Facts about Omalo
Omalo is located at 1,880 metres above sea level and is only connected to the rest of the world via the «Tusheti Road». However, this road is closed during at least half of the year, which is why Omalo can usually only be visited between May and September.
The way to Omalo is adventurous already
Those who suffer from fear of heights will not like the bumpy ride on the «Tusheti Road», which takes two to two and a half hours. At various points, the almost vertical slopes lead into gorges several hundred metres deep. What is definitely needed on the «Tusheti Road» is a 4x4 vehicle that is suitable for off-road use and works perfectly. However, we recommend not only renting the car, but also a local, experienced driver with local knowledge. This way, handling the track is no problem at all. After all, the «Tusheti Road» is not as dangerous as it is portrayed in some media or blogs.
The Keselo Fortress towers over Omalo
The Tushetians, as the population of Omalo and the whole of Tusheti is called, had always sought refuge in their defensive towers during hostile attacks. This was also the case in the 1230s during the invasion of the Mongolians. At this time, the fortress Keselo was built. And it still remains there today on a steep hill above the upper part of the village.
Keselo originally consisted of 13 towers, most of which turned into ruins over the centuries. It was not until 2003 that a private initiative of two Dutch people living in Georgia began to rebuild the towers. Later, the Keselo Foundation was founded, which helped to rebuild the Keselo Towers according to the old Tushetin tradition. Today, the Keselo fortress is a popular tourist destination and without question one of the highlights in Omalo.
Omalo is the ideal starting point for hiking tours
Omalo is the ideal starting point for various outdoor activities such as mountain biking or hiking. In the inhabited villages, there are simple accommodations. But as it is allowed to pitch a tent everywhere anyway, it is advisable to camp outdoors.
For example, one can start a several day hike from Omalo across the National Park of Tusheti to Shatili in Khevsureti. Passing medieval villages like Dartlo, Dano, Chesho, Parsma and Girevi, the last village in the valley, the trail leads over the more than 3'400 meters high Atsunta Pass down to Khevsureti and Shatili. Depending on your fitness level, you should plan five to eight days for the 75 km long hike. July and August are ideal.
A very beautiful 12km long hike, which can be completed in one day, leads from Omalo via Chachabo and the 2'551 meter high Apakurta Pass to Goglurta. In Goglurta, there is a small guesthouse.
How to get to Omalo
It takes 4.5 hours by car from Tbilisi to Omalo and 2h 45min from Telavi. The road is not easy and it's only possible with a 4x4 car. We recommend to book a local driver in Kvemo Alvani.
Between Tbilisi and Kvemo Alvani there are regular connections (Marshrutka). From this village you should book a local driver with an off-the-road vehicle for a safe trip to Omalo.
There are no flight connections to Omalo. You only can go there by foot, mountainbike or by a off-the-road vehicle.
There are no train connections to Omalo. You only can go there by foot, mountainbike or by a off-the-road vehicle.