Mestia Travel Guide

  • Mestia
    by leonik
  • A view over center of Svaneti in Mestia
    A view over center of Svaneti in Mestia
    by rjaparidze
  • Mestia
    by terrycowan

Mestia Things to Do

  • Ifari Village Church

    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....

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  • Museum in Mestia

    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...

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  • Tower on the Rock

    Svaneti is famous for its towers. I decided to include one that was different from all that I saw. It was built on the rock in the river and I thought it was beautiful.

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  • Village Jvari - Enguri Dam

    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

    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...

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  • St Kvirike Church

    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....

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  • Village Ushguli

    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

    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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  • Ushguli

    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...

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  • Ushguli

    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...

    more
  • Ushguli

    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...

    more
  • Ushguli

    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...

    more
  • Iperi--Church of St. George

    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...

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  • Iperi

    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...

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  • 12th Century Church in Mestia

    I'm not sure what the name of this church is, exactly. The building is unprepossessing from the outside, but has marvelous frescoes inside. Some of the frescoes have been recently restored.

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  • Margiani Tower

    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

    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....

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  • Ushba

    Ushba is a two-headed mauntain in the central part of the Big Caucasus, rising from Elbrus on a short southern spur of Main, or Water-separate ridge in Svanetia. The height is about 4700 m. It is combined from granites. Glaciers - Gul, Ushbian are flowing down. The mountaneering is developed because Ushba is one of the most beautiful mauntain in...

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Mestia Restaurants

  • rjaparidze's Profile Photo

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    There are no restaurants in Upper Svaneti. The only locatin where there was a catering facility was right after the Enguri Dam (15 minute drive from there) where one can have local Kubdari and Shashlik. I was told that there was the second lcoation as well but I am not aware of the second location.

    Favorite Dish: Kubdari -- it is a meat Khachapuri something of a local specialty.

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Mestia Transportation

  • rjaparidze's Profile Photo

    by rjaparidze Written Oct 14, 2006

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    One can get to Mestia from Tbilisi and Zugdidi by a mini van. I never traveled by these means but would assume they exist. They all go via Zugdidi. The other road is from Lentechi Kutaisi but there is not regular transport going on there.

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Mestia Local Customs

  • Survival Svanuri

    Svanuri's (and Georgian) not the easiest language to pronounce so i'm going to transliterate it to the best of my ability.Hello: kho-cha-la-dakhThank You: eh-wa-su-kha-riPlease: KHA-ah-maYes: aah-duNo: maa-maaGood Morning/Afternoon: kho-cha-la-dakhGood Evening: kho-cha-ley-tu-jahGood Night: kho-cha-letHow Much?: ma-zoo-ha-jesh?0: mang-wesh...

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  • Be prepared to drink a lot!

    The Svans have their own potent firewater called "Chacha" (approx. 60% alcohol) made from fermented apples to fermented bread to fermented herbs.They toast 3 times. Each time for a divine entity. Can't remember who they are but one of them is definitely St. George, the patron saint of their country. On one of the toast, you're invited (and...

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