Summer or Winter Tour? What is the Best time to visit Georgia?
Planning to visit Georgia? Well, it does require some intense planning because it is a pretty off-beat tourist destination to start with. Before we delve into the climate of Georgia, let’s understand its geographical location clearly.
Georgia is a former Soviet Union member that has Russia to its North and East. To Georgia’s West lies the Black Sea. To its South, lies Turkey and Armenia. Azerbaijan lies on the South-East border. Interestingly, Georgia is a transcontinental country that lies in the intersection of Europe and Asia. And most importantly, Georgia is also the home to a large part of the Caucasian mountain range.
Now that you know where Georgia is, you might have a rough idea of what the climate might be like. Yes, Georgia does mostly have a Mediterranean climate. However, for such a small country, it has multiple climatic zones which vary greatly. For example, the Western beaches that line the Black Sea have a subtropical climate. This region is warm, wet and humid. You might be a bit put out by the rain clouds, however, since sudden showers are common in this region.
The East, on the other hand, has a way more inconsistent climatic pattern. Summers can be too hot and winters can be too cold. Southern Georgia remains under snow for the most of the year.
However, weather is determined by the altitude as well. Hence, the villages at the top of the Caucasian range are obviously much cooler. Winter lasts much longer in these regions than it does in the other parts. Different locals have their own microclimates, based on their features like proximity to the sea, presence of a lake, etc.
So, when should you visit Georgia? Should you look into booking a summer or a winter tour?
Well, it depends on the activities you want to participate in!
Summer: Perfect for Hiking in Higher Altitudes and Swimming
Want to take a swim in the Black Sea? Summer is the only season when you can comfortably do it. The water is still warm but the crowds of spring have dispersed. This golden window of time is known as the “Velvet Season.”
Summer lasts from June to August in Georgia. As I have mentioned before, the cities of the East and the capital Tbilisi are too hot to handle during the summer. Even though the heat might not be intolerable for subtropical visitors, the aridity makes it difficult to roam about the cities during the day. And the days are extremely long as well since the sun sets at almost 9 pm.
However, this gives both citizens of Georgia and foreign guests the opportunity to partake in some high-altitude hiking. Thus, this is the time when resorts are almost fully packed and the trains fully booked. However, if you manage to get some timely reservations, this is the best time to explore the mountain ranges of the Caucasus. The elongated daytime is a great perk when it comes to high-altitude hiking since you can utilize the whole day.
If you want to visit Tusheti, Gomismta, Upper Adjara, and Bakhmaro, make sure you visit Georgia during summer because these places are completely inaccessible during winter. If you are planning on going on a fun road trip instead of stuffing yourself into a crowded marshrutka van do make sure to visit Georgia during summer.
Autumn: Perfect Time to Engage in Cultural Activities and Wine Tasting
Autumn is like an extension of summer in Georgia. August remains as hot as the earlier months but late September to October is the perfect golden period during which the days are not too hot and the nights are crisp and windy.
You can still visit the mountains during the first few months of Autumn. However, the main highlight is the harvest festival. In Tbilisi, every year the Tbilisoba festival is organized in October. You can witness opera, ballet and even live music here.
The Rtveli is the vintage wine festival of Georgia. It is another harvest festival that is celebrated in the month of September. The dates might vary all across Georgia though. If you are looking for lavish feasts, dancing, music, and free-flowing wine- you cannot miss this festival.
For Instagrammable fall pictures, you can visit Samegrelo and Racha in early September. The beauty of the fall foliage is enviable this time of the year.
If you are a foodie, autumn is the perfect time to visit Georgia. This is because the restaurants are loaded with seasonal fresh produce and often customize their menus with new items.
Winter: Best Ski Season and Perfect Time to Get Cozy in a Cabin
Are you into skiing? Then make sure you visit Georgia during the winter. And moreover, make sure you book your skiing resort early because it takes almost no time for the resorts to fill up.
Gudauri, Goderdzi, Bakuriani, Tetnuldi, and Hatsvali are some of the top locations where these resorts are situated. Like summer, this is a time when most of the citizens and tourists flock to these ski resorts. The best part is- ski season lasts till April here.
If skiing is too adventurous for your taste, you can just settle in for a cozy winter stay in one of Racha’s cabins.
Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t keep sitting in Tbilisi waiting for the snowfall. All you are going to get is some muddy tracks. Winter is the perfect time to head for the hills that boast of winter sports activities.
Spring: Delve into the City Life
This is the season of flowers everywhere in the world and Georgia is no exception. If you want to witness cherry, plum, and lavender blossoms in full bloom, spring in George is going to blow your mind.
Spring, much like autumn, has beautiful weather. It’s neither too hot nor too cold. However, since Georgia has Mediterranean weather, rains can be frequent during this time of the year.
There is another similarity between Autumn and Spring. Spring, too, is famous for its seasonal harvest. This is why you should definitely try out the Paska cake and Chakapuli.
The New Wine Festival is also a key feature of spring in Georgia. This is when wine sellers open their last year’s clay Qvevri for the first time. This can be quite an experience if you can manage to visit a wine cellar.
Nights can be a bit chilly but the weather starts warming up after April. This is a brilliant time to go for low-altitude hikes.
So, when to visit Georgia? It completely depends on what you want to do in Georgia. The best plan is to combine the Autumn and the Winter seasons so that you can witness the cultural events as well as go skiing.
If you are looking for a ski resort to book, let us know in the comments below! We will let you know the best selection of properties!