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Mestia is a city in Upper Svaneti, Georgia. It's the regional capital.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

A new Queen Tamar Airport in Mestia was built in 2010, and the flights to Mestia are operated by airline company Service Air by airplane LET 410-UVP.

Flights from/to Tbilisi (Natakhtari airfield) are available 6 times a week. Ticket price is 90 GEL one way. Price includes free transfer from Tbilisi to Natakhtari airfield and back. Pick up point for transfer is at the Rose Revolution Sq. (corner of Kiacheli str. & Rose Revolution sq., the opposite side of the Bike monument).

There are flights from/to Kutaisi (Kutaisi International Airport) available 2 times a week. Ticket price is 50 GEL one way. There is no transfer included.

Complete schedule (source):
Natakhtari (Tbilisi) – Mestia

Mo 9:00 14:00
Tu 9:00 11:00
We 9:00 11:00
Th 9:00 11:00
Fr 9:00 14:00
Su 9:00 11:00

Kutaisi – Mestia

Mo 12:30 11:00
Fr 12:30 11:00

The registration time is one hour before the flight. Flight duration is one hour. Depending on weather conditions compliant to Visual Flight Rules VFR, the flight can be postponed or canceled (full refund). Limit of the hold luggage and for carry-on baggage in total is 15 kg per person. It's impossible to pay for extra luggage but if there is free place on board, you can take your baggage along free of charge.

You can book the flight online and pay by card. Tickets can be purchased online not earlier than 90 days prior to the flight date. Other ways to reserve your seat (please send a request to only one of the agent to avoid confusions!):

The plane is for 19 passengers and there is always a high demand for tickets, so reserve tickets long in advance. For example, by the end of July 2015, the only tickets from Mestia to Tbilisi left were for the end of August. If no tickets are available, ask to be on the waiting list.

Flights are being canceled with short notice due to poor sight abilities in Mestia. There is often fog in the valleys of the Caucasus in May and June.

By train[edit]

From Tbilisi to Zugdidi by night train, then take a marshrutka (minibus) from Zugdidi train station to Mestia. Ticket price 20 GEL (2019). Duration 3-4 hours.

By bus[edit]

Tbilisi - Mestia marshrutkas (mini buses) go every day from the "samgori-navtlugi" bus station . Departure time: 7:00. Also marshrutki go from "Vagzali" bus station (just in front of the huge Tbilisi Centrali building (თბილისი ცენტრალი). Look for a platform with a sign "Mestia". Number of seats 16, ticket price 30 Gel per person. Departure time : 7:00 am (the bus is ready for boarding at around 6:30 - first come, first serve). Duration 9 hours (depends on the weather conditions) with multiple stops for refreshment. It's okay to bring big backpacks - they'll be put on the roof.

Mestia-Tbilisi mini bus leaves at 7am and 8am. It is possible to book beforehand through hotels and agencies in the center of town. Only one (maximum 2) marshrutka goes to Zugdidi at 6 a.m. and around midday. Costs 20 lari There are also marshrytki to Batumi.

From Zugdidi, just go to the train station (all the mashrutkas are there) and try to find the Mestia sign on a small shop (or ask around). They leave every time the mini bus is full and it costs 20 GEL.

From Kutaisi there's a daily morning mini-bus (25 GEL) from the main bus station (near McDonalds). It has no definite schedule and departs when full. Try to come early, by 9am it might already be gone. In this case, however, you can catch marshrutka to Zugdidi (7 Gel). Ask the driver to drop you off at the mini-bus to Mestia. Be prepared to wait for some time until the bus if full. This second leg of the trip will cost you another 15 lari.

In the off-season, the bus departs Kutaisi at 10am and arrives around 4pm. Expect quite a few stops.

By car[edit]

A new highway from Zugdidi to Mestia has been opened and the trip has become safe and comfortable by public or private transport. As of May 2019 there is a rough kilometer at Zugdidi but otherwise the road is in good condition, and any 2WD car will not struggle - nor is it in any way a difficult drive for anyone used to standard European country roads. A taxi cost 100 GEL from Zugdidi to Mestia and can hold four people.

Get around[edit]

There is an ATM on the main road.

See[edit][add listing]

Svaneti Historical-Ethnographic Museum, which has one of the oldest New Testament manuscripts in Georgian on display. 5 GEL per adult.

House and Museum of the world-famous alpinist Mikhail Hergiani.

Do[edit][add listing]

Hiking, supported by the Mountain Tourist Centre of Svaneti, Pereulok Stalina No. 7, 200 m from the main square in Mestia.

Chalaadi glacier is a good option for a dayhike from Mestia. The route goes north along the river from Mestia and is quite long (~20km there and back). As of 1st September 2017, there have been many roadworks on the walking path (in between Queen Tamar airport to Chalaadi cafe) so it gets really dusty, monotonous and not very suitable for walking. However, the path becomes really enjoyable and beautiful after reaching cafe Chalaadi. To save energy and time - it is possible to rent a car or hitchhike far up the valley and spend more time at the glacier itself. It costs about 10-20 lari per person depending on your haggling skills.

