Uncharted Tusheti & Khevsureti

Untouched, wild and virtually uncharted territory, the Tusheti & Khevsureti regions is one of the world's most hidden secrets. Journey into the wild remote corners accessible only on 4WD  and arrive into timeless villages and landscapes from a bygone and forgotten era. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Discover Tusheti & Khevsureti's stunning landscapes and villages

Stay in boutique and charming hotels and guesthouses

Sample the most palettable traditional Georgian cuisines

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE TBILISI

Arrive Tbilisi - capital of Georgia as we begin a historic tour of the city that dates back to the 5th Century. Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral, one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world. Take a walk on the unique bow-shaped Bridge of Peace - perhaps one of the most visually-stunning contemporary bridges anywhere in Europe and an unmistakable icon of Tbilisi. We then continue over the Mtkvavi River to the historic Abanotubani area, adorned with the many domes of Tbilisi's famous sulphur baths set against the backdrop of the Narikala Fortress before arriving and checking in to the boutique and charming Stamba Hotel Tbilisi

Overnight: Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: TBILISI / ALAVERDI / OMALO

After breakfast, we leave Tbilisi on a 5 hour drive into the spectacular Greater Caucasus range. Before the climb into the mountains, visit the magnificent 11th Century Alaverdi Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Set against the backdrop of a tidal wave of clouds in an azure Georgian sky, the monastery was founded in the 6th century by an Assyrian monk named Joseph Alaverdeli. The current cathedral - of Georgian Orthodox denomination, was built in the 11th century by King Kvirike, ruler of the Kakheti region. We take an insight into its wine-making traditions visiting its wine cellars where monks have been making wine the way it’s been made in Georgia for over 8,000 years, in giant clay pots buried in the ground, called "qvevri".

Our journey then continues into Tusheti, a true adventure passing first through lush forests, then gorges and canyons carved by raging torrents and numerous waterfalls to admire. After crossing the spectacular and vertiginous Abano Pass (2,927m), you continue down into the heart of Tusheti. Approaching Omalo, the sheer beauty of this wild region is immediately apparent. On arrival in Upper Omalo we check in to Hotel Samzeo and then take some time to explore the imposing medieval watchtowers that stand sentinel over the valley. Later enjoy an evening meal of traditional Georgian fare, prepared in the most authentic style. 

Overnight: Hotel Samzeo, Omalo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: OMALO (EXCURSION TO SHENAKO & DIKLO)

Today, we start our exploration of this incredibly beautiful and wild region. Your walk from Omalo takes you through the delightful villages of Shenako and on to Diklo. In these remote villages you can truly appreciate the traditional architecture and the stupendous views of the High Caucasus. From Diklo, continue for a short distance to the old fortress which is about as close as you can get to the border with Russia.

NOTES:

For those that do not wish to walk to Diklo then you can be driven there via Shenako on the 4WD jeep. 

We return back to Omalo thereafter. 

Overnight: Hotel Samzeo, Omalo

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: OMALO / DARTLO / PARSMA / OMALO

This morning, we journey into a different valley to the village of Dartlo, situated at 1,900 metres. Admire the interesting architecture of the local houses and the watchtower and the stunning landscape before we continue to the next village of Chesho and start a beautifully scenic walk to the village of Parsma through the valley. The walk follows a stunning river and also affords views of many medieval watchtowers that were built to warn of invaders from the Northern Caucasus. At Parsma enjoy a picnic lunch before returning by car to Dartlo. Back in Dartlo, it is possible to visit an abandoned village, clinging tenaciously to the mountainside above Dartlo with an eerie watchtower precariously teetering over the abyss. From here, we return back to Omalo. 

NOTES:

The walk to the village of Parsma is an easy grade, following a dirt road through the valley. The return journey distance on foot is around 5km and of course there will be plenty of time for stops to admire the wonderful scenery. The last 5-10 minutes involves a moderate ascent into the village of Parsma. 

Overnight: Hotel Samzeo, Omalo

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: OMALO / NATAKHTARI / SHATILI

This morning, enjoy a scenic helicopter or cessna ride over the beautiful Tushetian landscape as we land in Natakhtari before re-embarking on another helicopter or cessna flight to the wild Khevsureti region, one of the most isolated provinces of the Georgian highlands. Be met by your hosts as you are then driven by 4WD jeep to your guesthouse in the village of Shatili where you spend the next 2 nights discovering the stunning medieval fortresses and towers steeped in history. 

Overnight: Local Guesthouse, Shatili

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6: SHATILI 

We dedicate a full day to discovering the villages and fortresses of wild Khevsureti, enjoy unspoiled nature and medieval atmosphere where time has seemingly stood still. Witness the imposing towers dotted around the mountains, typical to north-east Caucasus – Khevsureti, Tusheti, Ingusheti, Chechnia and Dagestan. We will also have ample opportunity to interact with locals, discover their way of life and sample local cuisine that has been prepared since age-old times. 

Overnight: Local Guesthouse, Shatili

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: SHATILI / MTSKHETA / TBILISI

Leave Shatili today via helicopter or cessna to Natakhari where you will then be met as we make a short drive to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia and a UNESCO World Heritage site where Georgia's conversion to Christianity started here in 337AD and is considered one of Georgia's most important religious centers. Visit the Jvari Monastery perched on a cliff overlooking Mtskheta before continuing next to the Svetiskhoveli Cathedral, renowned as the burial site of Christ's mantle, has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. 

Finally, we arrive into Tbilisi where we spend a final evening recollecting a superb week in Tusheti & Khevsureti. 

Overnight: Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi

Meals: NIL

DAY 8: DEPARTURE TBILISI

We bid farewell to Georgia transferring to Tbilisi Intl Airport for your flight return home. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Housed within historic atriums, passages and courtyards of what was once Georgia’s most important printing house, Stamba Hotel is a celebration of Tbilisi’s ever-evolving identity as a hotbed of talent and originality. The design of Stamba Hotel was conceived to highlight the industrial splendor of the 20th century publishing house in which it is situated. while fresh new touches lend the hotel a distinctly contemporary edge. 

Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi

Deep in the mountainous terrain of Omalo Village, Hotel Samzeo is situated in one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia. The Tusheti region is rich in culture and history and offers adventurous treks by horseback through the mountains. Nestled within is Hotel Samzeo, a high-standard, upscale boutique hotel that’s perfect for weary travelers to retire to at the end of the day. 

Hotel Samzeo, Omalo

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