This tour trip is designed for people who like to spend a lot of time outdoors, on the road, not afraid of various household inconveniences. The tour consists of two parts. One group travels everywhere with cars with increased passage capability, sleeps every night in guesthouses, boarding houses or in ranger houses. The other group goes for the 4-5 days hike in the mountains with guides and horses, spend the nights in tents, crosses mountain rivers, climbes to a height of 3500m. They will eat cereals and dried fruits carried with them!
Meeting at the airport. Our road begins by moving towards the Georgian Military Road. In the distance one can see the mountains of the Caucasian ridge, covered with snow caps. We turn towards the mountains and, after driving some distance along the Georgian Military Highway, turn right towards Shatili. The road is getting worse, the speed drops. At the beginning, the road moves along a large reservoir, then it disappears in narrow gorges, then again goes along the river, sometimes narrow serpentines begin, and sometimes we pass small Khevsur villages. At last we reach a pass, the height of wich is above 3,000 meters. We stop at the pass surrounded by very beautiful mountains. The fingers themselves reach for the buttons on the photocameras. We’ve crossed the Caucasian ridge. The descent begins. Going down the steep serpentine. The road again winds in a narrow gorge and in the end we come to the Shatili fortress. It looks much more surprising than in photographs. The fortress is built almost without cement from flat stones. After inspecting it, we continue on to another fortress called Mutso – it is still 14 km away. It is located on a hill so we have to climb about 200 m uphill. Later we return to the boarding house near the Shatili fortress. On the way we stop near the ancient Khevsur burial. People used to come to die there after the typhoid epidemic hit them, not to infect other people in the village.
Having a breakfast in the morning. Free time. Here our group is divided in two parts. Part 1 with a guide and, if necessary, with horses goes on a 4-day trek to Tusheti through the Abano Pass, almost 3,500 m high. The rest are going back to Tbilisi by car. On the way we will visit the ancient Georgian capital, the city of Mtskheta, climb the hill to the Jvari monastery, which is mentioned in Lermontov’s poem “Mtsiri”. In the evening we reach the capital of Georgia, the city of Tbilisi. Those who are tired can have a rest. And who is not – going to get acquainted with the nightlife of the city.
Being in Georgia and not seeing the city of Tbilisi is like not seeing half of the wonders of this small country. After breakfast, we go on a tour to explore the capital of Georgia: climb Mount Mtatsminda, visit the Narikala fortress, a monument to the mother of Georgia, walk around the old city. Those who wish can visit the Tbilisi baths. In the evening we return to the hotel and get ready for the road early in the morning.
We are heading east towards Azerbaijan. Here, near the border with Azerbaijan, is the Vashlovani National Park. This area apparently once was the bottom of a reservoir, there are many small shells among small stones and sand. We inspect the park, take pictures! For the night we stay in the rangers’ houses in the reserve.
In the morning we go hiking on the Vashlovani reserve. Our path goes through unusual natural pranks. We are moving along a very narrow canyon where a person barely fits. In the national park there are a lot of wild animals, wolves and bears, foxes, a lot of birds. We have lunch outdoors, in the evening we return to the rangers’ houses. We cook dinner on the fire.
In the morning we are preparing breakfast – tea and porridge. After breakfast we head towards the capital of Kakheti, the city of Telavi. On the way we visit so-called City of Love – Sighnaghi. Here we examine a very long fortress wall. Futher on we move along the Kakheti plain, which is one of the places where the very first evidence of the use and storage of wine, as well as the seeds of a man-grown wild vine were found. Their age is about 6000 years. In the evening we have a tour in Telavi, inspect the castle, a 900 year old plane tree with a very thick trunk. About 11-13 people are needed in order to embrace it.
In the morning we drive towards the village of Omalo – the capital of Tusheti. This town is located at an altitude of more than 2000 m and in order to reach it, we need to cross about 3000 m high pass. The road to it is considered the most dangerous in Europe. Landslides often occur on this road, avalanches go down and therefore tractors are standing along the road in the summer season to clean the road from landslides in case. Sometimes it takes 2-3 days. On the way, we will often stop for photo shoots. In the evening we reach Tusheti village called Dartlo.
In the morning, after breakfast, we go for a walk in the surrounding mountains, communicate with local residents, and observe how difficult their lives are, especially in winter! Here they lived for many centuries. Along the way we will see several long abandoned villages and will feel the call of centuries and time. On this day we meet the 1 group, which has to finish their trip. In the evening we talk with local residents, listen to their stories at a bottle of wine or a cup of tea.
In the morning we set off towards Tbilisi. On the way we stop at the hot springs to swim in small pools. After descending from the mountains, we stop for lunch as well as at a local winery for wine tasting and examining the process and varieties of wine-making technologies. Late in the evening we return to Tbilisi. Whoever wants to can go to a night club. In the evening you can buy souvenirs, inexpensive items from gold and silver, other gifts.
No matter how sad, but it’s time to say goodbye. Early in the morning we depart towards the airports for flights home. Georgia is waiting for you to visit again. There are many more amazing places to see! We hope that you enjoyed our trip and fell in love with this very small and unusually beautiful and hospitable country!