Those who know Georgia associate it with the sun, mountains, old churches, warm hospitable people and Georgian wines. And skiing of course – the season lasts from December to late April. Not to forget rich cuisines, hipster cafes, waterfalls, glaciers, architecture, music, dance and more. The country has something for everyone – here are some highlights of what await in each month of the year:
In January, Georgians celebrate… Christmas. Yes, the Eastern Orthodox tradition makes our holiday season pretty long! You can come here to taste awesome local food anytime, but Christmas time is something special for each Georgian. It is also the time to ski. By the way, you can come to the Goderdzi resort to ski, and then drive two hours to subtropical conditions in Batumi on the Black Sea.
Winters continue in the mountains, and you can learn skiing in Bakuriani or zip down the steeper slopes of Gudauri.
Spring starts creeping up the plains even as the mountains remain snow covered. If you are done with the winters, explore Georgia’s UNESCO protected sites in Tbilisi, Mtskheta or Kutaisi. Visit their ancient fortresses and churches, walk along cobbled streets and savour the delicious foods on offer.
Even though it starts getting warmer, it may be too early to go hiking. But you can explore the cave town of Vardzia and the cave monastery David Gareja. Hire a jeep or a buggy to go around the Vashlovani National Park where blooming trees and flowers showcase the natural diversity of Georgia.
Georgia celebrates its Independence Day on May 26 – come to capital Tbilisi and be a part of the festivities and events that bring the city alive.
Time to don your hiking boots and head to Kazbegi, Khevsureti or Borjomi-Kharagauli – these offer just some of the many trails for beginners and advanced hikers alike. If walking is not for you, cover these tracks on horseback.
This is the month of festivals. Jazz lovers should mark the dates for the Black Sea Jazz Festival while those into folk music, dance and art should head to the Art Gene. Georgian dances are beautiful – make sure you witness these at least once in your lifetime. You can also go to one of the oldest observatories in this region, which is located in a small resort of Abastumani. Not easy to reach, but super interesting!
Head to the seaside town of Anaklia for the Gem Fest – a convergence of the best of electronic music from different corners of the world spread over four sleepless days and nights. If you are looking for a challenge, head to Tusheti located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains – this region is accessible in July and August only. And it’s unforgettable.
With summer into its fourth month, you may want to head to Batumi, Kvariati or Gonio to enjoy the sea. Or participate in the Rtveli in Kakheti region – this is when you harvest grapes and enjoy the feasts and events alongwith. Grapes and wine are almost holy here. You could book yourself a spa weekend in Kvareli or Lopota Lake.
Finish the harvest and have fun at Tbilisoba – a celebration of the diversity and history of the capital Tbilisi. It is usually held on the last weekend of the month. A treat awaits the eyes at the Tbilisi Fashion Week – check the schedules online.
Winter has still not set in. Explore the cave town of Uplistsikhe or enjoy the weather in Sighnaghi, the cute town of love.
The early part of the month usually feels more like autumn, even as New Year festivities pick up during the latter half. Visit the sulphur baths of Tbilisi, check out the beautiful Marionette Theatre or Movement Theatre, explore the courtyards of the Old Tbilisi or take a pre-New Year trip to Batumi to enjoy the winter sea and visit the subtropical areas in the Botanical Garden.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DARIA KHOLODILINA
Daria Kholodilina is a travel writer and also works for the Georgian National Tourism Administration. She was born in Ukraine but considers herself Georgian. She enjoys showing her fascinating land to its guests and sees tourism as a contributor to her country’s development.