Svaneti is a historic province in Georgia, in the northwestern part of the country that is often referred as a live ethnographic museum.
It is inhabited by the Svans, an ethnic subgroup of Georgians.
Situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by 3,000 - 5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Europe.
The region is divided into two parts: Upper Svaneti on the upper Inguri River with the main town of Mestia and Lower Svaneti on the upper Tskhenistsqali River with the main town of Lentekhi.
Isolation gave the region its identity and historical importance. During invasions in different corners of Georgia Georgians used to hide icons, manuscripts and precious items in the churches and towers of Svaneti.
Svaneti became repository of oldest Georgian culture. Svans performed this function strictly. The thief of the icon was exiled from community.
With strong life style Svans maintained oldest culture. Strabo, the Greek geographer and historian of the first century BC, described Svans as brave and fierce warriors.
As Strabo said Svans use sheep leather to gain gold and may be based exactly on this information Jason came to Kolkheti together with Argonauts to gain Golden Fleece.
The Christianity was spread in the region in the 6th century. Svans have their own language, community law, and multiform music.
Svanetian villages make a special impression with several hundreds of Svanetian towers that were mostly built in the 9-13th centuries to house villagers at times of enemy invasion.
Most of these towers are 20-25 meters tall and usually have four or five floors. These towers are example of the culture that could stand centuries.
Impossibly beautiful, wild and mysterious, Svaneti is the most desirable destination for tourists from all over the world!
You are invited to marvelous adventures to historic past still preserved in the gorgeous landscapes with lots of ancient towers, gorges and mountains, surrounding the local area. Rich in the beautiful views of rocky mountains attract visitors all the time.
The main road leading into the region comes from Kutaisi through Zugdidi. You can catch a minibus or bus going there from Tbilisi, which will take a full 12 hours to reach Mestia. Flights from/to Tbilisi (Natakhtari Airfield) are available 4 times a week. The ticket price is GEL 65 one way. The price includes free transfer from Tbilisi, metro station Rustaveli and back. There is a flight from/to Kutaisi available 2 times a week. The ticket price is GEL 40 one way.