The FINANCIAL — National Geographic, a major global travel publication, hails Svaneti, Georgia among the world’s finest destinations to visit in the post-pandemic year 2021.
National Geographic lists the best destinations every November. Reported by the global editors of National Geographic, these 25 destinations are framed by five categories: Nature, Adventure, Culture, Sustainability, and Family.
National Geographic writes about Svaneti:
“Located in the shadows of 15,000-foot peaks, the Svaneti region in northwest Georgia’s Caucasus mountains may seem forbiddingly inaccessible. The rugged landscape bristles with medieval stone towers that doubled as dwellings and defense posts. These fortresses attest to a time when Svan families fought fiercely to hold possession of their lands in small villages and lofty settlements such as Ushguli. Protected as the Upper Svaneti World Heritage site, Ushguli is one of Europe’s highest inhabited communities.
Once infamous for lawlessness, the region is recognized today for its welcoming spirit. ‘Georgia is famous for its hospitality. Parties, toasts, and alcohol are the order of the day,’ says Michał Głombiowski, a travel writer and photographer from Poland.
While still far off any beaten path, Svaneti now is accessible to intrepid adventurers via the Upper Svaneti section of the Transcaucasian Trail, an ambitious long-distance trail network project ultimately aiming to connect Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Trekkers with enough lung capacity to tackle a four-day, high-altitude hike from Mestia, the regional capital, to Ushguli are treated to cool vistas of serrated peaks by day and warm receptions in Svan guesthouses at night.”