Welcome to Svaneti

Not so long ago Svaneti was still pretty well off the beaten track, but tourism development since the mid-2000s has brought new ski stations, flights from Tbilisi, a major improvement of the road up from Zugdidi, a huge increase in accommodation options and many more visitors, to the point where Svaneti's only town, Mestia, can get pretty busy in summer. Svaneti's mystique and beauty, however, are in no danger of wearing thin.

During the many invasions of Georgia over the centuries, icons and other religious valuables were brought to this isolated region for safekeeping, and a significant number remain in private homes today. Svaneti also has a rich church-art heritage of its own, and many tiny village churches boast frescoes 1000 years old. This mountain retreat, with its own unwritten language, largely unintelligible to other Georgians, is regarded as a bastion of Georgian traditions, as can be witnessed at the numerous Svan festivals of which probably the most famous is Kvirikoba.

Svaneti is divided into Upper (Zemo) and Lower (Kvemo) Svaneti. Green and beautiful Upper Svaneti offers the best walking and climbing as well as the strongest traditions. The walking season lasts from about early June to mid-October, though some routes can be waterlogged early or late in that period.

Top experiences in Svaneti

Svaneti activities

$600 Private & Custom Tours

Tour to Mestia from Tbilisi

Day 1: Becho-Mestia. You'll be picked up at your location of choice in Tbilisi, then set off directly for Mestia. The road passes the Enguri Hydro Power Plant dam as you enter the Enguri River valley. Then you'll visit the village of Becho, famous for its magnificent view of the spear-shaped double summit of Mt. Ushba. From there, the road passes through medieval villages, giving you an up-close look at towers built between the 9th and 12th centuries. The famous towers, with their unique architecture and historical role in Georgia, represent UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You'll arrive by evening in Mestia, the main town of the Svaneti region.Day 2: Mestia. Spend the day getting to know the incredible mountain town of Mestia and its surrounding villages. You'll start by visiting the Margiani Tower Museum, followed by the globally famous Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, Mestia. The trip will continue to neighboring villages, where you'll have a chance to explore medieval churches and chapels.Day 3: Mestia-Ushguli. From Mestia, you'll travel to Ushguli, the highest-altitude inhabited village in Europe, at 2,100 meters. Ushguli sits at the bottom of Mount Shkhara, and consists of four villages: Chvibani, Zhibani, Chazhashi and Murqmeli. Enjoy stunning views of Mount Shkhara, before returning to Mestia.Day 4: Zugdidi-Archeopolis. Descend from the mountain region around Mestia to Zugdidi, the central town of the Samegrelo region. Here you'll see a medieval castle and the Dadiani Dukes Palace, and will also be able to visit the Zugdidi Museum where you'll encounter the famous Napoleon's Mask. Your next destination is Archeopolis in the ancient town of Kolheti – the site of the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology. Learn about this fascinating city that played a pivotal role in the 7th century Byzantine-Sasanian War. You will stay the night in Kutaisi.Day 5: Kutaisi-Gelati-Tbilisi. Start the day with a visit to Bagrat Cathedral, the masterpiece of Georgian medieval architecture, built in the 11th century. Next, you'll visit the famous Motsameta and Gelati monasteries, founded by King David IV, which served as the cultural and intellectual center of Georgia. Return to Tbilisi.The tour includes all transportation, full-time guide and accommodation. Accommodation choice is offered up front and confirmed by customer. The accommodation can be hotels, guest houses and apartments.  The accommodation will be chosen in price range set by our side. After confirmation, the company does not take responsibility for accommodation quality.

$335 Private & Custom Tours

Private tour to Mestia - Ushguli - Svaneti - the magical mountains

This is the ultimate short tour to Svaneti, where you can see the best of this region, but also discover some scenic spots of central Georgia. The 4 days journey includes following highlights:Mestia, the beautiful capital of ancient stone towers and authentic culture - visit a traditional Svan house, taste the famous Kubdari pies and listen to traditional Svan songsUshguli - the highest permanent settlement of Europe - raw and mesmerizingIn winter - visit the Tetnuldi ski resort with stunning views over CaucasusIn summer - hike to Chaladi or Shkhara glacierTake a boat trip through the beautiful Martvili canyon and dare to walk on the hanging bridge over the Okatse canyonEnjoy a unique journey to the secluded region of Svaneti and immerse into the wild nature and authentic culture.

