While planning your visit to Georgia one should definitely consider visiting Greater (north) Caucasus. There are many reasons for this and Khevsureti region – with its unique and fascinating setting – is just one of them. Khevsureti lies up north from the capital and shares a border with Chechnya. With less than 3,000 inhabitants Khevsureti  is arguably one of the most inaccessible regions of Georgia. One can travel by any means in summer but in winter road closes due to heavy snowfalls and only Barisakho remains accessible.  Some inspiring medieval cultural monuments – castle-towers, ritual places, and tombs –  are still preserved in this picturesque region of Georgia. So, travelling from Tbilisi either by shuttle bus (marshutka) firstly you get to Barisakho. It’s 100 km (62miles). Travel time is around 3 hours. Or you could take a shuttle bus directly to Shatili. Tbilisi-Shatili is 5 hours by Marshutka.

Leaving Tbilisi for Khevsureti

Box Office at Didube Bus Station
Photo Source: lostwithpurpose.com

  • N18 A. Tsereteli Ave., Tbilisi
  • Buses from Tbilisi-Barisakho: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun at 16:00
  • Buses from Tbilisi-Shatili: Tue, Friday at 09:00 from Navtlughi Station (close to Samgori Metro Station)

Village Shatili

Located 1,400m (4,600ft) high, Shatili is known to be one of the most valuable and outstanding examples of Georgian vernacular architecture. With its fortress-settlement and some 60 towers in it, Shatili is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007. This is the place (just 6km/3.8miles away from the border) that successfully served as a fortress, loyally protecting Georgia’s northern pass from invaders during history.  Overlooking the river Arghuni, Shatili is placed on a rock. The towers built in stone – served both protective and residential functions. Those buildings underwent a lot of turmoil through centuries and luckily are still there. So we suggest you spend one night inside and enjoy Khevsurian breakfast in the morning. Locals have everything sorted out for visitors, so use your chance: who knows when you’ll get  again to a fantastic place like this? From Shatili starts a long trekking route to Tusheti through Atsunta pass and Tebulo. You can also visit Mutso which is 12km/7.5miles away.

For spending a night in a historical tower in Shatili, contact the host:  Shorena Chincharauli. Mob.: +995 598370317. There are 6 double rooms available: 1 night 30 GEL (15 USD) + breakfast & dinner 60 GEL (30 USD).

Shatili
Photo Source: yogurtales.com

Every autumn here is an event called “Shatiloba”. This is a day dedicated to Shatili. It involves everything authentic, from mountain horse racing to making Khinkali and heavy drinking. It is a wonderful occasion to meet locals and see how the village breathes. Khinkali here is AMAZING so do not hesitate to taste it!

Khevsurian Clothes
Photo Credit: Sopo Chincharauli

Abudelauri Lakes

Three small lakes are located in alpine zones at the foot of the Chiukhi Massi on a remarkable height of 2,812m/9,226ft. Lots of legends / myths are connected to these lakes. People also call them colorful lakes because each has a different tint: green, white and blue. With no fish inside, waters create an amazing interplay of colours in highlands of Khevsureti. Those are glacial lakes and rest on water from rain, snow and ice. During 6 months a year, the lakes are covered with ice which generally melts on late spring. Obviously lakes are really cold but if you’re in a good shape you can swim in one of them.

Green Lake
Photo Source: onemusic.tv

IF NEEDED here are some guide’s numbers:

Mamuka  Arabuli, talks in Russian & English. Mob.: +995 599 741 199

Ivane Arabuli, talks in Russian. Mob.: +995 598 19 65 69

For renting a Jeep (MITSUBISHI PAJERO) or a horse (50 GEL= 20 USD) contact Ivane Arabuli.