Svaneti has recently attracted travelers not only in summer but also in winter. Fans of mountain hiking with the onset of December are replaced by fans of skiing and snowboarding. Mount Tetnuldi (translated from Georgian as “White Mountain”) is located in the northern part of Svaneti, just 18 km from the city of Mestia.
A completely new resort of the same name operates on the slopes of Tetnuldi, the official opening of which took place in February 2016. Despite its relative youth, it is considered the largest ski cluster in Svaneti after Gudauri. Like the vast majority of places for outdoor activities in Georgia, Tetnuldi offers an excellent combination of reasonable prices and wide opportunities for skiing. And add to this the fantastic landscapes of mountain peaks… In general, there are all prerequisites that in a few years this place will become a real Klondike for lovers of winter sports and tourism. In the meantime, there is silence, tranquility – and modern infrastructure. Check maternityetchic for customs regulations and visa requirements of Georgia.
How to get to Tetnuldi
First you need to get to the main city of the Upper Svaneti region – Mestia, which is 15 km from the resort. There are about 480 km from Tbilisi to Mestia, which can be covered by minibuses, departing daily from 6:00 to 8:00 from the Detsky Mir store (next to the railway station). Ticket price – 35 GEL, travel time – about 8 hours. Prices on the page are for July 2021.
A more comfortable option: train Tbilisi – Zugdidi and minibus Zugdidi – Mestia. The train from the capital of Georgia departs daily at 22:00 and arrives at its destination around 7:00. Minibuses to Mestia depart from the same railway station until 11:00. The fare in them is 35 GEL, travel time is 3 hours. More detailed information on how to get to Mestia can be found here. Transfer Mestia – Tetnuldi costs about 150 GEL per car, but many hotels include it in the price.
Skiing and ski passes
The skiing region in Tetnuldi is concentrated on the northern, western and southwestern slopes of the mountain of the same name (its highest point is 4869 m above sea level). It is planned to lay the longest ski slopes in the country. To the first of them, 3.5 km long, along which the French company Poma stretched a cable lift, 3 more tracks were recently added, which brought the total length of the resort to 9.5 km with a height difference of 1.5 km. Tetnuldi offers comfortable slopes for both beginners and advanced. The total height of the resort ranges from 1600 to 3600 m; the skiing area is at the marks: 2260-3165 m (actual height difference: 905 m.)
A day ski pass costs 38 GEL. You can buy it on the first stage of the cable car, which is open from 10:00 to 16:00. There are no long queues and inconvenience created by crowds of vacationers.
The ski season lasts 6-7 months, but in the future the resort will receive up to 7,000 tourists all year round, because the slopes are very high, close to the Nageb, Lardaad and Zanner glaciers.
Ski holidays in Svaneti are an opportunity to enjoy not only skiing, but also breathtaking views of local nature, unique Svan architecture and color. Tetnuldi is a mixture of the absolute authenticity of the Caucasus and modern technologies that were used in the design of the ski resort.
A popular local souvenir is a bag of Svan salt. For centuries, the Svans have been storing spices mixed with salt, thanks to which herbs retain their beneficial properties, taste and aroma for a long time. You can buy Svan salt from local residents or in souvenir shops.
Tetnuldi has rather mild winters, characterized by stable snow cover and the absence of strong winds, so it is always relatively warm and quiet here. The average temperature in January is -5 °C. The ski season starts in December and lasts until early April. Snow depth: 1.5-2 m.
Accommodation and infrastructure in Tetnuldi
There is no housing directly in Tetnuldi yet. The best option is to stay in hotels in Mestia and in a hotel village for 300 people, located 10 km from the resort – the cost of living in the latter includes a transfer to the slopes and back. The price for a double room is 120-200 GEL. Transfer from Mestia to Tetnuldi costs 150 GEL per car.
As for food facilities, the situation is the same as with housing – the nearest cafes and restaurants are located in Mestia.