Skiing in the South Caucasus Mountains

By Richard Patey / June 30, 2019
Skiing in the South Caucasus Mountains

What is the best thing about the South Caucasus? Those are the gorgeous mountain ranges and unimaginable views. For summer, there are much to do like hiking in the mountains, camping, mountaineering, rafting, while the absolute delight of the winter is skiing in the Caucasus Mountains. We have explored Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan  in search of the best ski destinations and are ready to share great info for active holiday lovers:

Tsaghkadzor, Armenia

Skiing area1966-2819 m

Height difference – 853 m

The total length of the trails – more than 30 km

The longest track – 8 km

There is much to do in Armenia in spring and summer and in winter Tsaghkadzor ski resort is the main destination to choose. The resort is located on the southeast slope of Teghenis Mountain, at an altitude of 1750m above sea level. From the highest point of the mountain, you can admire the amazing views of the biblical Ararat Mountain and Lake Sevan. The season starts in mid-December and may last to early April as the snow coverage still remains on the top slopes. 

Tsaghkadzor is a modern resort with high-class lifts and ropeway, ski and snowboard rental, and the widest choice of hotels and guesthouses. The slopes are divided into three sections according to the complexity of routes. The ascent to the top of the mountain on a speed-lift ropeway will take about 40 minutes. 

You can easily arrange your winter vacations in Tsaghkadzor by yourself, however if you are looking for ski tours with some tour programs, transfers and accommodations you can check the site of Arara tour operator for the options you may like – https://araratour.com/ 

Gudauri, Georgia

The highest point3258 meters above sea level

Elevation difference1258 meters; 14 lifts (including 5 drag-lifts)

The length of the ski slopesmore than 70 km

Gudauri is the largest and the most modern ski resort in Georgia. It is located in Kazbegi region, at an altitude of 2196m above sea level. The slopes of Sadzele and Kudebi are excellent for pure adrenalin for extreme lovers. The resort pleases with sunny days and stable snow coverage lasting from December to April. It is still possible to enjoy rides on the highest tracks up to May. 

6 chair lifts and one gondola operate on the southern slopes of the mountain. 70 km tracks of different complexity offer unimaginable experience at an altitude of more than 3200 meters. Freeride is available on the northern slopes of Sadzele Mountain and along the slopes under the chair lifts. 

Gudauri is not only professional slopes for skiing but also an amazing place for a family holiday and active sports. You can enjoy riding a snowmobile, paragliding, hiking to Kazbegi, clubbing and much more. For kids, the resort has a huge kids zone, tubing tracks with an escalator, snowmobiles and much more.  

In terms of accommodation, Gudauri has limited choice. Still, all the hotels offer maximum comfort and a high level of service. Make sure to book a hotel in advance because the ski resort is extremely popular on a high season. We liked the way Lonely Planet tells about Gudauri, its hotels and activities – https://www.lonelyplanet.com/georgia/gudauri 

Shahdag, Azerbaijan

Height1435-2351 m

Passenger capacity11400 skiers per hour

Area to ski128 ha

The total length of trails17 km of ski slopes

Shahdag is the first ski resort in Azerbaijan that was opened just recently, in 2012. It is located in Qusar region, in the northeastern part of Shahdag national park, at an altitude of 1300-2300 m above sea level. Skiing season lasts from December to April. 

Shahdag NP is a real paradise you can find some videos here https://nationalparksguy.com/continents/europe/azerbaijan/shahdag-national-park-azerbaijan/ 

Thanks to high tech equipment, the slopes have artificial snow generators so that the guests can enjoy ski season as long as possible. There are fourteen slopes divided into three colors according to the complexity. There operates one gondola with eight seats, three chairlifts, two draglifts, and five “magic carpets”. 

Together with the polished slopes for skiing and freeride, there is a separate zone for winter activities like riding snowmobiles and segway, quad bikes and snowshoeing. Plus, there is a kids’ zone with all the fun activities for children.

Shahdag is gorgeous. The luxurious hotels of the resort look so cool on the background of snowy peaks. The infrastructure is developed with all the services you need for a comfortable stay.

About the author

Richard Patey

Skier & boarder by day, internet marketing warrior by night :) Did a ski season with Gav in Whistler back in the day and now live between Norwich UK & Jasna SK


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