Last Updated September, 2021
Autumn in Georgia is that special time of the year that I even decided to dedicate a separate post to it and share all my favorite foliage activities along with fantastic cultural events. Some of them are so unique in their nature that you won’t be able to find the same experiences anywhere else.
If you are deciding on when to travel to Georgia, why not plan your trip for fall, especially for September and October.
Autumn is a season of holidays and harvest, warm sea and gentle sun. It is truly one of the best times to visit Georgian cities as well as mountains and see the sights. At this time, the heat is already subsiding, the flow of tourists is decreasing, many seasonal fruits fill the markets, and grape harvest with winemaking become the main holidays.
Many hiking and off-road routes are open at least until the end of October and thanks to the perfect temperature you can spend days in comfort when visiting cities and ancient landmarks. And, of course, autumn is the best time for artists and photographers – a riot of colors combined with mountainous terrain give Georgian landscapes more magic.
If you are considering visiting Georgia in the fall, the best months to do it are September and October. Although November has its own benefits and things to offer.
Let’s talk about each month to understand where to go and what to do, and how to get the most of the fall in Georgia!
Weather in Autumn in Georgia
Georgia is a mountainous country. Although it is small, the climate varies greatly depending on the region. The Caucasian ridge provides mild, comfortable weather throughout the country with cold and snowy winters in the mountains.
But let’s look into each month to have a better idea of what to expect.
Georgia weather in September
Since we are talking about an entire country, it is quite difficult to say in one sentence what the weather will be like in Georgia in September since the weather in different regions is very different.
The west of the country is influenced by the subtropical climate, the east – by the Mediterranean climate. At the same time, it is rather difficult to predict exactly when the weather will be most pleasant. One year it can be sunny and warm at the end of September, but next year it may rain and be even cold.
But overall, September is still considered a very nice month with pleasant temperatures throughout the country. It is really the best time to travel in all directions.
September in Tbilisi is also one of the best months to travel. The summer heat is already gone and the weather is mild and comfortable. The average daytime temperature is around +20, and at night it does not drop lower than +18C.
Weather in Georgia in October
If September weather is still considered more like summer in Georgia, October is very different. Weather in October actually reminds of real autumn. Yet, it is one of the warmer destinations in Europe at this time.
There are many sunny days with occasional rain and both the plains and the coast see a lot of the sun. Caucasus mountains though have lower temperatures and at night they even drop below zero.
After the summer heat, the Black Sea cools down slowly, but a beach vacation in October in Georgia is more a pleasant bonus than the norm. At the beginning of the month, the water temperature is around +23С, in the middle +20C and in the end +18C. Tourists who love cool swims will enjoy spending time on the beaches.
October is the best month for touring Tbilisi, visiting canyons near Kutaisi or ancient cities, joining wine tours to Kakheti, and going on one of many fabulous Georgia road trips.
Weather in Georgia in November
November is always a transitional period in Georgia. The weather is unstable and you never know what to expect from it. On the coast, you can still catch the last warm days that are nice for walking and excursions. At the same time, the first snow falls in the mountains.
In Tbilisi, the weather deteriorates noticeably. Although in the first half of the month there are days when the air even warms up to +18C degrees. Nighttime temperatures are still above zero but in the last decade, they may drop below that mark.
November in Georgia is that month when everyone shifts their attention to ski resorts. Locals start going more often to Gudauri and Bakuriani that are the most popular ski resorts in Georgia. There, during the day, the thermometer rarely surpasses the mark of +1+2C but at night it falls below zero. The snow cover is beginning to form but the season is still far from the start. The required density and thickness for skiing will be reached only by mid-December.
November is one of the least pleasant months to travel to Georgia. Yet, besides the downsides, there are also some positive aspects. With a small number of tourists, it becomes possible to better experience the authentic atmosphere of Georgia, its culture, and history. In addition, hotel rates also significantly go down.
If you plan to visit Georgia at this time of the year, look into lovely hotels with their own wineries or spas, don’t miss wine tours in Tbilisi, and sulfur baths.
If you want to go to the mountains for beautiful landscapes and autumn colors, then the best time for this was in September and October. However, in November you can still find them too. The only place to catch a “golden autumn” in the Georgia mountains at this time is Adjara. In this region, it lasts until the end of the month.
November is also a good month for moving to Georgia since the weather is conducive to work and stay indoors. Apartment prices also drop significantly this month.
NOTE: The rainiest places in November in Georgia are – Poti, Ureki, Anaklia, Kobuleti, Kutaisi, Makhinjauri. The least precipitation is observed in Gudauri, Bakuriani, Borjomi, Gonio.
