Gudauri Ski resort -travel guide
You are going to love Gudauri Ski Resort
The highest and most popular ski resort in Georgia, Gudauri is an ideal destination for ski lovers. Visitors can ski on piste, go for freeride, do back country ski touring, or heliski.
Gudauri is located in 120 km from the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, and in 320 from the second biggest city – Kutaisi. Both cities have international airport with multiply direct flights to European cities and Middle East’s countries. The ski resort is located at 2000m and the ski season starts usually on December 20 and lasts till mid-April.
Ski Trails and Skiing Conditions
The highest point of the resort is Mount Sadzele – 3307 m above the sea level. The summit Kudebi (3007) is another popular destination because one can ski basically from any side of the mount, 360 degrees.
Gudauri offers unlimited ski possibilities. The ski resort has different difficulties of 11 Ski lifts & 3 Moving carpets. Chair lifts (Doppelmayr, Austria) and a gondola line (POMA, France) make available skiing and snowboarding along the southern slopes (70 km certified trails of various difficulty levels) at an altitude from 3275 m to 2000 m, with an altitude difference of 1275 meters.
Gudauri Main ski lifts are:
- PIRVELI (First Trail): six-seat, open type. Start – at an altitude of 2000 m. Vertical drop – 150 m., cableway lengths – 1010 m. This is the easiest ski trail ideal for beginners. The ski lift starts in old Gudauri, near Marco Polo hotel.
- SNOW PARK: three-seat, open type. Start – at an altitude of 2700 m. Vertical drop – 120 m., cableway lengths – 900 m. Snow Park is an ideal for beginners. You can reach Snow Park through Soliko line.
- SOLIKO – six-seat, closed type. Start – at an altitude of 2150 m. Vertical drop – 520 m., cableway lengths – 2310 m. This is the medium difficulty ski trail. From Soliko, you can ski on SOLIKO trail, or you can move to SECOND Trail, OR SPORT Trail. All of the trails are medium difficulty (blue trials).
- SHINO – six-seat, open type. Start – at an altitude of 2200 m. Vertical drop – 500 m., cableway lengths – 2750 m. This is also moderate difficulty line.
- GOOD AURA, gondola (10-seat closed type cabins)-: Start – at an altitude of 2160 m. Vertical drop – 540 m., cableway lengths – 2380 m. The ski trail from Gudaura is the moderate difficulty, however some sections are pretty sharp and requires intermediate skiing skills.
- KUDEBI – six-seat, closed type. 2Start – at an altitude of 2850 m. Vertical drop – 290 m., cableway lengths – 850 m. This is already red line, and you should be experienced to expert level to ski comfortable here.
- SADZELE: four-seat, open type. Start – at an altitude of 2770 m. Vertical drop – 488 m., cableway lengths – 1300 m. Another difficult skiing line which requires good skiing skills especially in bad weather, where often visibility is very low.
- KOBI PASS, gondola (10-seat closed type cabins): Start – at an altitude of 2700 m. Vertical drop – 300 m., cableway lengths – 1560 m. A moderate difficulty ski line with the brilliant views over Mount Kazbegi.
- All the above-mentioned ski lines are located on the south slope of the Caucasus mountains except Kobi Pass Trai. We recommend skiing on the southern slope during the first half of the day, while you can move to Kobi Pass trail in the second half of the day. Less numbers of the skiers, and better frozen trails are the ideal conditions for skiing here.
- For off-piste lovers, you can also use Kobi pass trail and go sideways for skiing.
Ski Pass Price List – 2023 Season
How to get to Gudauri
Gudauri is located just two hours of driving from Tbilisi and is easily accessible by both private and public transportation.
Public mini-buses (Marshutka) run from the Didube bus station from 08:00 till the afternoon. The last stop of Marshutka in Gudauri is the new Gudauri. The Marshutka leave Gudauri from 09:00 till 17:00. The major bus stop (recommended to go there) is located near Policy Station on the major highway. The ticket costs 10 GEL (4 USD) one way.
You can also rent a car in Tbilisi or Kutaisi and drive to Gudauri. Make sure that the car has winter tires and snow chains. Even though the road to Gudauri is often cleaned by the road department of Georgia, we still recommend choosing 4X4 cars in case of big snow coming. In addition, the inner roads of Gudauri are mostly frozen and icy, and you need a good car to navigate there.
A private car or Taxi is the easiest but the most expensive choice for you. You can book these services before you come to Georgia, or when you arrive. The costs vary from 40 USD to 150 USD depending on the car and service. However, the cars with the least budget tend to be equipped less for winter, and often the car is inappropriate for driving on the mountainous roads of Gudauri. If you decide to choose a taxi or private car with a small budget (40-80 USD), make sure that the car has proper winter tires and snow-chains in case of emergency. For taxis, you can choose BOLT or GO TRIP applications.
For better service and cars, you can rent a private car with a driver. We, as well as other companies, offer private transfers to Gudauri Ski resort. Prices vary from 90 USD to 140 USD depending on the car and the date. If you want to book private transportation, please contact us here.
Ski Rental in Gudauri
You can rent ski equipment in Gudauri. There are numerous ski rental places in both old Gudauri, and New Gudauri. Prices depend on type of skis/snowboards. The average prices are between 40 til 80 GEL (12-25 USD) for a pair of skis and boots per day. Good rental places are Marco Polo Hotel Ski Rental in old Gudauri near the first lift, or Burosport Ski Rental in New Gudauri.
Ski rentals also offer ski clothes, however, sometimes, especially on big holidays and Weekends, the choice is very limited. If you want to make sure that you get appropriate clothes, you can rent them in Tbilisi. Mplus, Burosport are good places for renting or buying ski clothes.
Ski Instructor in Gudauri
Skiing or snowboarding is very exciting sports activities but can be quite challenging especially if you are starting from the very beginning. A good teacher can make an incredible impact on your first steps in skiing/snowboarding. The ski teachers will teach you the basics, you will be less timid, and will need less time to practice and develop your skiing/snowboarding skills. This is why we strongly recommend getting a ski instructor if you decide to learn or improve your ski level. There are numerous skiing schools in Gudauri. You can contact them beforehand, or try to find on place.
If you want an English-speaking SKI/SNOWBOARD instructor, you can contact us and we will find one of the best ski teachers in Gudauri.
Accommodation & Food in Gudauri
You can find easily your preferred accommodation in Gudauri. Most hotels and apartments are located nearby of ski lifts. However, you can choose your accommodation place according to your desired skiing areas. If you are an advanced skier, then New Gudauri (e.g. REDKO) are would be more suitable. However, if you are a beginner, or you are with family, then the old Gudauri is more suitable for that. The best hotels are Marco Polo, Carpe Diem, Gudauri Loft, etc. The major apartment area is REDKO Apartments in new Gudauri (just in front of Soliko ski lift), or Marshal Development/Aksis apartments.
Recommended restaurants are Marco Polo Restaurant, Gudauri Loft Restaurant, Kudebi restaurant. For hanging out in the evening for a drink, Mtvrali Alubali – Drunk Cherry, Powder Bar Gudauri, or Black Dog Bar Gudauri are good places.