The Best Things to See and Do in Georgia in Autumn

While Tbilisi is beautiful year-round, autumnal colours take it to another level
While Tbilisi is beautiful year-round, autumnal colours take it to another level | © Tamar Dundua / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Baia Dzagnidze
Writer2 September 2021

Georgia is beautiful in autumn, with the trees taking on multicoloured hues. The beginning of the season sees warm sunny days, perfect for hiking the lowlands and exploring various cities, while the end of the season grows cold and damp, an excellent time for indoor activities. From discovering Tbilisi to getting in touch with nature, here’s our pick of the best things to do in Georgia during autumn.

Stroll down the streets of Tbilisi

A good time to explore Tbilisi is during autumn, when the temperature is around 20-25C (68-77F) – similar to spring. However, the evenings might get chilly, so have a jacket or a cardigan with you while traversing the city. Embark on a walking tour of Tbilisi and discover famous landmarks on the way – which you can do with Culture Trip by joining our immersive nine-day Georgia adventure, led by our local insider.

Vakhtang Gorgasali Square in Tbilisi is a lovely place to explore on foot | © Yulia Babkina / Alamy Stock Photo

Take a dip in the sulphur baths

Tbilisi is known for its sulphur baths, and you’ll find them in the ancient district of Abanotubani. It’s home to several options, each with a different price tag. The sulphuric waters have therapeutic minerals that are good for your skin and overall health, and with a temperature of 40C (104F), there isn’t any chance of you getting cold. You can also ask for a masseuse to give you a good scrub. A visit to Tbilisi’s sulphur baths is also included on Culture Trip’s specially curated small-group Georgia tour.

Soak in the sulphur baths in Tbilisi | © Koba Samurkasov / Alamy Stock Photo

Attend a citywide celebration

Tbilisi has a long and rich history, and every October, people celebrate the city’s past with a lively festival called Tbilisoba. The central streets are closed to cars and transformed into an open-air fair, where you can buy and try local products such as wine, cheese and sweet delicacies.

Enjoy picturesque landscapes at Bateti Lake

Bateti Lake is quite small, covering only 2ha (5 acres). It lies near the village of Kodmani in Kareli Municipality, making it easily accessible by car. Although the landscape here is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit is autumn, when the leaves take on warm, golden hues.

Autumn takes the beauty of Bateti Lake to a whole other level | © David Khelashvili / Alamy Stock Photo

Attend harvest season in Kakheti

Rtveli is a wine-harvesting holiday in Georgia and one of the major autumn events, taking place from late September until mid-October. Georgia is the oldest wine-producing country in the world, with the tradition of Rtveli dating back to ancient times. Some wine producers – both big factories and family-run wineries – host wine tours and allow you to participate in the harvest.

Visit the Kakheti region during Rtveli to tour wine cellars and maybe help with the harvest | © uskarp / Alamy Stock Photo

Hike to Black Rock Lake

In Lagodekhi National Park, Black Rock Lake offers breathtaking views of the alpine zone during the summer and autumn months. To reach the lake, you’ll have to trek through the mountainside forest – it’s steep – which eventually opens up to beautiful scenic views. You’ll then continue to the alpine zone, where you’ll find the lake 3,000m (9,843ft) above sea level.

To see Black Rock Lake, you’ll have to put on your hiking boots | © Baia Dzagnidze

Visit Shaori Lake

Another picturesque place to visit in autumn is Shaori Lake – a lake and a reservoir in the region of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti. Being nearly 7km (4mi) long and 3km (2mi) wide, it’s one of the most important reservoirs in the country.

Shaori Lake shines in autumn | © Tai Dundua

Wander through the former capital of Georgia

Kutaisi is the former capital of Georgia and one of the oldest cities in the world, brimming with historical landmarks, including one Unesco World Heritage site. Stroll down the streets of Kutaisi, visiting Bagrati Cathedral and the Gelati Monastery complex. Afterwards, walk through the Sataplia Nature Reserve to see dinosaur footprints and tour Prometheus Cave.

Kutaisi is the former capital of Georgia | © Valerii Iavtushenko / Shutterstock

Enjoy the velvet season on the Black Sea coast

Even though the summer months are over, you can still enjoy sunny days and warm waters at various resorts along the Black Sea until the middle of September. Locals call this time of year the “velvet season”. During autumn, the prices are a bit lower, and the beaches are not as overcrowded as in summer.

Enjoy photo exhibitions in Tbilisi

Tbilisi hosts two photo exhibitions in autumn: Kolga Tbilisi Photo and Tbilisi Photo Festival. Kolga Tbilisi Photo has been bringing the works of local and international photographers to the Tbilisi stage since 2012. Within the framework of the festival, a photo competition takes place, complete with awards and prizes for the winners.

Meanwhile, Tbilisi Photo Festival, co-founded by Georgian journalist Nestan Nijaradze and French photographer Lionel Charrier, was launched in 2010, showcasing superb works by photographers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Attend the Tbilisi Jazz Festival

The Tbilisi Jazz Festival is an annual event held at the Tbilisi Concert Hall. It brings jazz singers from all around the world to the stage, such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Marcus Miller, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, to name just a few.

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