Gudauri Ski Resort

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Gudauri is Georgia
Gudauri is Georgia's largest & most popular ski resort
Mt Chrdili freeride zone in Gudauri ski resort
Mt Chrdili freeride zone in Gudauri ski resort
Pirveli chairlift ascends at Gudauri ski resort, Georgia
Pirveli chairlift ascends at Gudauri ski resort, Georgia
The lower ridge off Mt Chrdili with a freeride signature at Gudauri ski resort
The lower ridge off Mt Chrdili with a freeride signature at Gudauri ski resort
Alpine terrain on the backside of Sadzele West at Gudauri ski resort
Alpine terrain on the backside of Sadzele West at Gudauri ski resort
Kobi-Gudauri 2 gondola with a horde of humans heading down (upper left)
Kobi-Gudauri 2 gondola with a horde of humans heading down (upper left)
Georgia
Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is a 'must do' for a few nights on any visit to Gudauri
Truck traffic on the Military Road at Gudauri village will hopefully improve soon with a by-pass tunnel to the Russian border
Truck traffic on the Military Road at Gudauri village will hopefully improve soon with a by-pass tunnel to the Russian border
Kobi-Gudauri 3 gondola is all off-piste terrain down the Kobi
Kobi-Gudauri 3 gondola is all off-piste terrain down the Kobi
Snack cafes near the gondola base in New Gudauri village
Snack cafes near the gondola base in New Gudauri village
Off-piste terrain near the top of Soliko chair at Gudauri ski resort
Off-piste terrain near the top of Soliko chair at Gudauri ski resort
Mt Kudebi lifts & terrain at Gudauri ski resort
Mt Kudebi lifts & terrain at Gudauri ski resort
Off-piste skiing out wide in the lower part of the Gudauri ski resort
Off-piste skiing out wide in the lower part of the Gudauri ski resort
Kudebi 2 chairlift rises to just over 3,000m altitude at Gudauri ski resort
Kudebi 2 chairlift rises to just over 3,000m altitude at Gudauri ski resort
Skiing into New Gudauri village
Skiing into New Gudauri village
Outdoor hot tub at Gudauri Lodge Hotel is a treat for voyeurs!
Outdoor hot tub at Gudauri Lodge Hotel is a treat for voyeurs!
Drunk Cherry bar is the best in Gudauri ski resort, but comes at a price
Drunk Cherry bar is the best in Gudauri ski resort, but comes at a price
Delicious Georgian cuisine at the Veranda Hotel restaurant in Gudauri ski resort
Delicious Georgian cuisine at the Veranda Hotel restaurant in Gudauri ski resort
Gudari ski resort
Gudari ski resort's main gondola & mellow terrain
Gudauri ski resort Georgia
Gudauri ski resort Georgia

Gudauri Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Gudauri

Gudauri3/58
Gudauri3 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
  • Recommend
    75%
  • Would Revisit
    75%
Backcountry Books Ski & Snowboard Guide Books & Maps

Georgia Skiing

Adjara & Bakhmaro
Bakuriani
Goderdzi
Gudauri
Hatsvali
Tetnuldi

Gudauri Maps & Stats

    Gudauri Ski Trail Map
  • Gudauri Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,973m - 3,276m (1,303m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (17)
    4 Gondolas
    9 Chairs
  • Opening Dates & Times
    December to end April
    10:00am to 4.30/5:00pm (on a good day!)
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 35km (up to 70km?)
    Longest run - 7km+
    Advanced - 30%
    Intermediate - 60%
    Beginner - 10%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Adult - 70GEL (approx. €25)
    Child (6 to 12yr) - 35GEL (approx. €12.50)
    Child u/6yr - Free

    Season Pass (valid in Gudauri, Goderdzi, Bakuriani & Mestia)
    Adult - 650GEL (approx. €230)
    Child - 325GEL (approx. €115)

Gudauri Ski Resort

Gudauri is the largest ski 'resort' in Georgia. Located near Europe's highest peaks in the Greater Caucasus mountains, Gudauri provides superb backcountry skiing in serious alpine terrain. A bonus is the relatively short drive to Gudauri from Georgia's stunning capital city, Tbilisi.

