International Society on the Mountains of Georgia

The mountainous regions of Georgia are just one of its main beauties. No matter where you go in the country, you can always see its diverse landscape – the country is as mountainous as it is flat. Georgia’s terrain is as metaphorical as it is the place where East and West meet. It all speaks of the Georgian people and the dualism in their character. Maybe it is for this metaphorical significance, or it could be for its literal beauty, that the mountainous regions of Georgia are getting more and more worldwide recognition in the international press.

Just last week, L’obs, an influential French magazine, published an article about the mountainous region of Georgia, Tusheti, urging its readers to visit the vertiginous region that is reached by ‘one of the most dangerous roads’ in the world.

The French article tells the story of Tusheti, its past and how the old Georgian characteristics manifest today in the region.

“Isolated, this region has kept all its wilderness and friendliness. Even today, the doors of most houses welcome you in and you are forced to consume many glasses of chacha,” reads the article.

The author calls Tusheti ‘a little sister of the Alps’ and one of the pearls of Georgia. To give its readers a better clue as to where the region and country is, and what it has to offer, the writer mentions that Georgia was home to Stalin and Paradjanov (though Georgians themselves wouldn’t brag about having given the world Stalin).

The L’obs article serves as a guide to its many readers, giving tips on how to get to Georgia, and where to stay, eat and go while they’re there.

L'Obs, previously known as Le Nouvel Observateur, is a weekly French news magazine. Based on the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, it is the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation.

Svaneti is another of the most picturesque regions of Georgia, and a more popular destination to tourists, perhaps. Just this month the region was featured as one of those beautiful landscapes of the Microsoft Windows lock screen. An image taken in Svaneti was the lock screen of millions of Microsoft Windows users for a number of days.

“Travel to this spot on the globe and Georgia may very well be on your mind” read the caption of the Svaneti lock screen, showing the mountains of the region.

Last week, on October 23, Eurasianet published an article reviewing Svaneti, titled “Global tourism conquers Georgia’s untamable Svaneti.” It tells the story of the beauty and challenges of the region. One of the most authentic regions, which is strict in its customs, it is a popular destination among American and Chinese tourists, and pretty much everyone from between the two lands. The Eurasianet story reviews from the locals’ perspective the pros and cons of globalization. The respondent tells the newspaper of her displeasure that they used to greet each other with a ‘how are you?’ But now with ever-growing numbers of tourists, the social communication is taking a hit – now in Svaneti they ask each other ‘how many’, implying the number of tourists they have hosted that very day. While this troubles Georgian conservatism, a more-open-minded view suggests an improvement: Georgia is being marked on the map of world importance with its touristic attractions.

People who had left Lenjeri to escape hardscrabble mountain life have come back now that there are economic opportunities in Svaneti. “It warms my heart to see people return, and we have tourism to thank for it,” Lali Khaptani, respondent of Eurasianet told the newspaper.

Eurasianet sums up the Svaneti story by calling it “Switzerland with an edge” and quoting the Guardian “Svaneti will make you wonder why you bothered with the Alps.”

Whether the world-wide recognition is good or bad news is left for the locals to decide. One thing is clear for us, however: Georgian mountainous regions, for once, are being acknowledged as they answer well to the international standards with their beauty and quality of service.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source:;

29 October 2019 09:47