Mountains and Climate

Georgia is a country with a pronounced mountainous terrain, 87% of its territory is covered by mountains and foothills. North is taken by the mountains of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, in the south there are Lesser Caucasus and Javakheti Plateau.

Greater Caucasus Mountains represent a young, growing mountain system with pointed peaks and deep gorges. The length of this highest mountain range in Europe is 1150 kilometers. In the longitudinal direction the Greater Caucasus is conventionally divided into three parts – the western, central and eastern. Central Caucasus is separated from the West by gorges of Kuban and Nenskra, and from the Eastern Caucasus – by Upper Gorge of Aragvi River and Terek River. Central and Western Caucasus are located in Georgia for their entire length, while Eastern is located there only partially. The main dividing ridge represents watershed for its whole length. It reaches greatest height in Georgia  within the western region of Svaneti, where towering mountains Shkhara (5068m), Tetnuldi (4869m), Ushba (4700m), and other  tops of the southern longitudinal and transverse ridges of the Great Dividing Range rise to a height of 3000-4000m. On the northern transverse and longitudinal ridges (Khokh Range, Pirikitsky) you can see towering mountains of eastern Georgia – Mount  Kazbek (5047m), Tebulosmta (4493m), and others. In Georgia, there are 786 glaciers, the total area of which is 555.82 square kilometers, located mainly in the region of Svaneti .

Lesser Caucasus

The highest peaks of the Lesser Caucasus do not exceed 2850-3000m.

 Javakheti Plateau is different from the rest of the country by the presence of high altitude (1300-2200m) vast plateau-like plains. Peak of Southern Georgian volcanic highlands is the Big Mountain Didi Abuli, it reaches a height of 3305 meters above sea level.

The Climate

The climate of Georgia is diverse. On a fairly small area, which is in fact inferior to the St. Petersburg region by size, there are almost all climatic zones, from humid subtropical in Western Georgia, to dry, continental in eastern Georgia, and there are zones of eternal snows and glaciers. The climate in Georgia is particularly affected by the Black Sea from the west of the country. The high ridges of the Greater Caucasus protect Georgia from the intrusion of cold air masses from the north.

In the air temperature of Georgia there is quite a contrast. The highest average annual temperature is fixed on the northern coast of the Black Sea, near the city of Sukhumi (+ 15° C), and the lowest on the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, at an altitude of 5000m (-12.5° C).

The average level of rainfall for the year in Western Georgia reaches 1200-2000mm; the maximum number is reached on the Black Sea coast, in a mountainous area, the region of Adjara – 3500-4000mm. In the central and eastern parts of Georgia, rainfall is much less – 400-800mm per year, while on the northern and southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains this number comes down to the level of 800-1600mm.