When is the best time of year to visit the country of Georgia? Find the answers you’re looking for in this month-by-month guide to weather in Georgia, seasonal activities, festivals, events and more.
Trying to figure out the ideal month (or even just the best season) to visit Georgia can be tricky. For such a tiny country, Georgia has a very diverse geography and climate – the east differs vastly to the west, while the different mountain regions and coast have their own microclimates.
This means there’s no definitive ‘best time to visit Georgia’: Every season offers something different.
Having said that, there are certainly months that are better suited to travel – and a few times of year you should try to avoid.
I’ve lived in Georgia for almost two years now and have experienced every season. This guide draws on my knowledge to give you a seasonal overview and month-by-month breakdown of weather in Georgia. I’ll also cover the best places to visit in each season plus key festivals and events to plan your trip around.
Note: All temperatures are in degrees Celsius.
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Understanding the Climate in Georgia
I don’t want to dwell too much on this, but having a general understanding of Georgia’s climate can be useful.
Briefly, Georgia has a Mediterranean-like climate, with subtropical conditions on the Black Sea coast. As mentioned, the weather varies immensely from north to south, east to west.
There are four seasons in Georgia, but spring and autumn are generally short and pronounced. Summer lingers well into September in many parts of the country, while areas at higher elevations have prolonged winters. The major cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi are mild year-round – relatively speaking.
The east of Georgia (Kakheti region) is dry and sees more dramatic seasons: Summers are unforgiving and winters bitter. Parts of Southern Georgia (especially Samtskhe-Javakheti region) are under snow more often than not. The west of Georgia, by contrast, is warmer, wetter and more humid. Temperatures are more consistent here throughout the year, as are the menacing rain clouds.
One thing the whole country has in common is that the weather can be quite temperamental. Gusting winds can take the temperature up or down by 10 degrees in a matter of days, and storms and impenetrable fog can roll in extremely quickly.
While I can offer you some general guidance, you should always come prepared for anything!
Tip: This website is generally considered to be the most reliable for forecasts.
Tip: See my all-seasons Georgia packing list for guidance on what to bring with you and how to dress in Georgia.
Summer high season in Georgia: June-August
→ Best time for mountain hiking & beaches on the Black Sea coast.
In Tbilisi and the lowlands around the capital, summer is dependably hot and arid. The landscape dries out to a crisp brown in early summer, and the unrelenting sunshine makes it difficult to be outside for more than a few hours at a time. The very warm weather (where temperatures can push 40 degrees for several consecutive days) generally sets in around mid-June and builds throughout July and August.
Most locals promptly leave the cities as soon as school holidays roll around in July, heading to the mountains or the coast for some reprieve. Because of this, popular hotels and resorts are often full, and domestic flights and trains sold out. It can be difficult to get a seat on the Tbilisi Batumi train especially. Prices go up with increased demand.
One advantage of summer travel is that the days are much longer (the sun sets well after 9pm by late June), so you can fit a lot more into your day. Say no to sweaty marshrutka vans – summer is a great time for a Georgia road trip instead. All roads and passes are open and accessible, just watch out for flash flooding and landslides.
Summer is prime time for trekking in the mountains of Svaneti and around Kazbegi. The wildflowers are out and daytime temperatures are pleasant, while evenings bring short but punishing storms. This is the best time of year to visit Tusheti, Upper Adjara, Gomismta and Bakhmaro, which are all difficult (or impossible) to reach during the colder months.
‘Velvet Season’ kicks off in Batumi and along the Black Sea coast from late August and lasts until September. This is a short window of time when crowds disperse but skies remain clear and the water is still warm enough to swim.
Autumn shoulder season in Georgia: September & October
→ Best time for wine & cultural events.
September is sometimes referred to as the ‘fourth month of summer’ because temperatures remain warm in Tbilisi and the lowlands. By mid-September and throughout the month of October, the weather is usually perfect: Warm, breezy days, crisp nights, and clear skies.
Autumn is my favourite time of year in Georgia. Tbilisi has an upbeat atmosphere, with outdoor markets on Rustaveli Avenue, the annual Tbilisoba festival in October, and plenty of live music, opera and ballet.
Harvest season brings a festive feel to the entire country – which is why you’ll sometimes hear autumn referred to as the ‘fifth season’. Dates for the wine vintage or Rtveli differ year to year, but generally it takes place in Kakheti from early September and lasts until early November in western Georgia.
