The Guardian names Georgia as an alternative to the Alps
07 May, 2018
The Guardian names Georgia as an alternative to the Alps
Georgia’s unique beauty and exotic wild nature has attracted the attention of the numerous international publications already. Famous publications such as The Guardian, National Geographic, Forbes, CNN, Culture Trip, etc. often devote articles to the country’s tourist attractions such as vineyards, seaside, mountains and forests.
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Svaneti, one of the most remote regions of Georgia. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

This time, leading British edition The Guardian coins Georgia an alternative to the Alps, as the country is named among 20 great places
for having the best lake and mountain holidays in Europe.

In the article written by Gemma Bowes Georgia's mountainous Svaneti Region is named among such popular places such as the Italian Dolomites and the highlands of Basque Country, Spain, as well as other great travel destinations like Montenegro, where she recommends canoeing, and the thermal pools in Slovakia.
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French Alps

The selection also includes Dolomites in Italy, Basque Highlands in Spain, Sweden/Norway, Vorarlberg in Austria, Annecy in France, Albania, French Alps, Tirol in Austria, Switzerland, Umbria in Italy, Estonia and other breathtaking travel destinations.
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Ushba,one of the most notable peaks of the Caucasus Mountains is located in Svaneti Region

The author of the article notes that "Hiking from village to village in the breathtaking Svaneti region of the Caucasus will make you wonder why you ever bothered with the Alps."
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The Guardian names Georgia as an alternative to the Alps

Gemma Bowes also mentions famous Georgian hospitality and the incredibly welcoming character of the locals.
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Tetnuldi, a peak in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, located in the Svaneti Region. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

“Hiking from village to village in the breathtaking Svaneti region of the Caucasus will make you wonder why you ever bothered with the Alps. The food is delicious and cheap, the people incredibly welcoming (plying visitors with chacha, the local hooch), and the ice-topped peaks tower above many in the Alps, exceeding 4,000 metres. Travellocal has a package starting in Kutaisi, with its farmers’ market, before heading to Mestia, famed for its watchtowers, and the Shkhara glacier,” reads the article.

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Svaneti is situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Svaneti is one of the most remote and thrilling regions of Georgia. Situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area not only in in the Caucasus but Europe as well.
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Qoruldi Lake in Svaneti. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Four of the 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are located in the region. It is home to the highest mountain in Georgia, Mountain Shkhara at 5,201 meters (17,059 feet).

Svaneti incorporates two parts: Upper Svaneti (Zemo Svaneti) on the upper Enguri River; administratively part of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti; main town Mestia.
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Mestia, the capital of Svaneti. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Lower Svaneti (Kvemo Svaneti) on the upper Tskhenistsqali River; administratively part of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti; main town Lentekhi.
According to National Tourism Agency, there are 3 hotels and 49 guesthouses in Mestia.

As for Ushguli (one of the highest villages in Europe) there are 9 guesthouses functioning. Mestia operates 3 restaurants located in hotels.

Svaneti is known for their architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. The area is also famous for its alpine flowers and unique plant species. This historic part of the country boasts a number of towers, built between 9th-12th centuries. Some of them are available for rent, so that the tourists can spend a night there.
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Svaneti is known for their architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

In the province there are dozens of medieval Georgian orthodox churches and various fortified buildings. Architectural monuments of Upper Svaneti are included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Svan people possess unique culture that has endured centuries. The most vivid demonstration of their folk culture is the songs performed in Svan language as well as dances.

Related stories:

The Independent on Svaneti: How to hike through most remote region in Georgia

Skies Over Svaneti Georgia

First ski descent from Ushba Mount in Svaneti, Georgia – Thrilling footage

Mestia – Magnificent capital of Georgia’s Svaneti Region
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