Georgian culture and food add to what is already a fascinating ski destination. Whilst accurate information about Gudauri can be surprisingly hard to come by, we checked it out in February 2023 and sorted the truth from the embellishments! What we discovered was a ski area that promises a lot (it has modern lift infrastructure & new hotels) but delivers only marginally, leaving a great deal of room for improvement.

Outside the resort area, beyond the ski lifts is where the real Gudauri shines. Big mountain descents are possible with relatively short skinning and occasionally an obligatory taxi ride back to the ski lifts.

Pros & Cons for Gudauri Ski Resort

Pros

  • High elevation ski area with generally cold temperatures.
  • Modern lift infrastructure.
  • Long skiable vertical (over 1,300m+)(if every lift is running).
  • Lifted access to sensational freeride powder lines (if the lifts are running).
  • Cheap lift tickets.
  • Fantastic backcountry terrain and ski-touring opportunities.
  • Fabulous food & wine.
  • Ski-in ski-out accommodation available.
  • Culturally, Georgia is an intriguing country to visit - more than just skiing.

Cons

  • Only a few days’ worth of interest for anyone stuck on the groomed piste trails.
  • Lift opening times are on GMT (Georgian Maybe Time).
  • The important upper mountain Sadzele chairlift rarely operates.
  • Piste grooming is often not up to standard.
  • All terrain is above the tree line so storm skiing can (and is) challenging.
  • Off-piste powder is increasingly sought by skiers from Western Europe and can get plundered quickly within the 'resort area'.
  • Unregulated non-ski activities like snowmobiling are a real (& concerning) hazard on the slopes.
  • Much of the accommodation & some restaurants are quite high-priced compared to the Georgian cost of living.
  • Suffers from issues common to all Georgian ski areas: non-integrated resort infrastructure, lack of up-to-date information, non-existent ski buses, disinterested lift staff.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • The ski lift/trail map is inaccurate.
  • Like most places in Georgia, not easy to get on public transport.
  • Highly variable ski/snowboard instructor standards & lesson quality.
  • Lack of ski servicing professionals that one would expect at such a large resort
  • It is possible to eat far too much here.
  • Avalanche danger in the backcountry (or even inbounds) can be high - take care.
  • Whilst in the resort, if you ask why(?), get down and give me ten!
  • Georgia is a fascinating country with some incredible people, but things can & do go wrong. Come here with your eyes wide-open!

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

Gudauri has a modern lift system and very cheap lift passes. Four gondolas, & four 6-seater chairs do most of the heavy lifting, with two more 6-seaters being added for season 23/24. Despite it relative modernity, a serious lift malfunction in season 2017/18 on the Sadzele chair resulting in injuries to skiers was observed with horror around the world. Sadly, this chair, which provides access to the resort’s premium off-piste terrain, rarely runs anymore, and if it does, only for very limited times.

The skiable vertical in the resort is well over the landmark 1,000m, but it feels a lot less on the front side. The high elevation should provide quality snow conditions, but often doesn’t. Terrain aspect is generally south, so most of the lifted terrain is in full sun all of the time. With an annual snowfall of around 5m, it gets significantly less than ski areas in the west of the country, so the best times to visit are later in the season from mid-February through to early April. The most recently installed gondolas and the two chairlifts (if they run) in the upper alpine zone provide good access to backcountry freeride powder, much of it shaded north-aspect with better snow-quality. With some boot packing, traversing & skinning, the freeride terrain is even more vast & impressive. The backside of Sadzele West is good for freeride, with big mountain descents. The lovely looking freeride sectors on Bidara and Mt Chrdili all require some effort to return to the ski lifts, so think about before heading there.

