Mestia is the administrative centre of Svaneti, place of a landscape of high snow-capped peaks, forested hills and spectacular valleys. Winding roads lead to hidden villages dotted with medieval watchtowers. There is something about the region that makes you feel as if time has stood still.
In Mestia you will come across with many medieval watchtowers, dating from 8th century. The tower is primarily a defensive structure building, the towers were built to such an extent that together with other complexes they formed the collective defense system of the village.
One of the typical Svanetian watchtower houses is open to the public, while the Museum of History & Ethnography has an excellent exhibition on Svanetian life as well as a superb treasury of mediaeval icons and processional crosses.
The people of Svaneti are a race apart – the pace of life is different in this region, they have their own language and traditions, their own architectural styles, and for them ancient customs is still very much a part of everyday life.