Mestia is the administrative centre of Svaneti and a good place to become acquainted with the unique culture of the region. One of the typical Svanetian watchtower houses is open to the public, while the Museum of History & Ethnography has an excellent exhibition on Svanetian life as well as a superb treasury of mediaeval icons and processional crosses.
Ushguli is the highest permanent settlement in Europe and one of the most scenic spots in Georgia. The village’s many mediaeval watchtowers are set against a background of alpine meadows, above which the great peak of Mt. Shkhara towers at a height of 5068m - the highest in Georgia. The 12th century Lamaria church set against the backdrop of this snow-capped giant is a sight you will remember for the rest of your life.
Churches in Svaneti remind us just how independent and self-sufficient the Svan people are and how their cultural and religious practices differ from those of the rest of Georgia. Painting the interior of the church is a centuries-old tradition, but in Svaneti frescoes are found outside the church as well and this is what makes the region unique. Visiting the medieval Lenjeri church, painted inside and out, you will understand that for the Svan people the church is much more than just a place of worship.