From Tbilisi, head in the direction of Tetritskaro, pass Asureti and then turn right near the village of Tbisi. This is where the adventure begins.
The landscape here is wondrous - rocks, forests, valley, and canyon all combined. The path between the two rocks is called Devi's Footprint and leads to the main fortress.
There is a legend often told about this trail: the mountain Sameba, which overlooks Birtvisi, had agreed with a Devi (giant evil creature in Georgian mythology) that he would give Devi the top of the mountain to live in, if Devi would surround the mountain with a fence until the crowing of a rooster. Devi, legend has it, started working, and when the mountain saw that Devi was working hard, it flew the rooster into the sky and the rooster started crowing. Once Devi heard the rooster crowing, he escaped and broke the rock in the process. Thereafter, where he stepped on earth, a path appeared.
Birtvisi Fortress is not like any other Georgian fortress. It was carved out of a naturally-steep rocky massif, and was initially called “Aughebeli,” meaning undefeatable. In the 14th century, the cruel warlord Timur (Tamerlane) managed to occupy the fortress, but only at the eighth attempt.
The actual date of construction of the fortress is not known, but it appeared in historical sources for the first time in the 11th century.
The fortress comprises several parts, including military, residential, and commercial buildings, along with a reservoir. On the way to the main tower, an exit to the valley appears where, on the highest rock, the observation tower “Sheupovari” stands.
The views from here will take your breath away. Moreover, there are many places where you can rest and set up tents along the way, and in the heat of summer, you can get some respite in the mercifully cool Birtvisi Canyon.