Mestia is a highland town at an elevation of 1,500 meters in the Caucasus Mountains.
The town is situated 456 km from Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi and some 128 kilometers northeast of the regional capital of Zugdidi.
Historically and ethnographically, Mestia has always been regarded a chief community of Zemo, or Upper Svaneti province. It was formerly known as Seti.
The population is mostly Svans, a cultural and linguistic subgroup of the Georgians.
Despite its small size, the town was an important center of Georgian culture for centuries and contains a number of medieval monuments, such as churches and forts, included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
is the starting point for most trips in Svaneti, with a range of hotels, guesthouses and local travel services.
It is a convenient base for exploring the area. From the center of the town it is possible to hike up to the glaciers at the foot of mount Ushba, or take horses up to the pristine alpine meadows.
Plus, a new ski resort and a new ski lift (length: 1407 m) makes it possible to ski or snowboard even in the height of summer.
Tourists interested in religious history will find plenty of examples of wall paintings, frescoes and icons from the Middle Ages in the churches around Mestia.