Pastures of Tusheti region in Georgia

Unique and pristine Tusheti

With Svaneti, Khevsureti, the Kazbegi region, and Racha, Georgia has various mountainous regions that are ideal for hiking, trekking, horse-riding or just relaxing. But one of them is very special, namely the pristine Tusheti.

Politically, Tusheti belongs to the Kakheti region. But it has little to do with the vast and fertile plain of the Alazani Valley and its winemaking culture. Tusheti is different, unique, wild, and remote. Even the journey to this mountainous region is an adventure, as it is only accessible by a narrow, winding road that opens just for a short time in summer.

Tusheti Road and Abano Pass

Many newspaper articles and travel blogs say that the Tusheti Road is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Although this is not true from our point of view, caution is still advised and we strongly recommend booking with us or another reputable tour operator for the trip. You will be rewarded with breathtaking scenery, impressive cliffs, and lush valleys. On the way, at an altitude of 2,950 meters, you cross the Abano Pass, the highest drivable mountain pass in the whole South Caucasus. The trip from Telavi to Tusheti’s main village Omalo takes around 4 hours – without breaks and in case of nice weather and good road conditions.

Animals on Tusheti Road
Besides cars and bicycles, also cows can be seen on Tusheti Road.

Traditional Tushetian Architecture

In villages such as Omalo, Dartlo, Diklo, and others, you can admire the unique traditional architecture of Tusheti: impressive stone towers built for defensive purposes and cozy stone-wooden houses with typical Tusheti-style balconies. The houses mostly consist of two floors: the ground floor was for the cattle, and the second floor was the family’s home. The defense towers are similar to the ones you can find in Svaneti. They usually consist of three to five storeys.

The village of Dartlo in Tusheti
The village of Dartlo is one of the best spots to discover traditional Tushetian architecture.

Omalo and Keselo Fortress

The largest and therefore main village of Tusheti is Omalo, which consists of two parts: Upper Omalo and Lower Omalo. The village is located in a strategically important place connecting Tusheti’s four main gorges Chaghma, Chanchakhovani, Gometsari, and Pirikiti. Important sights you should visit in Omalo are the Keselo Fortress and the Tusheti Ethnographic Museum where you can admire a wide variety of traditional artifacts and learn a lot about Tushetian life during the last centuries.

View of Omalo, Tusheti's main village
Our guest Andy and a Tushetian horse: below the village of Omalo.

Dartlo, popular among hikers

Dartlo, another enchanting village in Tusheti, is a step back in time. With its stone houses and ancient watchtowers, the fortified village of Dartlo exudes a timeless charm. The village is a haven for hikers, offering numerous trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints and alpine meadows. Popular trails are the one from Dartlo to Girevi (17 km), and the one from Dartlo to Shenako (22 km). For those who prefer shorter trails, it is highly recommended to walk up to Kvavlo, located 350 meters above Dartlo.

Hikers in Dartlo, a typical and beautiful Tushetian village
Guests from the Czech Republic and Switzerland during a trekking tour in August 2018 in Dartlo.

Tusheti’s Culinary Delights

No trip to Tusheti is complete without savoring the local cuisine. In Tusheti, you will find some unique dishes that you shouldn’t miss tasting.

One of the symbols of Tushetian cuisine is Guda, a pretty salty cheese that is matured in sheep skin. It goes very well with Georgian bread fresh from the oven. Furthermore, if you’re lucky enough, you can get amazing Matsoni produced by the local shepherds. An important ingredient in Tusheti is clarified butter: It is used to top Kotori, the cheese-filled Tushetian bread, and to mix it with the curd called Khavitsi. The Tushetian cuisine is heavy and provides people with a lot of energy, which has always been important in the rough environment of this remote mountain region.

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Dear visitor,

Please note that we are fully booked for trips in 2024. However, we are happy to accept inquiries for 2025.

Sincerely yours,

Your MyCaucasus Travel team