'Escape the ordinary and go on an adventure'
Gudauri, Goergia is located at 2,000 - 3,200 above sea level. It is known for its ski resorts and snowboard freeride (gigantic mountains with tremendous snow, the snow is spongy thick and you can create your own track down hill, no need to follow the route/ this is so good ;D). It is a very popular ski resort among those in The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. Gudauri is about 120-kilometer far in the North from the capital city of Tbilisi. To get there, you can drive on Georgian Military Highway.
- Ski/ Snowboard Season is from mid-December to mid-April
(Check current season here http://www.skiresort.info/ski-resort/gudauri)
- To get to Gudauri, for those who don't drive you can take a van available from morning until evening at Tbilisi. The van terminal is at Didube Metro Station behind the market. If you can't find it, you can ask the vendors in the market right away. They are all very kind ;D
- All the restaurants in Gudauri are totally expensive (about 3 times more expensive than the normal price). Therefore, I highly recommend you to do grocery shopping in Smart Supermarket and cook by yourself at the Hostel or Guesthouse. Another choice is to ask your accommodation to cook for you which is generally less expensive and more convenient than the restaurants.
- There are an Emergency Hospital in case of accident from skiing or snowboarding and a pharmacy for small injuries at reasonable price.
- Wolves and foxes are out at night and always left their footprints behind. I am not that lucky to see the real one >< (I really want to see one.. but is it better not to see at all?)
❉ Travel review in Georgia Spring – Summer 2015 :
I. Georgia Diary... The Legendary Transcontinental Country :
II. Georgia Diary.... Through Massive Flood Crisis, Let's be more Eco-Friendly! :
III. Georgia Diary.... A Journey through Black Sea, Local Village, Mountains, and Glacier : http://pantip.com/topic/34041190
❉ Travel review in Georgia Winter 2016 :
I. Winter in Georgia... The Embrace of the Mountains at Gudauri : http://pantip.com/topic/34613316
Let's go to Gudauri Ski resort… starting with having a look at the map!
"Sightseeing Map of Gudauri"
“Ski/Snowboard Area Map"
Number (1) is a chairlift with 3 seats. This area is not steep so it is perfect for the beginners especially for snowboarding.
Number (2) is a chairlift with 4 seats. It is steeper here but there are many tracks for you to choose to go downhill.
Number (3) is a Gondola lift (cabin) with 6 seats. It will lead you to the same spot as Lift Number 2.
Number (4) is a chairlift with 4 seats. This is another good spot for the beginners as it is an easy slope down and not steep.
Number (5) is a chairlift with 3 seats. It is a very steep slope but with very spectacular view.
Number (6), you can see Kazbeki Peak from up here and it is an Extreme Area with a total steep slope.
The first slope that we have entered in Snowboard Area is very huge. It is popular for children to come and do sleighing in the late morning. I also want to do that but I think it is better to leave it for the children…! The first slope is perfect for the beginners as you can see on the left-hand side. On the other hand, there is a spot to buy ski pass, rent a snowboard, and take Lift Number 1 on the right-hand side.
There are numbers of ski and snowboard rental services available. It is not only down here but also up in the second level slope. To rent a snowboard and boots together costs about 600 THB a day. You can look in a small shop for gloves, ski hats, and masks. You can also buy some tea, coffee, and snacks there as well. These things are not expensive. Well, I like to buy lemon tea here because it is only 2 GEL and a bar of Snicker 100 grams at 2 GEL. I have seen that Snicker costs about 5 GEL or more elsewhere. That's why I keep coming back here to this shop on the second level slope.
Moreover, you can find some more snowboard rental services near the Gondola lift (Lift Number 3) in this same slope level. I have bought a lot of stuffs here as the price is pretty similar to those buying from the town.
Let's go to buy a Ski Pass next! There are variety of Ski Pass available. Prices are different depending on age and day of purchasing (before or after 10th March). If you buy the whole season pass, it will be valid for the whole season until April. You can choose to buy the one that will be the most useful for you. For me, I buy Season 500 GEL (7,500 THB) for unlimited time and it will last until the end of the season.
