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Svaneti Hiking Trail
MESTIA-TSKHAKZAGARI-
-KORULDI LAKES-MESTIA

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ROUTE

The route is circular: it aims to acquaint us with the historical Legtagi and Lanchvali neighbourhoods of Mestia and their surroundings.

Route type: on foot or horseback
Length/Duration of travel on foot: Full route - 15,6 km; 8 hours
Shortened route - 7,5 km; 5 hours
Route Altitude at the beginning, m: 1400 m
The Highest point, m Full route - 2740 m
Shortened route - 2210 m
Type of road: Path, sleigh track
Recommended period: 1st June - 15 October
Trail Marking: On trees, boulders, wooden posts

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DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE

The route begins in the centre of Mestia, it follows Vittorio Sella street through the Lekhtagi neighbourhood, it crosses a stream, roughly 200 m after the neighbourhood it turns right, goes into the woods and heads up North through the woods to Mount Tshkhakezagari.

The alpine belt starts from 2200 m altitude, where an extraordinarily beautiful panorama comes into view: to the South the Svaneti Ridge and the borough of Mestia are seen; to the North – alpine meadows and rocky massif of mountains which terminates with a snowy crown of Mt. Bzhedukhi; to the Northwest is seen the double-peaked Mt. Ushba. Here we reach the first steel signpost (1), where we may choose to continue to pristine Koruldi lakes or hike back to Mestia via the Lanchvali road.

If we choose the former, we continue north to so-called Lamaaja, where another steel signpost (2) is placed. The signpost determines the direction of our further movement. We pass herdsmen’s wooden summer huts, where it is possible to enjoy the flavor of ecologically pure dairy products for a corresponding price.

We head up to pristine Koruldi lakes along a clearly visible path going through alpine meadows. Our progress is made easier by wooden guideposts placed along the trail. Mountains are all around us: the Ushba-Chatini massif is seen straight ahead, the rocky slopes of Mt. Dalakora and the Mestiachala River valley are viewed to the right; Mt. Banguriani is seen to the East and still further is the snowy cone of Mt. Tetnuldi; the Svaneti Ridge is seen to the South. We arrive at Koruldi lakes (3) at 2740 m altitude above see level.

After the lakes the trail descends along the same path to the first signpost (1), from thence we continue in the direction of Mestia’s historic neighborhood of Lanchvali. In the vicinity of a giant iron cross (4) we reach a dirt road and descend to the river Mestiachala valley through pastureland. At 1900 m (5) we deviate from the dirt road onto a sleigh track, which will cross a stream and enter the woods; it crosses a dyke made of logs hammered together in a gully. From here we can easily see Mestia’s old neighborhood of Lanchvali where we descend down a scree slope.

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