May 07 2020
The major beauty of Nakra is its alpine zone. “In the upper villages, the nature is so delightful that you really want to fly,” said 79-year-old Shamili Gvamliani, recommending the 7 km road leading to alpine zone for those wanting a real taste of that beauty.
The road is of medium difficulty and, like Svaneti as a whole, is full of legends. If you go with a local tour guide, hiking will be even more interesting. The higher you go, the more you hear about the settlements, churches and people. To prove the bravery of Svans, the guide told us that when the enemy attacked, if Svans were out of bullets, they used chains to defend themselves. This valley was damaged three times by enemies, as it was easy to attack from the Basa Pass.
The route to the alpine zone passes through the woods. If you’re not up for the walk, locals will offer car and horse-riding tours. You will probably see wild horses in the alpine zone too. This is a place fully owned by animals and birds. If you see another person, it will likely be a seasonal herdsman.
From the point you can reach by car, the whole valley is revealed. Nakra Alpine Zone is 2500-2800 meters above sea level. There, you will find the Caucasus Ridge, Nakra Valley, forest and beautiful nature. You’ll have to continue your journey on foot from this point. Be sure to taste the wild berries: the higher you go, the more delicious they become.
Chuberi is also worth visiting, as, when visiting the alpine zone, it rained twice. The road is not difficult and without hiking equipment you can cover the distance, however, be sure to bring raincoats, strong shoes and warm clothes. When looking at the mountains, we were told another legend about giants. The legend says that giants lived in Nakra and when they sat on the tops of the mountains, their feet would stretch down to the valley. If you are lucky with the weather, you will see the beauty of the Caucasus- Mount Elbrus.
Yellow flowers give a real beauty to the alpine zone. Amidst the mountain snow and the harshness, these small, tender flowers tell us that the winter is coming. As we were told, this flower grows when the cold starts and disappears before the frosts, to emerge again the following year.