Resplendent fall foliage can be found in the highlands of Racha and Samegrelo from as early as September, while Tbilisi’s fall colours come into their own in October. Autumn also brings a cornucopia of produce, including mushrooms, pomegranates and persimmons. Tbilisi restaurants often put on special menus to showcase fall’s bounty.
Most mountain areas and trails remain accessible throughout September and into early October.
Winter low season in Georgia: November-March
→ Best time for winter sports or a quiet city break.
Relatively mild winters in Tbilisi make the city quite pleasant between November and March, especially when the sun is shining. Snow in Tbilisi is a rarity but there may be a few flurry days right at the end of the season, usually in late February or early March. With quiet streets, snug wine bars and the thermal baths at your disposal, Tbilisi is wonderful for a winter city break.
Conditions are freezing in the highlands, but mountain areas that are still accessible by road are a winter wonderland. The highways to Kazbegi and Svaneti remain open throughout winter (only closing temporarily if there’s an avalanche). Along with lower Racha, these mountain regions are the perfect place to snuggle up in a cosy cabin.
Winter sports season at Georgia’s ski resorts in Gudauri, Bakuriani, Goderdzi, Hatsvali and Tetnuldi usually starts from mid-December and runs through until April. It gets extremely busy in Gudauri and Bakuriani especially, so I don’t recommend staying here unless you are skiing.
Spring shoulder season in Georgia: April & May
→ Best time for hiking at lower elevations & exploring the cities.
You know it’s spring in Tbilisi when powder-pink cherry and plum blossoms start to appear. In Kakheti, lavender shrubs and sunflowers come into bloom, while wildflowers in the mountains take their turn in June/July.
The start of April can still be quite chilly. In the east of Georgia, the weather seems to shift towards being warm around Orthodox Easter (I know that doesn’t make much sense since the dates change every year, but it just does!). Nights remain pleasantly cool until early June. But rain is common in most parts of the country and can put a dampener on your plans.
Georgia’s rich Orthodox traditions are on full display in the lead up to Easter, while spring also brings vibrant produce and special foods such as Chakapuli (lamb and tarragon stew) and Paska cake.
Spring is the time when vitiners open their clay Qvevri for the first taste of last year’s wine. This is a wonderful tradition to observe if you can organise to visit a cellar. The New Wine festival takes place in Tbilisi in May, drawing hundreds of winemakers from around the country for tastings and a food bonanza.
On the Black Sea coast, spring is grey and wet. It’s still too brisk for any serious hiking in the Greater Caucasus. Instead, spring is better suited to hiking at lower elevations, e.g. around Borjomi and Lagodekhi national parks.
When is the best month to visit Georgia?
Now that you have a rough idea of the seasons in Georgia, here is a month-by-month comparison of weather and conditions.
I’ve also included major holidays and events to look out for, plus my tips for where to go and where to avoid for each month of the year.
January in Georgia
Temperatures in Tbilisi are relatively mild, hovering around 5-10 degrees during the day. The air can be thick with pollution but without the ice, sleet and drizzle typical of other European capitals, the city is quite pleasant (especially on clear, crisp blue-sky days, of which there are many). The best way to warm up on a wintry evening is with a session at the sulfur baths.
Conditions are similarly cold and slightly wetter in the west, while snowfall nears its peak in the mountains. High passes that close off in October/November remain inaccessible throughout winter, so this is not a time for hiking or visiting remote villages.
Orthodox Christmas falls a fortnight or so after Roman Catholic Christmas, meaning Georgia celebrates its biggest religious holiday of the year in early January.
Christmas is traditionally a time for family, but visitors can revel in December 31 celebrations. As well as marking the International New Year, this is the biggest evening on the Christmas calendar (a hangover from Soviet times) and sees a massive fireworks display take over the streets of Tbilisi. Crackers and rockets spring from windows and street corners at every angle – you’ve never seen or heard anything like it.
January 2 is Bedoba, a unique tradition where one is obliged to treat oneself in order to set the tone for the year ahead. A wine tasting could be just the thing. The Alilo Parade takes place on Orthodox Christmas Day (January 7) with a procession through the streets of Tbilisi. Orthodox Epiphany in mid-January designates the official end of the holiday season, and the decorations come down shortly before that.
Unique traditions can be observed in the mountains during winter, including Lipanali, a day-of-the-dead-like commemoration in Svaneti which starts on Epiphany eve.
February in Georgia
February is cool and fresh in the cities. Winter sports season really starts to take off on the slopes of Bakuriani and Gudauri in particular, making this a great time for skiing or snowboarding. Traditionally, Mestia and Gudauri both have their highest number of snowy days in February.
