Mestia, Caucasus Mountains, Northern Georgia

The remote Svaneti region in North Georgia is becoming less remote by the year but remains relatively unspoiled for now. Framed by the Caucasus Mountains, rising up to 5,000m, and home to ancient stone tower filled villages, this is a pretty special part of the world.
DSC07538 DSC07510 DSC07471Mestia is the main hub, once quite dangerous to get to but after spending $25m on the main road only a 2 & 1/2 hour drive. The town is obviously developing fast but has retained most of it’s charm, including freely wandering cows along the road.
DSC07321DSC07243 DSC07281 DSC07297 DSC07313 DSC08065DSC08079 DSC07351The ~175 distinctive stone towers in the region date from the 9th to 11th century. There’s a only one in Mestia that can be climbed, a fairly precarious if memorable experience.
DSC07415 DSC07407 DSC07402 DSC07420A good 15km walk offered stunning views of the Mestia valley and the many towers.
DSC07463 DSC07487 DSC07493Mestia is home to the Museum of History & Ethnography, a surprisingly well presented and interesting history of the region, well worth a visit.
DSC07566 DSC07570 DSC07572 DSC07577 DSC07580For views without much effort there is a chair lift up to winter ski fields 8km from Mestia.
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Author: jontycrane

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