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Okro Fortress Trail Net
Okro fortress Trail Net consists of three independent trails, that gather at Okro Fortress (1740 m.). 13th-century Fortress stands on a huge rocky massif and is almost impossible to access. It represents one of the largest and most intricately planned forts in Georgia. The multi-level stronghold has massive, crudely carved walls, that run down the slopes and harmoniously blend with the texture of the mountain. Presumably, this unity of natural barriers and man-made fortification formed a perfect defense system and helped to gain control of the region and its passing roads, and also allowed to endure long-lasting sieges during invasions.
The fortress can be accessed from the north side. In the northwest direction of the fort, a 100 meters long path leads to the spring, which is also a suitable place to make a camp and stay overnight.
From the Okro Fortress, the route divides into three directions – one goes to the town Adigeni, the other goes to the village Shoka, and the third way takes the visitors to the evergreen Kurtskhana Valley.
Adigeni – Chulevi Monastery – Zanavi Fortress – Okro Fortress
Length: 12.5 km. (return back 12.5 km)
Duration: 5 hrs. 15 min. (return back 4 hrs. 40 min.)
Min./Max. Height: 1136/1731 m.
Total Ascent/Descent: 1124/532 m.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Please read the definitions of complexity categories carefully!
The route starts at the bus station of the town Adigeni; it follows the asphalt road, enters the village Adigeni, takes the path to the left, and finds itself in the middle of fenced wheat fields.
The captivating sight of Zanavi and Okro fortresses perched on steep cliffs can be spotted on the way. If the weather is clear and no clouds float in the sky, then you can observe the major beauty of Javakheti, a double summit of the volcanic Mount Didi Abuli. The dirt road is replaced by a narrow trail that enters the forested area and gets to artificial irrigation and follows it for a while. The itinerary connects to an asphalt road, which heads to the Chulevi Monastery. At the foot of the valley’s risen mountains, stands the 14th-century domed temple of St. George. Temple’s exquisitely cut stones of gray-pink hue perfectly match the green tones of those encircling forests and groves.
From the Chulevi Church, the itinerary goes along the slope, passes the monastic cells, and disappears into the broadleaved woodland. Small crossroads will appear in a few meters. If turning right, the trail will lead the visitors to the noisy Chule waterfall. The water gushing on the mossy rocks enlivens the woody neighborhood.
After returning to the crossroads, the route sets off on a slope. It picks up altitude and for 200 meters traverses a ravine covered with boulders and dried leaves. A tiny footpath crosses the valley and the itinerary follows a 700 meters long forestry trail, until connecting to a wider dirt road that heads directly to the Zanavi Fortress. The inaccessible fortress erected on an extremely steep cliff dates back to the late Middle Ages. Climbing the fortress is not recommended.
From the fort, the route continues towards the east, follows a small descent, traverses a field, a coniferous forest, and enters the village of Gomaro. From the center of the village, the route gets on a dirt road, leaves behind village dwellings, and sets off on a long ascent. At the end of the ascent, in the open field suddenly emerges the sight of the grand Okro Fortress in all its glory.