Hiking Tour to Shatili, Mutso & Roshka3 Days | Zhinvali Reservoir, Datvisjvari Pass, Shatili, Anatori Necropolis, Mutso Fortress, Roshka, Abudelauri Lakes

Hiking Tour to Shatili, Mutso & Roshka

This 3-day off the beaten track mountain villages hiking tour to Shatili, Mutso & Roshka, Georgia’s Khevsureti region, showcases unique historical sites, remote villages, and stunning mountain scenery. Join us to explore the fortified villages of Shatili and Mutso with their impressive stone towers, discover the tragic history of the Anatori Necropolis, and hike to the famous vivid-coloured lakes of Abudelauri.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Tbilisi – Zhinvali Reservoir – Darvisjavri Pass – Shatili
 
At 08:00, meet your driver and guide at the hotel in Tbilisi and transfer to the Zhinvali Reservoir. The route to this beautiful turquoise water body, which stretches majestically between the green hills of central Georgia, is spectacular, but somewhat challenging. Initially paved, it soon turns into to a winding dirt road that gradually climbs up to a height of 2,676m at the Datvisjvari Pass. The view from here is one of Georgia’s best – steep mountain ridges covered with lush green grass, with the Arghuni River’s crystal-clear waters flowing below. You may also notice flocks of sheep casually grazing. After crossing the Pass, descend into the heart of Khevsureti. This historical-ethnographic region is famous for its highland communities that lived in massive, fortified stone villages and produced some of Georgia’s best warriors. Arrive in the historic village of Shatili, with its spectacular stone buildings rising like a fairy-tale castle over a tiny modern village. During the summer, 22 families live here taking care of their animals. In winter, they move to lower regions. The village has a couple of very basic guest houses that each offer rooms with shared toilets and showers and dining rooms serving simple Georgian food. Drop off your luggage and have lunch at your guesthouse before taking an afternoon stroll around Shatili. Explore the complex of stone defence towers and fortified dwellings, enter some of the rooms, and discover the narrow paths and corridors between the buildings. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse.
Meals: lunch, dinner

Hiking distance: a short walk to discover Shatili village and the complex of stone buildings
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Difficulty: easy, but you must be able to climb stairs and walk on uneven surfaces

Day 2: Shatili – Anatori – Mutso – Roshka
 
Start the morning with coffee and a simple homemade breakfast before heading to Anatori. This haunting 18th century necropolis is a fascinating monument of human willpower and the ability to self-sacrifice. A nearby village was infected with black death and faced extinction. To contain the deadly disease, villagers cut off contact with the outside world and built stone tombs. Infected people would go inside these tombs voluntarily and lie down to wait for their deaths. Ultimately, the whole village perished but the disease did not spread. You can choose to travel to the Anatori Necropolis by car or to follow the road on foot (2.5 km, including 147m uphill and 209m downhill, duration: 40 min - 1 hour, difficulty: easy). The hike is a good opportunity to admire the surrounding nature – pristine mountains, quiet forests, and the blue waters of Arghuni River that flows along the road. After arriving at Anatori, take a walking tour of the tombs (which still house the villagers’ bones) and the ruins of the village. From Anatori, continue to the Mutso Fortress, which stands on a hill in a middle of a mountainous valley. As before, you can opt to travel to the foot of the Mutso Hill by car or to hike along the road (8.7 km, including 496m uphill and 683m downhill, duration: 3 hours, difficulty: easy). The route to the foot of the Mutso Hill follows the Arghuni, which changes here from a shallow, quietly flowing channel into a powerful, rapid mountain stream. On the way you’ll encounter a couple of now largely abandoned villages, where you’ll have the chance to see examples of the region’s typical old, rural architecture. Even if you reach the foot of the hill by car, you will still have to climb up to the fortress on foot, as there is no road. This climb is short, but steep (341m including 91m uphill, duration 20-30 minutes), so make sure to bring good hiking shoes. However, the effort is worthwhile as the view from the top is breath-taking! After exploring Mutso Fortress, walk down to the foot of the hill to meet your vehicle and drive back to Shatili for a quick lunch at the guesthouse. After lunch, drive to Roshka, a tiny village on the edge of the Khvevsureti region (42 km, 1 hour). Check in to your guesthouse. Free time to relax in preparation for tomorrow’s intense hike. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hiking: 341m, including 91m uphill.
Duration: 20-30 minutes
Difficulty: medium

Additional optional hiking (in two sections): total of 11.2 km, including 643m uphill and 892 meters downhill
Duration: 3.5-4 hours
Difficulty: easy

Day 3: Abudelauri Lakes – Tbilisi
 
After breakfast, start hiking along the Roshka Valley towards the Abudelauri Lakes (16 km round-trip). Each of these small lakes is named after the colour of its water – green, blue, and white. The trail starts off easy, with an easily visible, gradually inclining path. After 6km you’ll reach the Green Lake, with the Blue Lake 300m further on. After this, the hike becomes more challenging as the trail becomes steeper and is covered with stones and rubble. However, those who complete this challenge will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the White Lake, which is located at the foot of Mount Chaukhi at an altitude of 2,812m. After spending some time relaxing at the White Lake, hike back to Roshka. Have a late lunch at the guesthouse before driving back to your hotel in Tbilisi (105 km, 2.5 hours). End of the tour.
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Hiking: 16 km, including 800m uphill and 800m downhill
Duration: 6-7 hours
Difficulty: medium

* We recommend you bring comfortable walking shoes, a raincoat, sun cream, a hat, sunglasses, and a torch on this tour.

  • All transfers by comfortable and reliable 4WD vehicle;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing;
  • Meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners;
  • Sightseeing tour programme with a local, English-speaking guide;
  • Mineral water (500ml per person per day).
  • Guesthouse charges for additional services;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips/gratuities for the guide and driver (although these would be appreciated).

Accommodation:

Shatili - 1 night
Front Castle or similar
Roshka - 1 night
Korsha Guesthouse or similar

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