While many of Svaneti’s villages have been modernised over time, Adishi remains largely untouched, due largely to the fact that tourists have only recently discovered this quaint corner of Georgia.
The village’s old houses are set against a backdrop of the gorgeous Svan towers, behind which the Adishi Glacier looms like a silent guardian.
While many come to the area to see the well-preserved Svan towers, there are also four hall-type churches in the village:
The 10th-11th-century Church of the Savior, with paintings preserved from the 12th century;
The two 11th-12th-century St. George Churches, in which you can see art depicting episodes from the lives of saints;
The Archangel Church dates to the 13th century and is decorated with ancient frescoes.
One of the oldest examples of Georgian writing was found in Adishi as well – The Adishi Gospels, copied in Shatberdi Monastery, and currently kept in the Svaneti Historical/Ethnographic Museum.
Adishi is 27 kilometers from Mestia in the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti Region. Getting to Mestia can be a feat in and of itself, with the road from Tbilisi being more than 450 kilometres in length. Thankfully, you can also take a plane to Mestia from Kutaisi Airport or from the airfield in Natakhtari Village near Tbilisi.
It is also possible to reach Adishi through a combination of train (to Zugdidi Station) and minivan or taxi.
For those wishing to drive, bear in mind that the road from Mestia to Adishi is especially rough and winding, with the last part of the journey requiring a vehicle with high off-road capabilities.