Ski Pass is a smart card which you need to keep it with care (I am telling myself!!). Anyway, that won't be a big problem if you lose it because full name with photo are on there. It is just like your ID card (please allow me not to show the front part of the card...because I was not prepared when taking a photo so it was not good and I am a little bit shy --" )
This is the Chairlift Number 1 with 3 seats. It is not a cabin so it is totally amazing ^^
I would like to tell you to be very careful while taking a chairlift like this… especially with your belongings such as mobile phone, gloves, sunglasses, and so on. These stuffs can fall down easily so if you have a string or something to hang on you, you should do that. If your belonging falls down, it might disappear in the snow in the wink of an eye. Therefore, to come back and find it is nearly impossible (I am not joking.. this is for real ;D)
You will truly enjoy your time on the chairlift..it is one of the greatest feelings. However, it is freezing cold that you need to cover your face if not you won't be able to feel your face. So please be well-prepared for this. As you can see the slope down below, this slope is a freeride so there are many ski and snowboarding tracks. In winter, it snows here 1-2 days in a row before stops for 4-5 days and it will snow again. As a result, the snow is always fresh and spongy. Those who don't like a spongy ski slope, there is also a track where they have snow groomer prepared the slope for skiing and snowboarding easier. And if you look closer to the view behind me it looks just like we do snowboarding in another planet, doesn't it?
This is how it looks like after getting off from the Lift Number 2, the slope is extremely enormous and you can ski or snowboard down on your own track as you can see that there are many ski tracks. This slope is also connected to another slope that reachable by Lift Number 3, Gondola lift. This slope is steeper and the snow is more spongy.
The lift that can be seen from far away is Lift Number 5, the one that is going up to Mt. Kudebi at 3,006 meters above sea level.
Lift Number 3 (Gondola lift) is very good since it can keep you warm and once you do snowboarding down, you won't be that cold either because your body is moving. On the other hand, if you sit on the chairlift for a long time, you will be freezing already even before you do skiing or snowboarding. hahaha
I really like the view on this side. I like to come here standing and pretending that I am being recorded for music video. hahaha
This Lift Number 6 which is connected with Lift Number 4 will take you to Mt. Sadzele at 3,307 meters above sea level. Oh my Lord Buddha, I have to be brave!! You will also be able to see the highest mountain in Georgia, Mt. Kazbeki from up there.
For me, I really want to be a professional in snowboarding one day.
I didn't plan to share this but let's just share with you briefly!
“The first day to learn how to do snowboarding"
The weather is very nice this morning. After I have learned the basic of snowboarding, Alex (my instructor and my husband) takes me to the first track. This track is a bit steep so it is not that easy for me to practice on. As a result, we have move up to the next slope. Once we have arrived, the sun is gone and it starts to snow. I guess it should be okay to slide down slowly and it won't take long to reach the end of the slope. Guess what? The track is very spongy now not like the normal one and it is getting more and more spongy (Pro-rider likes a track like this). That's why it is getting more and more difficult for the beginner like me. Alex get stressful as well. He keep saying sorry and sorry for not checking the track. I have told him to be calm and don't be stressful. I ask him to take a photo for me instead because I might not come back up here later. Well, after getting the photo done, I fall down in this spongy snow. I didn't mean to fall down with my face down as it should be falling down on your butt down (theory is unfortunately different from reality sometimes ;3). My back hurts and I am not even sure if my back is broken or not...after checking I guess it should be fine. I feel down though and I am getting scared. However, I can't turn back now. I can only keep going with this snowboard on this spongy snow track. I have to be brave and strong, I can't be weak. hahaha Alex holds my hand on the way down and cheer me up all the way. The weather is another problem, it is truly cold. We have to stop once in a while because I can't feel my hands. After warming up my hands in Alex's underarms then we continue to come down. We hug each other so tight once we have arrived back down safely. We go back to the hotel right away after getting some pain relief cream from the pharmacy. I can't sleep well at all at night because of the pain but it is totally gone in the next morning. The cream works so well.
“The day after"
Another beautiful morning has approached. I woke up very early to work on my snowboard. There are not many people yet, the track is mostly empty. Well, I have to admit that I am still scared because I still remember was just happened yesterday. I talk to myself that I have to win this fear.. And finally today is my day, I am getting used to the snowboard and know how to control it better. My fear is gone and the fun has come in place...
