Day 1: Tbilisi - Mestia
Stop At: Dadiani Palaces Historical and Architectural Museum, Zviad Gamsakhurdia St., 2, Zugdidi 2100 Georgia
Dadiani Palaces Historical and Architectural Museum in Zugdidi, West Georgia, Samegrelo region, was established in 1921 and contains 41000 items.
The museum complex includes: palaces of the Samegrelo queen Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani and Prince Niko Dadiani, court church, and the botanic garden. In 1850 Prince David Dadiani organized museum in the palace and displayed unique numismatic materials from the present day village Nokalakevi, the antique period town and Dadiani family collections of medieval European armor and weapons, ethnographic objects and fine art.
At the present in the museum are kept: samples of the 1th c. B.C. – 19th A.D. goldsmith works: icons, various religious objects, fine art samples; archaeological materials from Greek and Georgian antique culture; collection of Christian sacred objects, samples of European applied art (of Boulet, Rococo, Empire styles); relics of Samegrelo princes, royal families of France (numerous items connected with the Napoleon Buonaparte, from Ashil Miurat – Son in law of David Dadiani), Russia, Spain; 15-19th c.c. manuscripts and charters; libraries of Napoleon (6.000 items) and Dadiani family; samples of European and Asian weapons; collection of paintings of Russian peredvizhniks, French painters of battle-pieces, and English painters of seascapes; rich collection of photographs (5.000 items); collection of crystal, china and faience crockery (French, German, Russian), etc.
Duration: 2 hours
Accommodation included: Night at Hotel
Day 2: Mestia - Hatsvali - Lenjeri - Latali
Stop At: Mkheri church in Latali, 42°58'02. 42°37'16., 9 GA-1, Roopville, Georgia
Visit Mkheri church in Latali
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Hatsvali Ski resort, Georgia
Hatsvali Ski Resort is located in Svaneti about 8 Km away from Mestia. The highest altitude above sea level is 3248 meters, and the minimum elevation is 1868 meters MSL. It’s quite easy to reach Hatsvali ski resort from Mestia. Mestia and Hatsvali are connected with each other by the automobile road and the six chair ski lift. However, Mestia-Hatsvali ski lift is closed in summer, and travelers will need a car for transportation. The road is paved and any kind of car will be able to go to Hatsvali ski resort, in case the automobile is arranged to move on the snow. Another transportation opportunity is to take a taxi in the center of Metia and go to Hatsvali ski resort that’s super easy.
Duration: 4 hours
Accommodation included: Night at hotel
Day 3: Mestia - Ushguli
Stop At: Shkhara Glacier, Ushguli Georgia
Ushguli - UNESCO world heritage site is the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe, located in Svaneti, at the feet of Shkhara, one of the highest Caucasian summits. About 70 families, approximately 250 people live in the village, which dates back more than 2000 years. For 6 winter months, snow covers the whole place and sometimes the road to Ushguli is closed. However, a small school is always open and life goes on.
The village is located in some 45 km from Mestia town – the center of Svaneti region. To get to Ushguli local 4x4 Jeeps are needed, which can be hired in Mestia. The way to the village is off-road and takes approximately 3 hours one way. It passes several villages, like Ipari and Kala, where you can find small churches with old murals and frescos inside.
The mountainous region of Svaneti in the northwestern part of Georgia is one of the most remote and inaccessible regions of the country. Svaneti retains a pristine medieval quality. This sense of time warp, combined with the grandeur of the natural setting, makes a trip to Svaneti well worth the effort no matter how difficult it may be to get there.
The Svans are indigenous Georgians and speak their own language. Svanuri belongs to the Southern Caucasian language group known as Kartvelian. It has no alphabet and is mostly spoken at home and socially. The harsh climate and mountainous landscape of the region are the principal factors behind the Svanetian character. They are proud, laconic people who find the virtue in a certain austerity and stoicism. Hunters and alpinists are the most respected members of the community. Svans in no way remiss in the practice of traditional Georgian hospitality.
Over 20 medieval typical Svanetian protective towers are found throughout the Ushguli with goats, pigs and cows happily mingling with the local population on the narrow cobbled lanes. There is an Ethnographic Museum in a tower located in the center of the settlement containing the first-rate examples of medieval repousse work, icons, and processional crosses from churches in this region and other parts of Georgia. A short walk above the village leads to a small hilltop where the Lamaria Chapel is located, dating back to the 12th century. The Chapel is full of magnificent old frescoes. From there a broad valley leads to the foot of Shkhara through flower strewn alpine meadows.
The superb location of Ushguli and the unique lifestyle of the people in the village turn the place into a popular destination to visit. The severe location isolates Ushguli from the rest of modernized Georgia, and as a result, many Svanetian religious and cultural traditions have remained virtually intact.
Duration: 6 hours
Accommodation included: Night at the hotel