Autumn in Georgia is a special time for nature, and for the people of this country, and for travelers. On the one hand, it is well-deserved rest after a hot summer, when the sun is mercilessly ironing land, on the other – time to work: moving cattle from mountain regions to Kakheti for winter, gathering grapes and filling new kvevri and barrels with wine, preparing for winter.
Autumn – one of the finest periods to travel to Georgia, rightfully competes with summer. The heat decreases as the flow of tourists and prices on the shelves of a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts. And, of course, only during the fall, you can see interesting cooking process of Georgian wine (and even participate!).
In this article we will talk about the nuances that help to plan a trip in Georgia in autumn.
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Weather in Georgia in autumn
Georgia is a country of mountains, vast valleys and the sea: here each region in each period may differ significantly from the rest of in terms of weather. At the top of Kazbek it can be -30 ° C, but in Kakheti may be + 30 ° C, and when at the seaside ravages the storm, in the neighboring regions could be clear sky. Very rare rain clouds cover all of Georgia, so often we can “jump” from region to region, following good weather.
However, there are a number of consistent patterns, which will be mentioned below.
It is important to understand the most important thing: the weather on Georgia can change every 30-50 km.
The most accurate weather forecasts for Georgia are provided by sites:
The peculiarity of the off-season is that while covering a seemingly small distance in the same day you can visit all seasons, so it is recommended to watch the forecast not only in the capital but also in other places, which you are planning to visit.
And now a small excursion in the autumn Georgia.
Georgia in September
Georgia in September – this is a little more summer, even study at school begins only in the middle of the month. At this time, the flow of tourists has not yet fully subsided, but it is considerably less crowded than in summer.
September – a month when almost any travel options are available: the valleys are not so hot, but still comfortable for those who like to bask in the sun. Sea is usually still warm, and the mountains have not yet entered the season of severe weather conditions.
There are a lot of melons, peaches, nectarines, jujube, vegetables, fruits and herbs on local markets.
Travelling by car and sightseeing routes.
September is struggling for the right to be the best month for car travel. No need to hide from the sun under the air conditioner. Along the roads are always sold a lot of seasonal delicacies, and the most important – any region is accessible.
Kakheti. A distinctive feature of September in Kakheti – a widespread ritual of sealing new batches of wine (and “emptying containers” from last year – there is a big, fun and very welcoming event!). Some wineries even organizes unusual “excursion”, where tourists can themselves take part in cooking: to press the grapes, fill kvevri (enormous pitchers for the preparation of wine, amounting to several tons).
Seaside. On the Georgian seaside amount of people drops, just as housing prices, generally the rest is very pleasant and relaxed. However, expecting a roasting summer sun and hot water is still not worth it (it varies), although swimming is still possible and very nice!
Low mountains. Here we include areas with relatively small height (not including the tops of the ridges) above sea level (Borjomi, Lagodekhi). In these places, you can have nice hikes through the beautiful forests in the low mountains, staying warm. In the forests there are berries and mushrooms. Low mountains in September look more like summer. In the evening and night it is already cool, so that the warm clothes are handy.
Big Mountain. Here we are not talking about five thousand meters, which even in August do not warm up, but the regions of Georgia, located among the large mountains – Svaneti, Racha, Gudauri, Tusheti … If you want to see the big mountains of Georgia in the fall, it is best to do it in September until the weather begins to frighten with winds and fronts carrying heavy rainfalls.
Approximate driving directions can be found here.here (russian).
Hiking and climbing
As for the other forms of recreation in Georgia, September is a very favorable month for trekking, hiking and climbing. It is part of the “high season” Kazbek climbing (detailed material about the climb can be found here). All trekking routes are generally available and do not represent the seasonal complexity. However you should still take care of warm clothes and warm sleeping bag, since the temperature in the mountains is very different from the valley. Descriptions of hiking trails can be found here (russian).
Festivals and events in September
- 3-4 September 2016: Art Festival of street food (Batumi)
- September 4, 2016: An annual marathon in Kazbegi
- 15-22 September 2016: Tbilisi Photograph Festival
- 18-25 September 2016: BIAF movie Festival (Batumi)
Georgia in October
Around October the fall begins in Georgia in the traditional sense of the word: the landscape becomes red and yellow, the weather can be capricious. A distinctive feature of this month is a very high probability of strong winds. This does not prevent travel by car, but can already be difficult for the nights in tents.
The difference in staying in the valleys and in the big mountains is distinctive in October. Valley is still mostly sunny (this is the “velvet season”), but the mountains are slowly beginning to move into the winter mode: some roads are preserved as much as until next summer due to snow on the passes (with great probability the road leading to Tusheti is closed). Night frosts are not uncommon, periodically powerful rain fronts crawl, and it is possible that at altitudes above 2500 meters they will become snow. However, between these fronts autumn is still fantastic. We need to be more vigilant in studying the weather forecasts and try to choose the travel areas on the basis of this as well.
Among other things, in October in Georgia significant massive cattle drive down from the mountains into the valleys occurs. The spectacle is impressive.
Travel by car and sightseeing tours (for details, see. “Georgia in September”) are mostly comfortable. Along the road a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables are still sold. It’s good if it is possible to adjust the route during the trip, because sometimes the vagaries of nature make adjustments to the plans. In the high regions heating of homes becomes quite actual, so it is advisable to book heated homes (this applies to the mountains, in the valleys is still mostly warm) when choosing places for overnight stays.
Hiking and climbing
Statistically best time to commit non-extreme trekking and climbing is mid-October. Most mild climate is in the National “Borjomi” park, while in the mountains of Svaneti and similar heights regions have a high probability of snow and night temperatures consistently below 0 ° C.
Festivals and events in October
- 1-9 October 2016: Tbilisi International Theatre Festival GIFT
- October 11, 2016: “Cine Doc” – Documentary Film Festival (Tbilisi)
- 14 October: Georgian Orthodox holiday Svetitskhovloba
- 15-16 October 2016: Tbilisoba (city festival Tbilisi and harvest home)
- October 23, 2016: Tbilisi charity marathon
Georgia in November
November – the most unpredictable in terms of weather month of the autumn. Georgia can come across warm days and strong winds with rain. In November, it preferred to travel at lower sea-level regions: Kakheti, Borjomi, coast, etc. In the mountains heavy snowfalls are already possible.
Car and sightseeing tour does not have any special features, except that many of the dirt roads are impossible to pass and on paved roads in the mountains can be icy.
Multi-day trekking and climbing, with rare exceptions, is already difficult. They are better scheduled for earlier months.
Festivals and events in November
- October 29 – November 4: Jazz Festival in Tbilisi
- November 23:St. George’s Day
Come to Georgia in the fall – it is the perfect time!
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