Bakuriani ski resort: useful tips
Colorful village Bakuriani – recognized center of family winter holidays in Georgia. How to get to the ski resort? How long the skiing season lasts and how tourists say about the popular complex? Slopes, hotels and excursions, prices for food, ski passes and equipment rentals.
Among the ski resorts in Georgia, Bakuriani holds a special place. The oldest center of winter recreation in Georgia is located 186 km from the capital of the country and is very popular among fans of skiing and snowboarding. Every year tens of thousands of tourists come to the snowy slopes.
The exchange rate is 1 Georgian lari (GEL) ≈ 19 RUB.
Climate and weather in Bakuriani
Winter in Bakuriani is mild. The weather is usually good: there is always a lot of sun, so you can see skiers in bathing suits on the slopes. Average temperature is about -6. -7°С. Because of the high mountains there is no strong wind. The depth of snow cover reaches 0.65 m. Snow lies thick, and avalanches are a rare phenomenon.
Skiing season starts in late November and ends in early April. February is the sunniest and the most pleasant month for skiing.
Winter in Bakuriani is mild. Because of the high mountains there are no strong winds. Photo: VictoriaBoroda / Depositphotos.com.
How to get there and how much it costs
The closest airports to the winter resort are Tbilisi (181 km) and Kutaisi (158 km). The way from the capital of the country is the most convenient, because most international flights arrive there. Look for tickets on Aviasales and Skyscanner.
From Tbilisi to Bakuriani take shuttles or cabs. The trip takes almost 3 hours. The buses go from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm from bus station, located near Didube subway station in Tbilisi. The fare is 18 GEL.
The size of the bus is not very convenient for carrying ski equipment, so most tourists take a shuttle bus. You can take a cab to the village in 2.5 hours. A trip in a car for a few passengers costs 70-120 GEL, and an individual transfer costs 180-200 GEL.
It is possible to get to the resort with a transfer to Borjomi. It takes 4.25 hours by train from Tbilisi to Borjomi, and the ticket costs 2 GEL. From here to Bakuriani there are cabs (20-25 GEL), shuttles (17 GEL) and trains.
Ancient narrow gauge railway in Georgia . The ski resort of Bakuriani and the resort town of Borjomi are connected by an ancient narrow gauge railway, 38 km long. It was built in the late 19th century, so that members of the royal family could easily travel to their Georgian residence. It is noteworthy that the bridge over the deep mountain gorge designed by Gustav Eiffel himself.
Rarity road continues to carry passengers today. There is a train, which consists of two cars and a locomotive. The fare in the first class costs 2 GEL, and in the second – 1 GEL. It takes 2.5 hours to get to Bakuriani. Conveniently, the schedule of the narrow gauge train connects with the electric trains, which run to Borjomi from Tbilisi.
Borjomi – Bakuriani train. Photo: VictoriaBoroda / Depositphotos.com.
The oldest ski resort in Georgia, Bakuriani, has several ski areas with slopes of varying difficulty levels. They are perfect for those who are new to skiing and for fans of extreme sports.
“The shortest and simplest piste is 0.3 km long, which is located near the village. Since it is used by many beginners and parents with children, the gentle slope with a steepness of 10-12 ° serve four elevators. Another elevator is intended for those who want to ride a sledge.
“Kokhta-1, or Tatra, has two levels. The track stretches for 2.3 km on a slope and is served by one elevator. The lower part is 1.8 km long and is designed for experienced skiers, while the upper part is a black trail with a 52° gradient.
“Diveli is the newest track in the resort. It is 4 km long and has three elevators: a cabin, a sit and a rope tow elevator. Only experienced skiers can handle the difficult slopes at the top of the slope, and the lower part is suitable for beginners. There is lighting, so the piste is available until 22:00.
“Kokhta-2” 3.4 km long leads to the top of the mountain at an altitude of 2850 m. There is only one elevator. By the nature of the slopes it resembles the track “Diveli”. However, Kokhta-2 is shorter and on the lower 1.4 km is suitable for beginner skiers.
Luge lovers use the 1.4 km track. In addition, there are three ski jumps at the resort.
Scheme of the tracks in Bakuriani
Trails in Bakuriani
Prices for ski passes
The cost of skiing varies. The highest prices are on New Year’s holidays and weekends. Ski passes can be purchased locally or use a single multi-pass – it works in all ski centers of the country.
Children under 6 years old are free to ride the elevators when accompanied by an adult. Children’s tickets are sold to young skiers from 6 to 16 years old. The daily ski pass for adults, depending on the chosen slopes costs 20-25 GEL at the beginning of the season and 40 GEL in the peak winter season. Skiing from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. costs 10 GEL and a single lift costs 1-5 GEL.
Prices for rental equipment and clothing
The rental shop is open in front of the elevators. Renting a ski kit (skis, poles and boots) costs 10 GEL per hour and 15-20 GEL per day. If you rent a full ski set, you get a helmet and a mask for free. To rent a snowboarding kit (snowboard and boots) for a day, you pay 25-30 GEL. Sleds cost 3 GEL per hour and 10 GEL per day.
