DAY 1: TBILISI – ZUGDIDI – MESTIA
Pick up from the hotel in Tbilisi and departure to Svaneti. Way to Svaneti is long, so we will make a few stops on our way. Arrive in Zugdidi – administrative center of Samegrelo region. Visit Dadiani Palace History and Architectural Museum – the former residence of Mingrelian Kings and Queens. The first exhibition here was prepared by the Prince of Samegrelo, David Dadiani and presented archaeological findings from the ancient city of Nokalakevi. The museum now includes palaces of Princess of Samegrelo, Ekaterine Dadiani and Prince of Samegrelo, Niko Dadiani, court church, and the botanical garden.
Have lunch on the way.
After Samegrelo, we start driving up to the Caucasus Mountains. On our way we will stop near Enguri Dam, currently being world’s second largest dam – 271.5 m in height.
In the evening arrive to Mestia. Dinner and overnight in Mestia.
DAY 2: MESTIA – USHGULI – MESTIA
Breakfast at the hotel.Today we’ll explore Upper Svaneti and drive with 4×4 vehicles to Ushguli village – the highest continually inhabited places in Europe. The whole village with its fortifications is included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The way to Ushguli is off-road but very picturesque. On our way, we’ll visit villages: Ipari and Kala to see the churches rich of murals and frescos.
Have picnic lunch en-route.
Stop by Lamaria church in Ushguli – a sacred place for locals. Take a walk towards Shkhara glacier – the highest peak in Georgia (5068 m).
In the evening return back to Mestia. Dinner and overnight in Mestia.
DAY 3: MESTIA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, which houses old Georgian manuscripts, ethnographic and archaeological items, Georgian Orthodox icons painted in Svanetian style, etc.
Walk up to the tower and hause museum of Margiani (12th c.) to see how the locals were living. Have lunch in one of the local restaurants.
After lunch visit villages: Latali and Lemjeri located near Mestia town containing churches decorated with medieval frescos and murals.
Dinner and overnight in Mestia.
DAY 4: MESTIA – ZUGDIDI – TBILISI
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive back to Tbilisi and visit Zugdidi farmer’s market on the way, where local ecologically clean fruit, vegetables and homemade (Sulguni) cheese and sweets are sold. Have lunch en-route.
Evening arrival in Tbilisi.