Tourists who are ironic about calm, "mattress" rest, will find many exciting routes for themselves. If only there was enough experience for such daring adventures
Everyone understands the phrase "extreme tourism" in their own way. For some, a trip abroad without the help of a tour operator seems to be an extreme solution. For others, a two-week trek to a high pass is a common thing.
Let's try to display the average. We will consider an active vacation with elements of unpredictability and risk as extreme tourism. From this point of view, Georgia is an ideal country for such tourism. There are ski resorts of different difficulty levels, cliffs and mountains for conquering peaks, turbulent rivers for rafting and beautiful nature for cycling routes.
So, let's start with the mountains. There is where to turn around, because there are enough mountain regions in Georgia: Tushetia, Khevsuretia, Pshavi, Heavy, Mtiuleti and Gudamakari. And also, of course, Lower and Upper Svaneti.
You can go to the mountains on your own at your own risk by printing out route maps. But this is in case you already have experience in mountain hiking and survival in the wild. For such a hike, you will need appropriate equipment: trekking boots, a tent and a backpack, as well as a gas burner. It must be remembered that you will have to buy cylinders for it in Georgia, since you will not be allowed on the plane with them. But experienced tourists do not advise doing this, they say that it is best to contact a special club.
The person "from the street" will be taken on a hike of the first, maximum of the second category of difficulty. But this concerns mountain tourism, not mountaineering. Climbers have no right to take a person without training.
And that's understandable. It must be remembered that mountaineering without preparation is deadly! There are two ways to try this kind of vacation. Firstly, this is commercial mountaineering, when the guide takes on the client's ascent, and the latter is only required to be in good physical condition. This is the path available both in Ukrainian and Georgian clubs. Secondly, you need to study mountaineering for a long time and persistently. Basic skills can be obtained in a month (work in bundles, as well as with a rope), after that, together with the club, go to practice in the mountains.
The mountain route is planned in advance, and it includes various difficulties: overcoming passes, traveling on glaciers. In mountain hikes, rafting is often a bonus - the mountain rivers of Georgia "oblige".
The most popular for mountain hiking is the Svaneti region, as well as climbing Kazbek (5033 m). Untrained people are sometimes hired here, but only if the rest of the group is strong and can "pull" newcomers. If there is a lot of snow and you have confidence in your abilities, you can go down the slope of Kazbek on skis.
After the formation of the group for mountain tourism, the organizers appoint a leader. And under his leadership, the group goes 2-3 weeks along the route. Participants of the campaign carry all supplies and equipment themselves. Before difficult sections of the path, the leader conducts training to prepare people to overcome the route.
Hiking in the mountains is a wonderful way to test yourself, a unique way to feel alive, to remember that there are muscles under the skin. And find real friends in serious trials. The very ones that, as Vysotsky sang, you can rely on as yourself.
Everyone who is going to ski in Georgia, first of all, thinks about the chic Bakuriani or the beautiful Gudauri, completely forgetting about Mestia, the administrative center of the mountainous region of Svaneti. But in vain. True, the lifts are not located in the town itself, but 8 km from it, in the town of Hatsvali. Hatsvali is a young resort, it is only about four years old, but it has already gained popularity thanks to, quite itself, a decent ski service and, most importantly, an unusually beautiful nature, the views of which will take your breath away. The lower station of the lift is located at an altitude of 1865 meters, and there is also an equipment rental point. The highest point is Mount Zuruldi (2347 meters above sea level). The resort also has two drag lifts with a length of 600 and 800 meters. The resort has two tracks: 1900 and 2600 meters, there is also a track for beginners, about three hundred meters long.
Extreme is presented in Hatsvali by freeride, backcountry and ski touring. The instructors for these extreme sports are very experienced and professional.
The second ski resort of Svaneti is called Tetnuldi. It is located 15 km from Revenge at the foot of the mountain of the same name.
Two of the most famous and beautiful mountains of Svaneti, Tetnuldi and Ushba, are located opposite each other, and, of course, a romantic legend is connected with this.
A guy lived in these places in ancient times, and his name was ... That's right, Ushba. He fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the neighborhood, and she, they say, reciprocated. And the name of the beauty, of course, was Tetnuldi. And everything would be fine, but, as usual, the parents intervened and forbade the Svan Romeo and Juliet not only to marry, but even to see each other. Then the girl prayed: "Lord, make it so that no one bothers us to look at each other." God understood the request in his own way, turned both into peaks, and now Ushba and Tetnuldi are looking at each other and cannot get enough of it.
This is such a picturesque resort of Tetnuldi.
The height of the ski lifts in the resort is from 1600 to 3165 meters, while they are completely new. There are several developed tracks, the longest of which is 9 km.
A feature of the resort, in addition to wildly romantic nature and stunning views, is considered to be the widest opportunities for freeriding.
