Tetnuldi Ski Resort, Mestia, Georgia 26/12/2019

Tetnuldi Ski Resort Georgia

Tetnuldi ski resort is among the amongst the newest skiing areas in Europe. Located in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia near the beautiful town of Mestia, Tetnuldi has 4 new chairlifts & a surface tow serving a tasty 900m of skiable vertical & abundant freeride powder ski terrain. With a top elevation of 3160m, snow quality & quantity are guaranteed to deep, dry & delicious. Ski lift passes are in the ridiculously cheap realm of the world's lift pass pricing structure! 

The Tetnuldi resort is amongst Georgia's most remote & spectacular (& snowiest!) mountain regions - the Svaneti. Whilst the chairlifts provide great skiing inbounds, the unprecedented access they provide to the backcountry is another reason to visit. Numerous Svan villages replete with the region's signature fortified stone tower houses make incredible backcountry touring destinations, with typical ski descents of 1400m vertical. The isolated village of Ushguli oft called the gem of the Svaneti, is the ultimate ski-touring location!

Where is Tetnuldi Georgia?

Tetnuldi ski resort is in the remote Svaneti (Svanetia) region amongst the highest peaks of the Caucasus mountains in northern Georgia. Only 15km drive 15km (1hr) by road east of the historic town of Mestia, journeys to Tetnuldi are not the easiest in the world; unless you are with an organized tour or are confident enough to drive oneself in a 4WD rental. The nearest major city & airport are at Kutaisi, 250km by road south of the ski area. The road journey from Kutaisi is a tortuous 6hr. The Kutaisi Airport (KUT) has a limited number of flights daily from several major & secondary airports throughout Europe. Alternatively, flying into Tbilisi (TBS) is an option, but the journey to Mestia is several hours longer.

From the Kutaisi airport, the quickest way to Mestia (& Tetnuldi) is via a private transfer. Mainstream public transport services direct to Tetnuldi from the airport do not exist (that we are aware of any!), so a bus or taxi into the city, then a minibus (marshrutka) from the main Kutaisi bus station is required. This is a cheap alternative (25-30GEL) to a private transfer, but comes with the relative discomfort of a lengthy transfer in a cramped bus plus a big question mark over where one puts your skis!

Once in Mestia, the final part of the journey is along ice & snow-covered road with a reputation bordering on the notoriously bad! Local accommodation providers can organize a taxi or shuttle up to the mountain, but it is recommended to only use 4x4 or truck/bus transport during winter. Rental cars should similarly only be driven up by experienced drivers with vehicles equipped for winter driving. The term best used to describe how to drive in the Georgian mountains is with ‘caution’.

Nearby Ski Area

Right on the doorstep of Mestia, a small ski resort is set in amongst the forests called Hatsvali. There is accommodation at the ski lift base. The skiable vertical is around 500m on cold north-aspect terrain & is perfect for snowy blizzard days.

 Hatsvali ski trail map:

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