Hike to the Cross and Koruldi Lakes The cross is a wooden cross located on top of a hill, overlooking Mestia, with a wooden shelter beside it. From here, you can see nice panoramic view of Mestia. The hiking trail goes from Khergiani street, passing Khergiani tower before it goes uphill and finally branches into two paths, a steep forest path on the left and a longer but more walkable path on the right. (The steep path can be quite dangerous for descent if you don't have any walking stick with you). Right after passing the Cross on the way to Koruldi lakes, there is a wooden house where a man lives with his dog. If you make about 300m detour from the house, there is a water point to fill up your water bottles. Just follow the sign from the house where it says tsqali with a drawing of flowing water. It can take one whole day (8-12 hours return trip depending on your skill) to hike up to the lakes and back to Mestia, so prepare your own packed lunch. It will be half of it if you are only going to the cross. It is also possible to rent a car which goes up to the cross (and sometimes even to koruldi lakes).

Mestia is also the starting point for trips to Ushguli, one of the highest inhabited places in Europe. There is another small Ethnographic Museum there, containing 12th century religious artwork.

Mountain Ushba is a main attraction, in good weather conditions you can see it above.You can also get to its base.

The hike to the Mount Ushba glacier takes around 6 hours, starting from a beautiful mountain village Mazeri.

Take the cable car (kanatnaya doroga) to the top (6km) to see the splendid view. The walk to the cable car is long though (8km), so try to hitch hike.

Get in one of the old fortresses (koshka) to see how the protection worked before.You might pay for the entry there.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Beautiful works of Folk art can be bought at the Mountain Tourist Centre.

Eat[edit][add listing]

On the main street there are restaurants that both serve very nice food. The nicer looking of the two, near the center, is slightly more expensive, but still very cheap. Meat-filled dumpling - 0.50 per one. Beef stew - 5 Lari, salad - 4 Lari. Tea - 2 Lari. Draught georgian beer is also available, 2 Lari.

There are few bakeries where you can get fresh warm bread for 1 lari. Try the local cheese.

There is a small market for fruit and vegetables and a number of shops.

  • Cafe Dael, Queen Tamar st. (Next to hotel Dael). Nice georgian restaurant. Cozy atmosphere and good food.  edit
  • Cafe Laila, (In the main square). The only good thing about this place is they have free wifi. Service is horrible and the food is just ok.  edit
  • Lushnu Qor, Tamar Mepe Street 44, Mestia 3200 Georgia. Very tasty traditional Georgian food, with good vegetarian options. The khinkali and soups are good options. You may save a lari if you order an item from the Georgian side of the menu.  edit
  • Erti Kava, Seti Square 25, Mestia 3200 Georgia. Good option to have a coffee or a beer after a day of hiking.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Lots of interesting mineral water. And of course, as anywhere in Georgia, marvellous Georgian wine and chacha!

  • Bar restaurant Sunseti, Queen Tamar st.. This is one of the best places to eat in town. Try the ojakhuri, fried pork and potatoes. Plus service is decent, which in Mestia is hard to find.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hostel Seti [9], Seti squ. 7. €10 for a dorm bed. Located right in the center, next to the tourist information center and a restaurant. It's newly built. Have air conditioning in the hall and heater in the room. The room is large.
  • Nest Hostel Mestia, Kakhiani st. 16, +995 595 41 44 43 +995 555 52 55 77 (), [1]. Centrally located with balcony overlooking river mountains and 'Svan' towers holding the sky over Mestia. Friendly, English speaking and very helpful staff. €9-11.  edit
  • Hotel "Mestia", Zurab Devdariani, 577721211, 590721211.
  • Muradi Chartolani's Guesthouse, Ushba St. 2, +995 55 56 19 74 (). Guesthouse with TV, garden. $10-20.  edit
  • Nino Ratiani's Guesthouse, Jondo Khaptanis Street. #1, +995 99 18 35 55 +995 90 52 78 18 (), [2]. Guesthouse with quad, triple, double and single room, ensuite or shared. internet, hot water and wonderful Georgian meals, free tea and coffee all day. Putting up a tent may be possible for 5 GEL per person. Warm and friendly owners who speak English. Transport to just about anywhere can be organised as well as airport pick ups, meal requests, cooking lessons, etc. can be arranged. Has become too big. there is no sound proofing, so u hear everything. hikers stomping up the stairs, vodka drinkers. not a restful place any more from 45 GEL per person with two meals, 25 w/o.  edit
  • Nino Tstulukiani's Guesthouse, Guladi Japarise Street no 8, +595 58 98 39 (). Nice family run guesthouse with spacious rooms, shared sitting room and bathroom with hot water. The owner is an excellent cook. Currently (summer 2011) the family is building a hotel, located next to the guesthouse. GEL 30 per person (includes dinner and breakfast).  edit
  • Eka's Guest Houst, Vittorio Sella St. 8, 995 (5) 99 72671, [3]. checkin: 28/9/2013; checkout: 30/9/2013. A great guesthouse run by Eka, a charming host and fluent English speaker. If her house is full, she might lodge you with her family nearby, who are every bit as welcoming. Great food! 40 GEL with breakfast and dinner, or 35 at the family's spot. 20 GEL for a room. 35 GEL.  edit
  • Manoni's Guest House, + 995 90 60 20 40, [4]. Impressive unselfish hospitality, especially in a guesthouse which is supposed to earn from it (yes, when I payed 10 GEL for 2 nights they sayed "please stay one more night, it's late, we are hosting you on our sofa"). All the members of the family are awesome, two of them speak good english. 15 mins walking from the main square. hot shower, wi-fi and pc internet access, free tea and coffee. 10 GEL tent/person 15 GEL room, 10 GEL dinner, 10 GEL breakfast.  edit

