Gudauri ski resort is deservedly called the winter capital of Georgia. All the necessary conditions for quality and exciting winter holidays are created here. Gudauri is the newest and leading winter sports destination not only in Georgia but also throughout the entire Caucasus. While Bakuriani is more family orientated resort and is best suitable for beginners, Gudauri ski resort is a real paradise for professional athletes who want to experience the adrenaline of freeride, speedriding, heli-skiing, paragliding or just to enjoy a high-quality skiing and snowboarding.
This cozy and actively developing resort has become the most popular ski destination in Georgia, attracting snow lovers from neighboring countries and Western Europe. Gudauri is located in the heart of the magnificent Alpine countryside, and offers large areas for skiing with plenty of snow in tandem with wonderful sunny weather and unforgettable Georgian hospitality!
Holidays in Gudauri: Ski season and Infrastructure
Young and rapidly developing winter sports resort of Gudauri is located on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, near Stepantsminda District, along the famous Georgian Military Highway near the Cross Pass, at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. Gudauri is located 120 kilometers north from the capital, Tbilisi. You can reach Gudauri from Tbilisi in two hours either by car or in 4-5 hours by public transport. The ski season starts from December to April. High season begins from 12 December – 10 March, and the low season from 11 March to 15 April. Snow on the slopes reaches up to an average depth of 2-3 meters. The weather is always warm and sunny, despite the fact that the resort is located high in the mountains, above from the wood line. Gudauri has about 50 km of trails with different difficulty levels.
Professionals can enjoy slalom slopes, giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill slopes. All tracks are certified by the International Ski Federation. Gudauri is famous for its off-piste opportunities down the unspoiled virgin slopes. The deep powdery snow, lack of stones, and minimal risk of avalanches made Gudauri kind of Mecca of freeriding. The resort is also surrounded by large areas with off-piste slopes for these types of riding, as the backcountry and heli-ski.
The bottom lift station is at an altitude of 1,990 meters (6,500 feet), while the upper station – 3007 m (9860 feet!) and is called Sadzele. In total there are 7 lifts and slopes:
– The first three-seat ski lift, leading to the “Pirveli” trail has a length of 1053 m; in the evening this track is lighted, which makes it possible to ride at night from 20:00 – 22: 00;
– The second four-seated-speed chair lift has a length of 2295 m; It leads to “Soliko” track;
– The third three-seated lift with a length of 1063 m leads to the top of Kudebi;
– The fourth three-seated lift with a length of 1104 m leads to the “Snow Park” route, which is designed for extreme skiing;
– The fifth lift with a length of 1504 m leads to the top of Sadzele;
– Cableway with a length of 2,800 m; gondola seats up to 10 people.
– Ski lift POMA with a length of 600 m leads to the slope “Zuma”, which is specially designed for beginners and children.
Lifts run from 10:00 to 16:00, regardless of the number of skiers on the slopes. Lifts can be closed in rare cases due to adverse weather conditions: at very low visibility and strong wind gusts. Cableways are equipped with backup generators in case of power crashes or power outages. Along the slopes and lifts free Wi-Fi connection is available. The resort has various ski and rental services, and if you’re only doing the first steps, you can always seek the services of professional instructors.
Holidays in Gudauri: Sights of Interest
Gudauri surroundings are rich in attractions that are definitely worth a visit. One of them is a fortress of Ananuri. Ananuri Fortress is a multifunctional architectural complex that has been preserved from the era of feudalism. Built on the right bank of the river Aragvi, the castle was the seat of the Dukes of Aragvi Eristavi in the 13th century. The fortress was once located on the Great Silk Road. Now the road is called the Georgian Military Highway. Distance from Tbilisi is 74 km (1 hour drive) – a scenic route through the mountains and gorges to the reservoir of Zhinvali, where the fortress is built. Castle, tower, three churches and beautiful wall carvings are the reason why the place is so popular among tourists.
On the Georgian Military Road at an altitude of 2400 m is situated another place of interest – the Cross Pass. The pass got its name from the stone cross, which in 1824 was set to mark the location. Along this road once traveled the famous Russian writers Alexander Pushkin, M.Y. Lermontov and A. Griboyedov, who sang in their works the charming and picturesque nature of Georgia.
Gergeti Trinity Church is the popular name of the Holy Trinity Church in the area of Gergeti village. The church is located on the right bank of the river Chkheri at an altitude of 2170 meters on a mountain top near Kazbegi. Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 10th century. In times of danger, precious relics of Mtskheta, including grapevine cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were banned, but the church still has remained a popular tourist destination. The church is currently an active member of the Georgian Orthodox Apostolic Church. The Church is a popular destination for travelers. It offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area and the mighty giant Kazbegi. Gergeti Trinity Church is considered the highest alpine structure in Europe.