February is the coldest month of the year for most of the country so remember to pack your woollens. Snow has been known to fall in Tbilisi (and even Batumi) towards the end of the month – but it always melts away by nightfall.
This is a great month for riding the Kukushka train in Bakuriani, lounging in a natural hot spring, or viewing the stone towers in Ushguli on a bed of snow.
March in Georgia
March is a transition month in Georgia and a bit unpredictable as a result. Temperatures sit at around 7-12 degrees in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi and the lowlands, while the mountain regions are still frosty.
Snowfall remains steady in Gudauri and Mestia before trailing off at the start of April, signifying the end of the ski season.
April in Georgia
April puts a full-stop on winter and is the definitive start of spring in Georgia. The mercury rises above 10 degrees in the cities and stays there. Tbilisi and Kutaisi are both a little rainy. Tbilisi’s parks are festooned with cherry and magnolia blossoms, giving the city a cheery atmosphere.
Being a predominantly Orthodox nation, Georgia celebrates Easter a week or so after the Roman Catholic calendar. Good Friday, Great Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday are all public holidays. Easter culminates with an all-night mass on the Saturday/Sunday, when you can hear resplendent chanting.
Easter is traditionally preceded by a period of fasting. Look out for Paska fruit cake being sold at bakeries. Another tradition is dying eggs red with Madder root and displaying them at home with green wheatgrass. You’ll see these items sold on the streets in the lead-up to Easter.
If you suffer from allergies, be aware that there is usually a lot of pollen and floral debris in the air towards the end of spring.
May in Georgia
May is a crowd pleaser in Georgia, with nice weather, hiking trails available at lower elevations, and a peaceful tempo in the cities. The downside is that the weather can be very unpredictable so you need to plan for anything. May brings rain to much of the country.
Still, it’s a nice time to visit the arid areas of eastern Georgia including Vashlovani National Park and David Gareja Cave Monastery as it’s not too hot yet. The road to Tusheti normally opens at the end of the month.
Kakheti is particularly nice in May, with blossoming flowers, budding vines, and the ceremonial cracking of the previous year’s Qvevri. In Tbilisi, the New Wine Festival is held every May at Mtatsminda park, bringing more than 200 winemakers to the capital to showcase their latest concoctions. The cultural celebration includes bottomless tastings, live music and food.
May 26 is Independence Day, when Georgia commemorates its split from Russia in 1918. Part of Rustaveli Avenue is closed to traffic and an open-air street festival takes over, with pop-up restaurants and bars, live music and a market.
June in Georgia
In parts of the country, the first half of June feels like a continuation of spring. Temperatures remain balmy and it’s not too crowded yet, making this a nice time to visit the cities, coast and popular mountain areas such as Svaneti – which is plastered with wildflowers come summer.
At some point (usually around mid-June) the weather always changes rapidly and it gets very hot in the cities. Travelling in marshrutka vans is almost unbearable, so it’s better to hire your own car, taking advantage of the longer days to venture out to Georgia’s harder-to-reach corners.
More hiking trails become available, with trekking season officially on by the third or fourth week of June. The ski lifts in Gudauri open for summer visitors at the end of the month. Overall the mountains are spectacular in June, making this the best time to rent a secluded cabin or go glamping.
July in Georgia
Things really start to heat up in July and by the middle of the month, temperatures in Tbilisi are pushing 40 degrees. Kutaisi is similarly hot and steamy, while Batumi is slightly cooler but even more crowded.
The dynamics of Tbilisi change in July as local families leave for the villages or the coast and tourists flood the city in their place. It’s far too hot and dry in Tbilisi for my liking – the better move is to follow the locals’ example and escape to the mountains or to a lake.
Everyone has the same idea though, so accommodation prices can be inflated and availability limited during July and August. Summer resorts such as Abastumani, Sairme and Borjomi are at maximum capacity (as is Batumi), while the mountain regions of Racha and Upper Adjara are a nice alternative.
July is a great time in Georgia for music lovers, with the Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi and GEM Fest in Anaklia both taking place.
August in Georgia
Much like July, August brings oppressive heat to most of the country. It even starts to get hot under the collar in Svaneti and Kazbegi. This is summer storm season in the mountains and the forecast often paints a grim picture – but in reality, downpours usually come in short, sharp bursts towards the end of the day, with clear periods in between.
Tbilisi is full of people and the Old Town especially can feel choked and claustrophobic. The only solution is to set up in the shade by a swimming pool.
August is the hottest and most humid month of the year in Batumi, too. Combined with summer crowds that persist until the end of school holidays, it’s far from the best time to visit the Black Sea.
