The golden age of Svaneti’s material culture and art is the period between the 10th and the 14th centuries. Legendary Svan towers, manors, churches and monasteries were all built during this period. The churches were beautifully decorated with wall-paintings, silverware, hammered and gold-plated ikons, illuminated manuscripts of the Gospels, precious vessels. Due to the fact that Svaneti was so well protected from invasions, the entire Georgian Kingdom often used it as a treasury for safekeeping valuables from all over the country. A lot of this world-class culture heritage is there for us to see. Ancient songs, rituals and festivals, traditional ways of farming, traditional food are also part of this living ethnographic museum under open sky.
There are culture-heritage sights that can only be reached on foot, and you will need to hike a little to get there, while others can easily be reached by car.
Your driver is not really a guide; he will take you around and get the key-keepers to open the churches for you. You may find it interesting to do some of the tours with a guide who will be able to tell you more about Svaneti’s history, art, traditions and beliefs. Guide’s services are available at 400 GEL for a whole day tour with a qualified English-speaking culture-heritage guide (category 1), and 250 GEL for a half-day tour.
The price is per tour (i.e. for a car that can seat comfortably 3 passengers and less comfortably 4 passengers). We can provide larger 6-7 passenger Mitsubishi Delicas for larger groups, in this case the price will be 15-20 GEL higher.