Ushguli Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Ushguli with our comprehensive tour guide. Discover the must-visit places, hiking/biking routes, food and drink scene, cultural customs, and transportation options in this charming mountain village.

Introduction to Ushguli

Located in Northwestern Georgia, Ushguli is a small mountain village that sits at the foot of the mighty Shkhara glacier. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for having some of the most extraordinary landscapes in the world.

Ushguli is famous for its medieval towers, which have protected the community from attackers over centuries. There are over 200 towers in the village that date back to the 9th century.

List of Places to Visit in Ushguli

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Ushguli Museum

The Ushguli Museum is a great introduction to the history and culture of the region. You can see authentic artifacts, including traditional clothing, household items, and silverware. The museum is open daily, 9 am-5 pm, and tickets cost around 5 GEL per person.

Lamaria Church

Lamaria Church is the largest church in Ushguli and dates back to the 12th century. It is one of the few churches in Georgia that still has original frescoes. You can visit the church from 9 am-7 pm daily, and there is no entrance fee.

Natural Attractions of Ushguli: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Shkhara Glacier

The Shkhara Glacier is one of the most stunning natural attractions in Ushguli. It is the third-highest peak in the Caucasus, with an elevation of 5,201 meters. You can book a guided tour from Ushguli to visit the glacier. The hike is around six hours long, and you’ll need to be in good physical shape to complete the trek.

Mount Ushba

Mount Ushba is a famous mountain peak located close to Ushguli. It is one of the most challenging peaks to climb in the Caucasus, but you can book a guided tour to visit the base of the mountain. The views of the peak from Ushguli are also breathtaking and are one of the village’s main draws.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ushguli

Ushguli is a great place for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Here are some of the best routes to explore:

  • Chvabiani to Adishi trek: The hike takes around six hours and is a great way to discover the beauty of the region.
  • Hike to the Shkhara Glacier: As mentioned above, this hike is a must-do for adventure seekers.
  • Biking in the village: You can easily rent a bike in the village and discover its hidden corners at your own pace.

Best Things to Do in Ushguli: Activities and Tours


Ushguli is an excellent place to go mountaineering. You can hire a guide and explore some of the nearby peaks, including Mount Ushba and Shkhara Glacier.


Ushguli has two small ski resorts that offer a unique skiing experience. You’ll find a handful of slopes suitable for both beginners and intermediate skiers.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ushguli

Day 1: Arrive in Tbilisi and travel to Ushguli. Day 2-3: Guided tour of Ushguli’s cultural and natural attractions. Day 4: Hike to the Shkhara glacier. Day 5-6: Mountaineering or skiing activities. Day 7: Depart Ushguli and return to Tbilisi.

Food and Drink Scene of Ushguli

Must-Try Dishes

  • Khachapuri: A traditional Georgian cheese bread.
  • Khinkali: Juicy, meaty dumplings.
  • Chakhokhbili: A flavorful chicken stew.

Local Beverages

  • Chacha: A grape-based pomace brandy.
  • Georgian wine: Georgia is famous for its delicious wines, and Ushguli is no exception. Try some of the local wines during your stay.

Where to Stay in Ushguli: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are a few accommodations options in Ushguli, including guesthouses and small hotels. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Hotel Tetnuldi: The hotel offers comfortable rooms and excellent views of the Shkhara glacier.
  • Guesthouse Villa Shkhara: A cozy guesthouse with friendly hosts.
  • Guesthouse Mestiachala: Located in the heart of the village, this guesthouse offers easy access to all the attractions.

What to Buy in Ushguli: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade woolen socks and caps.
  • Locally produced honey and jams.
  • Handmade jewelry made with traditional Georgian motifs.

Local Culture and Customs of Ushguli

The people of Ushguli are proud of their culture and heritage. They speak the Svan language, which is one of the oldest languages in Georgia. Be respectful of the local customs and dress appropriately when visiting religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Ushguli

The best time to visit Ushguli is from June to September. During these months, the weather is mild, and the hiking and outdoor activities can be enjoyed comfortably.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ushguli


  • Respect the local customs and traditions.
  • Be mindful of the environment and take your litter with you.
  • Learn some Georgian phrases to communicate with the locals.


  • Wear revealing clothing when visiting religious sites.
  • Take souvenirs from historical sites.
  • Be loud and disruptive in residential areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ushguli

Ushguli is a relatively safe place to visit, but it’s always best to be cautious when exploring the outdoors. Make sure to follow safety guidelines when hiking or mountaineering and always travel with a guide.

Health in Ushguli

The village has a small health clinic, but medical care may be limited. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance and any necessary vaccinations before you visit.

Getting to Ushguli: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Ushguli

The nearest airport to Ushguli is Tbilisi International Airport. From Tbilisi, you can travel to Ushguli either by car or public transport.

Bus Stations Near Ushguli

The nearest major town to Ushguli is Mestia, and it has a bus station that connects to other parts of the country. From Mestia, you can take a shared taxi or minibus to Ushguli.

Other Options

Another option for getting to Ushguli is to book a private car transfer with a local tour company. This way, you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free journey.

How to Get Around in Ushguli

Ushguli is a small village, and you can easily explore it on foot. Bikes and horses are also available for rent if you’re looking for a different mode of transportation.

Where to Go Next from Ushguli: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore more of Georgia after visiting Ushguli, here are some nearby destinations to add to your itinerary:

  • Mestia: A charming mountain town known for its medieval architecture and beautiful landscapes.
  • Batumi: A coastal city known for its beaches, nightlife, and historical sites.
  • Kutaisi: A cultural and historical hub with fascinating landmarks, including the Gelati Monastery and Bagrati Cathedral.


Ushguli is a stunning destination that offers visitors a unique cultural and outdoor experience. Whether you’re mountaineering near Shkhara Glacier, hiking to the top of Mount Ushba, or exploring the medieval towers, Ushguli will leave you in awe of its natural beauty and history. Plan your trip using this comprehensive travel guide, and experience the best that Ushguli has to offer.