Where to Go in Georgia in Autumn
Kakheti – For Rtveli Festival & Wine Tours
The first place worth visiting in autumn in Georgia is Kakheti – a region of ancient traditions and the most delicious wines. From the beginning of September to the beginning of October, Kakheti holds a unique grape harvest festival Rtveli.
Actually, all regions that grow grapes and produce wine celebrate Rtveli but Kakheti as the center of winemaking in Georgia has the brightest celebration.
Rtveli is not just a period of time for harvesting grapes or a simple agricultural process. For Georgia, the oldest wine-making country in the world, it is a really beautiful ritual that unites all family members, friends, and relatives.
Even in Tbilisi and other large cities, you can notice and feel that the harvest has begun as there are a lot of fresh grapes in the street markets. However, if you want to experience it yourself and be in the center of all events you need to visit one of the villages of the Kakheti region.
There is no exact date for Rtveli, as it depends on the weather. But usually, based on all previous years, this event falls sometime between the second and last week of September. Although some villages harvest at the beginning of September. Small family-owned wineries can harvest everything during a few days but bigger corporations take a few weeks or even a month.
Despite the fact that Rtveli is a family event, tourists are also welcome and can take part in it. The hosts will be happy!
After the grape harvest, a festive feast begins with delicious local dishes and, of course, homemade wine.
If you are traveling on a budget, there are many wineries in Kakheti to visit on your own. Many of them offer to participate in Rtveli festival.
Tbilisi – For Tbilisoba Festival
Autumn is the best time to come to the capital of Georgia for exploring culture, nature and sightseeing. It is very comfortable to be there without stifling heat and a big number of tourists like in summer.
Tbilisi weather in September is mostly sunny with very little precipitation. The July-August heat subsides and walks around the city become more pleasant. It is not uncommon to spend entire September in shorts and a T-shirt.
Weather in Tbilisi in October is characterized by occasional heavy rains. But the temperature still reaches 20-22C degrees during the day.
Tbilisi weather in November has a likelihood of the onset of “Indian summer” at the beginning of the month. The average temperature is around 13-16C degrees and only by the end, it gets colder. Precipitation is possible, but surprisingly, it falls less rain in November than in October. It is affected by the proximity of winter, which is surprisingly dry in Tbilisi.
One of the reasons to visit Tbilisi in autumn is the colorful holiday Tbilisoba, dedicated to the harvest. The main events take place in October in Rike Park near Old Tbilisi and the Abanotubani area.
During the celebration, you can see men crushing grapes, performances of folklore ensembles in national costumes and mobile theaters. There is music everywhere, food stalls, and wine flows like a river. Spending a few days in Tbilisoba is a great opportunity to feel the spirit of the country and the temperament of the people.
It will be convenient to stay within walking distance from the main points of the festival: for example, in the hotel Tiflis Palace. And when the sounds of the holiday subside, you can go to explore the most interesting sights of Tbilisi.
Batumi and Black Sea Coast – For Autumn Sun & Beach
Batumi and the Black Sea Coast of Georgia are famous for their changeable and capricious weather. Therefore, giving one concrete recommendation about Batumi in autumn is not right. Someone will be lucky to have all days sunny, while someone else will need to wrap up in a warm sweater and walk under an umbrella during the whole vacation.
Yet Batumi and coastal towns such as Ureki, Kobuleti, Kvariati, Anaklia, etc. have definitely more advantages in the fall than disadvantages. Here are just some of them:
- Even if the weather is changeable, for the most part, the temperature is still comfortable enough for sightseeing.
- In September and the first part of October, Batumi and the rest of the Black Sea coast are warm and sunny. Officially, the beach season on the Black Sea lasts until mid-October. So many tourists who arrive in Batumi at the beginning of the month still manage to swim.
- A small number of tourists. During this period, there are not so many visitors as in summer, so you will not see crowds on the streets, beaches, or in restaurants.
- The city and its surroundings in the fall are so beautiful that it is simply breathtaking. September and October are fabulous months to rent a car in Batumi and go on a road trip in Adjara which, by the way, is considered the most picturesque region of the country.
The only downside of the second part of autumn can be bad weather. October and November are considered rainy months, so be sure to bring an umbrella with you.
In addition, do not particularly expect that in the second half of October you will be able to swim in the Black Sea. There is a chance, but it is very small.
What I like most about the Batumi area and Adjara region is that when leaves start changing their colors in other parts of Georgia, Batumi and the surrounding area stay completely green (like in summer) for a bigger part of fall. The leaves start to turn yellow only towards the end of October. In the mountains of Adjara, most of the trees remain green almost until the beginning of November.
