Located in the region of Svaneti, at the head of the Enguri gorge in Svaneti, Georgia, Ushguli is the highest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe at an elevation of 2.410m (7,910ft) above the sea level.
The town is located in northwest Georgia, at the feet of Shkhara, one of the highest Caucasian summits. The road to the town is a nightmare. It’s gravel, very narrow, and pretty steep. The road follows the Patara Enguri River. There is little room for error on this road. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. The track crosses several times the river.
The road can be rough in places and it’s better avoiding this drive after heavy rains. To drive this trail, you must have supreme confidence in your vehicle and your driving skills. The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice.
Starting from Mestia, the Ushguli Road is 43.5 km long. The area is snow-covered for 6 months of the year, and often the road to Mestia is impassable. Open to all motorized vehicles, however, strongly recommended for high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles. The road is very rough--only try driving it in a 2wd car, if you're planning to buy a new car. This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns with wheels sometimes hanging above the precipice.
Pic&video: Voyager Team