Ushguli is a community of four villages in Svaneti next to the foot of Shkhara, one of the highest Caucasian summits. The Ushguli villages contain buildings that are part of the UNESCO heritage site of Upper Svaneti.
Transportation into Ushguli is very limited. There is a road from Kutaisi that is serviced by private vehicles.
Otherwise a trip from Mestia is the easiest way to see Ushguli. A private vehicle can take you up for a day trip, or for a few days. The cost will be 200 GEL for a day trip, and a bit higher if you stay a while longer. There are also some local drivers that gather several tourists and do the tour spiting the costs (in this case the price per person will be 35 GEL), but it's available not everyday, just ask around in Mestia. The trip from Mestia takes about 2.5 hours one way despite being less than 70km in distance due to the poor quality of the road.
Once in the villages, you can walk between them all very easily.
- Typical Svanetian protective towers are found throughout the village.
- Ushguli Chapel (On a hilltop near the village). It dates back to the 12th century.
- A visit to the Ethnography museum is well worth the GEL 5-6 that the local children will ask for admission. Housed in a preserved Svan house, the museum contains artifacts ranging in age from the long history of the Svaneti regions. The local children will provide rehearsed description of the artifacts in passable English.
- The Georgian wartime treasury. Placed in the "most inaccessible part of Georgia" the countless national treasures were held in the Ushguli monastery during periods of conflict.
There are a few restaurants in the villages serving traditional Georgian and Svan home cooking, catering to the increasing numbers of tourists. You could also get food from your guest house.
Ask anyone in the village for a place to sleep or just walk around until you see a sign saying "Guest house" (there are a lot of them). The price will be $20-$30 per night and include all your food.
- Mazeri - Svaneti mountain village, surrounded by a stunningly beautiful landscapes and huge waterfalls. The starting point for a several exciting Svaneti trekking routes, including Mount Ushba glacier trek.