Instructor services will cost 30-50 GEL per hour. The lowest prices are in the ski area Twenty Fives, designed for beginners. In Bakuriani itself you can find sets of skis and snowboarding cheaper – for 15 GEL per day.
Instructor services will cost 30-50 GEL per hour. The lowest prices are in the ski area Twenty Fives, designed for beginners. Photo: VictoriaBoroda / Depositphotos.com.
Hotels in Bakuriani
In the resort village permanently inhabited by 2.5 thousand people. During the ski season at the expense of tourists the number of residents increases several times. There are many hotels here. These are hotels, rebuilt from Soviet times, modern gesthouses and luxury hotels.
Prices for a double room in hotels in Bakuriani in the winter season:
For $20-35 at the resort rent an apartment or apartment in the private sector. For $ 40-45 is easy to find accommodation with full board. Many tourists like accommodation with private individuals, as they offer a service tailored to the individual needs of guests.
Search for discounted lodging on Airbnb and Skyscanner Hotels. Here are the main rules of searching for hotels.
There is a lot of accommodation in Bakuriani. These are hotels, rebuilt from Soviet times, modern guesthouses and luxury hotels. Photo: alexma / Depositphotos.com.
Food prices in cafes and restaurants
Most small hotels and guest houses provide accommodation with three meals a day. Hosts always ask when tourists plan to return from the slopes, and set the table at an agreed time. This is very convenient! Large hotels that offer a pool and gyms usually include only breakfast in the price of accommodation.
Cafes are open at the cable car stations serving hot tea, coffee, homemade mulled wine and pastries. At the resort you can try delicious Georgian dishes – boat-like Adjarian khachapuri, khinkali, kebabs and lobio. The national delicacy, churchela, is sold for 1-3 GEL.
The average bill in an inexpensive place for two people is 25-30 GEL without alcohol, and with alcoholic beverages – 35-45 GEL.
Prices for individual dishes and drinks in cafes and restaurants in Bakuriani:
- salad 5-10 GEL;
- potatoes or rice on a side – 2-5 GEL;
- khachapuri – 5-10 GEL;
- kebab in pita – 9 GEL;
- khinkali, 1 pc. – 0,5-0,7 GEL;
- lobio – 4 GEL;
- shashlik, portion – 10-20 GEL;
- wine, 1 bottle – 15-40 GEL;
- sweet carbonated drink – 2-3 GEL;
- tea – 3-8 GEL;
- coffee – 3-5 GEL.
In the store you can buy lavash – 0.6-0.8 GEL, delicious suluguni cheese – 10-15 GEL per 1 kg and ground coffee – 2 GEL per 100 g.
(Photo: Manu @ Lille / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Excursions and entertainment
Bakuriani, Georgia’s sought-after ski resort, has a fairly diverse après ski program. Bakuriani has a couple of streets with nightclubs, bars, casinos, saunas, and billiards. There is also a movie theater, where movies in Georgian and Russian are shown. A ticket there costs 7-10 GEL.
Among active entertainment in winter, skating is popular in the park of the village and next to the Eden Hotel. Young people like driving snowmobiles and snowmobiles on the hills that surround the resort. Parents with children take horse-drawn sleigh rides or come to the Joyland tubing park. For fans of cross-country skiing there is a 13 km long track.
Many attractions in Bakuriani and its surroundings are easy to explore on their own. Tourists enjoy visiting the ancient rock-cut Vardzia fortress town, the Timotesubani monastery of the 10th century, the Chitagiev Monastery of St George, and the Church of the Assumption in Kvabiskhevi.
People come to the neighboring town of Borjomi to see the picturesque palace of the Romanov royal dynasty. Now it is under restoration, after which there are plans to open a museum in the old building. In Borjomi there is a park of mineral springs, a museum of local lore and openwork house “Firuza”, which was built in 1892 by the consul of Iran.
Local travel agencies offer a variety of tours for vacationers. The most popular of them:
, full day – $43; – $50; – $27.
(Photo: Andrew Milligan sumo / flickr.com / License CC BY 2.0)
Tourist reviews and tips
Vacationers at the best ski resort in Georgia note the positive aspects of Bakuriani :
- Skiing on the slopes is easy to diversify other types of outdoor activities, entertainment in the tubing park and informative excursions.
- The resort infrastructure is convenient for families with children.
- Slopes are suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
- In November and April, thanks to special equipment, a good quality snow cover is maintained.
- There are a lot of people in high season. To get to the most popular elevators, you often have to stand in line for 30-40 minutes.
- Some experienced skiers complain that the difficulty of the slopes is overestimated.
- From the center of the village to the elevators you have to take a cab for 5 minutes (7 GEL).
Tips experienced travelers:
- Vacations in Bakuriani are great for groups of friends where not everyone likes to ski.
- During the peak season, budget accommodation is in short supply, so you should book the rooms you like in advance.
- If you want to save money on food, stay in small hotels and hostels with full board.
Other ski resorts:
Skiing on the slopes is easy to diversify with other activities, entertainment in the tubing park and educational excursions. Photo: samurkas / Depositphotos.com.