People say that, those who have not visited Svaneti have not discovered Georgia. Of course, this is too bold statement, as Georgia is diverse, but Svaneti is a very unique place.
Svaneti is a region, located in the north-west part of Georgia and famous for its centuries-old Svan towers, mountains, lakes and spectacular views. The most important attractions of the Svan region are of course the mountains and landscapes that you will immediately notice at the entrance and that will not leave you the whole trip. These beauties make you breathe in a different way, and probably you will want to stay there longer to make a million photos.
The second attraction, for which thousands of tourists come here, is the famous and ancient Svan towers. They are scattered throughout the region, but most of them are preserved in Mestia and the mountainous village of Ushguli. Towers were built only by the richest families as a protection against attacks and vanishing mountain avalanches, and sometimes troubles with neighbors. Rumor has it that with a large conflict between childbirth, had to sit in the tower for months, and the house could be reached through an underground passage, which only knew the head of family. The towers began to be built in the VIII century, the youngest of them is more than 700 years old. Today, all Svan towers are included in the UNESCO world heritage site, so they are carefully and periodically restored.
House-Museum of Margiani family. More information about the towers, swans and their life, you will find in one of the museums. We would like to recommend the Margiani family Museum, where you can climb to the top of tower. It is a 15-minute walk from the center of Mestia, you can find it on the way with signs. Other museums are also quite interesting, but almost the same, so do not waste time and money on everything. Another Museum, which is mandatory to visit in Svaneti and which is radically different from all the others, is the house-Museum of the world-famous mountaineer Mikhail Khergiani. The Museum is located far from the city and you can reach it only on foot, or hire a taxi.
The other very beautiful place in Svaneti that everyone has to see is the eternal glacier of Chalaadi. The path to the glacier is easy and simple, but very far and it is in 12 kilometers from Mestia. Most tourists do walking tour, some drive up to the extreme point (bridge) in a rented car, and then 2 kilometers walk. If you decide to get to the glacier yourself, always stay close to the river, and take a detailed map in the information center.
Having Visited all these places, go to the highest mountain settlement in Europe – Ushguli. It is very interesting and beautiful area. And frankly speaking, the photo does not convey all the beauty, it must be seen with your own eyes. You can get to Ushguli only by SUV or one of the special cars that stand in the center of Mestia, near the information center, and recruit groups of tourists for a joint trip.
All in all, Svaneti is amazing place, definitely worth to visit!
Photos from sources – visitgeorgia.ge, thenaturaladventure.com, lonelyplanet.com, caucasus-trekking.com