While cities like Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi are the primary destination of any traveler, to feel the true Georgian spirit, it’s advised to visit some of its remote villages and small towns. Here’s the list of the most interesting and impressive villages you shouldn’t miss on your next trip.
Stepantsminda is one of the most popular mountain destinations. Its postcard-like scenery of Mount Kazbegi and a Trinity Church at its roots, attracts many travelers. Moreover, it’s quite close to Tbilisi, so it makes a perfect one-day getaway from the capital.
The road that leads to Stepantsminda, Georgian Military Highway, is also full of beautiful views, while the hike towards the church is quite spectacular.
The highland village in Akhmeta Municipality, Bochorna lies at 2,345 meters (7,694 ft) above sea level, making it among the highest inhabited areas in Europe.
Khevsureti region is one of the country’s most remote areas. Its largest settlement, Shatili, is located near the border with Chechnya. Once part of the Kingdom of Kakheti, the population of Shatili, together with other parts of the region, was resettled during the Soviet times. Today, the less inhabited village with its cluster of medieval towers attracts many mountain trekkers and tourists.
Mutso is the last settlement area of Khevsureti and so close to Chechnya, that you might even see the patrolling guards near the border.
What makes Mutso so interesting, is its ruined city hanging above it on a rocky land. The hike up there is quite challenging but is worth every step as you get rewarded with gorgeous views of the valley.
Tusheti is another remote area of the country with splendid nature and architecture. Famous for having the most dangerous road to travel on, this doesn’t stop any local or traveler exploring this charming area.
Omalo is its center and the largest village in the region. Unlike Khevsureti, the population here is quite sizeable. Omalo is the great base for visiting other villages of the area, however, the old fortress that overlooks the village is worth visiting for its gorgeous views of Omalo and surrounding nature.
Located outside of Omalo, Shenako is known for Holy Trinity old church that sits on a hillside and overlooks the valley below. Shenako has a small community, but like Dartlo, you can find several guesthouses to stay overnight.
The village of Dartlo is wrapped into the mountains and looks like a fairytale setting near the Alazani river that flows below it. Dartlo might be a small village, but there are plenty of homestays and a cafe to have a drink or lunch with splendid views of the surrounding area.
Bakhmaro, located in Guria region is a mountainous resort that lies at 1,926-2,050 meters (6,319-6,725 ft) above sea level. Surrounded by pine and fir forests, the resort is distinguished by curative possibilities.
Racha region is one of the most interesting wine regions of Georgia. It might not have the beauty of Tusheti, Khevsureti or Svaneti but it’s still worth visiting. The climate here is perfect for grapes, making Ambrolauri a great stopover for wine lovers and enthusiasts.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ushguli is the most remote area of Upper Svaneti. Known for being the highest continually inhabited village in Europe, Ushguli offers breathtaking views of Shkhara, the highest peak of the country and medieval defense towers that are slowly crumbling.
The road that was cut from Zugdidi towards Mestia, has changed the area drastically. Once like Ushguli, remote and full of Svan architecture, now Mestia is easily accessible with more developed infrastructure than other villages of the region.
If Mestia was closed in winter during the heavy snow, now, the recently opened Hatsvali Ski Resort attracts many local and foreign skiers and snowboarders.
Beshumi is a mountain resort of Adjara, the coastal region of the country. Located at 1,850-1,900 (6,069-6,233 ft) meters above the sea level, the area is rich with coniferous forests making summers here moderately cool. The average temperature in August hits 17 C.
Article: Baia Dzagnidze0