Start from: Mestia
Time: all day
Ushguli is the legend of Upper Svaneti and probably the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe (2200 m above sea level). Its characteristic architecture against the background of Mt. Shkhara (tallest summit of Georgia) adorns the list of UNESCO World Culture Heritage. The village is only 48 km away from Mestia, but it takes about 1.5 hours to get there by car. The narrow road along the Enguri gorge is very picturesque. Once you are in Ushguli, take the marked tourist trail through the historic centre. The trail is very short, it will take you to Chazhashi and its treasury (state-owned museum displaying medieval art-pieces formerly kept in Ushguli’s churches), then northwards to Zhibiani where there is a small private ethnographic museum representing a traditional Svan household. Finally the trail goes uphill to Lamaria monastery (9th century), from where you get a great evening view of Ushguli. Unfortunately, the museums and the church of the monastery are often closed for visitors. Your driver will make calls to the persons in charge and try to arrange for them to be opened if possible. The treasury is officially closed on Monday, though, and that cannot be helped.