On-piste trails in the lower half of the mountain, despite being graded as beginner on the trail map, are more like intermediate, or higher toward the end of the day. They are heavily congested in peak season, and not a place for any beginner lacking confidence. The lower pistes often have ‘recreational’ snowmobiles wildly crossing the pistes too, adding to the cautionary tale for newer skiers & snowboarders. The best beginner slopes free of congestion are in the mid-mountain sector off the Snow Park & Kudebi chairs.

If the snow quality is good, the open off-piste sectors between all the runs can be a bit of fun, but consistent fall line & pitch is not great, so speed is often required to push through.

Trail Map & New Lifts

Trail maps of Gudauri were notoriously out of date for a few years, but they seem to have updating more regularly recently. See below for the most recent version of the ski trail map for the resort. Despite it being first published by the Georgian MTA (Mountain Trails Agency) in December 2023, it is still highly inaccurate and fails to show the 1,000m of skiable vertical (400m of which is on-piste) served by two gondolas on the backside from Kobi Pass down to the Kobi valley. Trail placement on the trail map also bears little resemblance to reality, with piste emanating either side of Kobi Pass not even shown. Oh well, c‘est la vie.

Gudauri Ski Trail Map
Gudauri Ski Trail Map

Due to the resorts blossoming popularity, congestion at the gondola base in New Gudauri village, has fast-tracked the installation of two new chairlifts for season 23/24. Whilst a new chair out of the village will improve uphill movement, the alignment of the lifts adds little to the resort’s terrain options. A simpler outcome would have been having lift operations staff managing the lift queue at the gondola (i.e. simple things like opening on time and getting people to take their skis & boards off before entering the gondola cabin!). Perhaps moving the ticket office from its current location, where anyone waiting interferes with the flow of skiers in the lift queue, to where the ’Dunkin Donuts’ stand is would have also helped.

Worth noting is that the stated lift opening time is 10am, which allows all the late risers to be there in the lift line with you on a powder day!

The best way to explore Gudauri and its amazing backcountry ski touring is via one of our hosted tours (see listings at the bottom of the page) or hook up with a local guide once you are there.

[AdListings collection="Georgia" category="Georgia Gudauri" subcategory="Gudauri Guiding"]

Where is Gudauri Georgia?

The Gudauri ski resort is around 120km north of the capital Tbilisi. For the country’s largest ski area, it is surprising difficult for the uninitiated to get too. The closest major international airport is Tbilisi (TBS), 140km or 2½hr drive to the ski resort. We do not recommend using Kutaisi (KUT), further to the west, to access Gudauri. Use our flight search engine to book flights from major & secondary European airports.

We recommend arranging a private transfer as the best and means of travel from the Tbilisi airport to Gudauri. Your tour operator or hotel will generally assist with such arrangements, otherwise use the reliable & affordable services from the listing below.

[AdListings collection="Georgia" category="Georgia Gudauri" subcategory="Gudauri Transfers"]

Anyone travelling ‘under their own steam’ & on the cheap can still organise a local taxi to make the journey, but make sure you agree on price before doing so. Public transport options from the airport to Gudauri are near non-existent. A train & buses connect the airport to the Tbilisi city centre from where it is possible to take a minibus (known locally as a marshrutka) to Gudauri. The marshrutka leave from a hectic bus station in Didube, which is near the subway train station of the same name. Signs on the buses tend to be in Georgian, so you will have to ask. Let’s just say that if you head down this path, you have courage. Enjoy!

For more information about getting around the country, see our Travel to Georgia page.

Gudauri Accommodation

Gudauri has no shortage of choice & availability when it comes to accommodation. A recent building boom (some would say 'seemingly unregulated over-development'!) has seen a host of new boutique hotels & low rise, ski-in apartment complexes added to the ski area; many of which are available for rent (but do vary greatly in quality!). Further down the hill in the original part of the ski resort, more hotels dot the landscape. Many of these newer hotels do come at a higher cost, albeit for less than their western European equivalents. Note that the location of accommodation is a very important factor in one’s enjoyment of the ski area. Road noise from the passing trucks on the Military Road (hopefully soon remedied by a new bypass tunnel under construction), plus distance to the ski lifts & shops can make or break a ski holiday here. Regardless of where you stay, if you need to organise a safe, cost-effective airport transfer, use the listing above.

