Last summer we decided to visit remote mountainous region Tusheti. After many stories we heard before we supposed it would be something gorgeous and, despite quite short visit, it definitely was unbelievably beautiful. I am (as well both my friends) very thankful to my best Georgian friend Gio for such a beautiful trip and I can say for sure I wish to repeat it and explore this place much detailed.
In spite of information about very dangerous road from Kakheti to Tusheti villages I could say for sure, it is not much dangerous as some parts of mountain roads in Svaneti, Khevsureti or Racha. The only thing I could mention is the right weather to wait for – in case of rain of snow any mountainous road could be the subject of big troubles. So, sunny weather and good car with appropriately working braking system is a must, guys.
In this post I will show you what we saw on the way, but let me say sorry for quality of images – my IXUS cannot afford such a bright sun and reflections in mountains.
From Kakheti flatness, passing Pshaveli Village, we entered a kingdom of bright green colour, singing small rivers and summer freshness of untouched rocks.
The road started to go up and after the serpentine of countless turns we get to the first place 1750 m AMSL – Torghuas Abano, where is located hot sulfur baths. This place owned by locals, as I see, can offer a stay in simple rural house.
Right before the bath houses we saw how visitors used to chill watermelons and drinks – just in cold water of waterfall next to the road, sweet…
After bathhouse we reached Abano Pass, which is 2826 m above sea level, where is possible to see two different sides of gorge with beautiful views.
Images by Aleksandrs Znovs ©
Image by Aleksandrs Znovs ©
I have been planned a trip to Racha – the mountainous region of Georgia – for longer time. For years I have heard so much how beautiful this region is and now I get there for two days, what, of course, is too short to explore all the beauty and to get real feeling.
In a first day we have decided to visit a remote place somewhere on the top of mountain – Mravaldzali.
The road to this beautiful village starts from Ambrolauri-Oni road at Mukhli Village. Actually there are two roads, but this one is much better. Tourists must note, that for this road is highly recommended to take 4×4 vehicle, which, by the way, has been friendly provided (as this tour also has been managed) by VayTravel – the small local tour company owned by my friend Maria. I could recommend her as trusted companion and service provider, good guide and simply caring person. For more information and contacts please visit her website here.
The other one condition for visiting this place is dry weather conditions – if it is raining or snowing it is better to choose other destination. In winter time this village is not reachable.
Mukhli-Mravaldzali road is only 12 km long, but it takes 1-1,5 h to reach the endpoint. On the go you will pass silent and quite beautiful Samtisi, Kvemo Bari and Zemo Bari villages.
Approaching Mravaldzali you will notice yellowish-white church, which was built in the first part of XI century, then was drastically rebuilt in 1984 and almost fully destroyed by earthquake in 1991. In 2007 government has managed the renovation. This is the only one church in Georgia, which has heads of bull and cow on its facade.
In Mravaldzali village you will see many houses, which are in quite good condition. Here are only 4-5 permanent inhabitants, other owners are visiting their houses only during summertime.
From village is a beautiful panoramic views to Great Caucasus mountains and, if you reach the top of the hill over the church, you can get 360 degrees view.
Approximately 3 km from Mravaldzali Village is Cholevi Lake. People say it has the form of heart, but I cannot say it is something extremely beautiful. You can easily reach it by feet. It is nothing more, than you can see from the village, but for picnic is a good place. From the path you can catch amazing view to this stunning village – Mravaldzali.
Images by Aleksandrs Znovs ©