Originally published on AWAYN’s website.
In the northeast part of Georgia is located the region of Tusheti and to get to Omalo, its biggest village, you’ll have to take the most dangerous high mountain pass in the country and one of the highest in the Caucasus and Europe, known as Abano Pass.
On your way up you’ll have the opportunity to see different landscapes: from the Kakhetian vineyards you’ll pass under waterfalls and once you cross the tree line you’ll be over the clouds for a while. When you go down on the other side of the mountain, you’ll go through flowering slopes and colorful pine woods until you reach the Visitor Centre of Tusheti Nature Reserve and National Park in Kvemo (Lower) Omalo.
In Upper Omalo you’ll have the most breathtaking view of Gomtsari and Pirikiti valleys and a picturesque panorama of the surrounding hamlets on the peaks of the mountains. This settlement is near the medieval towers of Keselo, the shelter of the local people during the war time, this is why most of the guest houses are here.
You can take your tent and camp next to Oreti Lake, only 9 kms from Omalo or do some hikes because most of the trails start here: the Dartlo-Kvavlo is an easy one, the return trip may take you 2 days but if you are experienced, take the Dakuekhi trail, around 96 kms in about 6 days to dive into the historical Tusheti and discover the most innermost landscapes of Georgia.
Be aware that Abano Pass is closed from the middle of October and it’s accessible again in late May. I recommend you to book a room in advance in case you’d like to stay in a guest house in Omalo because summer is the peak travel season and it might be full or expensive.