The Mestia To Ushguli Trekking
One of the most remote settlements in Georgia, Ushguli is a sight to behold, nestled between snowy mountains, far from the metropolitan cities. Popular with history buffs and those looking off the beaten path, Ushguli trekking also draws a lot of tourism to the area. Our guide takes you through things to do in the small village, as well as Ushguli day hikes for the more active visitors.
Ushguli Is A Village Trapped In Time
Georgia is on the tourism rise, with many jetting off to Tbilisi and more for European city breaks. However, the untouched village of Ushguli in the north of the country remains isolated from visitors.
Due to its location, harsh Ushguli winters that last for six months and former inaccessibility, many of its residents left the settlement, with only a few no remaining.
The four villages that make up Ushguli, Georgia, are dotted with ancient defensive towers and livestock wander around the fields and stone buildings that remain.
Many of what still stands is in a state of disrepair, a village lost in bygone times.
Things To Do In Ushguli
Though it may seem like there isn’t much to do in the Ushguli village, there are enough things to do to make a day trip here, but we would recommend using our Georgia car hire facilities to do so.
Here is why you should add Ushgyli to your Georgia itinerary.
Ushguli Ethnographic Museum
Inside one of the Svan towers is the Ushguli ethnographic museum. A word of warning, it is only open Tuesday to Sunday, so time your day trip well if you want to visit.
Inside lies the history and culture of the Svan people, with artefacts dating back almost 2,000 years. Weapons, agricultural tools and religious items are all on display, giving you insight into Svan life hundreds of years ago.
The Lamaria Church
On one end of Ushguli is the Lamaria Church, a 12th-century building well worth adding to your list of things to do in Ushguli, Georgia.
Many believe that Queen Tamara was buried underneath the church, an important figure in Svan history. Inside, there are many artefacts dedicated to Lamaria, a pagan goddess of fertility connected to St Mary in Christianity. Climbing the clocktower gives you a magnificent view of the settlement below, as well as the snow-topped mountains nearby.
Ride A Horse And Enjoy A Bite To Eat
Often, children walk around the settlement with horses and will happily let you ride one around Ushguli for a price. It can be a bit expensive, but it is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime activity.
Afterwards, you can enjoy some authentic Georgian and Svan food in Ushguli’s only eater, Cafe Koshki. Inside, the walls are wood and lined with Svan items, many from the family who own it!
Trekking - Ushguli Day Hikes
The most popular hike leading you to Ushguli is from Mestia. However, this will take 3-4 days which many just don’t have the time for, luckily, we’ve collated to Ushguli hikes that start in the settlement and that take less than a day.
- Tamar’s Castle: 4 kilometres
Two hundred metres above Ushguli is the lonely Tamar’s castle, believed to have been a regular residence for King Tamar. Taking approximately 2 hours, this is probably the easiest of
Ushguli’s trekking offerings.
- Chubedishi Viewpoint: 7.5 kilometres
Three stone cairns stand on a hill above the village, offering some stunning views of Ushguli and Khalde Wall. Taking a little longer than the above, this Ushguli day hike is approximately4 hours, with the finish point almost 900 metres above the town.
- Khalde Ridge: 14.5 kilometres
This is definitely a hike for those who have packed their walking boots and want a challenge.With a 1000-metre ascent and a trek that will take around 8 hours, this will certainly earn you some dinner at Cafe Koshki.
Climb to Lagem Pass and follow to ridge to get an outstanding view of the surrounding mountains.
Hopefully, we’ve shown you there is more to the settlement than meets the eye, with plenty of things to do in Ushguli village, Georgia. Though there are bus trips to the area for those partaking in longer hikes, car hire in Georgia means you’ll have more freedom to take on the above challenges when it suits you.