Length: 36.5 km
Season: June – October
Overnights: Adishi, Iprali
Drop off: Ughviri
Price indication: 570 GEL
Visit Saviour’s church of Adishi: + 15 GEL
Visit Archangel’s church of Iprali: + 10 GEL
A shortcut of the most popular trekking route in Svaneti. If you only have 3 days to get from Mestia to Ushguli on foot, we will drop you off at Ughviri pass and bring you back from Ushguli in 3 days’ time.
Day 1. This hike requires drop-off at Ughviri pass, on the slopes of Mt. Tetnuldi. This way you can get to the remote village of Adishi on foot in just one day. The trail first follows the main car road to Tetnuldi ski resort, but then a footpath branches off to the right (in the alpine zone, a few hundred meters higher up along the road after you pass hotel “Tetnuldi Paradise”, see location “2” on the map). There will be no more significant elevation changes as you walk on to Adishi, which you will see on your right and a little below.
There are three churches that you can visit in Adishi: St. George’s and Archangel’s are usually open, so that you can come in and see the 13th-14th century frescoes. Saviour’s church (the one you will be passing first on your way down into Adishi, with a cemetery around) is part of the Svaneti Museum, so your visit there needs to be arranged with the key-keeper. We will be happy to arrange this, if you confirm that you are interested in visiting. This will add 15 GEL to the tour. Distance for the day: 11.5 km. Elevation change: 450 m. Overnight in Adishi.
YELLOW: trail from Ughviri pass to Adishi.
BLUE: Mestia-Ughviri by car.
Day 2. It is better to start out early in the morning, because today you will need to ford the Adishchala river, and the water level is lowest in the morning. We recommend crossing the river on horseback, but the choice is yours. Your host in Adishi will help you arrange for a horse, just let them know in the evening. The ford is near Adishi glacier, some 5 km from Adishi village (marked trail along the river with no significant elevation changes). After you cross the river the trail goes up Chkhutnieri pass (highest point for today, 2722 m) with great views of surrounding mountains and Adishi glacier. From the pass the trail descends in wide loops into the next valley and at the shepherds’ huts you need to turn right and follow Khaldechala river all the way down to Iprali. The guest-houses are on the left side of the road. Distance for the day: 15 km. Elevation change: 1075 m. Overnight in Iprali. Once in Iprali, you can visit Archangel’s church to see wonderful 12th century frescoes by Royal Painter Tevdore (+ 10 GEL to the cost of the tour; the visit needs to be arranged with the key-keeper).
Day 3. Start from Iprali, go down to Lalkhori and cross the Khaldechala river. After crossing the river you need to turn left and follow a small dirt road uphill. The trail goes through alpine meadows above the Enguri river and merges with the main road to Ushguli about 2 km before the village. This route to Ushguli is the shortest one, and you should have enough time to make the marked trail in the central part of Ushguli (Chazhashi) and see Lamaria monastery before we pick you up at about 6 pm near the central bridge in Ushguli. Distance for the day: 10 km. Elevation change: 450 m.
The map issued by the tourist authorities shows a slightly different trail: you get to walk along the car road a lot more in their version. Whichever path you take after Iprali – it is impossible to get lost, so suit yourself.
Photographs in order of the trail