Welcome to Eka's Guest House - Your accommodation in Mestia during your holidays in Georgia!
HIKING & CLIMBING Svaneti is Georgia's corner with the great number of peaks, while Svans are the strongest professionals among Georgian mountaineers. The highest summit Shkhara (5 068 m) is in svaneti, as well as the Tetnuldi (4 900 m) nicknamed the Bride of Svaneti. Yet the twin-peaked Ushba (4 710 m)is the beauty of Svaneti and the entire Greater Caucasus. It is the most difficult and fatal peak in the Caucasus Rnage - a dream of all climbers.
Impossibly beautiful, wild and mysterious, Svaneti is an ancient land locked in the greater Caucasus, so remote that it has never been tamed by any ruler, and even during the Soviet period it largely retained its traditional way of life. You need a minimum of three days to visit Svaneti (including one getting there and one getting out again), but if you can manage it, Svaneti is a must. Uniquely picturesque villages and snow-covered peaks rising over 4000m above flower-strewn alpine meadows offer marvelous walking opportunities. Svaneti’s emblem is the defensive stone tower, designed to house villagers at times of invasion and strife. Around 175 towers, most originally built between the 9th and 13th centuries, survive in Svaneti today. Until recently Svaneti was rather unsafe, with armed robberies against tourists too common to ignore. It’s become a much safer place since 2004, when security forces shot dead the area’s leading robber baron and his son, and jailed several other thugs. We did still hear of two attempted armed robberies (one successful) against tourist groups in 2006, but the overall picture is much safer. It’s sensible to go with a local guide when you venture out on hikes, or at least get good local information first.
Svaneti’s isolation has meant that during the many murderous invasions of Georgia over the centuries, icons, art and other religious artefacts from elsewhere were brought here for safekeeping, and many of them remain in private homes. Svaneti also has a rich church-art heritage of its own, with many of the tiny village churches boasting frescoes 1000 years old. This mountain retreat is regarded by many as the most authentically Georgian part of the country, despite the fact that the Svans speak an unwritten language that broke away from Georgian some four millennia ago and is largely unintelligible to other Georgians.