Length: 14 km
Start from: Mestia
Elevation change: 1200 m
Season: June – October
Price indication: 75 GEL
Mkheri is a place of great beauty. Panorama of the Great Caucasus, snowy summits of the Svaneti Range closing in, and a powerful waterfall system. Tiny church overlooking Enguri valley from 2500 m.
The trail starts in central Latali, near Archangel’s church, it is marked red and white by the local tourist authorities. Follow the main dirt road down to the river (Enguri), cross the bridge and turn right. After you pass some ruins at Lahili, the trail turns left and goes up more or less straight, following a shady forest road that the locals use a lot on horseback. It’s a steady uphill ascent in a pleasant mixed forest. Finally the path reaches the alpine zone and you will see Archangel’s church of Mkheri in the distance on a hill to the right of the trail (2500 m) and some shepherds’ huts on your left. The church building is new, restored by archaeologists in the 1990’s from the ruins of an ancient monastery that had been buried by an avalanche in the Middle Ages. From the church there is a splendid view into Lailachala valley and some waterfalls formed from a glacier that melted away about 50 years ago. If you are lucky with the weather, you should enjoy the view of a large section of the Great Caucasus and a big part of Upper Svaneti. The driver will pick you up in Latali. Distance for the day: 14 km. Elevation change: 1200 m.
This route is also possible to do on horseback, see HORSE-RIDING section.
Photographs in order of the trail