Atsunta Pass (Tusheti to Khevsureti)
Key information: Atsunta Pass (Tusheti to Khevsureti)
- One of Georgia finest walks, exploring beautiful valleys with famous old fortified villages and crossing the high Atsunta pass in gorgeous, remote landscape.
- A beautiful and fascinating trek.
- Walkopedia rating94
- Natural interest15
- Human interest12
- Negative points0
- Total rating94
- Length: 70km
- Maximum Altitude: 3,413m
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
One of the Caucasus’ great walks, between Omalo or Dartlo (in Tusheti) and Shatili or Ardoti (in Khevsureti), the ancient centres of two Caucasus regions, via the 3,413m Atsunta Pass. A beautiful and fascinating trek (both naturally and in human terms) across this high pass in wild mountains. You can shorten this by walking between Dartlo and Ardoti.
A wonderful variety of landscapes, from high slopes and valleys below great icy peaks, to wooded valleys. View the towers and ancient villages of these still-remarkable mountain fastnesses.
Day 1 leads gently, on a dirt road much of the way, up the Alazani valley to Datlo, crossing a low pass at Ghele Meadow. 11km.
Day 2 continues up to Parsma where the trail heads off the road and on up the valley to Giveri. 14km.
Day 3 starts the significant climbing, nearly 1,000m of it in total, branching up a rightwards fork to the beautiful Kvakhidi meadows by the river. 14km.
Day 4 is the big one, 17km and 1,400/1,170m up/down across the spectacular Atsunta pass into Khevsureti. Enjoy your well-deserved ration of huge high-range views.
Day 5 drops (1,500m in total) via famous and stunningly sited fortified Mutso to equally famous Shatili. 20km.
Walkopedia would really love to do this walk.
You could shorten this walk further if you need by doing it Parsma to Mutso. Could then be done in 3 long days. This walk is a bit harder to do in reverse.
Walkopedia’s friend Nick Ince says:
“In late July 2016 a small group of friends and I arranged a guided trip through northern Georgia. It was a memorable experience in varied mountain country, involving great trekking with an exploration of landscape, wildflower meadows, history and culture. The mountain flower meadows were exceptional and the famous towers were a fascination and enigmatic complement to the landscape. While the flowers were exceptional, there was otherwise little wildlife, with the hillsides largely open pasture grazed by sheep, cattle and horses.
We drove to the riverside campsite at Ardoti, via the towers and the Border Patrol at Mutso. From the campsite it was a days hike up the riverside and then up on to the high pasture to a campsite under the Atsunta Pass.
The next day was a short sharp hike to the pass and then a descent down the Tusheti side to the next campsite. This involved a river crossing on horseback.
The third day was a hike down the steep sided river valley past frequent towers to Girevi and then on to a guesthouse at Chesho.
The final day involved a hike to Dartlo to meet the transport to drive to Omalo.
The drive back to Tbilisi over the Abano Pass involved a long, rough and circulous 4wd track bulldozed through narrow, forested river valleys and up steep, switchback sections over the mountainsides.”
Walkopedia says THANK YOU, Nick, and for the stunning photos.
This is demanding walking in remote mountains with uncertain weather. Come fully prepared.
Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!
Recommended by our friend Nick Ince. Also recommended by the brilliant www.caucasus-trekking.com, who have excellent further information.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Greater Caucasus Mountains walk page.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
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