TUSHETI a blend of real and surreal

Tusheti is a popular summer hiking and horse-riding area;
A blend of the real and surreal . While making a first rip there it feels as if you have emerged int a fairy tale, like alice in wonderland.

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This remote Georgian region is located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Although it is approximately 200 km from Tbilisi, the journey to Tusheti may last for hours due to the nerve-jangling, winding and narrow pass from Kakheti, at
almost 3000 meters above sea level. The region is completely isolated for months at a time and it is only possible to travel there from June to early October. The largest village, Omalo, is populated by several people throughout the winter though nowadays most of Tusheti’s population has houses around Akhmeta and Alvani in Kakheti and, as traditional sheep herders, they go up to Tusheti in summertime to graze their sheep or cattle and also to host tourists in their guest-houses. Villages in Tusheti are very beautiful, with houses and fortresses built from shale which have pitched roofs made out of floating slates. What’s more, Tusheti is famous for its high quality wool.

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Despite a variety of differences between peoples’ characters, their likes and dislikes, it seems that we are all connected in this weird and beautiful world by one thing: the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness means, naturally, different things to different people. For me, happiness is synonymous with hiking in calm and peaceful mountainous places, riding horses, sitting around the fire and watching the starlit sky.
In order to get a true taste of national culture and get authentic, long-lasting impressions – you should definitely venture to Georgia’s highland. Tusheti is one such region – an amazing place with snow-covered rocky peaks, deep gorges and steep, grassy hills
with flocks of sheep.Tushetian cheese (guda) is also a significant highlight of the region. Some people don’t like it because of its specific smell and taste. For me personally, a piece of guda cheese wrapped in warm Georgian bread is one of the most beloved gastronomic delights – simple, healthy, and very tasty. While mentioning food, I will also note that pork is taboo in Tusheti. Farmers do not raise pigs and travelers are usually advised not to bring any pork into the region.

In order to make trips to Tusheti more coordinated, tourists should visit Tusheti Nature Reserve and National Park, located in the Administrative Building of Protected Areas, with integrated hotel rooms for visitors, a cafe and the Visitor Center with exhibition and conference halls, interpretation and information boards. Visitors can plan various types of sightseeing tours there and gain information on existing services, such as staying at
hotels, hiring guides, and horse-riding. Tusheti Protected Areas has 11 functioning tourist routes, giving visitors the opportunity to get a unique historical-cultural experience
and view the amazing landscapes of Tusheti.
Transportation to Tusheti Protected Areas is not available from Tbilisi but visitors can get to Lower Alvani village by minibus from Ortachala or Navtlughi bus terminals.
Another option is to travel by taxi from the Metro Isani territory. Traveling from Tbilisi to Lower Alvani will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. There is no regular transport from Alvani to Omalo and you can reach the village only by hiring a private car in the center of Lower Alvani. From Alvani to Omalo is 85 km and needs around 3 hours and 30 minutes. For more details you can visit the Tusheti National Park Facebook page.
Despite the long and winding road, don’t miss a chance to explore this amazing region with starlit sky, deep gorges and steep, grassy hills with little white dots of sheep.

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Tushetian cheese (guda) is also a significant highlight of the region. Some people don’t like it because of its specific smell and taste. For me personally, a piece of guda cheese wrapped in warm Georgian bread is one of the most beloved gastronomic delights – simple, healthy, and very tasty. While mentioning food, I will also note that pork is taboo in Tusheti. Farmers do not raise pigs and travelers are usually advised not to bring any pork into the region.
In order to make trips to Tusheti more coordinated, tourists should visit Tusheti Nature Reserve and National Park, located in the Administrative Building of Protected Areas, with integrated hotel rooms for visitors, a cafe and the Visitor Center with exhibition and conference halls, interpretation and information boards. Visitors can plan various types of sightseeing tours there and gain information on existing services, such as staying at hotels, hiring guides, and horse-riding. Tusheti Protected Areas has 11 functioning tourist routes, giving visitors the opportunity to get a unique historical-cultural experience
and view the amazing landscapes of Tusheti. Transportation to Tusheti Protected Areas is not available from Tbilisi but visitors can get to Lower Alvani village by minibus from Ortachala or Navtlughi bus terminals. Another option is to travel by taxi from the Metro Isani territory. Traveling from Tbilisi to Lower Alvani will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. There is no regular transport from Alvani to Omalo and you can reach the
village only by hiring a private car in the center of Lower Alvani. From Alvani to Omalo is 85 km and needs around 3 hours and 30 minutes. For more details you can visit the Tusheti National Park Facebook page.Despite the long and winding road, don’t miss a chance to explore this amazing region with starlit sky, deep gorges
and steep, grassy hills with little white dots of sheep.

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