So you can easily transfer in seasons in Georgia within one day.
Racha Region – For Kaleidoscope of Fall Colors
The mountainous region of Racha is one of the quietest corners of Georgia with picturesque surroundings. It has a very different nature than other parts of the Caucasus mountains and offers seclusion away from the hustle and bustle.
Racha has low mountains that are very beautiful in autumn. You can walk in the woods, pick mushrooms and berries, and go on hikes. Hiking trails in Racha are not very famous, this is why they are almost always empty.
There are also many beautiful lakes, waterfalls and mineral springs in this region. And all of them are surrounded by alpine meadows and mountains.
The best time to see foliage in Racha is in late September and early October. And besides all the things that I have already mentioned, Racha is second after Kakheti when it comes to wine production. So you can combine a fall trip into nature with wine tastings and also participate in Rtveli festival.
And for the best experience, if you feel comfortable driving, rent a car in Tbilisi and go on a road trip.
Svaneti – For Hikes, Scenery & Foliage
Svaneti, the alpine region in the north of Georgia, is gorgeous in any season. But more so it is beautiful in fall. Majestic snowy peaks of the mountains, glaciers and waterfalls stand out in a special way with yellow and orange background.
Svaneti region will be interesting not only for people who love nature. It has unique traditions and its own unique culture and cuisine. Until the third week of October, many hiking trails are still accessible and you can go see Chalaadi glacier and Koruldi Lakes.
Golden autumn in Svaneti starts in the beginning of October and depending on the year it may last for the entire month. This is the best time for seclusion and leisurely walks while the weather is still nice and there are very few tourists. And in the evenings, when the temperature drops, wrap up in a blanket by the fireplace with a glass of wine.
Borjomi – For Autumn Retreats, Colors & Spa
In September-October, Borjomi is still excellent as a balneological and mountain climatic resort. In September it is warm during the day and pleasantly cool in the evening. The autumn air becomes clearer somewhere in October, the mountains begin to turn yellow, and the sky turns blue. During the first two months of fall, this part of Georgia is especially bright.
November, although it starts seeing more rain and early snow, is still a good month to visit too. Because this is the right time to soak in a hot sulfuric spring.
One of my favorite places in Borjomi for complete zen still stays Crowne Plaza with its spa center. It just has a great ratio of price-quality and provides excellent opportunities for relaxation of mind and body. Likani Health & Spa Center from time to time offers yoga retreats and various detox programs.
In September and at least until mid-October, I recommend you go hiking in the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The heights there are relatively low and snow starts falling only closer to the end of autumn.
Vashlovani National Park – for Surreal Views
September and October are the right time to visit the Vashlovani National Park (in summer it is very hot there, above 45C degrees), located in the southeast of Kakheti.
You won’t find there any foliage but autumn is the best season to see totally surreal landscapes that look as if they are not on earth but on another planet.
Vashlovani is a real semi-desert, which is very different from all other Georgia landscapes. Low sandstone mountains, dwarf trees, roads that run along the beds of dried up rivers – you’ll find all of it in this national park. Nature there reminded me a lot about a few parks in Nevada and Utah that I visited on a road trip from Los Angeles. It is a very interesting and unique place!
Other Places That Are Great For Fall Travel in Georgia
Kazbegi is open year-round and at any time of the year it attracts visitors with the glorious nature of the Caucasus.
For the most fulfilling experience, hire a car and drive Georgian Military Road, the most picturesque route in Georgia. It runs from Tbilisi to the foot of Mount Kazbek and in autumn, stunning landscapes await you along the way.
Until the beginning of November, Juta the alpine village is still accessible too where fall hiking offers beautiful foliage sceneries.
Cave Cities Such as David Gareji, Vardzia, Uplistikhe
Autumn (together with spring) is the best season to visit cave cities in Georgia. These ancient temples and monasteries are located in a region that becomes too hot in summer.
When visiting in the fall, you no longer need to come in the early morning or in the evening to stay away from heat. Come during the day and spend as much time as you want knowing that you won’t melt.
Of course, the list of places to visit in Georgia in fall does not end here. You can literally travel in all directions and enjoy every region because the weather is truly fantastic. However, remember that autumn every year is different both in weather and in sensations. It can be warmer or cooler, drier or have more rain. Yet, it is still really the best season to visit Georgia (alright, okay, all other seasons are very nice too).
So is it worth going to Georgia in autumn? Definitely yes! This is a special time that gives its own, unlike anything else, landscapes, feelings, impressions and adventures. Autumn in Georgia is no better and no worse than summer, it is just completely different.