This historical-geographic region is located on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, at an altitude between 1900 and 4490 meters above sea level.
The history of Tusheti begins centuries ago. Located at the very north of Georgia, it had a responsible mission to protect the north-eastern border of the country from the enemies, which brave Tushs have been successfully doing till today.
People settled in this area as early as the late Bronze Age. Tushetian towers skillfully built of slate stone are definitely must-see. In some of these towers, cast iron animal figures dating back to IV-V centuries were found.
Tusheti is also included in the list of protected areas of Georgia as a Protected Landscape. The alpine meadows, birch and pine forests here are exceptionally beautiful, a large part of them untouched by humans. Pine trees grow here at 2650 meters above sea level, which is a unique case for the Caucasus. The area of forests is 32,000 ha, and out of hundreds of plants, 230 varieties are endemic to the Caucasus.
Two rivers flow in Tusheti - Gometsari Alazani and Pirikita Alazani with its multiple tributaries. The rivers here are rich in trout. There are also lakes of glacial origin in the subalpine zone. In many places, you'll hear the murmur of mineral springs.
Foxes, wolves, black bears, lynxes, roe deer, chamois, wild goats, West Caucasian turs live in the forests of Tusheti.
They say that in the mountains you can also meet ibex, the Central Asian leopard.
Impassable rocks are the domain of gyps, bearded vulture and mountain eagle. The fastest bird, the peregrine falcon, can be also found here.
The adventurous tourist route of Tusheti will pass through beautiful, misty valleys: Chaghma valley, Pirikita Alazani valley, Gometsari valley and their villages. There are fabulous panoramic views all around: the small houses and fortress-towers scattered on the mountains look like a painting.
Tushetian adventure starts from the valley of the Stori river. The narrow road leads you through the picturesque Abano Pass, a large part of which is cut through rocks and mountains. Its altitude is up to 3000 meters above sea level, and its length is only 72 kilometers, although the road is difficult and it takes at least 4 hours to cover it in a 4WD car. Abano Pass is open from the end of May to September, and in the rest of the months it is closed due to heavy snowfall, and it is possible to get to Tusheti only by helicopter.
The center of Tusheti is Omalo village, a fabulous village included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage. This is where you should start to get to know Tusheti - for example, with a visit to the Keselo fortress.
Dartlo village is like a museum under the open sky. It is mysteriously beautiful. Here you will find traditional Tushetian buildings, houses with balconies built of dry piles of slate. Dartlo is also known for the fact that, according to locals, a woman was a judge here in the 18th century, which was atypical for the region.
If you are interested in Tushetian architecture, you should also see the villages of Shenako and Diklo.
Tusheti is also the region where one of the highest settlements in Europe, the village of Bochorna, is located at the impressive 2345 meters above sea level.
Tusheti is not a very big region, so in case of traveling on foot and on horseback, 5-6 days are enough to visit its most famous places.
The Tushetian horse is one of the oldest breeds of the Caucasus and is remarkably intelligent. Tusheti is also the birthplace of the Georgian shepherd dog, a loyal friend of local herdsmen.
The accommodation types you should consider in the region are mostly family-run guesthouses and tents. The Visitor Centre of the Tusheti Protected Areas will provide you with helpful tips and additional information about other tourist services in the area.
Tushs are exceptionally hospitable and kind hosts, and the delicious local cuisine differs a lot from other corners of Georgia. Here you should try: Tushetian khinkali, which is often made with meat cut with a dagger; Tushetian sheep cheese, also known as "Guda cheese"; Kotori - Tushetian khachapuri, specially prepared for the guests of honor; Aludi - a ritual low-alcohol drink brewed from barley malt, which is made on local holidays; Khavitsi, a fondue-like dish made of ghee and tender curds. Also be sure to drink aromatic herbal tea brewed from savory (kondari). The Tushs also have a lot of vegetable dishes.
Sheep breeding boosted the folk crafts in Tusheti. Tush women weave beautiful items dyed with natural dyes and decorated with Tush ornaments - clothes, socks, shoes, carpets. Tushetian felt products are also beautiful - you can find felt hats, bags, dollsade by local craftspeople.
We are inviting you to Tusheti, this untouched oasis, where an unforgettable adventure awaits you.