$232 Private & Custom Tours

Racha - private 2 days tour from Kutaisi to scenic countryside of Georgia

The tour covers the most interesting and scenic areas of Racha in two days. Some of the main highlights of this tour are: Prometheus cave by TskaltuboShaori lake - a beautiful and calm lake surrounded by green hillsNikortsminda cathedral from XI centurythe Synagogue of Oniwine tasting of one of the most exclusive wines in Georgia - the KhvanchkaraNakerala mountain pass with a view over Racha and Imereti regionsLailashi - an old village at the altitude of 850m above the sea level, that used to be one of the centers of trade between Racha and Svaneti and has one of the most stunning open air pools in GeorgiaVisit the traditional house of an artist and a carpenter, where you can see numerous antique objects, learn about the traditions of Racha and try some of the best Racha ham.Plus beautiful landscapes - rivers, gorges, mountains and waterfalls. Enjoy two days of authentic Georgia away from the touristic paths.

$213.54 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Mestia - Three Amazing days of your life

Day 1: Tbilisi – Uplistsikhe – Shrosha – KutaisiAfter breakfast, drive to Uplistsikhe, cross point of many Great Silk Road routes. Explore this cave town dating back to Hellenistic Period and notable for unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures and the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture. Drive to Kutaisi, the central city of Western Georgia once called “Aia”. The road to Kutaisi will take you over Rikoti pass and through the longest tunnel of Georgia (1,722 m), that is also considered to be a border between Western and Eastern parts of Georgia. On the way make a stop at village Shrosha where you will have a chance to see versatility of Georgian pottery: “doqi” - jug, “piala” - bowl, “ketsi”- plate and many more are made from clay that is extracted from the soil of the area. Arrive in Kutaisi, take a walking tour around the city’s main sights. Visit Bagrati cathedral (11th century) - one of the best samples of Georgian late medieval architecture towering over Kutaisi and visible from almost any point in the city. Overnight at the guesthouse.Day 2: Kutaisi – Gelati – Motsameta – Prometheus cave – MestiaIn the morning visit the Gelati monastery (12th century) built by King David the Builder. Gelati was the center of spiritual and scientific life of the Middle Ages. Next stop is Motsameta monastery that stands above the rough Rioni river and is buried in coastal vegetation. Tombs of brothers David and Constantine Mkheidze are located here. Continue to Prometheus cave to walk in 1.5 km long tunnel to enjoy breathtaking views of stalactites, stalagmites, petrified waterfalls, underground rivers, and lakes along the cave. Underground light system filled with LED lights of all rainbow colors marvelously highlights natural beauty of Prometheus cave. After lunch get ready for the next part of the tour: a journey to the remote Svaneti region, the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. On the way you'll see the largest water Dam in the world - Enguri Dam. Mestia is surrounded by mountains, medieval-type villages and distinctive tower-houses. Spend the night in a local guesthouse with shared facilities Day 3: Mestia –Hatsvali – enguri Dam - TbilisiHatsvali is one of the closest peak to Mestia. It's a great destination in Svaneti not only in winter but also in summer because there are stunning views from Hatsvali mountain. Hatsvali ski resort is about 6 kilometers away from Mestia city. But now you don't need a car to get there, as there is a new cable car from Mestia city, which connects the city and resort together. There is a cafe named Zuruldi on top of Hatsvali and it's working on all seasons. You have to experience drinking Glintwine (Mulled Wine) in Zuruldi and watching Ushba at least once in your life.Drive back to Tbilisi. Drop off at your hotel/place Tbilisi.

