Mestia Things to Do

  • A view over Ushba - one of the peaks of Caucasus
    A view over Ushba - one of the peaks of...
    by rjaparidze
  • A view from Mazeri
    A view from Mazeri
    by rjaparidze
  • A view from Mazeri
    A view from Mazeri
    by rjaparidze

Most Recent Things to Do in Mestia

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    Ifari Village Church

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Ifari Village Church
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    Ifari is a small village on the way to Ushguli and it is worth stopping on after passing thw first pass. The Church of St. George is a small church in the village, with a cemetery in front. A caretaker whose last name is Pirveli is living next to the church and has the key and will open the church. He also charges a fee for taking pictures inside. As he has total responsibility for this small jewel of a church, the fees are a pittance, and any additional contribution made for the maintenance of the church will be profoundly appreciated by him.

    The church was built in the 11th century. There are some treasures hidden in a steel safe inside the church and it was opened when I was there (do not know in case of others as I was accompanied by a local).

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    Museum in Mestia

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Museum building
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    I will admit that I am not a big fan of Museums… Neverthelss those that are interested in Museums may find a trip to the Musuem of Mestia somewhat intersting. HAving a chanse to look at sites of other VT travellers gave me a conviction that going into a local museum may be interesting.

    Back in 1996 when I first visited Svaneti I remember locals to complain about unfinished construction of a local musuem and shwoing the icons and anceint books that were preserved in a dillapidated structure. Back then I never thought that the museum would be completed someday…

    I was pleasantly surprised 10 years later to learn that the museum was completed.

    The musuem displays icons and religious abooks from the 10th and 13h centuries. In one room, they have recreated the inside of a medieval Svan house. One is able to see them in reality in Margiani's tower in Mestia.

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    Village Jvari - Enguri Dam

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Village Jvari is one of the first settlement on the way towards Upper Svaneti. It is famous for a multi billion Enguri Water Dam project part of which is located in the disputed Abkhazia region.

    The views over dam are beautiful. One needs to take about 50minute walk as a police stop does not allow going up to this location on cars.

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    Zegaro Pass

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Zagaro Pass
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    Zegaro Pass is the one of the passes that may be used for returning from Uopper Svanetia to Kutaisi or Tbilisi. The path goes through the villages of lower Svanetia that are a bit different from the Upper Svaneti – there are no towers.

    Though the road is not really very good it is not very difficult either. This discomfort is amply rewarded by the scenery that is stupendous

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park

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    St Kvirike Church

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Svaenti is full of basilica-type sanctuaries. They are small not similar to what one sees in the rest of Georgia. I will not really suggest to visit them though there is one that really is worth of going to. This is Kvirike church close to village Kala.

    One needs to drive about 40-50 minutes in the direction of Ushguli from the village of mestia. Then there is a hike of about 15-25 minutes high up before reaching this basilica-tower-type church that has a breathtaking view in the direction of Mount Ushba.

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    Village Ushguli

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Ushguli -- one of the villages
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    This is the last village in Svaneti. I do not know whther this is true or not but if the height of 2150 meters is the highest inhabited place in Europen, than Ushguli is this place.

    Ushguli consists of four villages that are located in about 1 and a half 2 hour drive from Mestia at the foot of no. 2 summit in Caucasus Mount Shkhara.

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    Mazeri

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    A view over Ushba - one of the peaks of Caucasus
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    This is a hill overlooking on Mestia (regional center of Svaneti) that one can reach using the jeep (one can walk as well)... Going up there will enable to have breathtaking looks on Mestia itself as well as surrounging villages. Mount Ushba one of the most difficult to get summits of Caucasus range can be seen from here as well...

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  • terrycowan's Profile Photo

    Ushguli

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    Ushguli is the ultimate destination of any traveler to Svaneti--the most remote village in the most remote region of a remote country. The towers of Ushguli are truly remarkable--there are over 30 left in the vicinity. The Church of La Maria is the last building in the village--overlooking the long valley towards Mt. Shkhara. Queen Tamar's summer house is on the mountain above the village and her winter house in the village. Tradition holds that she is buried in Ushguli. The towers are, by and large, still owned by the original families, after 900 years. The first automobile only reached Ushguli in 1964. Mikhail Ratiani operates a guesthouse in the village--on the top of the hill, last house on the right before turning towards La Maria.

