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Inspiration

When to visit the Caucasus

On the convergence of Europe and Asia, three spellbinding countries make up the southern Caucasus region. The Black Sea laps against Georgia’s coastal towns while the oil-rich Caspian washes ashore a new era of wealth for Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. Armenia’s serene Lake Sevan is a pleasant respite in an otherwise landlocked nation.

Mid-May to early July and early September to mid-October is generally warm and sunny, the perfect accompaniment to adventure. However, the best season to travel is a matter of opinion, so use this handy guide to help you choose. Variations do occur so always check the forecast before you depart. And whichever season you choose to visit the Caucasus, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots!

Winter: December - February

Gergeti Trinity Church against Mount Kazbegi, Georgia

Glaciers crawl through the rugged Caucasus Mountains, coupled with high elevation, things tend to be cooler. Winter transforms the alpine regions into a playground for snow sports, if that’s not your thing, the cities have plenty to offer. Enjoy (or endure) a traditional scrub down in a Tbilisi bathhouse, taste Azerbaijan’s cultural concoction in Baku’s Winter Bazaar, and soak up the festive music and atmosphere in towns lit up for Christmas, in age-old ecclesiastical tradition.

Spring: March - May

Svaneti in the spring

As the snow begins to melt, the stillness of the region is replaced with the sound of rushing waterfalls and raging rivers. Enjoy a walk with a view as you explore ancient hill towns set against a dramatic backdrop of enduring snow-capped mountains. Listen out for lively birdsong and breathe in the fresh, sweet air blowing through meadows of bright wildflowers. Warm temperatures make it pleasant for exploring, but pack a light rain jacket in case of spring showers.

Summer: June – August

Fruit market, Tbilisi, Georgia

Summer blossoms into a wonderland for hill walkers, nature lovers and culture vultures alike. Every shade of green rolls across lyrical landscapes. June is warm and sunny, while August sees the peak of the heat and can become humid – making it an ideal time to head to the hills. Alternatively, cling to the coastline or relax lakeside when you’re not busy exploring ancient relics and towns with market stalls bursting with fresh fruit.

Autumn: September – November

Autumn stroll along Signagi city wall, Georgia

 

The autumnal change throughout the Caucasus is sensational. Temperatures are warm and gentle, making it perfect for countryside hikes and long days exploring exuberant cities. Rain becomes rare and most days are filled with blue skies and sunshine. Vibrant celebrations mark the vineyard harvest from September through October, in the wine-growing regions of Armenia and Georgia.