Ushguli is a community of 4 villages located in Upper Svanezia, a historic region of Georgia. Located at an altitude of 2200 m above sea level, the village of Ushguli is considered one of the highest permanent settlements in Europe, according to some definitions of Europe.
It is located at the foot of Shkhara, one of the highest peaks of the Caucasus. About 70 families (about 200 people) live in the area, enough to keep a small school. The area is covered with snow for 6 months of the year, and many times the road is impassable.
Ushguli is located at the entrance to Engouri Gorge in Upper Svaneti, ( Svaneti is the historical-geographical part of Georgia. It includes the southern slopes of the Caucasus Range and the Enguri and Tskhenistskali rivers. Historic Svaneti also included the E. Sec. Svaneti of Abkhazia (upper part of Kodori River), regions bordering Samegrelo, Zemo Racha and Lechkhumi. ) Georgia. It comprises four villages which extend over 2 km:
Jibiani or Zhibiani ,Chvibiani or Chvibiani ,Tchajachi or Chazhashi ,
Mourqmeli or Murqmeli ,The villages are between 2 100 and 2 200 m above sea level located north of the Caucasus ridge, it would be the highest localities in Europe. Ushguli lies at the foot of Chkhara, the third highest peak in the Caucasus.
The village is mainly inhabited by the Svans – an ethnic group close to Georgians.
Ushguli is known for its defense towers and the district Tschaschaschi has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996, in the Soviet Union, he was already protected since 1971 as Uschguli Tschaschaschi Museum. In addition to the typical Svanetian towers there are various religious buildings, such as a chapel from the 12th century.
Thus, the region of Upper Svaneti in the north of Georgia with the district Tschaschaschi Georgia provides one of the three attractive for the tourism industry entries on the World Heritage List.
Today, mountain guide and horse guide services are offered, as well as accommodation and meals , However, most tourists come as day visitors from Mestia with all-terrain vehicles to Ushguli.
According to local news agency, the first phase is to rehabilitate the Ushguli museum and upgrade its infrastructure. According to the decision of the Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation and the National Museum, a new museum and visitor center will be created in Chazhashi. Director Mikhail Kalatozov filmed in Ushguli a documentary called Sal for Svanetia.
Access : Coordinates: 42.917797, 43.015672 / Ushguli is connected with Mestia and Lentekhi by roads of national importance. The road connecting Lentekhi passes through the Ugighi Pass, which is open only three months a year /
/ The journey to Ushguli takes place on alpine gravel roads. Due to the lack of crash barriers, a cautious driving style is recommended. Until July – August Uschguli can only be reached via Zugdidi and Mestia. From July – August, it is also possible to travel via Ratcha (Ambrolauri-Tsageri-Lentekhi) and the Zageri Pass (about 2600 meters) to Uschguli. The ride on this route is only possible with a 4WD vehicle, because the condition of the slopes is miserable./
- Architecture : Typical svane defense towers are scattered in the villages. The chapel of Ouchgouli, built on a hill near the houses, dates from the twelfth century.There are 41 towers, 7 churches and 87 machibles in the community. Ushguli mainly consists of towers built in XI-XII century.
- There is no other church on the European continent, situated as high as the Limkheri / Mkheri church which is erected above the village of Latali, at a height of 2500 meters above sea level .
- In Svaneti, trekking enthusiasts will find exactly that mixture of civilization and isolation that is rarely encountered elsewhere in Europe.
- Ushguli Archaeological Museum / Church of the Savior – in the village of Murkmel / Church of St. Barbara – in the village of Murkmel/ Church of the Savior – in the village of Chvibiani / Church of the Savior – in the village of Zhibiani / St. George Church – in the village of Djibiani/ Church – in the village Chazhashi.
Activities : Hike to the glacier of the mountain Schkara – round trip about 8 hours / off-road tours / snowmobile tours / 3-day tour in Svaneti / sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking /
Go next : Mestia : a city in Upper Svaneti of Northwestern Georgia. / Mazeri – A Svaneti mountain village / Jvari : A small town / villages : Lenjeri , you can find many Svan towers / Latali : with some old and beautiful churches / Becho ,ideal for mountain hiking.