How did I found out about Gudauri?
I heard so many great stories about Georgia in general and Gudauri in particular from travel loving friends so when i decides where to go on my traditional February long weekend vacay I picked Georgia over my favorite place worldwide Seychelles. Currently I am in the mode of exploring new places and I never been to Georgia before. I expected it to be like Turkey but with Russian influence. And I was right. People here are very kind, open minded and helpful but it is yet organized and clean as I have experienced when being in Moscow and St Petersburg. Maybe recall the name Gudauri when I mention the ski lift accident in 2018 where lifts suddenly started to run backwards? Anyway, I had a blast at the resort and no lifts were running backwards.
The ski resort of Gudauri is about two and a half hour from the airport in Tbilisi. My flight arrived at 4:30 am on Saturday morning and I had booked transport to Gudauri from TBS airport. It all went very smooth and when I came to Gudauri just before 7 am I got to check in at my hotel where I slept for a few hours before hitting the slopes. Rental car or booking a driver is the way to go to Guduari from the airport (around 50 USD/car). There is a bus aswell but the schedule is very limited and the locals I asked about it were more than question marks.
The ski resort
I haven’t been to the alps so can’t compare this resort to that but I been skiing in Japan, Whistler, Banff and Sweden and compared to those resorts Gudauri comes at second place after Whistler in my ranking. Why you might ask? Well it was love at first sight. The mountains in Caucasus are incredible beautiful. There are lots of slopes and you can easily access backcountry skiing areas. The first day the weather was perfect. -4 degrees and all sunny and I didn’t even break for lunch since the skiing was so good. The second day it was stormy so only the bottom slopes were open. Really sad because I badly wanted to go for the top again. But the third and last skiing day was a perfect day again. A few minus degrees and very few people in the slopes since it was a weekday. You never had to wait in any lifts and I was spending the half day backcountry skiing. The days in Gudauri were days I never wanted to be over.
Food and beverage
There are quite a lot of restaurants both in the village and at the mountain. If you wished to you could also visit one of the supermarkets. Georgia is famous for its wine and there were several boutiques just selling wine. When the sloped closed at 5 pm there were of course after ski. Both inside and outside and it was not wild and crazy but on a moderate level the weekend I was there. We were though kind of tired after a full day of skiing so we just went for a drink, I had the local Glintwine – like glögg – and then went back home to socialize and share local food that we bought.
In Gudauri you can find many newly built apartments for rent. There are a lot of new places which people have invested in that are out for rent at airbnb or booking.com. For 50USD / night you get an apartment at airbnb so to say the price level is low and the value is great.
What kind of skiers are visiting Gudauri?
You might think the place is filled with Russians but it’s not of course they are there since it is nearby but the bad rumors about vacationing russians behaviour isn’t something I ever seen. The time I was in Gudauri the majority of people were Americans. I noted a few Scandinavians and Germans. But there were a lot of Georgian people aswell. There were not many beginners more intermediate skiers to really good ones. Also a lot of people doing paraglide were visiting the mountain.
If you are looking for a comperhensive guide about Gudauri you can find it HERE.
If I recommend the place?
YES. I loved Gudauri. It is a perfect long weekend skiing resort if you have already been to the alps and if you have not it is a great place also. I know that price is not everything but it was very cheap and good quality. Everything from lift tickets to ski rental and food. Who is in for a ski trip to Gudauri next year?
/ Pernilla that is looking forward to more skiing