Guide to travel to Gudauri, Georgia
This article is relevant to read if you plan to spend some days skiing in Gudauri like we did in March 2018.
Flying to Georgia
The most convenient way is a direct flight operated by Lufthansa three times a week from Munich to Tiblisi: You leave at 9pm and you’ll land at 4am in the morning. So there is no day lost for travelling. The flight takes 4 hours.
One big plus for Lufthansa: Skiing equipment is without extra charge, but you need to declare it by calling the Lufthansa hotline a few days before flying.
Traveling with an avalanche airbag system in your check-in luggage worked without problems, but of course they check your luggage for the cartridge. Tip: It helps to have some explanatory document besides the cartridge.
EU citizens (and citizens from a lot more countries) can travel to Georgia without a Visa and stay for a year. You can find more information on this topic here: Visa policy of Georgia - Wikipedia
Transfer to Gudauri
There are several transfers from the airport to Gudauri which take approximately two hours by car, but don’t be disheartened by the travel time because the landscapes are a stunning highlight. We got a recommendation for a driver who did an extraordinary and super professional job. I am happy to recommend him to you, just send me a message.
There are a lot of hotels available in Gudauri. Check booking.com for all the options.
We stayed at the Quadrum Ski & Yoga Resort. It’s a small hotel with tiny rooms, but it has everything you need. The breakfast is good - a mix of traditional and western food. It’s a bit outside of the valley, but you have a nice view from the rooms and only a 3 minute walk to the slopes.
Tip: If you go to the slopes from Quadrum Hotel, don’t walk the easy way downstairs, which actually takes you longer. Take the next road left uphill and you will get directly to a slow lift, which takes you to the slopes.
The village is widely spread and mostly consists of hotels and restaurants. To walk from one end to the other takes 45 minutes and approximately 300 meters in height.
The only real issue in Gudauri is the Georgian Military Road, which is the main traffic route through the village and at the same time one of the most important roads through the country to Russia. That means a lot of heavy trucks on the road all the time, no paveways. Actually the road is more dangerous for pedestrians than skiing off piste.
There are a lot of cheap taxis which can take you through the village. We always chose walking, which is okay if you’re ready to jump from the street if a truck is approaching.
There’s a supermarket directly on the main road, which you can find everything to eat and drink. Funnily enough they have a big variety of German beer. Smart Gudauri.
There are some hotels which feature a spa and pool. We tried a spa one afternoon which was okay (sauna was mild), but you can enjoy your time with some Georgian beer and a nice view of the slopes.
The atmosphere in the village is cozy but also “russian-rough“. It feels a bit like being on the north-pole and trapped in a James Bond Movie. Everything looks a bit improvised, like it’s seen some better days. But don‘t care too much about that, the Georgian people top that with their hospitality and friendliness multiple times.
Food & Restaurants
There are many great restaurants in Gudauri. My top 3 restaurants:
- Magi Style A bit of an unimpressive place, but super comfy, nice people and great food. We actually went there twice.
- Truso Nice barbeque and a great variety of Georgian dishes.
- Dariali Not rated very well on Trip Advisor, but the food there was delicious.
The food in general is super delicious, but also quite heavy. The Georgian cuisine features a lot of stews and soups, mainly with meat. As a vegan you’ll have a hard time.
I really recommend trying out the different Khinkali, which is the Georgian dumplings filled with meat, potato, mushrooms and sometimes even some other vegetables.
Also try the Khachapuri. It’s a bread filled with cheese, which can also be ordered with a baked egg on top -then it is called Adjaruli Khachapuri. The best dish for breaks at a hut, you get it basically everywhere.
The Georgian wine was a bit too sweet for my taste, but they have great Cognac there (Sarahjashvili) and a lot of lovely beers.
Besides skiing you can rent a snowmobile, fly a paraglider, or go snow tubing and speed riding (which is like paragliding down the slopes with a much smaller parachute). There is lot to discover and to try out. Most activities are listed here.
But of course the main activity is skiing. So make sure you check out the article about the ski resort and going freeriding in Gudauri. Here are some impressions: