Mestia & the Svaneti province
Mestia is the main village in the Svaneti province. Located at approximately 1500 meters, it is surrounded by 3000 to 5000 meter peaks. It is in the same region that the highest inhabited area of in Caucasus can be found.
The main characteristic of the village and the surroundings are the medieval stone defensive towers. Many houses do have such a tower and some defensive walls. Put a few dozen of them together and you have a place that is really worth to be listed in the UNESCO world heritage list sites.
we did specifically enjoy:
- Walking around the village, at sunrise, sunset or anytime in the day. It was a very welcome, calm and relaxing time.
- Hiking to the nearby glacier accompanied by a crew of local dogs. (who followed us for 5 kilometers).
- Chilling out on the patio of our guesthouse watching the local cows on the street going back to their stable on their own.
- Meeting Giorgi, our guide from Batumi, in the café next to our guesthouse and drinking chachas (again) with him.
- Svan-Ski guesthouse. Our hosts were extremely welcoming, they made us feel at home! Due to the bad weather, we had to extend our stay for one day. On that day, they took us to the surrounding villages to visit old churches.
- Café bar Laila: Our one and only one restaurant for 5 days! And Daniel took the same plate every time… (Small grilled potatoes with pork – Ojakhuri – and THE plum sauce Tkemali!)
best kept secret tip
The marshrutka from Kutaisi to Mestia takes approximately 5 hours (depending on how much of a rally pilot the driver considers himself). Instead, a small aviation company (Vanilla sky) offers for almost the same price a flight to cover the same distance…in 45 minutes. The plane is rather small (18 seats) and you will fly very close to the mountains. It was gorgeous. If you decide to do the same, just write them an email to book your tickets.