Several people rent rooms in their houses as well:

  • House of Elguji Jorjoliani
  • House of Ketevan Gabliani (Tel. +599-56-93-58)
  • House of Malkhaza Argviliani (Tel. +599-25-90-80)
  • House of Irma Khergiani (Tel. +598-97-72-38)
  • Gia’s Homestay (
  • Shalva Kvitsiani's Ushba Homestay, (Village Becho), 599 73 95 21, [5]. Guesthouse with with private rooms, hot water and meals in picturesque village Becho. Convenient for a trek or climbing expedition to Ushba.  edit
  • Gia Japaridze's Family hotel, Guladi Japaridze street,15, 599 606332, [6]. 2-floor Japaridze family owned hotel with three comfortable triple and three double rooms. There are two shared bathrooms, kitchen, open balcony with fresh air and wonderful view, big garden possible to use for tent, pick up service from every site in Georgia. Price 45 Gel(full board) per person. This friendly family is full of tourism information.  edit
  • Mestia Camping & Hostel, Agmashenebeli 19, +995 599912573. Hostel with only one available camping site in Mestia. Very good location, just on the way to Mestia glacier (Chaladi)and outstanding views. The owners are fluent in English,French and Russian. All facilities are provided like a hot shower, toilets , internet etc. Hostel and camping owners can organize trekking, guiding, 4x4 wheel cars and horse ridding. Email: [email protected] , [email protected]  edit

If you want to stay just at the foot of Ushba mountain, visit guest house in Mazeri village in Becho community, Mestia region:

  • Peak Mazeri Guest House (Hotel Svaneti Mestia region - Peak Mazeri Guest House), Mestia district, Mazeri, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Georgia (Find Mazeri village in Becho community. Turn left 18 km before Mestia, (Zugdidi-Mestia road)), (), [7]. Great family mini Hotel. Amazing location just at the foot of Ushba. Nice mountain view rooms and tasty food. Horseback riding tours. Start trekking here. For bookig please mail or visit the web-site.  edit
  • Koka Guesthouse, Zugdidi Jvari Mestia Lasdili. New, clean, rooms with private bathrooms, wifi, free tea, host is friendly, helpful and speaks good English, not far from the center. Rooms for 2 persons with private shower are 50 Lari as for August 2015. Exact location: 43.043578, 42.718912  edit
  • Hotel VillaMestia, parjiani & (near the center), 995551001133, [8].  edit
  • Svanski, Seti square, +995577484805. Cosy guest house in the centre of Mestia. Capacity around 20 guests. Double, Triple rooms with private bathroom. Wonderful hosts, fluent English and Russian, transport services upon request.  edit



As of August 2011, massive construction works are in progress at Mestia. Therefore the place might not look so scenic.

Four years later (September 2015), the massive construction works are completed, and Mestia is extraordinarily scenic, especially from the outdoor patio of the hotel looking across the town with its protective towers to the patchwork of agricultural fields up the slopes to the foot of the forested mountains.

As of July 2017, there are massive construction projects near the bottom of the Chaladii glacier. Also along the road from the bottom of the glacier to Mestia

Get out[edit]

  • Ushguli
  • Mazeri - Svaneti mountain village, surrounded by stunningly beautiful landscapes and huge waterfalls. The starting point for several exciting Svaneti trekking routes, including Mount Ushba glacier trek. A taxi should cost no more than 20 GEL per person, or catch a marshrutka to Becho and walk into Mazeri.
  • Tbilisi - Don't buy the ticket from the woman in the shop with the "Bus terminal" sign. She will tell you about a confortable bus but the next morning you will see that it is just a normal mashutka. Price for mashrutkha: to Tbilisi - 30 GEL (Aug 2019), 9 hours; to Kutaisi - 25 GEL; to Zugdidi - 20 GEL. For marshutka to Zugdidi, sometimes if you get a kind driver you can ask them for 10 minutes stop at Enguri Dam for photo taking.

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