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Skiing in Georgia: A hot holiday destination

30. November 2009 by Marie 0 Comments

Ukrainians and Russians enjoy skiing, but Switzerland, the destination of choice for Europeans, can be a budget-breaker.

 

If you are planning a trip to the area, or want to take your Russian love on a cool heliskiing vacation, consider the Republic of Georgia -- thousands of Europeans are!

 

About 9,000 tourists a year descend on the resort towns of Gudauri and Bakuraini, both about an hour's drive from Tiblisi. 


 

Gudauri


Each winter Ukrainians flock to Gudauri, a ski resort on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. The resort is in the Stepantsminda District at an elevation of about 7,200 feet (2,196 meters) with the highest run at 7,500 feet ((3,000 meters). 


For experienced skiers, Gudauri provides slalom, giant slalom, super g, speed skiing and heliskiing - one of its most impressive offerings. Recommended hotels include the House of the Sun and the Shamo Family Hotel.


Room prices start at a bargain $45 US a night.

 

 

Bakuriani

 

Bakuriani, on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range, is popular in Russia, mainly among Georgians who live there. About 8,000 feet (3,200 meters) above sea level, it offers every level of skiing. A big attraction offered by the area's hotels are snowmobile tours to Tabatskuri, the fourth largest lake in Georgia. Most popular hotels in the Bakuriani area are the Hotel Lemani, Hotel Crystal and Hotel Vere Palace.


Rooms in the area run about $140 to $200 US a night.


To attract tourists to both destinations, the Georgian government has advertised heavily throughout Europe and Great Britain. It has also improved mountain access roads, although there's always a threat of avalanches. The tourism department is also promoting hotels' new ski runs, entertainment and other sporting activities.

 

Ski season generally runs from December through April.


If you have a hot Russian bride on your mind in this cold season, Georgian skiing is a romantic way to see it, and ski it, like a local.