Svaneti — the Land of Glaciers, myths, and the majestic Mountains! Impossibly beautiful, wild and mysterious, one of the most ancient historical provinces of Georgia. Around 175 towers, most originally built between the 9th and 13th centuries, survive in Svaneti today.
Mestia is 1,500 meters above sea level. It is the starting point for most trips to Svaneti, with a range of hotels, guesthouses, and local travel services, and makes a convenient base for exploring the area.
Did you know that hiking is not only great for your body but also for your soul? A trekking trip is a perfect escape from the daily grind because the views are breathtaking, you’ll challenge your limits and the experience actually makes you happy. A hike from Mazeri village in Becho community to Shdugra (the tallest waterfall in Georgia) takes about 5 hours. If you have more time you can even hike till Ushba glacier. On the road, you can enjoy beautiful pine forest, views to Ushba summit and beautiful river gorge.
The heaven of hospitality — Svaneti — preserves several recipes that are acclaimed as our national treasure. Svanetian culinary is known for its fatty and nourishing products.
Kubdari is the most known Svanetian dish. Dough wrapped pork and beef is a real festival of tastes, the secret of which lies in the alchemy of its spices.
Svanetian Salt has a unique fragrance and taste and is traditionally used as a flavoring for a variety of meat, fish, potato and soup dishes as well as a condiment instead of table salt. The salt mixture is handmade from 8 ingredients like coriander, blue fenugreek, dried red pepper, marigold, cumin, dried dill, white salt, and garlic.
The glacier is located on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, at the source of the river Mestia- Chala. The height of the glacier is 1850 meters. Chalaadi is the only glacier that extends into the forest zone.
The Museum’s collections include important archaeological and ethnographic materials, a rich collection of Georgian manuscripts, and Georgian Orthodox icons painted in the unique Svan style. It also houses ancient objects dating back to early empires and cultures that made their mark on Georgian history. Archeological discoveries made in Svaneti date back to the 3rd century BCE, and provide evidence of active cultural and social life, as well as connection to Kolkheti-the ancient land of the Golden Fleece encountered by the Argonauts. The archaeological collection contains many examples of ceramics, jewelry, cult or religious objects, armaments, trading instruments, and numismatic collections.
This tiny 12th-century church with its own watchtower stands proudly on a hilltop looking back over the town and marks the end of Ushguli. Inside there are some wonderful icons and frescoes, albeit rather faded, devoted to Lamaria, a Svan pagan goddess of fertility, who has gradually become identified with St Mary in the Christian faith.
There is no better way to experience the nature, culture and history of Svaneti than a visit to Adishi. Being isolated for most of the year, Adishi is a micro-version of what Upper Svaneti is all about.
The lakes are situated in Upper Svaneti at an altitude of 2850 meters above sea level, 10km away from Mestia. Koruldi Lakes are surrounded by glaciers and peaks of the Caucasus. Visitors will spot Shkhara, Tetnuldi, Ushba and other peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. The lakes can be reached via a car, horses or hiking. The best view at the place is the Mountain peaks mirroring in the lake.
The easy hike from Ushguli to Shkara takes about 5 hours to get to the glacier of and back. The trail is easy to follow.
Author: Natia Pashurishvili
Cover photo credits: Tomáš Malík