National Geographic named Svaneti, region of Georgia, among the best 25 tourist destinations to travel in 2021.
“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, at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level.
Due to its remoteness, Svan culture evolved over the centuries in isolation from the rest of Georgian lands, developing a unique oral-only language and traditions such as ritual beard cutting and blood feuds. Once infamous for lawlessness, the region is recognized today for its welcoming spirit. “Georgia is famous for its hospitality, but Svaneti is Georgian hospitality times 10. Parties, toasts, and alcohol are the order of the day”, - says Michał Głombiowski, a travel writer and photographer from Poland who frequently visits Georgia.