Renovated ski resorts in Georgia now awaiting tourists. განახლებული სათხილამურო კურორტები საქართველოში ტურისტების მოლოდინში

Renovated ski resorts in Georgia now awaiting tourists. განახლებული სათხილამურო კურორტები საქართველოში ტურისტების მოლოდინში
10 October 2011

It's time to plan your winter holidays. The mountainski resorts of Georgia are ready to open the season from December 25. Gudauri, Bakuriani and Mestia, the top three winter resorts in the country, are currently carrying out their last preparatory activities. This winter mountain trail is offering visitors renewed infrastructure, improved service and new tourism products. In addition different cultural events will be organized too.
There are 300 winter resorts in Georgia. However the Georgian National Tourism Agency highlighted Gudauri and Mestia in terms of infrastructure development this year. New ski tracks are to be opened soon. Bakuriani and Kazbegi have been renovated as well.
Gudauri is perfect for extreme sports. It is attractive for extreme sports amateurs. Just a two hour drive from Tbilisi, Gudauri is located in the Kazbegi area of Georgia, at a height of 2,196 m.
The mountain-skiing season in Gudauri lasts from December till April.
"People can take advantage and test themselves at Heli Ski. But the most attractive thing in Gudauri is the free ride - descent through virgin fields. The deep blanket of snow, absence of stones and avalanche danger make Gudari very suitable for free riding," explained Kazbegi Municipality.
Form 2010 the owner of Gudauri is Ukrainian Private Group, which bought 87% of its shares for 14.5 million USD. The Group owns hotel Gudauri, 12 cottages, 5 cableways and mountain-ski slopes. But the governor of the resort is Tbilisi City Hall.
"As for the environment, Mestia is unique in this respect. There is a brilliant combination of ski infrastructure and cultural heritage in Mestia. Visitors can enjoy the unique Svan towers, museums, local traditions, cuisine and new ski infrastructure as well," said Beka Jakheli, Deputy Director of the Georgian National Tourism Agency.
Mestia is a highland in northwest Georgia, at an elevation of 1,500 metres in the Caucasus Mountains. There is a humid climate, cold winter and short summer. The average annual temperature is 5.7 °C, in January it is 6.4°C, and in July - l6.4°C.
The Head of Mestia, Shmagi Nakani says that the resort is ready to receive visitors. "The new infrastructure - the Zugdidi-Mestia road, main bridge, House of Justice, police and municipality buildings, hostel Seti, sports activities on Hatsvali mountain, biking, kite competitions, ballooning, cultural events, local handcraft, exhibitions, local cuisine tastings, fireworks and other facilities are on offer to visitors. Hotels and Guesthouses, electricity pools and cableways are already repaired. We offer different tours to visitors and all tours will be affordable," said Nakani.
"An ideal choice for a winter family vacation is a visit to Bakuriani. Families with children have access to special conditions there. There is a wonderful and appropriate environment for families in winter as there is a useful climate for kids," added Jakheli.
Bakuriani is one of the most beautiful winter resorts in the world. Extensive sunshine, high mountainous climate, average snowfall, 12 ski tracks of different levels of difficulty, spectacular views, renowned Georgian cuisine, and family atmosphere - all of this makes a winter spent here unforgettable!
Bakuriani is situated on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range in the Borjomi Valley of Georgia, at an altitude of 1,700 m.
New hotels and guesthouses are now open in Bakuriani. "Visitors are already reserving rooms in the hotels. Mainly foreigner visitors and in particular Azeri people reserve them. Many visitors want to spend the New Year in Bakuriani," said Marika Makieva, Senior Specialist at the Bakuriani National Tourism Agency. "Visitors are faced with a big choice - skiing, skating on a special rink, horseback riding, a cableway and so on. There will be also be quadricycle tours available for the route - Tabatskuri-Bakuriani. This tour takes the whole day and costs 200 USD per person. It includes having a picnic in the nature," she added.
All three resorts offer visitors almost the same facilities and the prices are the same too: an hour skate skiing costs 5 GEL; cableway - 5 GEL; an hour horseback riding - 20 GEL. Goggles, skis, ski poles and snowboards are all available for rent. The prices are 5 GEL for goggles and ski poles, 30 GEL for skis and snowboards.
Hotels prices vary from 25 USD to 160 USD. As for the guesthouses 50 GEL is the average price.
Minibuses from Didube and Vagzali stations go to Bakuriani for 10 GEL; to Mestia - for 30 GEL and to Gudauri - for 5 GEL.
An air ticket for Mestia from Tbilisi International Airport costs 150 GEL, but from Natakhtari Airport it costs 40 GEL.