Mestia can be reached by car, plane or by combination of train and car. Anyway, the road to Svaneti is an experience.
First of all you need to choose the airport of arrival: Tbilisi (the capital), Batumi or Kutaisi.
The easiest method, if you arrive to Tbilisi, is to book a transfer form airport.
Cost: about 600 GEL (~$240) per minivan. The cost of a transfer is reasonable for a groups of 5 and more persons.
To book a transfer form Tbilisi to Mestia contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good way if your plane is arrived to Tbilisi at the morning or daytime. This method is suitable as for alone travellers, as for a groups.
A lot of taxi drivers are ond duty near the exit of an airport, bargain with them!
Don't confuse the currency!
Get taxi to the main railway station (pronounce "vokzali"), where you can use the luggage room. The rest of the day is better to spend walking on a warm city Tbilisi.
Train tickect should be bought in advance. Train tickects and prices are available on tkt.ge in forty days before a trip.
With trains leaving for Tbilisi twice a day, the train journey is easy.
Night train saves one night in a hotel and half of a day in Svaneti. 30 GEL ticket is highly recommended.
Morning express train is also an option. Plan your trip! :)
On arriving to Zugdidi you'll see a lot of minibuses, waiting for a clients. Don't be affraid to ask them "Mestia". A seat in a minivan costs 20 GEL. The "marshrutka" starts as it is full, it also can drive slowly. If you are a group, don't waste a time - write us for a transfer organization.
Therefore, the cost contains of:
- Taxi airport - railway station: 30-50 GEL. It depends of quantity of stuff and your communication skills.
- Railway ticket: maximum 30 GEL.
- Minibus ("marshrutka") minimum 20 GEL. It's the cost of a seat in a minivan.
In summary the cost is about 90 GEL (~$35).
To book the transfer from Zugdidi to Mestia contact email@example.com
Do you have no more than 15 kg of luggage? Congratulations, sir or madam! You have the opportunity to enjoy stunning views from a small plane and save a lot of time. Of course, if you are lucky with the weather ;)
Time of departures is strongly depended on the weather. Check the weather forecast for Tbilisi and Mestia
The second method is to use a "marshrutka" minibus (10-12 persons).
Cost: about 30 GEL (~$12) for seat in a minibus.
Minibus (10-12 persons) departs from the bus station.
Cost: about 25 GEL (~$10) for seat in a minibus.
Only experienced drivers may want to travel by car to a mountain region in winter.
Requerements for a car: all-drive wheel, high ground clearance, winter tires.
There are two roads to Svaneti from the rest of Georgia, but only one of them (through Zugdidi town) is used in a winter time. Zugdidi-Mestia is 140 km of a serpentine, often with icy turns. The route from Tbilisi to Mestia on Google routes: here.
1. Plan your route.
2. Take your time!
3. Use bypass roads.
4. Check out the latest news.
5. Keep the distance