Somebody who plans to visit Svaneti has been asking me a lot of questions and I believe the answers will be of interest to many tourists. Hence, this post. Languages In Svaneti, everybody speaks Svan language, but that’s between locals. They address tourists in Georgian. In Mestia almost everybody who hosts tourists speaks Russian and English. That is not the case in other villages, where often people know neither Russian nor English. That, however, does not stop tourists. They stay with them and somehow find ways to communicate. It should not be a problem if you would like just to listen to Svan language or Svan songs. Treatment of outsiders In Svaneti, as anywhere else in Georgia, guests are warmly welcomed. Everybody is ready to help and you would not notice any aggression towards you. There are many legends going around about Svans, about their temper and traditions, but firstly, times have changed, and secondly, Svans are always glad to have guests. Even if you accidentally do something not quite appropriate, you’d be understood and shown how to do it correctly. As long as you don’t “come with a sword!” Attending churches Many churches are guarded and locked, thus entering them is not straightforward. You need to agree in advance with a priest. It should be easy during holidays, as churches are open for services, however usually only one church is open per village. For instance, there are about twenty churches in Latali, but services take place only in one of them. If you will ask us to arrange your trip, we will agree on your behalf with priests and will arrange for an excursion into medieval churches. You will be able to enter and take pictures no matter what your religion is. Health services There is a clinic, a hospital, and a pharmacy in Mestia. You can get some immediate help here (in Latali) as well, but it would be best to take with you some basic things, in case of a cut or a bruise. Lodging You can stay in any village. Mestia would be the easiest given its infrastructure (stores, cafes). It is less appealing for exploring the nature, but you can get to other nearby villages. Latali is also a rather large village and is some fifteen minutes away from Mestia by car. In fact, you will pass it on your way to Mestia. The problem is that there is no regular transportation between the villages, which means that you either will have to rent a car or walk. If you will ask us to arrange your trip, we will arrange for you to reach any village you'd like for an appropriate fee. For example, in summer we can arrange for you to go to Ushguli with a tourist group or to get a guide and a couple of calm horses. You don’t really need an agency to organize a trip to Svaneti, we can do it for you and it will be of the highest quality. Even if you are coming from abroad! Исходный http://svaneti.livejournal.com/18308.html

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