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Winter in Georgia is cold and snowy with an average temperature of 2-3°C (35-40°F). It sometimes even falls below zero in some regions. For those of you who love visiting snow-covered cities, Tbilisi will be a disappointment. However, you can go to other towns across the country to get the desired experience. Winter in Georgia usually means indoor activities or visiting ski resorts. So, here’s a list of the best things to see and do in Georgia during your winter break.
Even though Tbilisi is not as appealing in winter as it is in other seasons, visiting it during this time of year is still worth it. If the weather is a bit warmer, embark on a walking tour and admire the city’s iconic landmarks. Make sure to stroll down Rustaveli Avenue and explore the beautiful architecture of the Opera House and the Rustaveli Theater.
Tbilisi is known for its sulfur bathhouses located in Abanotubani. The mineral-rich hot springs that feed the baths are good for skin and overall health. If you get cold walking around the city, you can pop into one of the many houses that offer different price packages for however long you’d like to indulge. Please note that these baths are not public baths. You’ll get your own room and you can even ask a masseuse to scrub your back.
Tbilisi has a good selection of museums hidden throughout the city. Anyone who likes to learn about the history, culture, art, artists, and even Soviet rule in the country will be pleasantly surprised by the depth of knowledge these museums have. The entrance fees are quite minimal compared to European cities, so if you decide to visit all the city’s museums, you won’t be breaking the bank.
Vardzia is a cave town in the southern part of the country that features different shrines, churches, and beautiful frescoes. This twelfth-century natural wonder is quite beautiful all year round, but it’s even more gorgeous when it’s covered in snow.
Gudauri is one of the most popular destinations for skiers in Georgia. Being close to Tbilisi, it makes for a great weekend getaway. However, weekends bring lots of locals to the resort as well, so be ready for crowds. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountain Range while skiing. The resort features 57 km (35 mile) long slopes for skiers and snowboarders, and each slope has a different difficulty level. For those of you who don’t like overcrowded places, Georgia offers a wide choice of other ski resorts as well.
If skiing is not your cup of tea, you can go to the Rooms Hotel Kazbegi in Stepantsminda town, not far from Gudauri, for picturesque views of Mount Kazbegi. If you like combining leisure with culture, go on a small hike toward the Gergeti Trinity Church, situated right at the foot of the mountain.
Extreme sports lovers can glide down pristine slopes that see few tracks from other skiers. With Gudauri’s heli-skiing packages, you can be the only one on the slopes all day. To make it even more appealing, compared to other European cities that offer heli-ski experiences, Gudauri is much affordable for both beginners and professionals.
Zuruldi hotel, located in the Svaneti region, is considered to be the highest restaurant and hotel in the country, located on the top of the Zuruldi mountain. Sitting 2,340 meters (7,677 ft) above sea level, this hotel guarantees a unique and unforgettable experience. First, you need to travel to Mestia, the main town in Svaneti and take a minibus or rent a car from there. Then, you’ll need to take the Hatsvali ropeway to go all the way up to the front door of the venue.
“Kukushka” is a railway train that goes from Borjomi to Bakuriani, another famous ski resort in Georgia. The ride provides marvelous views of the snow-covered spruce forest, and you’ll pass over the bridge that a well-known French engineer Gustave Eiffel constructed by order of the Romanov Russian royal family.
At 2,073 meters (6,801 feet) above sea level, the volcanic Paravani lake is the biggest lake in the country. Even though the lake is beautiful all year round, the best time to visit is during winter when the lake freezes completely and is surrounded by heavy snow. It definitely looks like a winter wonderland.