Tiseli – Chitikibe Fortress – Idumala Trail

About

Route Length: 25.5 km
Route Duration: 11 hrs. 55 min.
Min./Max. Height: 1052/2533 m.
Total Ascent/Descent: 1917/2064 m.
Route Type: Connecting
Route category of complexity: Moderate

Route Description:
The route starts at the center of the village Tiseli. The road heads southeast to the Tiselighele valley. It will bypass an old church, a cemetery, fortress ruins and in the depths of the valley, will reach the momentous landmark of the region – the Tiseli Monastery Complex of the Virgin.

In 5 km from the village center, a dirt road is switched by a trail, which is lost after half a kilometer. The route follows the slope of the left mountain. While climbing the mountain ridge, the contour of the trail is spotted again. It turns towards south, passes through the sub-alpine zone and finally leads the travelers on the Trialeti ridge. From that spot the entire Aspindza municipality opens up in the palm of a hand. After the mesmerizing viewpoint, the route runs south and rejoins the trail, which plays a hide & seeks game with the travelers as it appears and disappears through the meadows until it reaches an old spring. As soon as the route crosses the spring a timeworn grassy driveway will show up and guide into the Kibe valley. At the very point, where two streams merge into each other, there is enclosed a mountain. This mountain will lead visitors to the remote Chitikibe Fortress, erected at 2210 meters above the sea level. Although no trail is outlined to the fortification, the wood is easily passable. The upper part of the mountain is stony and grassy but it is possible to move towards right, thus avoid the sharp cliffs and shelter under a tremendous rock. From that spot travellers can catch the clear sight of the fortress. The access to the stronghold is from the north side and though there is no trail the terrain allows an easy climbing. Visitors can come back to the Kibe-ghele valley exactly the same way.

Those eager to spend night outdoors, can find a perfect meadow for camping adventures in about kilometer away.
The route continues to the south from the camp site, crosses several streams, bypasses an abandoned farm building, and approaches an intersection. From there the road goes through the village Oshora, later follows the paved road and enters the village of Idumala and the tourist route ends.


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