Hiking: Nakra - Etseri

Two small villages in Svaneti, Nakra, and Etseri, have become very popular in recent years. Incredible sites await you along the 18.3 kilometers between Nakra and Etseri.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

The village of Nakra, 1,300 meters above sea level, is located in the Nakra River valley, and built over a plain, which is where the name of the village comes from, as “nak” means “plain” in Svan. Svans will tell you many strange and mysterious stories about this ancient village. They will tell you, with pride, that, according to legend, Caesar loved this place. There are many similar houses in the village, a medieval church, and one Svan tower, which was plastered by women, an unusual practice in Svaneti during this time.

The Route

The route starts on the right bank of the Nara River, in the middle of the village, at 1,218 meters above sea level, and climbs up to 1,884 meters through a forest on the southwestern ridge, where you will find yourself at the abandoned settlements of Tsaleri and Tavrari. The path then crosses another three ridges, where you will find the villages of Paledi, Gheshderi, and Pari. There are signs along the path, which mostly go through a forest so it’s not easy to get lost. After Pari Village there is one more ridge, to the north, for you to cross, after which you will reach Etseri.


The route ends in the village of Etseri, 1,520 meters above sea level, where lies beautiful views of the Layla Range and its peak at 4,009 meters.

Close to the 11th-century basilica in Etseri, you will also see the tower of the Dadeshkeliani nobles, surrounded by a large wall, open to tourists. Guesthouses are open in both villages where you can try local foods. Mineral water seeps to the surface at various locations in Nakra, but make sure to ask a local if it's safe to drink.

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