In the highlands of Ajara, in particular, in the municipalities of Khulo and Shuakhevi, there are abundant alpine mountains and still well-preserved so-called yaylas, which are located at an altitude of about 2200 meters above sea level. Yaylas with their appearance, untouched nature, panoramic views, biodiversity, historically formed cultural landscape and summer residences create an authentic and ethnological value.
Yaylas located in the alpine zone are characterized and distinguished by their unique location, traditional buildings, homestead size, scale, and proportions which form a chain of cultural values. The culmination is the intangible cultural heritage - such cultural values as time-honored customs, culinary, lifestyle (seasonality, cattle breeding, mountain pastoralism), performing arts, handicrafts and folk literature, which are still preserved in the highlands of Ajara, especially in yaylas.
Yaylas are traditional summer pastures. The inhabitants of upper Ajara, whose main activity is cattle breeding, leave their homes at the beginning of May and stay in yaylas until autumn, where they live with their families and livestock in small wooden houses. These people are called memteuri.
Memteuri takes care of cattle throughout the summer, milks and prepares dairy products, some of which they sell, and some of which they keep for the winter. In the summer, there is always a crowd and a buzz of life on the highlands of Ajara. Young and old members of the family are always bustling. Red-cheeked children who grew up in the fresh air play in the yards or look at the surroundings from the huts.
They are especially distinguished by their hospitality. You simply cannot meet such warm and friendly people anywhere. They pay great attention to all passers-by, and it is enough to just ask them something about the road, and they will immediately offer you a break and a cup of coffee with them.
The road to reach yaylas goes through high mountains, so it is not so easy and quite exhausting, but it is definitely worth it.
The fog is the most frequent guest here, which seems to hide the place from the outside world and gives it a mystery and mysticism. Therefore, when you decide to go hiking and visit new, mysterious places, you should definitely visit yaylas of Ajara.