For a prime location next to the base of the ski lifts, we can recommend staying at the consistently good Marco Polo Gudauri Hotel. Of the newer stock, try the Gudauri Inn, the well located Gudauri Lodge with its huge outdoor jacuzzi, or the good value, slopeside & ski-in/ski-out Gudauri Hotel Loft. Further up the road is the sublime boutique offering at Ati Ambavi Hotel, plus the intriguing Quadrum Hotel, but the location on the highway marks both with an asterisk for possible road noise & accessibility to the slopes.

Older hotels & apartments plus traditional guesthouses are throughout the resort & tend to be as cheap as chips (i.e. good value).

The 'New Gudauri' village, and the widespread older parts all suffer from a lack of integrated services (footpaths, village bus, snow-clearing, safety, litter etc.) which over time can only improve.

Search & book all Gudauri ski accommodation.

[AdListings collection="Georgia" category="Georgia Gudauri" subcategory="Gudauri Packages"]

Review

The Powderhounds were intending to review Gudauri in 2020, but things change & so did our plans. We did a comprehensive journey through Georgia in February & March 2023! Whilst we loved elements of skiing in Georgia, we were constantly bemused at the lack of professionalism in the ski resorts. For better skiers & snowboarders, to get the most out of Gudauri, heading out of bounds is essential. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how Gudauri compares to the rest of the Georgian ski resorts on the Georgian ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Gudauri

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Gudauri Georgia Ski & Ride
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE
10 Nights | 7 Days Skiing | Gudauri & Backcountry
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Explore the resort of Gudauri & the many backcountry options in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia. A fully hosted 11-day program, with 8 nights staying at ski-in, ski-out accommodation in Gudauri, working with experienced guides. Join a fixed date tour ....
Price p/p From price based on 10 night, twin/double-share room, min 4 guests on tour (per person)
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,245
View Details
 
Gudauri Guided Freeride Day
GUIDED FREERIDE POWDER SKI TOUR
1 Day Fully Guided Skiing/Snowboarding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Be guided to the best snow & terrain in Gudauri ski resort with a professional local guide on this fully customised private off-piste ski tour. Use the ski lifts to be shown amazing freeride powder in Gudauri's vast off-piste terrain. Go solo or get a group together & book in for your best dates & duration....
Price p/p Based on a 1-day tour with 4 people in group
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc. taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 78
View Details
 
Gudauri Unleashed Freeride Tour Package
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SKIING
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Go beyond the boundaries in Gudauri with an 8-day freeriding & ski touring trip. Stay in comfortable ski-in-ski-out accommodation, enjoy hassle-free transportation, and let experienced guides lead you through the hidden gems of Gudauri’s backcountry. Book for your solo, couple or group's best dates & duration ...
Price p/p Based on twin-share, 8-day, 7-night package in a private group of 4 people
Base/invoice currency is in USD$ inc. taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,080
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Gudauri here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Gudauri Backcountry Ski Tour
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY SKI TOUR
1 Day Fully Guided Skiing/Snowboarding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Be guided to the best backcountry snow & terrain near Gudauri & Kazbegi with a professional local guide on this fully customised private backcountry day ski tour. Includes hotel pick-up & drop-off, plus transport to/from the destination. Go solo or get a group together & book in for your best dates & duration....
Price p/p Based on a 1-day tour with full group of 4 people
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc. taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 88
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Racha Backcountry Ski Tour
GUIDED SKI & SPLITBOARD BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Days | 6 Nights | 7 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Over 8 days experience a unique journey through a remote part of Georgia. Ski/splitboard between isolated villages in the seldom-visited alpine region of Racha, exploring a vast assortment of freeride options from comfortable basecamps. Join a fixed date tour or go BIG on a long (or short) private customised tour.
Price p/p From price based on a group of 6 people on 8-day fixed date tour
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc. taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,500
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Gudauri here
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