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

$1000 Private & Custom Tours

Explore Svaneti

Day 1Kutaisi - Mestia Meet your driver and guide in the morning and start unforgettable journey across the country to visit mountainous region Svaneti. Road trip to Mestia takes the half day, so on the way take a chance to have a lunch in Zugdidi or somewhere on the road. After tasting delicious Megrelian dishes drive to town Zugdidi, where you visit Dadiani Palace, the residence of Megrelian princes.Continue the way to Svaneti and stop near the world's second largest Enguri Dam, beautiful spot for photo shooting.In the evening arrive to Mestia and have Svanetian dinner.     Overnight at the hotelday 2Mestia After breakfast start exploring Svaneti with museum of history and ethnography, where you can find the real masterpieces of medieval Georgian iconography, manuscripts, ancient coins, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts. Mestia amazes its visitors with around 200 towers, originally built between the 9th and 13th centuries, take a chance and visit 1000 years old Margiani's family tower and house museum, to see how Svanetians lived during the centuries.After lunch drive to Chalaadi glacier , hiking activities takes 3 hours. In the evening enjoy with the dinner in local restaurant.Overnight at the hotel.Day 3UshguliAfter Breakfast start off-road journey to Ushguli village, the highest continually inhabited place in Europe. The whole settlement with its fortification is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Ushguli visit Lamaria church the most sacred place for the locals. After tasting Kubdari (Svanetian filled bread dish), visit King Tamar's Tower and enjoy with the picturesque view on Ushguli. We can hire horses and make unforgettable trip to Shkhara Valley.In the evening return back to Mestia.Overnight in MestiaDay 4Mestia - Ushba - Qoruldi lakesAfter breakfast Drive To village Becho, Hike to Mazeri Waterfall . Drive to the Mestia and take offroad trip to the Qoruldi lakes .Overnight in MestiaDay 5Mestia - KutaisiAfter breakfast check-out from the hotel and drive back to KutaisiEnd of the tour.  

$600 Private & Custom Tours

Tour to Mestia from Tbilisi

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Mountain UshbaWe will visit Inguri water reservoir, turn we will come to Svanetian village Becho, known as the best location to observe Mount Ushba. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Svaneti Museum of History and EthnographyHere you will see artefacts from Svaneti, dating back to 3rd century BC. Also have walk in medieval street of ancient town. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Ushguli VillageUshguli is most Highland village in Europe that is inhabited all year around. Village itself in UNESCO world heritage site and in protected. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Town-Fortress NokalakeviNokalakevi or Archeopolis is ancent city fortress, here all Kolkhis ledend come true. We also visit Palace of Duke Dadiani in Zugdidi. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Gelati MonasteryWe will visit Gelati Monastery, ancent city Kutaisi, with its beautiful old city. Duration: 1 day

$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. 

Svaneti in detail