Travel information, Geography, History
Known as the Georgian Shangri-La, Tusheti is an unforgettable remote mountain valley. Hidden behind a 3000 metre pass in the northeast corner of Georgia right up against the Daghestan border and by the Georgian historic provinces Kakheti and Pshav-Khevsureti to the south and west Tusheti is one of Georgia’s great secrets. With the road only open three or four months a year its high mountain plateaus and valleys are dotted with villages marked out by their own distinctive stone towers. You can reach Tusheti only by the two bridge vehicles of the off-road capability. Its center is Omalo.
Recently designated as a National Park, Tusheti welcomes visitors who enjoy the traditional Caucasian home stay – in which you are invited in as one of the family.
The population of the area is mainly ethnic Georgians called Tushs or Tushetians (Georgian: tushebi).
The climate of Tusheti is continental, the atmospheric temperature rises till + 14-15 C.
The weather in Tusheti is usually calm, light breeze is blowing.
Historically,Tusheti comprised four mountain communities of the Alazani Valley. These are Tsova, Gometzari, Chaghma and the Piriq’iti Tusheti (formerly known as Pharsman’s Tusheti). Included in the present day Akhmeta raioni, Kakheti region, Georgia, the area comprises ten villages with Omalo being the largest.
Tusheti is known for its ancient settlements with medieval watchtowers made from flat stones. These turrets were used by the Tush to defend themselves from enemies. Many of the villages have retained the architectural appearance that existed for centuries. Christianity, which came here in the Middle Ages, merged with the local paganism and created a unique type of faith. Pagan temples where Christian rituals are performed can be found throughout Tusheti. Today, Tusheti is one of Georgia’s tourist centers. There are modern-style hotels here, but those who wish can also stay in medieval watchtowers or huts.
Tusheti (must see) sights:
- Omalo and Dartlo Castles
- Tusheti National Park
- Keselo fortress
- Gometsari valley
- Oreti lake
- Pichekhi Castle