Pshav-Khevsureti is a highland region of North-East Georgia, nested in the Caucasus Mountains. Region surprise travelers with breathtaking mountain landscapes and unique ethno-cultural peculiarities. Barisakho, Abudelauri Lakes and Shatili belong to Khevsureti; Zinvali, Chargali and Gometsari - to Pshavi.
Khevsureti is a historical-ethnographic province, located in the North-Eastern Georgia, on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Nowadays, Khevsureti is part of Dusheti Municipality, Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. Khevsureti is divided into two parts by the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range – Pirikita and Piraketa Khevsureti.
Datvisjvari Pass (2.689m asl) :
The largest villages of Khevsureti are Barisakho and Shatili.
Khevsureti is one of the most isolated and remote mountainous provinces in Georgia. Like other people living in the similar remote areas, local Khevsurs have kept their traditions. Despite the fact Georgian highlander communities were converted to Christianity long time ago, Khevsurs still maintain their pre-Christian cults, following sort of a unique mixture of Christian and pagan beliefs.
Shatili is a historic highland village located at an elevation of 1400 meters above sea level, near the border with Chechnya. It is situated in Pirikita Khevsureti, on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. A unique complex of medieval fortresses and fortified dwellings have been part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2007. The towers are made of stone and were used for protection and living. During the winter, Shatili cannot be accessed by the car road because of the heavy snow.
Another historical village in Khevsureti is Mutso, situated at 1880 meters above sea level. It is a fortified settlement, which used to control the northern roads and border for a long time. The place was inhabited from the 10th century, but it has been abandoned since the middle of the 20th century because of the harsh climate and the lack of arable land.
There are 30 medieval fortified dwellings and four combat towers standing on the vertical terraces above the Mutso-Ardoti gorge.
Pshavi (historically Pkhovi) is a small historical region of north-eastern Georgia, located in the gorge of the river Pshavi Aragvi, on the southern slopes and foothills of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, modern-day Mtskheta-Mtianeti Mkhare (administrative region), Dusheti Municipality.
Pshavi can be broken down into two main parts divided at the confluence of the rivers Pshavi and Khevsureti Aragvi. The area along the Pshavi Aragvi gorge between Zhinvali Reservoir and the confluence of Khevsureti and Pshavi Aragvi, is considered as “Lower” Pshavi. This area includes the community of Magharoskari village, and its constituent villages: Chargali, Gometsari, Sharakhevi etc.
“Upper” Pshavi is comprised of the village communities of Ukana pshavi and Shua pkho, located in the very upper reaches of Pshavi Aragvi. Pshavi region is bordered by the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and Khevsureti region from the north and northwest, Kartli and Kakheti lowlands from the south and southeast.
Pshavi, and especially its lower parts, is not very mountainous and elevated compared to other regions and areas of the East Georgian mountains (e.g. Khevsureti or Tusheti), ranging from 1000 to 3000 meters above the sea level. Therefore, because of such geographic conditions, Pshavi nature and climate is different to its more mountainous and alpine highland counterparts, characterized by richer flora and fauna, with deciduous and mixed forests.
Pshavi has unique ethno-cultural characteristics, particularly its local dialect, which has been influenced through centuries by both highland and lowland cultures of east Georgia. Similarly to other highland regions of the South Caucasus, Pshavi local communities have kept their ancient customs and traditions well.
Aragvi Adventure Center is a notable highlight located near village Sharakhevi, in the lower reaches of the river Pshavi Aragvi. Center offers rafting, kayaking, biking, hiking and other various outdoor sports activities, as well as camping sites and wooden huts in the gorge of Pshavi Aragvi.
Pshav-Khevsureti areas are protected under the administration of Pshav-Khevsureti National Park.
One of the routes going to Abudelauri Lakes starts from village Roshka, which is located in Khevsureti.
To book private tours, please follow the links below or contact travel expert here.
Rafting Tour & Adventure Park
Hike to Abudelauri Lakes
8 Day Omalo-Shatili Trekking Tour