Discover Georgia
Mestia – Magnificent capital of Georgia’s Svaneti Region
01 March, 2018
Mestia is a highland townlet in northwest Georgia, at an elevation of 1,500 meters in the Caucasus Mountains. Mestia is the capital of Georgia’s northwest Svaneti region, one of the most beautiful historic regions of the country. It is also the main center of tourism for the region.

It is a relatively small town of around 2,600 inhabitants, but it is the main service center for the Svaneti Region and as such has many of the characteristics of larger cities.
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Mestia. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava


It is a very tourist-friendly town, in part due to several major construction activities including a new road (a twisty but well-maintained mountain road), a renovated town center with a number of new buildings, and a new airport. This remote and magic Georgian land seems even more fairy when it is covered with snow. So Mestia can be reffered to as“winter paradise”. In winter, the whole Svaneti Region becomes especially beautiful.
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Mestia can be reffered to as“winter paradise.” Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Georgian National Tourism Administration has released amazing video depicting Mestia’s winter resorts. The video depicts the capital of the region as well as surrounding areas with historic buildings and thrilling landscape.



Apart from breathtaking landscape and high mountains the town is notable for number of medieval monuments, such as churches and towers that are included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

There are many exciting things to do in the magical capital of Svaneti, as it is not only extremely beautiful, but of historic importance as well. The one can spend unforgettable time by visiting Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, New ski resorts in Svaneti Region- Hatsvali and Tetnuldi, Chaladi Glacier, Mountain Ushba, Koruldi Lakes, explore the spirit of Svaneti through nature and wildlife tours.
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Mestia at night. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography is located at A. Lozeliani st. 7, Mestia. The museum was established in 1936 and initially housed a small collection but in 1948 it benefited from an expedition to Svaneti, headed by the famous Georgian art historian Giorgi Chubinashvili, that collected illuminated manuscripts, icons and other antiquities from the Svanetian population and from Svaneti churches. The museum has superb views of the historic town and its medieval stone towers.
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Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography in Mestia. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

There are two modern ski resorts located very close to Mestia: Hatsvali and Tetnuldi. First Svanetian resort, Hatsvali, is 8 km away from Mestia. If you are looking for extreme feelings, Hatsvali ski resort is completely suitable place for you.
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Hatsvali. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Tetnuldi ski resort is located in Mestia. Tetnuldi Ski Resort, the largest ski resort in Svaneti region, the second largest throughout Georgia after the most popular ski resort – Gudauri, has been operating in Svaneti since February 2016. It is called after Tetnuldi Mountain.
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Tetnuldi. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Hike to Chalaadi glacier is a popular trail in the proximity of Mestia, exploring the upper valley of Mestiachala river. It takes some 5-6 hours to walk from Mestia to the glacier and back.
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Chalaadi glacier

While visiting Mestia, you should definitely see Mount Ushba - one of the most notable peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. Ushba is known as the "Matterhorn of the Caucasus" for its picturesque, spire-shaped double summit.
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Ushba. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Koruldi Lakes is one of the most distinguished and beautiful group of lakes located at 2400-2600 meters above sea level, at the foot of Mt. Ushba. The route from Mestia to magical Koruldi Lakes takes over 7 hours in total: 4 hours there and 3 hours back.
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Koruldi Lakes. Photo courtesy Marcin Chalupka

From Tbilisi to Mestia, traveling by minibus, one way costs 30 GEL. The road takes from 10 to 15 hour, depending on the type of transport and road conditions.
Mestia is served by the Queen Tamar Airport, which is operated by the state-owned company United Airports of Georgia, since 2010.

Flights from/to Tbilisi (Natakhtari airfield) are available 4 times a week. Ticket price is 65 GEL one way. Price includes free transfer from Tbilisi, M.S. Rustaveli and back. Transfer point is nearby Metro Station Rustaveli, near the fountain.
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Mestia airport. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

As of March 2016, there is a flight from/to Kutaisi available 2 times a week. Ticket price is 40 lari one way.

There is also an option to fly to Mestia from Tbilisi by helicopter. The duration of the flight is 1½ hours. There are a few companies organizing these flights.

Related stories:

Enter the fantasy land of white Mestia

Gold of Svaneti: Magnificent Mestia featured on Russian National Geographic

Once upon a time in Mestia - Georgian skier met the bear cubs...

A trip to winter Svaneti: Medieval castles meet modern ski resort

Mestia airport among world's most spectacular terminals - Airports so beautiful you’ll want to be delayed
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