Despite the fact that there is currently no direct flight between Georgia and Russia (the most popular and cheapest route is through the Armenian town of Gyumri), it still remains one of the cheapest countries for Russians with four main very worthy ski resorts.
Review for Belka is provided by our friend Nikolai Levshits, who runs the largest Russian-language telegram channel about interesting events, places, routes and useful life hacks in Georgia - we recommend subscribing).
If you don't go to Georgia, but go to Sochi, here's a guide to the resorts.
Gudauri is the most popular of the existing (over 30 years old) Georgian resorts. This is due to the excellent transport accessibility from the airports of Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz, as well as the very location of the resort at an altitude of 3000 meters. The cable car, opened in 2019, with a length of 7.5 kilometers, has become the largest and most convenient in the region. In 2023, the World Freestyle and Snowboard Championship is expected to be held in Gudauri, it is logical that the quality of the tracks will only improve. This is good news. )
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- The maximum point of the resort is 3270 - Mount Sadzeli (2 peaks: Mount Kudebi - 3009 meters, Mount Sadzeli - 3270 meters). - Gudauri has a southern projection of the slopes, in simple terms, throughout the day the resort is facing the sun, which guarantees a wonderful winter tan and more than 80% of sunny days in the season. - Another feature of the resort is unlimited opportunities for freeride (off-piste, "unprepared" slopes) skiing. Due to the fact that trees at an altitude of more than 3000 meters practically do not grow, this allows the resort to be an ideal place and rightfully be called a mecca for freeriders from all over the world. - The season lasts until the end of April. - The length of tracks of varying difficulty is over 70 km. - For fans of extreme and unconquered slopes, there is back-country (conquering mountains where there are no cable cars, near the resort, climbing on foot and descending on skis/snowboard) and heliski (conquering the mountains closest to the resort, where there are no cable cars with the help of up the mountain by helicopter). - At the resort you can also go paragliding with a pilot (cost about $ 100 flight). - The price of renting a snowmobile (from $ 25/10 minutes), you can still ride a tubing. It is also worth noting that due to the increase in the number of guests, the resort has a large number of rental points, the cost: 25-35 lari (8-10 $) per day for a set of ski equipment, as a rule, these are special boots, snowboard or skis.
Suitable for lovers of extreme and active winter recreation. The level of skiing is intermediate and above average (however, there are many tracks for beginner skiers), for beginner freeriders, people who like to live without restrictions in skiing (both on the tracks and off the tracks).
Accommodation, ski passes, entertainment Various accommodation options - from hostels to 5 * hotels allow accommodating tourists with different budgets. There are bars, discos and even Tsar Bani. The price of a ski pass starts at $ 17 per day.
We live in Georgia and we really like this country. How does Sakatvelo attract travelers and where is it better to have a rest in different seasons? We share personal impressions, tips and reviews of tourists.
People come to Georgian resorts with different requests, but I have not met anyone who would not like a vacation in Georgia! It is very beautiful, inexpensive, soulful, tasty and safe here. The special atmosphere of freedom, good nature and sincerity of local residents is captivating. Probably no other nation in the world knows how to receive guests as Georgians do!
Irina Karpunina: "I just fell in love with landscapes! Especially in autumn, it seems to me that this area is revealed in a special way. All I did was walk and exclaim" what a beauty "- Gudauri, Georgian Military Road , Kazbek ".
Anton: "Everyone is warmly welcomed, very friendly. The car broke down - everyone who could help. Delicious food and wine. The mountains are a fairy tale. We drove to Shatili. We stayed in old Tbilisi. Choose hotels on the mountain. at the Narikala fortress - divine views. "
Beach vacation. Most tourists come to Georgia for summer holidays. We stayed in Batumi and consider this Georgian resort the best place for a beach holiday on the Black Sea. According to tourists' reviews for 2020, it is pleasant to relax in Georgia on the magnetic sands of Ureki and Shekvetili, in the pretty villages of Gonio, Chakvi, Kvariati and Sarpi. We were glad to see the cozy resort of Kobuleti. Thanks to the neat hotels and pine trees on the shore, the small town is similar to the Baltic resorts.
Excursion and ecological tourism. Georgia has a huge cultural and natural potential. Ancient temples, fortresses and monasteries have been preserved in different parts of this country. The traditions of wine-making and cheese-making among Georgians are about 8000 years old, so wine and gastronomic tours to Kakheti and Adjara are popular among tourists.
Many people travel with pleasure to the national parks and reserves of Georgia. One of the largest bird migration corridors in Europe passes through the western part of the country, therefore bird watching excursions and birdwatching have been actively developing in recent years.
Winter rest. According to tourists, it is comfortable to have a rest in Georgia at any time of the year. Ski and snowboard lovers come to ski in the mountain resorts of Gudauri, Bakuriani, Tetnuldi, Goderzi and Hatsvali. The first two are large and well-known winter recreation centers. The youngest ski resort - Khatsvali in Svaneti, is still developing.