After that…I have learned step by step all the way. I have so much fun, although it is tiring sometimes. I even feel down sometimes too. Each track is in different level of difficulties and this is me, the future professional snowboarder. --"
You can go first, I am not in a hurry ^_____^
I am finally back to the starting point down here. So let's go to see my hotel now!… The sky on the day that it is not snowing is pretty interesting most of the time I would say.
“Budget for snowboard equipment"
This is my approximate expense for this season. I buy almost everything to be my own. Some of them are bought to keep me warm in general for winter but can be used for snowboarding as well. Some of them are bought as a second-hand from my friend who is an instructor. For those who don't have that much chance to do snowboarding, I recommend you to just rent snowboard gear and equipment. To rent a snowboard with boots here costs 40 GEL (600 THB) per day. If you also want to get an instructor as your first time in snowboarding, it is 40-50 GEL per hour (600-750 THB). People normally get an instructor for the first 2 hours only.
* Budget without the Ski Pass
The accommodations in Gudauri are all Ski resorts. As a result, they are all very pricey compared to other town in the same quality of living. Let's go and see my hotel where I will stay for this whole winter! ^^
“Veranda Hotel" is a very friendly hotel. This photo was taken when I first arrived at the end of December when it just started to snow but now everything is totally white with all the snow. ^^ Veranda Hotel has 3 floors. The first floor is the reception, kitchen, storage room, laundry room, and dining room. The second and third floors are guestrooms. There are about 6 rooms per floor. Even though the hotel is not big, it delivers a very warm and cozy ambiance. I didn't plan to talk about my hotel much at first because I am not that good at writing hotel review but after staying here for a while, I truly want to share my stay here with all of you.
The owner of the hotel is named Nana. She is a very kind person. Apart from running this hotel, she give a piano lesson for children in the village as well. Alex and I have planned to stay here for 3 months before going back to do some business in Tbilisi and go for other places. If you are ready, let's go to explore this lovely small hotel with me!/ and I would like to take this opportunity to confirm that I don't get anything in return for doing this, I sincerely want to share my stay here ^^
The guestrooms are designed in modern style with three single beds per room. The heater is available and if it is too cold they will bring extra blanket for you. There is no air conditioner (I don't think it is ever needed here), no TV, and no bidet spray in the toilet. The whole room is very clean as well.
The dining room is well cleaned with the amazing mountain view. I was very excited when I saw it for the first time. Behind this mountain is South Ossetia, the land that used to belong to Georgia. It is now a free state under the support of Russia.
The room rate is vary but they are all per room and per night for 3 persons. They don't have a room rate in summer because it is very cheap and most of the tourists come here for just a day trip since they can't do skiing or snowboarding during that time.
Remark 1. This price is included breakfast and dinner, and the transfer to the Cable Car
Remark 2. Transfer from Tbilisi to Gudauri is available but please contact the hotel directly for the price
For more information/ and reservation :
Tel : Mrs. Nana +995 599 515 044 (English)
Email : email@example.com
“Budget for vacation in Gudauri in general"
Monthly 50,000 – 60,000 THB
* 1 GEL = 15 THB **Budget for 2 persons excluding snowboarding and flight tickets
- Accommodation 2,400 GEL per month (36,000 THB)
- Bus Ticket Tbilisi – Gudauri 7 GEL per trip | 7 GEL x 5 trips x 2 persons = 70 GEL (1,050 THB)
- Food & Drinks 100 GEL per week | 100 GEL x 4 weeks x 2 persons = 800 GEL (12,000 THB)
● 3 Nights 17,000 – 20,000 THB
* 1 GEL = 15 THB ** Budget for 2 persons excluding snowboarding and flight tickets
- Accommodation 240 GEL per night | 240 GEL x 3 nights = 720 GEL (10,800 THB)
- Bus Ticket Tbilisi – Gudauri 7 GEL per trip | 7 GEL x 2 trips x 2 persons = 28 GEL (420 THB)
- Food & Drinks 50 GEL per day | 50 GEL x 4 days x 2 persons = 400 GEL (6,000 THB)
Lastly..I want to thank you for your kind support.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me ^^
Even for just to say hi or share your travel experience, please go here