Tusheti and Khevsureti are located north-east of the main ridge of the Great Caucasus and border with Dagestan and Chechnya. Tusheti houses the unique monuments of cultural heritage, remains of ancient villages, folk crafts and everyday life items. The provinces are outstanding with their alpine meadows and well-preserved coniferous forests.
Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at the Tbilisi International Airport. Transfer to the hotel. Time at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2.Tbilisi – Alvani – Omalo
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Tusheti, namely to its center hub Omalo. It is the principle village of Tusheti. it is largely isolated from the rest of Georgia for most of the year. This is one of the holy places for Tushetians. We will make a stop for picnic, and after spend our time for observation of the place. Overnight in Omalo guesthouse. Dinner. Free time
Day 3. Omalo - Dartlo - Kvavlo - Parsma - Girevi - Omalo
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to Pirikiti Range of Tusheti. The road leads along the pine forest to the field (2250m) that is a crossing point of trails to Dartlo, Omalo and Gometsari. This is a place where all Tushetian community meetings were held in the past. There are up to 50 depopulated and abandoned villages in Tusheti.
Tusheti villages sre decorated by the towers and castles, which defended the population against neighboring community’s attack. Most of these castles are destroyed now. Tusheti villages are situated along the eastern bank of the River Alazani.
Visits to ancient Tusheti villages: Kvavlo, Dano, Farsma and Girevi. (sometimes Farsma and Girevi isn’t approachable because of the roads conditions). The most astonishing place is a village Dartlo, which has still its ancient look. It is located in the middle of the gorge sheltered under inaccessible Dano and Kvavlo. There are ruins of ancient church there, only men have access to this church.
Overnight in Omalo. Dinner . Free time.
Day 4. Omalo - Gometsari valley - Omalo
After breakfast visit to Gometsari Gorge. There are many gorges in Tusheti. The most important is a gorge of Gometsari and Pirikita Alazani. There are still some ancient ruins of villages in both gorges. Villages and the sites of ancient villages sheltered on the mountain slopes and rocks like eagle nests adorn Gometsari gorge.Those villages are: Dochu, Beghela, Jvarboseli, Iliurta and others (sometimes Jvarboseli and Ilurta aren’t approachable because of the roads conditions).
Many of them have survived as ruins only. Dochu is one of the most well preserved old Tushetian architectural monument. It is exciting to see three-storied houses, halls and boiler-houses in the village. Gometsari Gorge is also famous for Dochu . This event is held here every year in July, the date is not fixed. We advice you not to leave out it.
Back to Omalo in the evening. Dinner . Free time.
Day 5. Omalo - Shatili
Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Khevsureti. We will visit Korsha, 2 km past Barisakho, there is a small, but interesting ethnographical Korsha museum of Khevsur life. The next village is Gudani, about 1 km up from the road, is a striking group of tower houses on rock outcrop. 15 km form Korsha Museum you will get to two small neighbouring village Biso.
After these villages your route runs over the high Datvis Jvari Pass (open from June to October) – the highest point on the route (2677 m above the sea level). Stop for picnic. After passing the Datvis Jvari Pass you’ll get to Lebaiskari and then to Kistani – small abandoned villages of unexceptional beauty. In 15 km from Kistani, there is the village Shatili – the old town, built between the 7th and 13th centuries, is an agglomeration to tall towers clinging together on a rocky outcrop to form a single fortress-like whole. Shatili is very close to the boarder of Chechnya, 1400 m above the sea level.
Overnight in Shatili. Dinner. Free time
Day 6. Shatili – Anatori – Mutso – Ardoti – Shatili
Early Breakfast at the local guesthouse. Sightseeing tour around Shatili. Departure to Anatori . Nobody lives here. You can see abandoned houses en route: during the cholera times, many people died here, and you can see human skulls here.
From Anatori in some 9 km there is a real highlight of the whole route – Mutso, is severe and imposing. It is apparently slated for renovation, but for now its decaying profile still stares darkly across the valley from its perch high on a mountain side. The towers are connected to each other by a warren of walls, roofs, stairs and ladders. Many of the restored towers offer access to the wide wooden balconies that look out over the valley.
Ardoti is 5 km further up the valley beyond Mutso. In this village lives only one family. You can find here the ruines of ancient church. Overnight in Shatili. Dinner. Free time
Day 7. Shatili – Tbilissi
Breakfast. Departure to Tbilisi. Accommodation in Tbilisi hotel upon arrival. We will visit the Old Tbilisi. Established more than 1500 years ago it is known that the first settlers arrived much earlier. The course of its history has been hard and never smooth. Tbilisi is a multicultural city. It is the home for more than 100 different ethnic groups. The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. Tbilisi has a great number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations: churches, museums, and parks.
Visiting one of the symbols of Tbilisi. Sameba (Holy Trinity Cathedral) is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Sameba is one of the main sacred places for Georgians. It is one of the highest churches in Europe with the height of 101 meters. It is also a unique building, the catherdral is build on top of another temple (Lower Church).
You will visit the oldest and the most important temple in Tbilisi. Metekhi Church is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. There is a statue of King Vakhtang Gorgaslani, founder of Tbilisi, in front of the church. The church dates back to the 12th century and has a diverse history, connected with Mongol invasions and political repressions of the Soviet Empire. The colorful Darejani Palace is also situated on the cliff, like the nest of a swallow.
Ascending by cable car to the Narikala Fortress – the heart and soul of Tbilisi. The fortress was established in the 4th century. An old odd masonry of its walls, observation towers and winding narrow paths, all tells about the antiquity of the building. From the many towers you will have a great panorama over the city, the old part as well as the modern part.
One of the main attractions of Tbilisi is the famous sulfur baths. Here you can use all kinds of “bath services”, taking a bath and swimming in the water of natural hot sulfur springs. Exactly here Tbilisi started. “Tbili” in Georgian means “hot”. In finding these sources King Gorgasali ordered to build the city here. In time immemorial the magic properties of healing attributed to these sources, but now everyone knows the benefits of sulfur baths. An interesting design of these baths made in the oriental style and they are often called “Turkish baths”.
Dinner. Free time
Day 8. Departure
Breakfast at the hotel. Purchase of souvenirs. Transfer to the airport.
The price per person $ (US Dollars)
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Price Includes: Transfers, Transport throughout all round, Accommaodation in Tbilisi (2 nights) Telavi (1). Guesthouse in Shatili (2), Dartlo (1), Omalo (1). Breakfast in the hotel (7) , Services of the guide, Insurance.
Not included: Air Tickets. Meals and Drinks not mentioned in the program.