Short Trip Vashlovani 3 Days
Short Trip Vashlovani 3 Days
As a private trip?
All our travel offers can also be booked as a private journey to have advantages such as, flexible date choice and individual support of your personal guide. On our private journeys you travel alone or with a private group, e.g. with your family or friends, and have a guide and a driver exclusively at your group’s disposal.
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Medium difficulty, hikes up to 8 successive hours
The in the year 1935 founded Vashlovani National Park is a strictly protected area. It is located at the southeastern edge of Georgia near the border to Azerbaijan and stands out for its dry climate and unique rock formations. Another particularly noteworthy feature is its pistachio forests which look like apple trees during flowering. Therfore the name "Vashlovani" meaning "apple garden".
- Mijniskure Valley
- Pantishara Gorge
- "Swallow city"
- Chachuna Reservation
- Takhti Tepas mud volcanoes
1Dedoplistskaro - Mijniskure
Journey in an off-road vehicle (approx. 2,5 hrs.) from Tbilisi to Dedoplistskaro. As the park stretches up to the border area to Azerbaijan, you need to apply for permission, therefore passport o. identification card is required. The permit and the initial information will be given on site at the Dedoplistskaro Information Centre.
The off-road journey continues within the Vashlovani NP for another 2-3 hours (approx. 70km) up to Mijniskure Valley. The route runs partially in a dried out river bed. After about two hours we reach a plateau with e newly built viewing platform, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view over the impressive landscape.
The Alazani River, the second longest in Georgia, winds right in the middle of the dry steppe desert thus creating a natural border between Georgia and Azerbaijan. At the edge of a little pistachio forest, right on the Alazani bank there are a few simply equipped bungalows, our shelter for the night. The place is great to fish, take short walks and enjoy the impressive landscape. The late afternoon is at your disposal to be arranged to your wishes. Dinner has to be prepared on site by ourselves.
Driving distance: approx. 220km, time: approx. 5 hrs. (off-road)
Overnight stay in Mijniskure bungalows (-/P/D)
Today our journey takes us through the flat valley at the border to Azerbaijan, passing by numerous Azerbaijani villages, up to the Pantishara (shell) Gorge. Westart our hike above the gorge and along a mountain range, from where you have a wonderful view over the Shiraki Valley. This is where the Tushetian shepherds with their sheep flocks and cattle herds overwinter until June, when they can move on up into the mountains again. Behind the valley rise the snow-covered mountains of the Lesser and greater Caucasus.
Our route leads us into the narrow Pantishara Gorge, whose steep cliffs on both sides look like strongholds, and further down to the so called “Swallow city”, a rock wall housing large colonies of swallow nests.
In primeval times the whole region used to be a sea. In the calcium sediments you can still find a lot of age-old shells and very well preserved fossils and elephant bones from the later times.
Upon request we can have an extended hike into the neighbouring Bear Gorge (in Georg. Datviskhevi). Here too, in the washed-out rock walls, you can still find the fossils of marine animals and mammals. With a little luck in the soft soil you can spot the footprints of wild boar, wolf and lynx. A few years ago they even sighted a Caucasian leopard in the area.
Finally, we hike back a little and then drive to Dedoplistskaro to stay overnight. Dinner will be served at a local family’s place.
Driving distance: approx. 80km, time: approx. 3-4 hrs.
Overnight stay in Dedoplistskaro (B/P/D)
3Chachuna Reservation: Khornabuji, Takhti Tepas mud volcanoes
We start the day with a twenty-minute drive to the south followed by a hike to the Khornabuji Castle ruins. The hiking route leads us along an unpaved path in a little forest. In spring and summer the dry path looks like a tunnel under the tree branches. We ascent to a fortress and immerse ourselves in the regional cultural history. The origin of the settlement dates back to the pagan times. The fortress was rebuilt in the 12th century and became a blooming trading town in the Golden Ages under the King Tamara. From here, yet again, you enjoy a breathtaking view over the Alazani Valley and the east Greater Caucasus. You can also observe a lot of birds as in close proximity to the fortress ruins there is the famous “eagle gorge”, a hotspot for breading raptorial birds. Afterwards, we continue our way to the Chachuna Reservation at the Iori River, one of the most well-known bird sanctuary of Caucasus. You can find 82 bird species here, ten of which are on the Red List. With a little luck you can spot the breeding Imperial Eagle.
Next we sightsee the Takhti Tepas mud volcanoes, an extraordinary natural landmark. The volcanoes lie near the Dali Reservoir on a small plateau, covered with a whitish clay layer. These are mini volcanoes, with presumable age of 2 million years, still bubbling and steaming, smacking and spitting up small amounts of mud and fossil oil. It feels like you were on a different planet. The substances are verified as health and eco-friendly gas and oil.
Finally, we take our off-road journey back to Dedoplistskaro (approx. 2 hrs.) and on to Tbilissi (approx. 2,5 hrs.). En route we’ll dine at a local family’s place in Kakhetian village Jimiti with homemade wine.
Driving distance: approx. 250km, time: approx. 6-7 hrs.
- According to the programme, in a comfortable minibus
- English-speaking GEORGIA INSIGHT guide
- Mijniskure, bungalow 1x
- Dedoplistskaro, family-run guesthouse 1x
- Picknick, dinner on day 1
- Breakfast, picknick, dinner on day 2 and 3
- One bottle of water a day
- According to the programme
Passport control for the nature reservation areas
We are going to enter a nature reservation/border area during the tour. A simple procedure of pass control is necessary.
Long driving distance
Some day-routes require a relatively longer driving distance. Nevertheless, they are carefully planned to be diverse and exciting. You are welcome to have photo stops and/or a picnic en route.
You can further information under the menu point Travel information and FAQs. Should there be any open questions left, please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone. We will be happy to answer any further questions you have.
The travel offer is meant as a component possible to be done separately or to be integrated in a longer itinerary with other travel components to your choice. Therefore, the standard version of the travel offer does not include the accommodation in Tbilisi.
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all prices incl. a double room