Even if you have visited Georgia during Spring or Summer, you must experience Georgia in winter. The entire town of Tbilisi looks straight out of an Enid Blyton novel and its the perfect place to learn various winter sports, celebrate Christmas TWICE and indulge in the their wonderful culture and traditions.
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT GEORGIA IN WINTER
1. TO ENJOY THE TRADITIONAL GEORGIAN SULPHUR BATHS
When better to enjoy a warm sulphur bath than in the dead of winter when the outside temperature is less than 10 degree celsius.
This traditional Georgian bath will make you feel warm and toasty and is extremely good for your skin and also treats diseased like Eczema, Arthritis, joint pains, digestion and dry scalp to name a few.
These baths have been famous since the silk route days when traders used to take a detour to Georgia to enjoy these baths.
The sulphur baths are located in the Abanotubani area and a bath can cost anything between $10- $30, depending on whether you prefer a public room or private.
2. LEARN TO SKI IN GUDAURI
Skiing here is considered most affordable as compared to Europe, hence its popularity. Winter in Georgia starts roughly around November and lasts till the month of March. Snow fall in the mountains vary year to year and it is best to check the webcams on the Gudauri website for live updates. The slopes of Bukuriani & Mestia also attract seasoned skiers.
3. STAY AT THE MAGICAL ROOMS HOTEL KAZBEGI
Winter is the best season to stay at the grand Rooms Hotel with majestic views of Mt. Kazegi and the snow blanketed Stepantsminda Village. The perfect place to unwind after a day of skiing or snow boarding.
4. TASTE KHARCHO- A BOWL OF HAPPINESS
Featured among the best soups from around the world, this soup is only made in Georgia during winters. With chunky pieces of lamb mixed with rice, this soup is best enjoyed when temperatures plummet and howling winds rattle the windows. The secret ingredient that makes this soup exotic is cherry plum puree.
5. TANDEM PARAGLIDING ALONG SNOW PEAKED SLOPES
Get a birds eye view of Georgian winters at Gudauri by paragliding over the snow blanketed slopes. There are many paragliding operators in the area and SkyAtlantida is recommended by many travelers.
6. ENJOY DOUBLE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
While the world celebrates Christmas on December 25th, Georgia celebrates on January 7th as they still use the old Julius calendar for festivals. As more and more tourists visit Georgia during winter, they now celebrate Christmas in December as well as in January.
7. TO MEET CHICHILAKI, GEORGIA’S NEW YEAR TREE
While everyone gets a classic Christmas tree, most Georgians put up a traditional New Year tree called Chichilaki. Traditional New Year trees are made from shaved walnut or hazelnut tree branches and then decorated with chocolates and fruit. These trees look cute and fluffy, and people believe they bring happiness and peace.
8. ANNUAL CHRISTMAS MARKET AT THE REPUBLIC SQUARE
Open from December 25th until January 14th, Georgia’s Christmas market is an amazing place to pick up souvenirs, enjoy mulled wine, Georgian delicacies, musical performances, puppet show and loads more.
On Christmas morning (January 7), thousands of people participate in the traditional Christmas march called Alilo, where different churches walk through the streets of Tbilisi, collecting food and sweets, which are later distributed to the people in need and to orphanages.
9. ENJOY THE “WELCOME TO GEORGIA” MUSICAL
The Welcome To Georgia musical which is in English weaves a tale about Georgia and its people through song, dance, and dialogue. Learn about Georgia’s age-old culture, history, traditions, national costumes, cuisine and more here.
10. ENJOY A MAGICAL RIDE ON A KUKUSHKA
“Kukushka” is a railway train that goes through snow laden forests from Borjomi to Bakuriani, another famous ski area in Georgia.
BONUS TIP! VISIT A FAIRY TALE
CASTLE MONASTERY IN GEORGIA
Just an hour away from Tbilisi, Martkopi Monastery is a must visit for Fairytale enthusiasts. Located on the beautiful forest covered slope of Mount Lalno, this monastery has a very interesting history too.