When you arrive in Dartlo, you feel transported back in time. From the already remote village of Omalo, another 15 km further into the Pirikita high valley. And there it lies, the fairytale medieval settlement of Dartlo. At 1,850 meters above sea level, the village nestles against the slope, so that one might think it was built with the aim of creating a postcard motif.
These wooden balconies are typical of the region, as are the fortified towers, which become narrower at the top.
Tusheti in winter
Tbilisi, the lively and noisy capital, is far away. 200 km, to be exact. And it seems even further when you arrive in this secluded idyll.
A part of the houses in Dartlo is empty, in others the few resident families live. Most of them spend the summer in the village and leave it together with their sheep before winter arrives. They spend this time in the lowlands of Kakheti. Some of the houses have been converted into guesthouses by the locals. And in the lower part of the village, there is a cozy café/restaurant with a great view of the valley.
Kvavlo towers high above Dartlo
Anyone who thinks that nothing can top Dartlo will look the other way when he has made the ascent to Kvavlo. Kvavlo is a small fortress village situated above Dartlo. The path first winds through Dartlo and then up the mountain by about 300 meters. There lies Kvavlo at 2,150 meters. The view is breathtaking. And most visitors ask themselves first: How could people in the Middle Ages build houses and fortified towers in such an inaccessible place?
In Kvavlo there are even overnight accommodations. The locals are very hospitable.
Private trip to Dartlo in Tusheti
Are you interested in a tailor-made tour to Dartlo or to any other place in Tusheti? Tell us about your ideas and immediately get an offer without obligation from us.
How to get to Dartlo
Drive from Tbilisi to Kakheti, cross the Alazani Valley and take the Tusheti Road. Via Omalo you'll reach Dartlo. The whole trip takes around 6 hours (without breaks, but you'll need a lot of them). We do not recommend driving yourself! We're glad to book a vehicle and a local driver for you.
Between Tbilisi and Kvemo Alvani, there are regular marshrutka connections (minibusses). From Kvemo Alvani you should book a local driver with an off-the-road vehicle for a safe trip to Dartlo. We're glad to help you with this.
There are no flight connections to Dartlo. You only can go there on foot, mountain bike, or by an off-the-road vehicle. Or by helicopter (it's expensive, but we offer it if you're interested).
There are no train connections to Dartlo.