Haven’t you been to the mountainous region of Svaneti? If you haven’t, you just don’t know Georgia. You need to urgently correct this injustice and come to Mestia – here, at the foot of the Caucasian ridge, among alpine meadows and coniferous forests you can feel isolation from the outside world and the energy of wildlife. By the way, despite its modest size (the population of this mountain village is no more than 3 thousand people), Mestia is surely amongst the top 10 main tourist centers in Georgia. And now you will know why!
Svaneti is a unique region located high in the mountains (because of such inaccessibility of this region, the svans were separated into a separate nationality up to the 1930s). People come here, first of all, for the sake of natural beauty – a lot of tourist routes to the mountains and glaciers start exactly here, in Mestia.
In winter and summer, the ski resort of Khatsvali (Hatsvali) on the Zuruldi Ridge attracts travelers – there is a cableway here that offers amazing views of the sinister Ushba mountain and the entire Caucasian ridge. The Coruldi lakes, located at an altitude of almost 3 thousand meters above sea level, are very popular too. They are tiny ponds among the wild grasses of the fields. Ili Ushguli is the most highland community of four villages in Europe. It is famous not only for its beautiful landscapes, but also for interesting historical monuments – the ruins of the Chazhash Castle (the queen Tamara stayed here once), and also the whole museum of icons and the Church of Virgin Mary at an altitude of 2300 meters.
When choosing the optimum time for a trip to Mestia, remember: this is a mountainous region, so the weather is not that stable here. Even in summer it is not extremely hot here, the first colds come in September, and spring begins very early (though, the sunny March day may end with a long snowball). Mestia becomes almost deserted in winter – but it is during this period when you can see absolutely fabulous night landscapes with illuminated small towers on the background of the mountains.
By the way, you can climb to the roof of the museum to take a couple of photos – it offers an excellent view of the mountain landscapes and the houses of Mestia.
If you go to Svaneti with an intention to walk a lot and for a long time, we recommend that you choose the time from the middle of June to the beginning of October – this is the high trekking season in the region, when trails and roads are easily passable. In Mestia village itself you can have a rest all year round – this place never runs out of heady air of mountains and fragrant kubdary (local flat cakes with meat)!