Tbilisi’s Hot Summer Months
Georgia’s summers can be stifling hot. Travellers planning on a stay in Tbilisi during the summer months might be concerned about high temperatures but they should not worry! The cooler countryside and hills are never far away and anyone looking for a refreshing dip will find an array of options for a cooling wild swim. At the start of our three week long escape we had taken a welcome plunge at the Turtle Lake in Vake and after our return from the countryside we had bathed our sweating bodies in the pool underneath the sulphur waterfall inside the Botanical Garden. Another popular swimming opportunity we had kept for last, the capital’s extensive water reservoir, Tbilisi Sea (Tskalsatsavi).
An Afternoon at Tbilisi Sea
After exploring the winery of family friends, we took their daughter to Tbilisi Sea, a favourite spot for the kids to spend an afternoon in Tbilisi. The water reservoir may be hard to reach by public transport, although there are some local buses, it is much easer to take a taxi or drive, like we did with a hire car.
Alternative Swimming Spots
There are several areas along Tbilisi’s shore where swimming is easy. Tbilisi Sea Club near the New Tbilisi Zoo is a well-liked spot by locals and tourists. It also has a small outdoor swimming pool with slide for those not wanting to swim in the lake and younger kids, plus a restaurant and café. Another popular destination with several pools, boat hire and fun play area for kids is the Gino Paradise. They also offer year round indoor swimming and a luxury spa.
The Local Experience
However we headed for the more local experience and joined a number of Tbilisi’s residents on the beach at the western end of the water reservoir, near a sailing club, just below the Chronicle of Georgia Monument. The kids had brought along a blow up paddling pool and used it as a boat in the water. However their joy was short lived when after a few minutes a lifeguard sped over on his jet ski, telling them to immediately leave the water with the paddling pool! They were obviously concerned about their safety!
Hiring a Pedalo Boat
Thankfully the kids did not despair for long and returned into the water. After swimming and splashing about for a while they wondered if we would treat them to a ride on a pedalo boat, the sailing club offered a selection of rides, including small dinghies and jet skies. Chris joined them for the inexpensive ride and shortly after they headed out onto the vast Tbilisi Sea. I stayed behind on the beach, minding our possessions and happy to just watch the locals enjoy their time after work. An older man was stretching and exercising nearby in his swimming trunks while a lot of the other beach goers just wore underwear for their swim, possibly because they could not afford to spend money on bikinis.
Rainbow Across the Horizon
Chris had decided to leave the kids on their own pedalling across the reservoir and joined me again on the beach, watching the two kids disappear on the horizon. It had started to drizzle slightly, but thanks to the warm temperature we did not mind. Afterwards we were blessed with a mesmerising rainbow spanning across the far end of the lake. Jerome and his friend were out paddling far longer than they should have, his friend even declared after their return that she would have loved to paddle to the other end…
No More Georgian Food…
After the exercise the kids declared their hunger and the children expressed their desire for sushi! Jerome’s friend complained that she only had Georgian food over the last weeks, staying with her grandparents and family. She admitted to craving other food, like kebap and sushi. After some research online we discovered that a small Japanese eatery was not too far away and we headed there for dinner.
Dinner at Sushi Room
At first we had trouble locating Sushi Room, it was part of some smaller shop in shops at a large supermarket. Seated at the bar, we ordered a selection of Japanese dishes, quickly realizing that we too, had missed Japanese cuisine! The sushi and sashimi was freshly prepared and oishii desu (delicious)! The pricing compared to other Georgian restaurants was definitely more expensive but still a lot cheaper than if we would have enjoyed a Japanese meal in London or other parts of Western Europe and even Japan.
Plans for the Following Day
Before dropping Jerome’s friend back home, the kids forced us to stop again at the winery to see the kittens. They also plotted to get together again the following day and we would visit the stunning Dashibashi Gorge and waterfalls, another captivating place in Georgia for a refreshing wild swim!
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Hotels in Georgia
The ultimate place to be in Tblisi! This luxury abode is a work of art, housed in a former printing house, with a lush courtyard and large stylish rooms.
This über-cool hostel set around a courtyard with cafes, restaurants and craft shops offers great family rooms with their own private terrace besides the standard shared rooms with amazing breakfast.
Communal Hotel Sololaki
Hidden on a quiet street in the lesser explored parts of Tbilisi , this small boutique hotel offers unique designed rooms, some with their own balcony or even a free standing bath tub. Highly recommended!
Once the summerhouse of a wealthy, Iranian consular, this unique building now houses a small hotel and spa.
Rooms Hotel Kokhta Bakuriani
Ski to door access or hiking in the surrounding mountains and Borjomi, the latest addition to Bakuriani’s hotel scape will wow any tourist or active winter sports fanatic.
This small hotel housed in a historical building has recently been renovated and houses spacious rooms within walking from the town centre.
Generally we would not recommend a chain hotel but the Best Western is the only upmarket hotel, for all those looking for home comforts and well-trained English speaking staff.
Wake up to the breathtaking views of Gergeti Trinity church, followed by an impeccable breakfast on the vast terrace. Enjoy a relaxing swim or spa treatment after a long day of hiking in the surrounding Caucasus Mountains.
Are you after the spectacular views of the impressive mountainside but unable to afford Rooms Hotel? The cabins provide an equal panorama and basic comforts.
Hit the ski slopes from this opulent hotel in Gudauri and savour an après ski cocktail by the fireplace or take a plunge in the large indoor pool.