Mestia is somehow a capital of Svaneti region. Everything begins and ends here. With its altitude of 1.470 meters it is a great base for hiking. The main street and the square might look like a Caucasus Switzerland, but just steps away from the hustle and bustle, you find yourself on the muddy streets with pigs wandering around and hearing kids laughter, who luckily have not been spoilt by tourism yet. Svaneti can be named as hiking paradise. It does not offer just amazing hiking trails, fantastic views and landscape, but also lots of glaciers, which can be visited. The numerous fortified towers, which can be found in Svaneti region, are unique part of history in the world. They can be found only in Svaneti. If the Svan towers already charmed you in Mestia, the views on them in Ushguli will blow your mind. Make sure to visit it before this place becomes too touristy. If youâ€™ll be traveling around Georgia by a rented car, reaching Svaneti will not be a problem. The best road to take is from Zugdidi to Mestia.
Ushguli is actually an area, covering 4 smaller villages, which lie at 2.200 meters above sea level. Old stone houses are surrounded by Caucasus snow covered mountain tops, what makes everything even more spectacular. To top it all off, add the unique Svan towers and you will never want to leave.Ushguli is also a great place for hiking. We met people, who were so enthused over its lazy and slow vibe, pure nature and friendly people that they changed their planes and instead of exploring the whole Georgia, they spent all their travel time in Ushguli. Ushguli is so unique that it is even UNESCO World heritage site. It is claimed that Ushguli is Europeâ€™s highest permanently inhabited settlement. If you already made it to Mestia, do not even think of skipping Ushguli.