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    Ushguli

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    Ushguli is the ultimate destination of any traveler to Svaneti--the most remote village in the most remote region of a remote country. The towers of Ushguli are truly remarkable--there are over 30 left in the vicinity. The Church of La Maria is the last building in the village--overlooking the long valley towards Mt. Shkhara. Queen Tamar's summer house is on the mountain above the village and her winter house in the village. Tradition holds that she is buried in Ushguli. The towers are, by and large, still owned by the original families, after 900 years. The first automobile only reached Ushguli in 1964. Mikhail Ratiani operates a guesthouse in the village--on the top of the hill, last house on the right before turning towards La Maria.

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    Ushguli

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    Ushguli is the ultimate destination of any traveler to Svaneti--the most remote village in the most remote region of a remote country. The towers of Ushguli are truly remarkable--there are over 30 left in the vicinity. The Church of La Maria is the last building in the village--overlooking the long valley towards Mt. Shkhara. Queen Tamar's summer house is on the mountain above the village and her winter house in the village. Tradition holds that she is buried in Ushguli. The towers are, by and large, still owned by the original families, after 900 years. The first automobile only reached Ushguli in 1964. Mikhail Ratiani operates a guesthouse in the village--on the top of the hill, last house on the right before turning towards La Maria.

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    Ushguli

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    Ushguli is the ultimate destination of any traveler to Svaneti--the most remote village in the most remote region of a remote country. The towers of Ushguli are truly remarkable--there are over 30 left in the vicinity. The Church of La Maria is the last building in the village--overlooking the long valley towards Mt. Shkhara. Queen Tamar's summer house is on the mountain above the village and her winter house in the village. Tradition holds that she is buried in Ushguli. The towers are, by and large, still owned by the original families, after 900 years. The first automobile only reached Ushguli in 1964. Mikhail Ratiani operates a guesthouse in the village--on the top of the hill, last house on the right before turning towards La Maria.

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    Iperi--Church of St. George

    by terrycowan Updated Jul 10, 2006

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    Iperi is a small village between Mestia and Ushguli--perhaps 2 hours past Mestia, the first village after you come down the pass after crossing over the mountain. The Church of St. George is a small church in the village, with a cemetery in front--look for the bell tower. A caretaker in the village has the key and will open the church for a small fee. He also charges a fee for taking pictures inside. As he has total responsibility for this small jewel of a church, the fees are a pittance, and any additional contribution made for the maintenance of the church will be profoundly appreciated by him.

    The church was built in the 11th century, and the frescoes inside were painted by the court painter of King David the Builder. During the Communist era, the church was used as a stable, and the lower level has been defaced. There are marvelous frescoes above, however. Most depict scenes from the life of St. George. The caretaker may offer to show you the silver icon of St. George, which is kept locked up.

    A priest comes to the village occasionally and conducts liturgy, and there is hope of a permanent priest in the future. The little church of St. George is a real treasure.

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  • Iperi

    by tcjohn Written Jul 10, 2006
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    Iperi is a small village about 2 hours journey from Mestia towards Ushguli. The small church in the village is the Church of St. George. Look for the bell tower. The caretaker of the church will open it for visitors for a nominal fee. The church was used as a stable during the Communist days, and thus much of the lower level is defaced. But there are amazing frescoes above--mainly depicting the life of St. George. They are all 11th century--painted by the court painter for King David the Builder. The caretaker may also show you the silver icon of St. George, which stays locked-up. This man has the total care for this little jewel of a church. He will appreciate any contributions to its maintenance.

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    Margiani Tower

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    The Margiani Tower in Mestia was made available to view (this through Caucasus Travel--I'm not sure if it is open, otherwise). Also, the adjoining Margiani home contains an authentic 12th Century Svan room, which is also open to view.

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    Mestia Museum

    by terrycowan Written Jul 10, 2006

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    As surprising as it may seem, the remote town of Mestia is home to an excellent museum. The region produced a surprisingly rich culture. The musuem displays icons and religious art from the 11th and 12th centuries, as well as editions of the Gospels dating back to the late 800s. In one room, they have recreated the inside of a medieval Svan house. I had opportunity to later tour the real thing (the Margiani house) in Mestia and the museum display is spot-on. The museum does not open until 11, but don't miss it.

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