Svaneti Tour by Train3 Days | Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Mestia, Ushguli

Svaneti Tour by Train

Explore one of the most unique and ancient cultures in the world with our 3-day Svaneti tour. Some travellers say that the tour is worth visiting for the road experience from Zugdidi to Mestia alone. Stunning nature scenery on the Inguri pass already makes this trip so different from other tours in Georgia. But this is true only before you arrive in Svaneti. Magnificent mixture of Caucasus mountainous nature and authentic architecture is something visitors will keep in their memories forever.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Tbilisi – Zugdidi – Mestia
 
Our driver and guide will pick you up from your hotel at 07:30 in the morning and take you to the Central train station in Tbilisi. The train to Zugdidi leaves at 08:25 and arrives in Zugdidi at 14:11.
Our local driver will meet you and your guide at Zugdidi train station to drive you up to Mestia (about 130 km) – one of the oldest towns in Svaneti region of Georgia. This region is the birthplace of a unique ethnic group – the svans – who distinguish from other ethnic groups in Georgia with their amazing and old culture and traditions. Svaneti is also famous with its original and authentic architecture and is dubbed as a “land of thousand towers”. Those towers used to play an important economic and defensive role in the history of Svaneti. There are still dozens of the towers – Middle Ages stone houses with fire watchtowers; and churches (X-XIV cc).
The evening you may spend visiting original svan house “machubi”, and “koshki” tower. Dinner and overnight at hotel or local guesthouse.
Day 2: Mestia – Ushguli – Mestia
 
After the hotel breakfast drive to Ushguli village, the highest standing settlement in Europe (2200 m). The Ushguli architectural complex is a valuable architectural and historical monument, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its exclusiveness. There are about 70 families living in Ushguli (around 200 people). Spend time in Ushguli strolling through the old narrow streets. Visit Lamaria Church, complex with impressive 12th century wall frescos. Locals believe that Queen Tamar was buried under this church. Enjoy picturesque view of the Mount Shkhara. Return to Mestia to enjoy delicious dinner made of Svan traditional dishes.
Day 3: Mestia – Zugdidi – Tbilisi
 
After breakfast, check out from the hotel. At 10:00 a.m. we will visit Svaneti Ethnographic Museum which exhibits a beautiful collection of Orthodox icons, a pride of Svaneti. Depart Mestia and head to Zugdidi. Before boarding the Zugdidi-Tbilisi train, we offer optional visit to following places:
  • A lunch at ethno-village “Sisa Tura” close to Zugdidi*, in the village Chkhoria. Here you will see old Megrelian house “Oda” with fascinating relics (old utensils, newspapers from last century and authentic Megrelian clothing that have been kept from ancestors). The whole place is dedicated to ethnography and is essentially a living museum. Having a lunch here is a unique experience, enabling you to enjoy traditional Megrelian meals like Gebzhalia (cheese in mint sauce), Ghomi (a hot porridge made with corn flour) and Sulguni (type of cheese) in an authentic Megrelian place.
  • Alternatively, we can stop at Dadiani palace in Zugdidi. The 17th-century palace was built by Levan Dadiani, a local prince, and served as a residence of Megrelian princess and princesses. Nowadays, Dadiani Palace is a historical and architectural museum complex that includes a palace for Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani, a residence of her son Niko Dadiani, a church, and beautiful botanical garden. Take the train to Tbilisi at 17:25. Arrival at 23.18. Transfer to your hotel. End of the tour.
*This optional activity requires a prior reservation.
  • Transfer to/from Tbilisi train station;
  • Accommodation in Mestia (based on double/twin room sharing; breakfast included);
  • All transfers in Mestia as per itinerary;
  • Guide to accompany travelers;
  • Entrance tickets on sights as per itinerary;
  • Train tickets Tbilisi-Zugdidi-Tbilisi on a Soft-seated carriage;
  • Separate 4x4 wheel return drive to Ushguli village;
  • Dinners in Mestia on Days 1-2;
  • Mineral water (0,5 l. per person a day).
  • Full board;
  • Additional Hotel expenses;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
  • Lunch at Sisa Tura;
  • Personal travel and health insurance.

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Mestia - 2 nights
Gold Tower, Mestia Inn, Chubu, Mestia Plaza, Villa MestiaPosta

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