13th December 2019
Georgia is a unique destination in that there’s really never a bad time to visit! With a diverse climate, it tends to rain less in the east of the country, but it’s much colder, and to the west, it’s the opposite with more rain but higher temperatures. But even then, the weather can still be unpredictable, changing throughout the day, so it’s always best to come prepared for every eventuality. No matter the season though, there’s always a part of Georgia, or something interesting, to keep you occupied.
From the Caucasus Mountains, where it’s usually snowy and cold, to the coastal areas by the Black Sea which sees a lot of rainfall and Tbilisi known for high temperatures in the summer, we look at the best times to visit Georgia, come rain or shine.
A fairly all-round ideal time to visit Georgia, the weather is warm and sunny and there is always plenty to do in the springtime. It’s a perfect time to wander around the capital of Tbilisi and take in the historic sights, wander the botanical garden or check out some museums as it’s usually not too hot or too cold. It’s also your best opportunity to take a comfortable hike among the beautiful wildflowers in the lowland regions of Georgia. You may experience rainfall coming out of the winter season in March or towards the end of May, so it’s best to be prepared for some fluctuations but overall, this is one of the best times to visit Georgia when it comes to the weather.
Spring is also a good time for holidays like Easter and Georgia’s Independence Day. It’s worth trying to plan your perfect itinerary around holidays like this to really get a feel for Georgian culture, enjoy good food and dive headfirst into celebrations. Be sure to check dates for Easter prior to departure though, as they use the Orthodox calendar in Georgia so the dates will differ to the Catholic holiday. With so many churches across Georgia holding special services, you’re sure to catch a celebration or two if you time it right.
While it can get uncomfortably hot in the capital in summertime, the high mountainous regions and the coastal area by the Black Sea has slightly lower temperatures to lure you out of the city, especially in July and August. These months are best for hiking the highlands, when it’s the only time the Caucasus mountains aren’t covered in snow and temperatures are more suitable for trekking , or for a nice relaxing trip to the beach, where you can dip your toes in the warm waters Black Sea. A lot of Georgian’s tend to travel from Tbilisi to these regions at this time to get away from the heat, which can reach up to a sweltering 40 in the city, so you’ll definitely be following those summer party vibes all the way to the sea.
But even if you decide to brave the heat and stay in the city, you’ll find open-air restaurants, festivals and concerts, or people just taking to public spaces to make the most of the good weather. Elsewhere across the country, you’ll find interesting festivals such as Tushetoba in the Tusheti region, held at the beginning of August, where you can take in some archery and horse riding.
What Georgia pays for in rain during the season of Autumn, it more than makes up for in a gorgeous kaleidoscope of golden and red autumnal colours. It does start to get colder and perhaps a little frosty, but it is prone to fluctuations much like Spring, so once again, be prepared for warm and cold weather. Optimum hiking conditions switch from the highlands, which by now are back to be being snowy again, down to the lowlands again, where it’s not as cold and the views will be gorgeously scenic. Pack an umbrella though, or some waterproofs, in case you do get swept up in a downpour.
Autumn, or specifically late September until mid-October, is also harvest time in Georgia, so head to the vineyards of Kakheti to participate in some grape harvesting (and wine sampling!). You simply cannot come to the oldest wine-producing country in the world without experiencing a wine tour.
You might also be able to steal some good beach weather at the Black Sea in September with fewer crowds than in summer, but many resorts will close by the end of the month. Otherwise, head to the old town in Tbilisi for a sulphur bath, where the temperature of the water is always 40C and you can get a good scrub down too.
Winter is cold in Georgia, often dipping below zero at night, and most places see snow except Tbilisi. So, if you like winter sports, you’ll be kept busy. Luckily, Georgia even comes with its very own ski resorts not far from the capital in Gudauri, or further afield in other popular ski destinations such as Bakuriani, Mestia, Goderdzi or Mitarbi, so it’s a popular way to spend chilly winters surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Ski season starts in December and continues until April, however snow can begin to fall from September.
But, far from just an ideal time for winter sports, there are plenty of reasons to visit Georgia in the winter. As mentioned, Tbilisi doesn’t get snow but it will still be cold, which means less crowds and cheaper prices since it’s out of season. But it does happen to be peak season for all things culture! Take in a puppet show that is usually on tour the rest of the year or see some opera or a play. Or snuggle up somewhere cosy and eat and drink to your heart’s content.
Georgian food is typically hot, stodgy and deliciously comforting, so it certainly suits a little winter indulgence. Don’t miss out on the khachapuri, a cheese-stuffed bread which is Georgia’s national dish or khinkali, delicious meat-filled Georgian dumplings. Both are guaranteed to warm your belly on a chilly day!