$750 Multi-day & Extended Tours

6-Day Trekking in Svaneti: from Mestia to Ushguli

Itinerary: Day 1: Tbilisi- Enguri Dam -Mestia Tbilisi-Enguri Dam :  We will meet at your hotel and drive to Svaneti. After 4 hours driving, we stop at Enguri dam which is one of the highest arch dam in the world(a height of 271.5 metres). Then we drive to Mestia and visit the museum of History and ethnography and Svanetian Architectural Museum. Overnight in Mestia Day 2: Mestia – Zhabeshi (Moderate, Walking distance 14 km, 6 hours) In the morning, we will start actual trekking. We will hike to the Mulakhi community of Zhabeshi village. The route is easy, follows an off-road car and well-marked trail. Overnight at a guesthouse in Zhabeshi with shared facilities.  Day 3: Zhbeshi – Adishi (Moderate, Walking distance 15 km, 8 Hours) After breakfast, we start our journey into the wilderness. We hike up to the slopes of Tetnuldi mountain, pass ski resort and descend into the forests of birch trees and rhododendron bushes. Here is located Adishi village which consists stone towers and houses built several centuries ago.  Overnight at local guesthouse with shared facilities. Day 4 – Adishi – Iprali (Hard, Walking Distance 16-17km, 9 Hours) In the day, we follow upstream to the river. After one hour pleasant walking across the river, we need to cross the roaring Adishi river. For our safety, we will get on a horseback and cross the river. Afterwards, we will climb up to the Chkhunderi pass (2655m). From here you can enjoy majestic panorama views of the picturesque Adishi Glacier. Then we will descend into the valley of Khaldechala river. After two hours easy walk, we reach Khalde village which was destroyed in 19th century by the Russian soldiers. From here our pass will follow an off-road to Iprali village. Overnight at local guesthouse with shared facilities in Iprali. Day 5– Iprali -Ushguli In the morning, our driver will wait for us to drive to Ushuli which is the highest permanent settlement in Europe (2200 m) with the outstanding mixture of mountainous landscape and the medieval-type towers and churches. Here you will visit the Ushguli Ethnographic museum located in the 12th century old Svanetian tower-house. We also visit a mediaval Lamaria church ( of the assumption of the Mother of God). Afterwards, you can take an optional hike to Shkhara glacier. The way is long (8 km one way) but easy. We just follow upstream of the river Enguri towards Shkhara peak.  Overnight in Mestia Day 6 – Ushguli-Mestia-Tbilisi After breakfast, we will depart to Tbilisi. 

$480 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Tour in Svaneti: Majestic Caucasus Mountains

Itinerary: Day 1: Tbilisi- Enguri Dam -Mestia Tbilisi-Enguri Dam :  We will meet at your hotel and drive to Svaneti. After 4 hours driving, we stop at Enguri dam which is one of the highest arch dam in the world(a height of 271.5 metres). Then we drive to the region of Upper Svaneti which is an outstanding example of an exceptional mountain landscape composed of highly preserved villages with unique defensive tower houses, examples of ecclesiastical architecture and arts of medieval origin. Visit the museum of History and ethnography and Svanetian Architectural Museum in Mestia and explore small town by walking into the narrow streets, visiting small cafes and local souvenirs shops. Overnight in Mestia Day 2: Mestia-Ushguli-Mestia After a hearty breakfast at our local guesthouse, we will depart to the Ushguli which is located at the foot of mount Shkara and at the confluence of the rivers Enguri and Kvishiri. The highest permanent settlement in Europe (2200 m) with the outstanding mixture of mountainous landscape and the medieval-type towers and churches will astonish visitors. Here you will visit the Ushguli Ethnograpic museum located in the 12th century old Svanetian tower-house. Wee also visit a mediaval Lamaria church ( of the assumption of the Mother of God). Afterwards, you can take an optional hike to Shkhara glacier. The way is long (8 km one way) but easy. We just follow upstream of  the river Enguri towards Shkhara peak.  Overnight in Mestia Day 3: Mestia- Chalaadi Glacier -Tbilisi After an energizing breakfast and morning beverages we travel to the Chalaadi glacier.  We will follow upstream of Mestiachala river and after 1,5 km, we reach our finish, a place where the river is born. Afterwards, we travel to Tbilisi.

Svaneti in detail