At 2,200 metres above sea level, Ushguli is one of the highest settlements in Europe, and one of the most extreme points in Svaneti, from which trails go towards the highest peaks of the Caucasus Mountains.
The Ushguli community, which consists of five small villages, is connected to the outside world by the Ushguli-Mestia road and the Ushguli-Lentekhi road, the latter of which can only be taken only during the warm season, mostly during late spring to early fall, as it is often completely covered in snow for the other half of the year!
Due to its location, Ushguli is used to isolation. For much of its history, it was almost completely cut off from the rest of Svaneti and the outside world. Even traveling from Ushguli to the nearest community, just seven kilometres away, was a difficult task. On the other hand, enemies could not reach it either.
The name of this unconquerable village is connected to the term “ushishari guli”, which means “fearless heart”.
It goes without saying that the famous Svan Towers are on display in Ushguli, and dozens of these impressive fortifications grace the villages. Their presence is complemented by the 12th-13th-century fortress built during Queen Tamar’s reign.
Other notable sights in Ushguli include the Lamaria Mother of God Church, the archaeological museum, the summer and winter towers of King Tamar, and the St. Barbare Church in the Murqmeli village.
For such a small place, there is certainly a lot to see!
Thanks to this unique and authentic architecture, Ushguli is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ushguli is on the slopes of the 5,201-meter-high Shkhara peak. This is Georgia’s highest peak, and the third-highest in the Caucasus Mountain Range.
There is a fantastic view from wherever you stand in Ushguli, and here is where you should load up your camera’s memory, especially if the weather is clear.