Batumi Boulevard, casinos and clubs. Sounds like an interesting winter vacation, doesn’t it?
- Spa, UNESCO and dinosaurs
Imereti region is very rich with places of interest! Check out Kutaisi, taste local khachapuri and wine, and then give in to the variety of different activities. First, there are two monasteries in Imereti, which belong to the UNESCO World Heritage List: Bagrati and Gelati. The first is located in the city, the road to the second will take about 15 minutes by car. View from both places is just stunning! And if you imagine that in the Middle Ages this area was very lively, scholars and monks have studied here, and the legendary King David the Builder committed his great deeds, you may get goose bumps.
Besides this, nearby there is another interesting monastery, Motsameta, which houses the relics of Saint David and Constantine. It is said that the visit to Motsameta makes sincere wishes come true. Worth trying!
If you tired with sightseeing, you should remember that in 9 kilometers from Kutaisi there is spa town Tskhaltubo, where you can experience the effects of healing mineral waters and spa therapy. Water of Tskhaltubo is especially useful for those who suffer from diseases of nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular system.
A visit to Imeretian caves (Sataplia and Prometheus’) also influences health positively. The air and temperature conditions there are suitable for people suffering from asthma. However, the caves are attractive not only as a place of recreation, but also as interesting natural monuments. So, in Prometheus cave you can take a boat ride along the underground lake, and in Sataplia there are fossilized footprints of dinosaurs.