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Things to Do in Svaneti

Things to Do in Svaneti

If you're in search of a memorable journey and are drawn to exploring a land steeped in myth, consider visiting Svaneti to witness Georgia's tallest peak, stunning natural landscapes, forests, villages featuring towers that blend seamlessly with the cliff faces, and majestic mountains that rise boldly around you.
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What is Svaneti known for?

Svaneti is a place of breathtaking landscapes, ancient stone towers, and one of the world's most vibrant traditions. 

Settled high up in the mountains, Svaneti and the ethnic groups living here - the Svans - retain a very strong and exclusive view of the lifestyle adhered to almost centuries ago.

Crowning its valleys and some of the highest peaks in the Caucasus, it rises dramatically by an order above the stone-built villages and towers.

Is Svaneti Safe?

Travelers can rest assured that Svaneti is considered safe for visitors. Like the rest of Georgia, Svaneti prides itself on hospitality and welcomes tourists with open arms. Standard travel precautions apply, but the local population is friendly and eager to share their homeland with foreigners.

How Long to Spend in Mestia?

Mestia is one of the main highlights of Svaneti. It is recommended to stay at least 3-4 days, to fully embrace all the experiences, this magical place has to offer.

Here is everything a tourist can ask for: Mountains for skiing and hiking, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and other landmarks. 

Because of its fortified location, Mestia was a very important place and served as “The defender of the treasury”. When foreign invaders attacked other locations, the treasures of Georgia were taken to Mestia. 

You can visit and take a look at a portion of this treasury in the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography while visiting Mestia.

What Is The Highest Village in Svaneti 

The highest village in Svaneti is Ushguli, a community of villages located about 46km from Mestia. Its landscapes are covered with beautiful meadows, ancient towers, and direct views of the highest peak in Georgia, Mount Shkhara, which rises from over 2100 meters above sea level. Ushguli is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit for those seeking to experience Svaneti's historical and natural wonders.

How To Get To Svaneti?

Most roads lead to Mestia, the central town of Svaneti, directly from both Kutaisi and Tbilisi. Tbilisi is approximately 8-10 hours away, and Kutaisi is about 4-5 hours away. For those with limited time, flights are available directly to Mestia from Tbilisi.

Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography

This is one of the most famous museums in Mestia, and a very large number of exhibits are currently maintained here, which open rather specific facts for the visitor about the history and way of life of the Svans. The museum has very rich collections of artifacts, including old manuscripts, religious icons, and traditional Svan clothes, which give an idea about the history and traditions of the region.

Chalaadi Glacier

Accessible by a relatively easy hike from Mestia, the Chalaadi Glacier is a natural highlight, showing off much of the raw beauty of the Caucasus Mountains. The easy trek through the forest and over streams to the glacier will reward that effort with stunning ice formations at the end of the glacier.

Hatsvali and Tetnuldi Ski Resorts

For tourists, who are fans of winter sports, particularly skiing, In Svaneti, there are two great ski resorts: Hatsvali and Tetnuldi. Both of them represent a mixture of different types of slopes for all-level participants and have breathtaking views of surroundings that will make your skiing experience an unforgettable memory.

Ushba

Often called the "Matterhorn of the Caucasus," Ushba is well known for that specific double summit and is one of the most difficult peaks for mountaineers. Ushba has a special meaning in the wild beauty of the whole Svaneti region.  Even for those, who do not attempt to climb, Ushba offers spectacular scenery.

The Tower of Love

Next to Ushguli, you will find the "Tower of Love,". This tower tells a Romeo and Juliet-type forbidden love tale, dearly standing next to the effusion of the oral history in this region as an emotive edifice.

Koruldi Lakes 

For those in love with nature, the trek to Koruldi Lakes is a must. It unveils some of the most picturesque landscapes in Svaneti, framed against the background of towering Caucasus peaks.

Shkhara Glacier

The Shkhara Glacier starts near Ushguli, running down from the slope of Shkhara, Georgia's highest mountain. The route to the glacier itself is a bit like a path through an adventure.

Tobavarchkhili Lakes 

For the more adventurous, the trek to the Tobavarchkhili Lakes is a challenging but rewarding journey. Located in the more remote parts of Svaneti, these lakes are known for their crystal-clear waters and the serene beauty of their untouched surroundings.

In conclusion, Svaneti is a paradise for all those who wish to fill their travels with adventure and learn about the cultures. It offers a unique blend of experiences from glacial treks and skiing down pristine slopes to exploring the rich history and traditions of the Svan people. Its sublime landscapes, hospitable communities, and ancient culture are a testament to the enduring spirit of Georgia.

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