Instead, you’re better off making for the higher mountain ranges. Upper Adjara, Gomismta and Bakhmaro – sealed off in winter – are stunning in summer, their colourful A-frame cottages wreathed in green pastures.
Tusheti celebrates its biggest annual festival, Tushetoba, in August, with displays of folk music, dance, archery, horse racing and sheep-shearing. As with most festivals in Georgia, the exact dates are normally finalised a couple of weeks in advance.
September in Georgia
September is an auspicious time of year in Georgia as the Rtveli wine vintage begins. Harvest dates vary year to year depending on any number of factors. As a general rule, the plucking of grapes starts in the first weeks of September in Kakheti and continues throughout the month. In western Georgia’s wine regions, the harvest starts later and continues into October/November.
One of Georgia’s biggest music festivals, Tsinandali Festival, also takes place in September at the estate in Kakheti.
As summer peak season winds down, many mountain hotels, resorts and wine chateaux offer great deals during the month of September, making the end of the month a terrific time for budget travellers. The start of September is ‘Velvet Season’ on the Black Sea coast, when it’s still warm enough to swim but far quieter. This is a great time to experience the beaches sans summer crowds.
Temperatures remain warm in Tbilisi, but cooler evenings take the edge off. The first of Georgia’s fall colours can be seen in September at higher altitudes around Racha, Kazbegi and Svaneti. Most hiking trails are still open throughout September.
October in Georgia
In the cities, festival season continues into October while in the mountains and rural areas, people start preparing for the fast-approaching winter. October is one of my favourite months in Georgia.
Tbilisi’s biggest celebration, Tbilisoba (‘Day of Tbilisi’), is normally held on the first or second weekend of the month and sees the entire Old Town transformed into an open-air carnival. The program includes a gastro market where farmers showcase their produce and wine, and folk performances on outdoor stages.
Meanwhile in Mtskheta, Svetitskhovloba is celebrated every year on October 14 with a street festival and mass-baptism. Both these events are worth timing your travels for.
Weather-wise, crisp temperatures become the norm and fall colours start to show themselves at lower elevations. The best places for fall foliage include Samegrelo (especially around Martvili), Bateti lake, and closer to Tbilisi near Dashbashi and Birtvisi Canyons, and Sabaduri Forest to the north.
One of the most spectacular October events is the Tusheti sheep drive, when shepherds deliver their flocks from high-altitude summer pastures down into the Alazani valley.
Tusheti is well and truly closed to traffic by mid-month. Kazbegi and Svaneti remain open throughout winter, only ever closing temporarily if there’s an avalanche.
November in Georgia
Come November, temperatures drop dramatically in many parts of Georgia, with daytime averages almost halving in a matter of days. Fall colours linger on in Tbilisi for the first part of the month, making this a nice time to wander the city with your collar up against the wind.
Batumi on the other hand starts to live up to its reputation for being one of the wettest cities in Europe. November is usually the dampest month of the year on the coast. Combined with warm temperatures, it can feel unpleasantly sticky and cloying.
Winter arrives early in the higher mountain regions, with snow starting to fall in Mestia and Gudauri by the middle of the month.
December in Georgia
By December, the whole country is in full winter mode. Temperatures generally remain above freezing in Tbilisi. This is one of the driest months of the year in the capital, so provided you have appropriate attire, it can be nice to get outdoors and test your mettle on one of the hiking trails around the city. Kutaisi and Batumi have similar temperatures but more rain.
Christmas lights and decorations go up in mid-December, with the biggest displays along Rustaveli Avenue, in Freedom Square and on Atoneli Street in the capital. December 25 is a normal working day and goes by without much fanfare in lieu of Orthodox Christmas celebrations in January.
December 31 is a huge affair, with Tbilisi being the best place in Georgia to ring in the New Year.
Final words: When is the best time to visit Georgia?
Georgia offers something different in every season, so when you choose to visit really depends on your interests and priorities.
Remember that the climate and therefore the weather vary between east and west, mountains and lowlands.
Here are my general recommendations for when to visit Georgia:
- For hiking & mountains: June to September
- For cities & culture: April/May or September/October
- For wine: September/October
- For beaches: July/August
- For skiing & snowboarding: February
Overall, September/October and April/May are by far my favourite times of year in Georgia. Even though spring weather can be volatile, temperatures are pleasant throughout most of the country.
Outstanding festivals and events are held throughout both periods, including Rtveli harvest celebrations in autumn and Orthodox Easter festivities in spring.