Medical tourism. Both in winter and in summer tourists come to Georgia who go to improve their health in health resorts and medical centers. The best balneological resorts in Georgia help to get rid of many diseases. Borjomi, Lagodekhi, Nabeglavi, Sairme, Tskhaltubo, Bioli, Pasanauri, Amagleba and the spa resort on Lake Lopota are especially popular.
Georgia is an ideal country for lovers of hiking, hiking, climbing and any outdoor recreation. Compact, picturesque, distinctive. It has preserved a lot of corners untouched by civilization and still untouched by tourists. We understand in detail what is good about hiking in Georgia and what travelers need to know about this country.
Georgia is very compact, but different - no long hauls and transfers. The length of the borders is only 280x540 km. And in this small area there are significant differences in altitude - from 0 m above sea level. ... on the coast up to 5203 m above sea level ... in Svaneti (Shkhara). This means that you may find yourself in a very different picture before the day's journey. High mountains and glaciers? Head north. Cavers and canyoning fans - welcome to western Georgia. Few? Desert, forest, alpine meadows and alpine lakes - we have them. You just need to choose.
Safety is the first priority on any journey. And with that, everything is fine in Georgia. The crime rate in the country is one of the lowest in the world. This applies not only to cities, but also to remote corners of the country. The police and rescue services are doing great. Good mobile network coverage.
A distinctive culture has been formed in Georgia for many centuries. Famous hospitality, breathtaking cuisine, so different in every region, unique architecture, fiery dances and Georgian polyphony. This is also the case in cities, and even more so in high-mountain villages. And most importantly - it is not in public, it is from the heart and at every step. Travel, talk to people, love Georgia the way Georgians do.
You can travel around Georgia all year round. If we are talking about high mountains, the season is narrow, from about June to September. But you can walk in alpine meadows at altitudes of about 3000 m already in May. Early spring is good, very good, in the deserts - in Vashlovani and David-Gareji. After all, at this time of year, the desert blooms. Winter hiking is, of course, not for everybody, but there are some. For example, you can walk in Birtvis canyon all year round.
Very different. Due to the variety of climate and terrain, everyone can choose a trip to their liking. Different levels of difficulty and comfort, different accessibility. One thing is invariable - you will definitely get a lot of pleasure. Choose an adventure for yourself and come. So what hikes can Georgia offer?
Perhaps the most popular and promoted route is climbing Kazbek. But the marching Georgia does not end there. If you want to go to the mountains - pay attention to the route of climbing Laila. In terms of complexity, this is the same Kazbek, but much less promoted. Our second favorite route is a hike to the Tobavarchkhili lakes. The heights are small and comfortable - about 3000 m. The landscapes are magnificent and varied. And there are almost no tourists. Beauty!
There are 10 national parks and 14 reserves in Georgia. Most of them are accessible to tourists and work perfectly. In the info center you can get a map and recommendations. Often - rent equipment. All trails in the reserves are marked, there are places for parking and garbage disposal. Civilized expeditions are here. We love the Borjomi Nature Reserve with its fabulous mossy forests. Jeep tour of Vashlovani with volcanoes and gorges is an unforgettable trip. It is very pleasant to hide from the summer heat in Lagodekhi. And Tusheti is generally a separate fairy tale, in which you need to travel in a time machine.
For beginners, we recommend exploring the mountains on day trips. No heavy backpacks, just you and nature. Most routes are available from April to November. Pay attention to the hike along the Birtvis canyon - a lost world twined with vines and ancient fortresses. Beautiful nature on a hike in Kojori. We build an excursion to the David-Gareja monastery with light hiking to the upper caves. In the summer, you definitely need to visit Juta and the Truso gorge. And you will remember the Abudelaur colored lakes all your life. The mountains of Svaneti are a Mecca for hikers. Here you can make both one-day trips and multi-day full-fledged hikes.
Hiking isn't just about kicking. You can also travel by transport. Cycling, horseback riding, jeep tours are an excellent format for outdoor recreation. We invite you to Tusheti, Khevsureti, Vashlovani in the format of a jeep tour. Cycling tours are available in Adjara and around Tbilisi. Horseback riding is possible in Tbilisi, Tushetia and Svaneti. Looking for something special? Write to info @ green-lamb. om - we will advise and organize.
Secrets and tips about hiking in Georgia
Many tourists, going on a trip to the shores of the Gulf of Thailand, forget that a serene stay on the beach under the gentle winter sun is not all that this country can please. There are all sorts of entertainment in Thailand - communication with exotic nature, acquaintance with the culture and traditions of Thais, piquant adventures, often overstepping the boundaries of what is permitted. There used